How to Connect an XM Radio Directly to an Amplifier
By Michael Cox
The two major satellite music providers, Sirius and XM, merged in 2008 to become SiriusXM, and the company has since become ubiquitous on the broadcast landscape. Major electronics manufacturers offer receivers with built-in SiriusXM features. You can also connect a separate satellite radio device to any stereo receiver, and let the service provide your party music or just listen with higher fidelity than a small speaker or earbuds provide. The specific connection is dependent on your SiriusXM radio and your receiver, but setting up to fill your room with sound is usually a matter of getting the right cables.
Check the connections on your radio and receiver to determine which type of cable you'll need. Many portable radios use a 1/8-inch stereo mini plug for headphone or auxiliary output, and most stereo receivers use RCA jacks for input, requiring a Y-adapter to split the stereo signal for the receiver.
Turn off the receiver and radio and plug the cable into the receiver's auxiliary inputs. If you're connecting to the stereo with color-coded RCA plugs, connect the red plug to the right input jack and the white plug to the left jack. If you're already using the aux jacks for another device, connect the radio to any other line-level inputs, such as CD or VCR audio inputs.
Connect the cable to the radio. If your radio has an auxiliary output jack or stereo outputs, connect to that jack, otherwise connect to your headphone output.
Turn the volume all the way down on both devices. Turn the power on and select a program on the radio. On your receiver, select the input channel to which you connected the radio and turn the volume up on both devices.
- If you don't hear the selected programming after you connect the devices and turn the volume up to a moderate level, verify that the cables are connected to the inputs you've selected on the receiver or try connecting to different inputs.
- Don't connect a line-level device such as your satellite radio to phono input jacks. Phono inputs are preamplified and specially equalized for vinyl records.
- Some docking radios offer a line out level feature when the device is docked, helping your radio to supply a clearer output signal to a connected amplifier. See your radio's user guide for information on accessing its line out level feature.
- To prevent damage to your equipment or ears, connect new devices with the audio turned completely down.
Michael Cox writes about lifestyle issues, popular culture, sports and technology. In a career spanning more than 10 years, he has contributed to dozens of magazines, books and websites, including MSN.com and "Adobe Magazine." Cox holds a professional certificate in technical communications from the University of Washington.