Are stand alone digital audio devices still relevant?


Several years ago most of us carried a dedicated digital audio device like an iPod or another brand of MP3 player with us so we could listen to our favorite tunes on the go. In those days, a lot of us also had Sirius or XM satellite radios in our vehicles. Fast forward a few years and now our phone is used as our main mobile audio entertainment device. Can you remember the last time you saw an advertisement for a new MP3 player or satellite radio? Yeah, me neither. But that hasn’t stopped Grace Digital from creating their new SiriusXM Sound Station.

“This terrific new product from Grace Digital offers room-filling sound, a compact and modern design, and a vivid display to create a rich listening experience for our subscribers,” said Dave Horoschak, SiriusXM’s Director of Connected Home Product Management. “The Sound Station gives our listeners, many of whom listen to our content in the car and on their mobile devices, another option to enjoy our world class music and programming with high fidelity sound in their home, office, or anywhere an internet connection is available.”

The SiriusXM Sound Station features a large color display, WiFi or Ethernet connectivity (with an optional adapter), an integrated clock with multiple alarms, sleep and snooze timers, and most interesting of all, the ability to pause live radio and rewind up to 5 hours to listen to the beginning of SiriusXM shows.

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There are a couple of big problems with this device to be aware of before you purchase it. First of all, it ONLY works with SiriusXM stations. You can not stream from Pandora, Spotify, iHeart radio or other streaming services. If that doesn’t kill it for you, the next caveat might. In order to use the SiriusXM Sound Station, you need to already have a qualifying SiriusXM subscription. You can add streaming to your existing SiriusXM subscription, or subscribe only to the SiriusXM Internet Radio package. The radio does not come with a trial subscription, so if you don’t have one or no longer want to pay for one, this device essentially becomes a door stop.

Grace Digital’s SiriusXM Sound Station is available now for $129.99 at www.gracedigital.com, www.shop.siriusxm.com, Amazon.com and other select retailers.


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13 comments… add one
  • Ray Raddatz December 22, 2016, 9:11 am

    This article made me miss my Chumby. I still have it, but all it does now is display the date and time and play the occasional Pandora session. Sure, I could pay $3 a month to get access to the few widgets that still work but it’s simply not worth it and neither is $10 a month for SiriusXM.

    This device fills the same niche as my misbegotten Chumby and it does it just as poorly.

    • John Englert December 22, 2016, 9:37 am

      And I miss my Sony Dash, which now functions ONLY as a clock (maddeningly, 6 minutes slow).

      • Dan Nakagawa December 23, 2016, 8:26 am

        I know how you feel…my Sony Dash sits on my nightstand even now…but ONLY as a clock……..

    • martin December 23, 2016, 2:26 pm

      If, you have the money and time to hook your wagon to SiriusXM Internet Radio, then you’ve likely got the word Hampton’s stuck to your palette like dry peanut butter.. And, more power to you, those whom are twisting and tweaking the dials bringing you whatever they can require income as well. As for me, there is so much electronically condensed content coming for me now I feel like I am running from the walkers and lopping of heads as I go.. . Goo’ruck!

  • Elizabeth Rodriguez December 22, 2016, 9:59 am

    I still have and love my Logitech Squeezebox. It’s nice to have a separate device in the home that isn’t a computer or a phone, just running in the background 🙂

  • Jackie Cheng December 22, 2016, 10:56 am

    The problem is not with the equipment…it’s with SiriusXM. 90% of their channels loops through a list of like 20 songs max.

    • Julie Strietelmeier December 22, 2016, 1:46 pm

      I had a free subscription when I first got my MINI Cooper and was NOT impressed at all. Definitely not worth the monthly subscription fee when you can get other streaming music for free if you’re willing to listen to an ad once in awhile. And that’s another thing. Even if you pay for satellite radio, you still have to listen to ads and people blabbing. No thanks.

      • Andrew Baker December 22, 2016, 2:26 pm

        This is what I don’t understand. I used my free subscription then they wanted me to pay for it. But WHY it has more ads than free pandora? I did enjoy the Comedy channel but after 3 weeks I heard the entire library.

  • Peter December 22, 2016, 11:05 am

    I’m with you, Elizabeth. I have a Squeezebox in my bedroom for wireless access to internet radio. A few years ago, I added a Grace Digital Primo to the mix for the same purpose. I have it in the living room. Were it not for the availability of old time radio and the detective narratives, I wouldn’t have one at all.

  • Nicholas December 22, 2016, 11:26 am

    …or for the same price score a Google Home.

  • Donald Schoengold December 22, 2016, 11:33 am

    I got Sirius for free w my new car for 6 months. The choice of music was horrible and the sound quality was awful. Needless to say, I did not renew.

  • Brian December 22, 2016, 11:41 am

    I agree with Elizabeth and Peter… I still have a Squeezebox in my bedroom too. I have to admit though, since I got my Amazon Echo, I haven’t really used the Logitech too much.

  • Bill Henderson December 22, 2016, 4:34 pm

    As much as I liked it, I ended up giving my Grace internet radio away. Why? My iPhone and a bluetooth speaker do just as much and more—and it’s more convenient. Not only that, sound quality on Sirius radio is just awful. i have it in my car only for news and talk. If I want music, I use my older iPhone 5 and an AUX connection—soooo much better.

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