I'm also a fan of Sirius, although not as much since I found Pandora. I like Sirius' selection and love the technology--it's great to listen to the same station for hours at a time in the car without interruption. On the boat in the middle of Lake Michigan it's a life saver. The music selection, however, doesn't seem as broad as Pandora's.
My other favorite app is TuneIn Radio. It boasts over 70,000 radio stations across the world. I can use it to listen to nearly any music or talk radio station in the world. I'm listening to folk music from Snow Hill Island, Antarctica as I type this.
When my 4+ year old Sirius receiver stopped working about the time I got my Nexus 4 with T-Mobile service and Karen her iPhone 5 with Sprint, I had a decision to make: replace the Sirius and continue paying $150/year, or make use of the smart phones and apps. I decided to try the smart phone and apps and bought the GOgroove FlexSMART X2 Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter from Amazon. After a month...
- Sound quality is better than Sirius. Pandora through both the Nexus and iPhone has a richer, fuller sound. The Sirius sounds tinny in comparison.
- I enjoy the musical selection more than Sirius. It's easier to find music that fits my mood, and there are no annoying DJs.
- It doesn't use that much data. In my first month I haven't come close to using the 2GB of data T-Mobile gives me as part of my plan.
- It's less expensive than Sirius, even with the Pandora One subscription ($3.99/month).
- You're dependent on the mobile data network. It's fine in the city. It can be a problem in rural areas. On a recent trips to Frankenmuth, Michigan (near Saginaw) and Bloomington, Indiana there were stretches without any music from either of our phones. This was NEVER a problem with Sirius.
- It didn't "just work" like the Sirius did. Karen's phone doesn't consistently pair to the FlexSmart and you have to take the phone out of your pocket or bag to play music, a pain on a multiple stop trip.
- If you like Sirius's programming (i.e. Saturday Night Safety Dance, Top 40 countdowns from the '80s) you're out of luck.
- I had had to change radio frequencies every few miles in the city. I've since solved the problem by using the Sirius FM Relay Kit I already had in the car.
It's not a perfect replacement for Sirius, but good enough for me. I don't mind tinkering and can live with the bad. For Karen who likes simplicity, it's not good enough. We'll probably get another Sirius receiver and renew our subscription.
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