When Sirius and XM radios were competing services, there were many differences that often made it difficult to choose one from the other. However, these differences narrowed significantly as companies teamed up to create SiriusXM.

The hardware is still different, which often leads to even more confusion, but things like the quality and availability of services, programming options, and even the aesthetics of the hardware are almost the same.

Thus, the question of how to install satellite radio in your car is a bit less complicated today than before, but there is still a choice.

The difference between Sirius and XM

The main difference between Sirius and Sirius XM today are in specific software packages. For example, both Sirius and XM offer Full Access software packages that come with virtually the same programming. However, the low-level packages from Sirius and XM come with slightly different channels and programming options.

Sirius and XM radios

One prominent example might be found in the two leading SiriusXM programs: Howard Stern and Opie and Anthony Shaw.

Although these programs are available both on Sirius and on XM through their All Access software packages; the same does not apply to lower levels of subscription.

The second-tier Sirius subscription package is offered by Howard Stern, but not by Opie and Anthony, and the opposite is true for XM level at the same price.

Choosing between Sirius and XM (and SiriusXM)

If you are trying to choose between Sirius vs Sirius XM and plan to subscribe to the All Access package, then it does not matter which one you choose.

Check the options for each and choose the one you like. In most of the cases, you will find out that there are only slight aesthetic differences between devices that receive Sirius programs and those that receive Sirius XM.

If you do not plan to subscribe to the Full Access package, be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific lower-level packages for each service before making a choice.

Some low-level packages come with specific channels that others don’t have, so it’s recommended that you make sure that the required package is available on the equipment of your choice before you actually press the trigger.

Differences between Sirius and XM Radios

If you have a car with a built-in satellite radio, you will need to know what type before activating a subscription to it. To do this, SiriusXM maintains a satellite radio availability table that you can check.

If you have to choose between Sirius and XM radio that is not integrated into the OEM car stereo and you are not sure whether it will be Sirius or XM, it is relatively easy to notice the difference.

Just flip the device and find the serial number. If the serial number is 12 digits, it is the unit of Sirius. XM Radio, on the other hand, has eight-digit serial numbers.