Wednesday, December 20, 2006


All right, on this one I was given a subscription to SIRIUS by a family member. The Sportster 4 arrived in a box with a Receiver, vehicle power adapter, remote control, vehicle antenna, vehicle dock, and suction cup mount. Commercial free radio while I drive my car. A very nice gift indeed.

Eagerly opening the box I come to the realization that I don’t spend that much time driving. Sitting in front of my TV, there is the solution right in front of me. The SIRIUS Universal BoomBox. The BoomBox is simply a radio that the SIRIUS receive plugs into. Seems simple enough, soon I will be enjoying my SIRIUS Satellite radio stations at my desk, at the park, by the pool… well you get the idea.

So off to the local Walmart I went and picked up the BoomBox, for a cost of $97.00

Item Description from Walmart’s website.
The Sirius SUBX1 Plug and Play Universal Boombox features a sporty design and top quality sound, allowing you to enjoy all of the newest Sirius Plug and Play radios with universal docking capabilities.

Key Features & Benefits:
Sirius Universal Dock - Allows it to be compatible with all universal Sirius Plug and Play radios
Easy portability - Up to 9 hours of portable use with 8 D-cell batteries (not included)
Top quality sound - Enjoy dynamic sound provided by 2.1 full-range sound system with separate tweeters, mid-range speaker and powerful subwoofer
Antenna cradle - Antenna cradle and cable storage allows you to take your antenna effortlessly with you
Headphone jack - Ideal for private listening

I open the box, and there it is. Black and silver, a perfect match for my SIRIUS receiver. Installing the receiver takes about 10 seconds, as it simply plugs into the radio just like the receiver plugs into the docking station for the car. The BoomBox comes with a power cord (the AC adaptor as SIRIUS describes it). Again easily installed by plugging it into the back of the BoomBox and plugged into a near electrical outlet (now you kids have your parents do that for you). The final item in the box is the antenna. Again simply plugs into the back of the BoomBox. Hold on now, that’s one long antenna, that should have been my first clue of troubled water on the horizon. The BoomBox has convenient tabs on the back of the radio to wrap up all that excessive antenna wire. So I start to wrap, and I wrap and continue to wrap.

When I am done, I push the power button on the front of the BoomBox and wait for the BoomBox to start filling the room with sound. And I wait, and wait, and wait. Hmmm, no sound, the receiver cannot seem to acquire the signal. The light goes off above my head and I now realize what that long antenna wire is for. So I start to unwrap the wire, and unwrap and unwrap. Finally the wire is all uncoiled and I set off in search of a location for the antenna. Since I have the radio at my desk I place the antenna on top of my monitor. No luck, then on top of the cabinet next to my desk, still no luck. Finally I put it on top of my printer and sound fills the room. But the signal is not constant, checking the signal indicator, I see that I have 3 out of 10 bars.

So off to the instructions I go a searching and find out that for where I live, the antenna should point West or North. My desk is in a room that has a South facing window. Undaunted I try other locations for the antenna, on the treadmill, out the window, in the next room. Sometimes I get a 7 out of 10 signal but it is not constant.

However, the BoomBox is portable. So I load it up with 8 D Cell batteries and take it outside. Signal strength is great and no problems with the sound. Now the weight of the radio with batteries brings me back to the 80s when my friend Sean would carry a radio around that took about 20 batteries. Ahhhh, the 80s, good times.... good times......

When I have a signal the sound on the BoomBox is quite good, base tones are strong and the BoomBox provides an overall satisfactory experience. In fact the louder you turn it up, the better the sound. Loud enough for any teenager.

What they claim it does – Allows you to listen to your SIRIUS Satellite radio indoors or outdoors.
What it costs $97.88
Ease of assembly 5 Stars
Ease of use 5 Stars
Actual performance 3 Stars

Final thoughts on practicality
The antenna signal strength varies and can be frustrating when the station you are listening to breaks up. Also 8 D Cell batteries adds to the already 10.6 Lbs of weight.

Final Score

If I could get a constant signal, this product would get 5 stars but I can't so I give this:

3 1/2 stars out of 5
Overall a good option to get the full use out of your SIRIUS Receiver.


I have been using my boombox for a few months now and I love the content Sirius produces but hate the fact that I cannot keep receiving the signal (i.e. the radio goes quiet). I have been to a few Sirius forums and apparently the fix is to put an antenna onto my roof. YEA RIGHT. I am going to climb up on a ladder and put an antenna onto my roof. Sirius should be more upfront about reception in their marketing. When outside, the boombox is great, but indoors, without added equipment it may frustrate you.

Revised Final Score
2 stars out of 5

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