XM Snap! lets users instantly add satellite radio to any car
By Ben Coxworth
October 1, 2010
Satellite radio, while probably not that popular with the owners of your local radio stations, is great for those of us who want more variety in our listening choices. This is particularly true for people who live in smaller cities, that lack the population base to support stations that feature alternative content. Not everyone is willing to shell out for an in-dash satellite radio receiver for their vehicle, however, which is where many people do the majority of their radio-listening. SIRIUS XM is addressing that issue, with its new portable, transferable XM Snap! satellite radio.
The Snap! mounts on an adjustable stalk that attaches to the car’s power socket/cigarette lighter, from which it receives its power. It receives all the same stations as the company’s other models, but then retransmits them within the car, allowing users to listen to them through their stock in-dash radio – via a magnetic antenna. The Snap! can also output directly into an Aux-in connection, for vehicles that have one.
The controls are fairly basic. Arrow keys let users navigate through categories, rotary knobs allow them to change channels, and preset keys let them store favorite stations.
SIRIUS XM radio is also available as a smartphone app. As certain newer cars allow mobile device content to be played through the vehicle’s sound system, some people could also just go that route. The company already sells a product called the SkyDock, which allows users to play satellite radio from their phones through their car radios, although it costs almost twice as much as the new device.
The XM Snap! is available at U.S. retailers as of this month (no word yet on other markets) or via the company website, for US$59.99 plus subscription fees.