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2009 Ls460 & Xm Radio


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Hello:

I am new to this forum and a new Lexus owner as well.

My brand new, 2009 LS 460 has the standard radio package which exhibits better than average sound quality from both FM and CD sources, however, I have noticed that when switching from either of the aforementioned sources to XM satlllite radio, there is an audible loss of sound quality somewhat reminiscent of the compressed sound one experiences with the MP3 format. In reference to this finding I have several questions:

1. Have others noticed this difference with the same radio package?

2. Does the Mark Levinson radio have the same sound quality where it relates to the XM source? And, yes, it is understood that the ML radio is a significant upgrade in terms of amplification, speakers, etc.

3. If the answers to the above questions are in the affirmative, does the problem lie with the XM source and if so, are they compressing the information to reduce bandwidth?

Thank you in advance.

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i drive a 2009 460 with the Mark Levinson radio. i have not noticed any difference between XM, FM or the music i copy on to my hard drive.

Hi there,

I have a new LS460 with the ML stereo (2 days old). The first thing I noticed when I turned on the radio was that the sound quality is much worse with XM than the radio or CDs. I have not tried to burn music to the HDD yet. I am not sure why this is but I definitely hear a huge difference with the satellite radio and I am a bit disappointed. By far the best sound comes from my CDs, second is FM and worst is XM.

Katherine

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i drive a 2009 460 with the Mark Levinson radio. i have not noticed any difference between XM, FM or the music i copy on to my hard drive.

Hi there,

I have a new LS460 with the ML stereo (2 days old). The first thing I noticed when I turned on the radio was that the sound quality is much worse with XM than the radio or CDs. I have not tried to burn music to the HDD yet. I am not sure why this is but I definitely hear a huge difference with the satellite radio and I am a bit disappointed. By far the best sound comes from my CDs, second is FM and worst is XM.

Katherine

Not an expert on the subject, but I know from experience that satellite radio sound quality is inferior to CD's and FM for that matter. My past experience with Sirius was better than XM, but neither compare to CD or FM quality. I believe it has something to do with sound compression. I have an 09 LS460L with ML system sounds much better than the Bose systems in my 07 Denali and 06 Vette. Despite this, CD's and FM still exhibit much better sound quality in all of my cars.

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Hi:

Thank you all for your replies.

After posting my query on this forum, I embarked on further research and found that the XM signal is indeed compressed and that the level of compression may vary from station to station? Furthermore, there are numerous posts on the net that concur with our findings of poor audio quality via the satellite signal, so, I guess the problem lies with XM rather than our receivers. With this in mind, I doubt that I will subscribe to XM once the 3 month trial period expires, although, I might consider the NAVTRAFFIC subscription.

I must add that there have been several, although few in numbers, who have indicated that they are unaware of any difference in sound quality between FM and XM but for my discerning ears the difference is huge. Not only is there a difference in fidelity but in sound stage as well, all in favor of the FM signal. So, when XM touts their "digital" signal they are correct from a technical viewpoint but the word digital says nothing about sound quality.

In summary, it would seem that if one is satisfied with the sound of Mp3's compressed files and their IPOD's,then they might be equally as satisfied with XM but I for one have no interest in returning to the days of low fidelity and will stick with FM and CD's. It's quality, not quantity, that counts!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Less than optimum audio quality is one reason for speculation that XM's days are numbered.

In Washington State I have vast areas where the signal drops completely. Ok so there are lots of trees but I never lose the FM signal.

I agree with others the quality is poor compared to FM.

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