SiriusXM sound quality

  • 5 August 2018
  • 5 replies

Is there any way to get the Sonos to use the high quality streaming option you can use when playing via a desktop browser or the SiriusXM app? The Sonos integration does not sound great—I expect because it is using lower bitrate streaming by default.

Any help appreciated.

5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Are you initiating your SiriusXM listening through the Sonos controller or through Alexa voice commands? Some services have been found to have reduced audio quality through Alexa, which is why I ask.

Every music service I know of is using the highest quality option that the service has available when initiated through the Sonos controller, so I would be very surprised if this weren't the case for SiriusXM. I suppose only a Sonos employee could tell us for sure what the quality level is, but looking at my router utilization while listening through Sonos, it looks like it's 192 Kbps or so (hard to tell; it's a 600 Kbps burst every few seconds, so it likely averages out to be about 192 Kbps).
Thanks for the reply. I am using a Sonos Connect and initiating via the Sonos IOS app. Looking at my router the streaming seems pegged between 12x and 17x on the port with the Connect. When I use the SiriusXM app on the iPhone, the rate is well over 27x on WiFi. I recognize the iPhone might be using some other services in the background but the difference seems significant.

I notificed this originally because I routinely listen to BOTH SiriusXM and Apple Music and noticed how much worse SiriusXM sounds compared to Apple Music on the Sonos. This is not the case with either good headphones on IPhone or decent speakers on the Desktop PC.

Something is definitely not 100% with the integration.
mjchernis, did you ever find any resolution to this? We just got a new vehicle with an XM radio so I signed up. Then I added it to my Sonos and like you am pretty disappointed in the sound quality.


I am having the same issue and have been having the issue for some time now.  The audio quality is very poor when compared to other services that I stream to my Sonos system.  I am considering dropping my Sirius XM service as I listen to it almost exclusively on Sonos an it sounds horrible.  It almost sounds like it is mono and not even in stereo.  Has anyone figured this out yet?




Userlevel 4
Badge +10

@drewbab1229 Thank you for bringing your music service issue to the Sonos Community and sorry for the slow reply. I am not aware of any global issues with the SiriusXM service at this time. Let’s take a look at what you are running into on your Sonos system. Please start the SiriusXM service on your system in a small group of 3 products and use this link to submit us a diagnostic report. We will just need that report number in your reply here. If you are still noticing the quality issues please let me know.

Also know that wireless interference can sometimes be a cause of poor audio quality when streaming your music. Take a moment to review this link for reducing wireless interference. Lastly, if the audio quality is still affecting the small group of 3 products please complete a full network and Sonos equipment power re-boot off for 30 seconds with no lights, meaning no battery backup on your network equipment. When everything is re-booted and you are again connected to your Sonos system please test the music playback to that group of 3 products and submit us a second diagnostic report in your reply.

The reason I am asking for a small group for testing is that the more units you group in can also lend itself to performance issues. The Sonos product you start the music playback from becomes the group controller when grouping in the other Sonos room names for playback. If you just tap everywhere then done this could lend itself to poor performance on the network if you are also having communication problems in the network. As a tip, I would make a small group and only group in needed rooms for playback instead of playing everywhere. If you want to play everywhere just group in a few rooms at a time, about a minute apart, till they all are grouped in.

If playback works with smaller groups then add more speakers in and let me know how that goes.