Polk Audio XM Radio Reciever A Winner

I just received the new Polk XM radio receiver. I planned a series of a/b listening tests with my old XM radio. It only took about 10 seconds of listening to realize how much the sound quality improved. Highly recommended. It is not quite cd quality but far better than the standard fare. FYI my system is Rotel preamp, Adcom mono blocks and Magnepan 1.6s.
Ag insider logo xs@2xmcmanus
This XM tuner has my interest as well,couple questions to start.
Have or are you using the digital out to a outboard DAC?
Did you find a good deal on it?
Hows the remote and control feature set,easy operation?
Thankyou in advance.
hey i just checked xm's website and they have a complete lowdown on the polk reciever. complete with the download for the owners manual. i guess its going around 299.99 which is kind of pricy but concidering that i bought my orignal skyfi reciever in early late 2002 for about 260.00 total. i think. so its not that bad. also makes mention of xm broadcasting in surround sound maybe. won't say if they are doing it or not. Hey they can keep the surround sound thing just give me a good stereo mix and im happy. but check it out.

see yah
I Heard that Krell is also planning an XM Radio tuner. Seems to be becoming more popular.
I have the Polk XM radio receiver in my system hooked up via RCA digital output to my NorthStar 192 DAC. The sonics are very good, but the seemingly endless choices of commercial free music stations is exceptional. Great component.
I just ordered mine today and I can't wait for it to arrive!! I occasionally listened to the Delphi SkyFi unit connected via a mini-jack to RCA into my preamp. The sound was just okay at best, but probably better than FM. The SkyFi had a cheap DAC and no digital output (although I did see somebody offering a modified SkyFi unit on Audiogn with a digital output). The new Polk XM receiver has both Toslink and coaxial digital outputs. I can't wait to try it with my Levinson 360s DAC. I'll post a review when the unit arrives and I get a listen. I hope the sound is better than the digital stream I get from my digital cable TV provider (Time Warner Cable). They offer Music Choice which has great music programming and a huge variety, but the PCM stream is far from CD quality, although again probably better than FM.
Mcmanus, Did you order from the XM email or do the stores have them? How long did it take for you to get?
I initially was going to order mine from the XM site (which links to Polk, so you really order from Polk directly). The price was $299.95 with free shipping. When I went to pay, they added sales tax. I cancelled the transaction and went to another site, xmfanstore.com, where I ordered the Polk receiver for $299.98 with free shipping and no sales tax. They are located in St. Charles, MO. Obviously, if you live in MO, you will have to pay sales tax if you buy from them.

IMHO, XM is still a winner even if they didn't have the Polk receiver for better XM sound in the home. I've had XM in my car for two and a-half years and I love it.
Damn it. The very existence of this compels me to buy it.
Is the antenna compatible with the Delphi? I just bought a 50' extension for it.

I was wondering the same thing about the antenna. From the looks of it in pictures I've seen, the extension looks the same. I'll post to let you know as soon as mine arrives. To my chagrin, my unit has been backordered and was supposed to come in last Friday. I haven't gotten a shipping confirmation yet:(
The antenna is the same as the Delphi, just a longer length. I got mine from Crutchfield a few days ago, $299 free shipping no sales tax. Much better sounding then the Delphi, if you have a highend system. If you like XM you will love this new tuner. My only complaint is why did it take so long !!
Just got my Polk xm today and was wondering if the antenna works from inside the room not near the window or does it have to be right at the window for it to work properly? Another question, has anyone one used a D/A with the polk and what were your impressions between the two?
You will need to have the antenna pointed out of a window, or possibly an outside wall. It will depend on the construction material of the wall and anything outside in the line of sight to the satellite. I have vinyl siding and I'm able to get reception through the outside wall; even with a woods behind my house. The reception is better (3 bars on the Delphi) in the winter when the trees are bare. The antenna needs to point toward the southern horizon at about 30 degrees above the horizon. Where I live in Wisconsin the antenna should be aimed slightly south southeast. The deviation from direct south will depend on your geographic location.

:-( Still waiting for my Polk receiver to arrive :-(
I've had my Polk xm for about two weeks now and the antenna is behind my right speaker not near the window at all and I'm getting full signal strength. Your geographic location may get you different results.
I just got my unit hooked up and have the antenna at a southern window and get full signal. The sound quality is not as good as my digital front end but I'm still happy with the unit. The programing is top notch.... I would not use this for critical listening but more for tunes while doing other things around the house, good for the wife as she like the tunes on but doesn't want to mess around with Transport or TT.
I think my next move will be another digital cable and connect into my D/A, should bring it up a notch.


Please let us know how it sounds through your DAC. Which DAC, BTW? Also, do you find that the analog output still sounds better than a high end FM tuner?


Mstram, I'm using a Sonic Frontiers SFD mk-2 D/A.
The best way to describe the difference is the polk sounds more like cd and my vintage tuner sounds more like lp. One thing I noticed is right out of the box the polk sounded lifeless. I noticed huge improvements after four or five hours of play. I'm going to mess around with some cones, herbies tenderfeet, etc....
All in all I'm happy with the unit and glad I bought it.
The Polk tuner is nothing more than a repackaged Delphi Skyfi, with a better output stage. It's got the same buggy menu, the same quirky channel list, and the same remote. It also fails to respond to "learnable" remotes in the same way the Delphi fails.

The analog section of the Polk is dramatically superior to that of the Delphi (obviously), and if you can connect the Polk to your TV, it's a wonderful thing to see the song titles. (The Polk's builtin display is too small to read across the room.) I really liked routing the display to my TV.

Unfortunately, my Polk went totally dead last night, after it had been giving me green screens on my TV since I got it. I'm sending it back to Crutchfield, and I'm NOT replacing it. I'm pretty disppointed that something sold as a "reference" tuner doesn't even come close to a reference product, and goes so far as to have its core made by a car parts company (Delphi). I won't touch it again.
I like it. Sound quality using external DAC is good. I use the DAC in my Krell CD player and the sound is dynamic and detailed with good soundstaging. Compared to FM, I'd say much better than the Revox 760 tuner I have been using but that's not a great sounding FM tuner.Program choice is good and I particularly like the world music channels which have opened up some new listening for me. At the price, compared to what we all spend on interconnects and power conditioners, I can't see why you wouldn't buy it given the amount of music it provides. Of course if Krell make a higher quality unit, we'll all be off on another roller coaster ride to audio perfection and impending bankrupcy.
I see the most improtant attribute of this receiver as the digital out which allows you to use an outboard dac, like Custodian uses. It is much improved over the Delphi models but the big bump will be using a high-end dac. I will be adding an Opus 21 to my system later this week and will post the results running the XM through that dac.
Running the optical output from the Polk XM to my Levinson 360s smokes the Delphi SkyFI (analog only outputs), as well as the analog outputs from the Polk XM (as one would expect). I've been using my Polk XM for almost 6 months without any problems.
I recently ran a signal from the Polk receiver's digital out to the DAC in my new Resolution Audio Opus CDP and the improvement was dramatic. It sounded as good as a cd, that is a cd in my old cd player. Then I compared it to a cd played through the Opus and it came up short, by a lot. Great for casual listening but it is not a high-end piece, at least compared to my new CDP. I will be adding a Monarchy DIP and will see if that improves it. I would not be without an XM radio. It is a huge blessing for the variety of music it offers and there are no commercials which is a big bonus for me.
I am very interested in purchasing the Polk XM reciever but I heard you cannot "link" that subscription to your present account, and have to open up a seperate XM account for that reciever at full price. Does anyone know if that is true?
I think that additional receivers can be added for $6.99/month. Go to the web site or call them.