I hooked up XM to my Alpine 9835 via a direct connect terk adapter and the terk universal XM receiver.
I chose XM because I felt the playlist was much better than Sirius. Especially in the alternative music department. Sirius seems to play the "hits" over and over again and I can't stand the ex- KROQ disc jokey's on the First Wave station and how they talk all the time. XM plays tracks that I love, tracks no one plays anymore. This seems true for a lot of the music stations.
I could care less about Howard Stern or sports, so XM seemed like the perfect choice.
The free XM for a year deal was the clincher.
The sound quality is not as good as I expected. On some stations it sounds like a low bit rate MP3. It is in no way CD quality. Somedays one station will sound good, then it sounds bad. Sometimes the sound is real tin-ny and sharp. At times it sounds "hollow" and lacks depth and presence.
Reception has been good with minimal loss of signal. I even get in when my car is in my garage (with the door up)
There are numerous people complaining about the audio quality on xmfan.com I suggest you guys read that forum (just what you needed.....another forum to get involved with). I am on there.
People at Sirius complain about the audio quality as well. So I do not think one has better audio than the other. I even called Alpine about XM and they said they both sound like bad MP3's and neither one is better than the other in terms of sound quality. He said they are both "bad"
So the pluses are great music and I beleive better playlists than its competitors, great reception, I love seeing the names of all the artists and songs on my stereo, no commercials, no annoying DJ's and free service for a year.
The minus is the sound quality. Its decent at best and bad on some stations on some days. XM is launching a 3rd satellite, so I dont' know if it will improve the sound quality. I hope so!
You definately should find a way to "hardwire" the XM into your car. I believe FM modulating will just add to the poor sound quality.
Hope to see some of you on xmfan.com