Get Free Music on Your Satellite Radio With This Legal 'Hack'

Dust off that XM/Sirius button on your car's stereo, this 'hack' is legit!

Photo: Eric Audras / Getty

If you’re like me, you may be one of the millions of people who had XM/Sirius satellite radio in their car when they bought it, but you let your free 3 or 12 month ‘new car’ subscription expire. You just couldn’t justify spending the money to turn it back on or perhaps you were just too lazy to.

Every once in a while, I bet you look at that Sirius/XM button on your car radio and think to yourself “man, I sure wish there was a way to get free satellite radio”.

Well, in a minute, I’m going to tell you how you can get some free satellite music for your travels.

How Did They Deactivate My Radio When My Subscription Ran Out?

Your satellite radio provider can authorize and de-authorize your radio at will, especially if you haven’t been paying your bill. Each radio has a unique radio ID that is used for the purpose of being able to activate or deactivate it.

These ”activate” or “kill” codes are sent via satellite as part of the data stream that your satellite radio receives.  So when your free 3-month subscription ended, like mine did. A signal was likely sent that effectively de-authorized your radio and boom, your channels were all gone, but maybe not ALL gone. We’ll get to that in a minute?

Are There Any Hacks to Get All of my Channels Back for Free?

Well, not exactly, that would be stealing and illegal, but you can get some free Sirius/XM satellite music and I’m about to explain how to do it.

Did You just Linkbait me to This Article or Are You Really Going to Tell me How to Get Free Music on my Satellite Radio?

No, I did not link bait you, I promise. Although, there is a lot of malicious link baiting out there where hackers create link bait articles on social media sites so they can spread links to malware and phishing sites.

It can be a real problem on the Internet. Check out our article: When You See The Dark Side of Linkbait, You'll Freak Out for information on how to not get sucked into all that link bait madness.

Ok, ok, I promised you a 'hack' to get you some free music, I guess it's time I delivered on my promise:

How to Get Free Music on Your Sirius / XM Satellite Radio:

1. Select the XM/Sirius source button from your vehicle's radio.

There is usually a button that says "XM" or "Sirius/XM".

2. Tune Your XM Radio to Channel 1 or Your Sirius Radio to Channel 184

When your subscription ran out, you probably remember seeing that your XM radio would only tune to channel "1" (or 184). This channel usually displays as "XM PREVIEW" and may have your radio ID number displayed as well.

When my XM subscription ran out a couple of years ago, this channel was filled with 10 to 20-second advertisements on a loop and was just wall to wall ads and didn't have any content on it at all. I remember thinking "OK, well I guess that's it then, bye, XM".

Channel 1 was basically designed to be a nothing channel that was only used for the purposes of letting you know that you were getting a good signal, and it would just continually tell you to subscribe, not worth listening to AT ALL.

On March 12, 2015, THAT ALL CHANGED!! XM/Sirius Tweeted This:

"Hear @SiriusXMHits1 without a subscription! Now available for free on all Sirius and XM radios. Sirius channel 184 and XM channel 1!"

Finally, that stupid mind numbing preview channel that was all just ads on a loop IS GONE and has been replaced with actual content!! The channel is now called "HITS 1" and is FREE and actually has decent MUSIC ON IT. Not parts of songs, but WHOLE SONGS, with not any actual commercials (for products anyway)!! Other than some subscription pitches after maybe every third or fourth song, you actually have real satellite music in your car again!!

I've heard as many songs as 8 in a row without interruption. They even have a pretty decent morning show on the station as well. The music genre is pretty much pop top 40 type stuff, but it's actually a great little free channel now that you can listen to from coast to coast, and the only 'hack' you really need to access it is just to press your XM/Sirius button and start listening again!