The 7 Best SiriusXM Portable Satellite Radios to Buy in 2018

Listen to your radio whenever, wherever

If you are at all familiar with SiriusXM satellite radio, you know how much of a joy it can be to listen to. Though you have to pay a monthly fee for access, you get crystal clear stereo sound, a wide variety of commercial free music stations, many of your favorite news/sports options and a much wider reception range than regular radio. A trend in the last few years has allowed SiriusXM technology to be bundled into devices that look and act like MP3 players. And if the ability to enjoy satellite radio on-the-go is a must for you, check out our top portable picks below.

Best Budget: SiriusXM XEZ1H1 Onyx EZ

Convenient for both your home and your vehicle, the Sirius’ XEZ1H1 Onyx EZ is a great low-price option that comes with a remote control. Some nifty features included: you can browse what’s playing on other channels while you are listening to your current one, and you can also store up to 10 favorite channels for one-touch access. And installation is easy for both home and vehicle kits. In the car, just connect the antenna, powered cord and auxiliary cord to your vehicle’s stereo system. The backlit blue LCD shows basic information, including artist, channel, title, etc. And although the hardware itself is fairly bare bones, the Onyx EZ is an easy entry point into the XM/Sirius world and it’s hard to argue with the price.

Best Features: SiriusXM Satellite Radio SXPL1V1 Onyx Plus

The big brother to the Onyx EZ, SiriusXM SXPL1V1 is feature-rich, vehicle-ready player. In a package that’s 3.4-ounces and 4.5" (W) x 2.4"(H) x .7" (D), there are many features to keep even the pickiest SiriusXM listener happy. The addition of both TuneStart and TuneMix are two features that make the price tag worth it. The former allows subscribers to start from the beginning of a song on a new station, while the latter allows for the creation of a music station based on favorite channels. Additionally, the Onyx EZ offers pause, rewind and replay functionality on your favorite channels for up to 30 minutes.

Installation in the vehicle is super easy with the included vehicle kit (adapter, antenna, etc.) that allows you transfer between cars all on a single subscription. The full-color display will showcase album art, channel logos and graphics to add some visual appeal. The Onyx Plus offers “SiriusXM Xtra,” which includes more music and entertainment channels, plus SiriusXM Latino. And catching up on the big game is no problem with Sports Ticker. There are some standard features, too, including one-touch access to traffic and weather, as well as one-touch jump back to a previous channel.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: SiriusXM SSV7V1 Stratus 7

The SiriusXM SSV7V1 Stratus 7 is as basic as a satellite radio gets. Push-button navigation allows for easy channel surfing and you can store up to 10 of your favorite channels for one-touch access. Listening in multiple vehicles requires the purchase of multiple accessory kits, but extends the life and use cases for the Stratus 7. The overall design is fairly basic. There’s no “wow” factor to its look and feel, but it gets the job done. TuneScan, a feature which allows you to start a song from the beginning on a new channel, is not available. The same goes for TuneStar,t which allows listeners to create their own music channel by blending their favorite music channels. While it may lack some features, the Stratus 7 offers a clear signal and easy installation. While we’d love to see a remote in the future, it’s still a great deal.

Best App: SiriusXM Smartphone App

True portability with satellite radio can be found via the Android, BlackBerry and iPhone smartphone app. What you lose from a specific radio system, you can gain in complete portability. Streaming channels include all the traditional subscriber options (and even some online-only channels). The smartphone app includes “on demand” access to the SiriusXM catalog of content, allowing you to listen when it’s convenient, not necessarily when it is live. Storing talk radio and entertainment shows offline allows the additional capability to listen offline or away from a cellular signal.

You can also share your music with new social features, as well as receive personalized recommendations to help find new content. And a smart, easy-to-navigate design helps simplify the number of presses it takes to find and play music. Streaming is included with every All Access SiriusXM subscription. The smartphone app allows subscribers to go back in time up to five hours to listen to previous content, and Start Now starts every song at the beginning upon selecting a new channel. Favorites, settings and listening history all sync between devices allowing you to listen from your iPhone and then pick right up where you left off on your iPad. The app itself is free and offers a truly portable listening experience. If you’re already a subscriber, listening virtually anywhere offers just one more attractive reason to be a SiriusXM subscriber.

Best Screen Display: SirirusXM Commander Touch

The Commander Touch offers a beautiful color capacitive touchscreen display that offers full-color 480 x 180 pixel display album art, artist name, song title, channel logos and program information. As with most of the higher-end portable satellite radios, the Touch includes pause, rewind, and replay for up to 60 minutes of listening. The TuneMix feature creates a mix of songs from a subscriber’s favorite stations with the included album art and channel logos. Songs will automatically pause when a stop occurs while listening in the car for up to 30 minutes and then replay from where the radio left off. SiriusXM will provide software updates to the Commander Touch via a USB flash drive that will help offer new features and capabilities as they are available.

At just 3.88 ounces and 4.1" (W) x 1.69" (H) x .48" (D), the Touch is in the middle of the road when compared to the rest of the portable satellite radio competition. However, car installation is a snap and portability is simplified with multiple car attachments all on a single subscription. Some early Amazon reviews have highlighted that the display has a little difficulty recognizing finger touch and requires multiple touches before the Commander Touch recognizes the request.

Best Splurge: Starmate 8

If it’s the best Sirius XM radio experience you’re after, the Starmate 8 radio is the pinnacle of the company’s collection. With six available display colors to match your dashboard lighting, the Starmate 8 offers to pause, rewind and replay up to 30 minutes of live satellite radio. Compatible with a slew of cradles, boomboxes and home kit units, the display shows the artist name, song title and channel information. Once installed, Starmate 8 owners can store up to 10 of their most desired stations for easy one-touch access while browsing other channels while listening to their favorites.

Measuring 4 x 2 x 1.1 inches and weighing 3.4 ounces, the Starmate 8 is portable enough to easily transition from car to home and back again without skipping a beat, all with a single Sirius XM subscription. For parents, locking and unlocking channels with mature content is super easy with parental controls. Additionally, rush-hour drivers will find the inclusion of one-touch jump to traffic and weather a bonus perk they’ll quickly learn to love. Setup inside the car is incredibly easy with the included PowerConnect vehicle kit, so you'll be able to listen to sports games and over a hundred commercial-free music channels within minutes.

Best for Sports Fans: SiriusXM ST4-TK1 Starmate 4

Simple, sleek and full of features you want from a SiriusXM radio, the ST4-TK1 offers easy installation, a five-line graphic display and 44-minute instant replay function.Cool features? S-Seek will save up to 30 song titles or artists and alert you whenever one is playing, while Game Alert prompts subscribers when their favorite sports team is playing on a SiriusXM channel.

The Startmate 4 decodes digital signal for more than 130 music, sports and news stations with your subscription. The backlit blue display sits comfortably in the 4.9" (W) x 1.9" (H) x .6" (D) frame that feels both compact and solid. The more traditional look and feel is paired with a bundle pack that includes a remote, antenna, power cord and the car mount. And the kit offers easy portability between vehicles all with a single subscription.


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