Honestly I would just buy a new head unit from crutchfield or sonicelectronix. I've owned both stand alone units and head units and I only used the standalone outside of the vehicle on a few occasion. I've owned 3 different stand alone units which all required a 115 outlet or the speaker system required an outlet, however I see on some docks "Plug into an available AC outlet or listen anywhere with battery power (Requires 8 C-cell batteries, sold separately)". With the stand alone you will have to either connect via auxiliary or find an unused FM station. That and the wires will stick out and show. Everything is a lot cleaner in a head unit.
Here is how I had an older one mounted in the Fiero. Not very clean.
I dated a girl for a couple of years who had a Sirius....it was OK up north (where regular radio gets sketchy) and reliable, but for the subscrition cost and the once per month we were up there I didnt think it was worth it. I was actually perfectly happy just hitting "scan" on the regular radio and listening to whatever came up.
I've been an XM subscriber for years. Love the service, but hate the Customer Service. I have three radios...the Acura has it in the factory head unit, and I have standalone units in my Mustang and Grand Prix. You can't beat it if you travel a lot...I don't miss having to search every few miles for a new radio station when you leave the range of the one you're listening to. One thing I've learned...you don't have to pay full price for the service. I pay for a year at a time for all three radios, and if you call to cancel when your year is up, telling them that it's just too expensive, they will shoot you a lower price...usually about half. I don't have any experience with any of the radios you're looking at, but have heard that the Onyx is a great radio. You might hit up one of the satellite radio forums... AVS Forum
I've got the Onyx in two cars. Neither is cleanly and neatly installed. I also picked up a used speaker dock. The Onyx is just a basic system with no real bells and whistles. Some systems have a "rewind" feature. I love the channel variety. Its relatively cheap. It's great if you're a sports fan and like to listento all the different pro teams playing. If I'm traveling out of state. I can always hear my local team's game. If I'm a fan of a team on the other coast of the country, I can always hear that game. The portable speakers are great for when I'm doing yardwork or sitting on the patio
Originally posted by Fiero_Fan_88: I've owned both stand alone units and head units and I only used the standalone outside of the vehicle on a few occasion.
Originally posted by litespd: ... and I have standalone units in my Mustang and Grand Prix.
Originally posted by aceman: I've got the Onyx in two cars. Neither is cleanly and neatly installed ...
Stand alone units, . Even though they work through the existing head unit ... ok, check. I am also gonna update my head unit, and, have seen many that are satellite radio ready but still need a tuner, . What's up with that ?
Originally posted by aceman: The portable speakers are great for when I'm doing yard work or sitting on the patio
How is the sound ? Is/will it get loud ? Does it sound crisp/true ?
Originally posted by Fiero_Fan_88: ... all required a 115 outlet for the speaker system, however I see on some docks "Plug into an available AC outlet or listen anywhere with battery power (Requires 8 C-cell batteries, sold separately)"
Well, battery and/or an 120v AC outlet is what powers my boom box, that's acceptable. I will make sure I get dual capability.
Originally posted by MidEngineManiac: I was actually perfectly happy just hitting "scan" on the regular radio and listening to whatever came up.
That works for me but does not make me happy, as I get fringe receptions from all stations sometimes. Then one song will fade to another from different stations on the same frequency, or the song can be heard with static, to periods of nothing available unless I speak Spanish, .
Originally posted by aceman: Some systems have a "rewind" feature.
Thanks, I am aware of that and want it. Some also will start at the beginning of a song if you just tune in. I like that too. ill any let you record ? To say an MP3 or the like ?
Originally posted by litespd: ... you don't have to pay full price for the service. You might hit up one of the satellite radio forums... AVS Forum
Cliff, the "standalone" units have a built in tuner, and transmit the radio signal to your car radio. Some do it with a built in FM modulator, some do it with a cassette adapter, and some do it with an inline connection with your existing radio antenna. They allow you to receive the signal and listen to it with your existing radio. On the aftermarket head units, they are similar to the old "HD Ready" tv sets...they were capable of projecting a high definition image, but had to have an external HD tuner to do it. Same idea with the aftermarket head units...they don't have a built in tuner for the satellite radio signal, so you have to purchase the separate tuner. The sound quality will normally be better with these, as it's more of a direct connection...your separate tuner is connecting to the amplifier in the head unit...like plugging a turntable or a CD player into your stereo amplifier on your home stereo. I haven't looked at SiriusXM radios lately, as I'm satisfied with the ones I already have....I just have an old Roady XT in the Grand Prix, but have a Delphi XpressRC radio in my Mustang. The Roady XT connects to the car radio via the built in FM Modulator. The XpressRC connects via a cassette adapter. I also ordered a custom mount for it, and hid all the wiring, so although the position of the XpressRC isn't exactly the best, it looks okay, and functions well. It has the "rewind feature"...basically, it records the previous 30 minutes or so of the broadcast, so that you can go back. You can't record and save anything to MP3 with it, though. The nice thing about standalone head units is that you can get a home dock, so it acts as a "boombox" or radio. You can carry it anywhere you want and listen to satellite radio. Just something else to consider.