I’m a radio junkie, both at home and in my car. I like talk radio, having cut my show biz teeth in that medium. I also like a variety of music. Like most dads (and probably the rest of you), I flip around the radio dial constantly in search of something to stick with that I like. Like most of you, I had almost given up on finding something better. I found it.
I had sampled satellite radio at trade shows and briefly in a car on a previous occasion a year or so ago. I liked it, but I just did not feel it was the thing for me. I am not on the road in my car all that much, and, while I liked what I heard, I just could not see myself paying a monthly fee for all that other programming when what I received over the air is free. The trade-off is having to listen to all those commercials and also having a limited selection of programming, even though I am in the vast Los Angeles market. For those who DO drive a lot over long distances, there is also something else to contend with. As one travels, eventually, the local radio station is going to fade out and others are going to be strong, with the pattern repeating all across the country. That can become very annoying.
From my week with Sirius Satellite Radio installed in a borrowed car, I have become a believer, as I never thought I would. As a matter of fact, I think Sirius is awesome. I came to appreciate 100 streams of digital entertainment everywhere I went, no matter how far. Sixty streams are 100% commercial free! There was country, rock new and old, reggae and jazz. I found interesting children’s programming, news, weather and sports, lots of sports, left, right and even gay and lesbian programming specifically for Sirius subscribers. I loved the old time radio and uncensored comedy selections. There are 40 streams of talk, entertainment and sports, including ESPN Radio, CNBC and even 40 NBA games every week. I think you can get the idea, as I did, that there is seemingly no end to the choices, and that is what it is all about. Choice. That is what Sirius offers and I recommend as a wonderful Father’s Day gift. Programming is just $12.95 per month. Once it is in the car, it is easy to see that users will want it everywhere.
On the hardware side, I like the new Kenwood Here2Anywhere radio, selling for only $99 plus the required mounting kit with dock, $70. This super Kenwood that receives Sirius satellite radio programming is transportable – it works on the road in a vehicle AND with an extra optional $70 docking kit for home or office use, or in a boat. Now, there is totally seamless Sirius programming while on the water, and on and off the road. The unit also comes with its own wireless remote control and both docking kits include cradle & base, antenna, all necessary power connections and an audio cable. The car kit also includes a carrying bag.
The Kenwood in the car kit can be mounted on any convenient flat surface and the radio can be easily removed from the mounting dock with a push on the quick-release button. Power comes from the docking kit’s supplied lighter cord and the signal gets to the speakers through either the existing vehicle radio’s auxiliary input with signal supplied from the audio output jack on the back of the Here2Anywhere radio or through the car kit’s supplied cassette adapter whose wire also plugs into the back of the Here2Anywhere radio. Then just pop the adapter into the existing radio’s cassette door. For vehicles whose radios have neither cassette nor auxiliary input, I recommend what I use in my car with this setup – the $80 C. Crane Digital FM Transmitter that runs on batteries or through its supplied AC adapter. There is also an optional $30 adapter that allows the Transmitter to run off the lighter socket and includes a splitter so the Kenwood and the adapter can both be plugged in at the same time. To operate, I tune the Transmitter to a vacant spot on the FM dial. That’s it. Simple and very effective, with every bit of that great sound sent to my car radio. At home, I use the same adapter to send Sirius programming to my nearby FM radio, or through my audio/video system’s receiver. C. Crane Company is a trusted retailer, too!
One of the strong pluses in my experience is that there is never a time check. It was as if I was enjoying myself in a Las Vegas casino using Kings no deposit bonuses, or any of the top Aussie casinos, where there are no clocks. I was conscious of enjoying the programming and NOT getting upset with all the traffic around me. I think one of these would be ideal for dad as a way to help sooth and calm him during his daily drive. It’s the road rage antidote I never expected! I found myself so interested in the wealth of interesting and entertaining programming that I lost sight of the drudgery of the drive itself. Hmmm, I thought. This is something very important. Give dad the gift of peace and quiet, of a calm commute. The benefits to the family and his co-workers could be incalculable!
Installation is usually a simple do-it-yourself. If the connection is to the radio’s auxiliary input and dad is not a regular Mr. Fixit, you might want to consider professional installation, at a cost that is usually about $50, but it may less as a part of special pricing at some retailers. This is a gift that dad will appreciate each and every month and every day he uses the service. All things considered, I think the radio and programming represent a value for the consumer.
Operation is easy, thanks to an extremely intuitive interface and ease of programming, as well as the remote control. Users can see artist name and music title displayed on the radio face’s four-line display. Large characters are easy to see, even from across the room. Ever hear a great song for the first time and want to remember what it is? Just push the MEM button while it’s playing and Here2Anywhere will store its title and artist for later recall. You can store information for up to 36 songs.
Streams such as the uncensored Comedy channel can be passcode locked providing parents all the controls needed.
As I said, I’m hooked, and pleased to recommend both Sirius and Kenwood to you as a wonderful departure from the ordinary for dad this Father’s Day or any time.
The Kenwood Here2Anywhere radio with Sirius satellite radio programming is available at Circuit City, Best Buy and other major stores. Click on http://www.sirius.com for more information or call 1-888-539-SIRIUS. Be sure to click the links to sample the content and quality and read all about the outstanding programming variety. To see the Kenwood product, click HERE, or for more information call 1-800-KENWOOD.