Purchased the Helix XM radio along with the car kit several weeks ago and have had some time now to play around with it. Overall works pretty well, the price after rebate at the time was very cheap. Reception: I get a great signal with the Home Dock and the car kit/dock (external antenna). Have not used it in standalone mode for live XM except for one time indoors and it could not get a reliable signal...not surprised. The FM transmitter is a bit weak even with gain set to max..it doesn't drift or have static but there is some quality/range loss. For best sound use the line-out into a better modulator or to a direct line-in on your head unit. Acceptable though when the only alternative is BAD FM channels. Battery life: Battery is quick to charge and plays for a long time. I had an issue however with battery drain when off (it would go dead overnight)...so I updated the firmware to version 1.30 and now performance is much better (they claim 11 days in off mode now) Sound quality: Decent when listening to XM (I'd put it at ~92kb MP3 quality), very good with high bitrate WMA or MP3. LOUD volume capability. Earbuds are so-so. Features: Love the programmable record capability, I can grab special programs and various mixes of songs overnight at home, then toss it in my bag and listen in the office, have discovered lots of new artists. Nice file organization system. Form factor is good, looks/feels/performs high quality. Value: After rebate, the player is a great deal (although I see the price has gone up recently). Car kit is a ripoff though, but it's required to activate the internal FM transmitter and to access the line-out signal. This is a second radio in our house so the XM plan is just $6.99/month.
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