A Tale of Two Receivers: XM Skydock vs XM Onyx


Sirius XM announced two new XM receiver devices this week – the Skydock ($120) and the Onyx ($80). Both are scheduled for a fall delivery and, I’m guessing, they’re targeting different audiences. While choice is good, I’m not sure the Skydock will be worth the 50% premium over the Onyx for most.

The XM Skydock essentially turns an iPhone or iPod touch into a satellite display and controller tethered inside a car. Whereas the Onyx, for $40 less, sticks with the more traditional plug & play receiver form – and is bundled with a vehicle kit, but presumably home kits and maybe even boombox accessories (like this) will be available. Making it a more practical option for many. One device, one subscription, multiple locations.

Additionally, as most folks know, the iPhone has a small problem with third party multitasking. Meaning, that while an iPhone may make a great satellite receiver when paired with the Skydock, you’ll have to stop the music to navigate or take a call. (Sirius XM could have minimized this limitation by integrating some sort of speakerphone functionality, perhaps utilizing the car speakers.)

I’ve got XM built into my vehicle, so I won’t need to make this decision. But I’m wondering on which side other folks will fall. Assuming you find satellite radio worthwhile.

3 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Receivers: XM Skydock vs XM Onyx”

  1. The info I’ve seen says something about an auxiliary jack on the body of the dock. So I’m assuming the dock will output the audio with the iPhone just providing channel changing and channel info display. I’m definitely having a hard time figuring out why I would want this over the Onyx or even one of the existing standalones.

  2. Hm, interesting question and I don’t know. But a kinda nice feature, Orbitcast says it has the ability to output other audio (like iTunes or Pandora) from the iPhone to car speakers. It’s yet to be seen what sort of quality their FM PowerConnect technology, used in both units above, delivers though.

  3. There is a DVD movie out about the whole Sirius XM/Mel K. story called: Stock Shock. Very good flick and explains stock market manipulation as well. Stock Shock is at amazon.com and stockshockmovie.com

Comments are closed.