XM Onyx receiver
The XM Onyx is a portable satellite receiver you can use at home or in your car. Image courtesy SiriusXM

The XM Onyx Dock and Play radio, with included car kit, is no longer in production, so you might have trouble getting your hands on one. If you are able to locate an Onyx, either used or new old stock, what you'll find is a compact, portable receiver that's compatible with your XM satellite radio subscription. The Onyx originally shipped complete with a car kit that provided you with everything you needed to get satellite radio in your car, but your mileage may vary when dealing with used and new old stock.


  • Dock and play unit can be used anywhere.
  • Plays wirelessly or through a wired auxiliary connection.
  • Full color display.


  • FM transmitter is on the weak side.
  • Difficult to operate without looking at the screen.
  • No remote.
  • Doesn't work with Sirius.

XM Radio Wherever You Go

If you have a subscription to satellite radio, it's only natural to want to get the best use out of it. That makes a portable tuner like the Audiovox XM Onyx indispensable. This unit doesn't have any speakers of its own, but it can be carried around in your pocket and plugged into any compatible dock. That means you can use the same unit at home, in your office, and on the road in your car.

The Good

The XM XDNX1V1 is a small, study unit that's highly portable. It also has a full color screen that can be customized to match your dash lighting. If your car has blue dash lights, you can tweak the XM Onyx to fit right in. The same is true if your dash lights are red, green, or any other color.

The unit also comes complete with a car kit, so you won't have to make any additional purchases. The kit includes a roof-mounted antenna, an audio cable, a cradle, and the hardware necessary to mount the unit to a dash or vent.

The Onyx is designed to hook into your radio via the FM band. However, it can also plug into an auxiliary audio port if your car stereo has one.

That provides the best sound quality, so it's a nice option to have. Auxiliary inputs aren't found on all car stereos, but it's an option you can find even on budget-priced head units.

The Bad

The FM transmitter is convenient and easy to set up, but it is fairly weak. If the unit is positioned too far from your car antenna, you'll probably experience some level of annoying static. And even if you don't experience static, the sound quality will still be limited by the FM format.

The unit is also fairly difficult to operate the unit without looking at the screen, which makes it dangerous to use when you're driving. That's not a big deal if you just wait to change stations until you're stopped, but it will be an issue if you ever want to fiddle with the controls without taking your eyes off the road.

It's also worth noting that the XM Onyx is only compatible with XM satellite radio. If you have a Sirius subscription, you're better off looking for another unit. Audiovox does make a Sirius Onyx, and there are also some units that are cross-compatible.

The Bottom Line

If you're in the market for a satellite radio tuner that you can carry in your pocket, the XM Onyx is a great choice. It doesn't offer all the features that more expensive units have, but it does include everything you'll need to hook it into your car.

The XM Onyx is a particularly good choice if your car has an auxiliary audio input. That way, you'll be able to enjoy the full quality of satellite radio on the go. While the FM transmitter is serviceable in most circumstances, you'll definitely notice a difference if you hook the unit up through an auxiliary input.

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