Listening to hundreds of high-quality radio stations has never been easier than with the SiriusXM Onyx Plus vehicle bundle. I just tested out this radio and boombox dock and I think it’s a great way to experience reliable satellite radio in any vehicle, or while on the go, using the fully wireless dock. Whether you’re in the market for an upgrade to your car’s audio system or want to take your radio with you on outdoor adventures, this might be the device for you.
In this review, I’ll be going over everything the Onyx Plus and Boombox have to offer, including special features and why you might consider purchasing them.
SiriusXM Onyx Plus bundle features
- Universal compatibility for both the radio and boombox
- Access to over 130 satellite radio stations with high-quality connection
- Pause, replay, and rewind live music or shows from any of SiriusXM’s stations
- Parental controls to limit or block certain stations
- Boombox features a dynamic speaker with a subwoofer for a full range of sound
- 9 hours of wireless battery life to take your radio tunes anywhere you go
- A digital screen that shows song names, album art, artists, and station
Design of the Onyx Plus and Boombox bundle
The SiriusXM Onyx Plus vehicle bundle comes with two separately packaged devices—the Onyx Plus satellite radio and the portable boombox dock. The satellite radio can be set up independently in your car using its own dock, mount, and set of cables and features a screen and buttons that allow you to access and control your SiriusXM stations. When you want to take your radio on the go, you can detach the Onyx Plus and insert it straight into the stereo boombox. You can take your favourite stations or artists anywhere in this fully wireless package. You can also use this universal boombox with an AUX cable for all your other listening needs, although its primary purpose is being a dedicated speaker for your SiriusXM radio.
The boombox itself came with two separate docks to attach—one specifically for SiriusXM’s satellite radios and one that functions as a universal dock that you can attach your phone or mobile device to. I thought this was a nice touch that expands your available options. The extra dock lets you add a second satellite radio to use with the portable boombox instead of having to swap out the Onyx Plus every time.
Setting up your Onyx Plus radio and Boombox
I’ll admit, it was a little overwhelming seeing everything included with the SiriusXM Onyx Plus vehicle kit. But the step-by-step instructions made it very easy to install the radio in the car. You can either attach the Onyx Plus dock to a vent or adhesive mount, using four screws to securely hold it in place. Just make sure to connect the cables to the radio dock beforehand if you are using the vent mount, as I made that mistake at first and had to re-install it. After plugging in the AUX, satellite, and power cables, you’re ready to attach the dock and slide your Onyx radio right in place. Once set up you can get right into accessing the SiriusXM network. Note that you will need a subscription to SiriusXM to access the stations.
The most difficult part of the setup was definitely the satellite mount, requiring you to route the cable from the top of the car into your vehicle. I did find the included instructions quite helpful, especially combined with the many available videos online that showed how to properly set it up with any kind of car.
To set up the boombox, all you have to do is slot in the SiriusXM dock mount, plug in the charger, and position the satellite antenna. While you can use the charger to maintain power, the boombox can also be used wirelessly for up to nine hours with eight D cell batteries. Because the Onyx Plus is set it up in the car with a dock attachment, you can easily remove the radio and use it with your portable boombox and then reattach it to the car later.
Features of the SiriusXM Onyx Plus radio
The radio itself is the most complex part of this SiriusXM bundle. The Onyx Plus packs in plenty of features that transform the way you experience the radio. The biggest feature is the ability to pause, fast forward, and rewind and replay a song or show on any of the 130+ SiriusXM stations. The sleek menu options allow you to scroll through settings and channels with ease, and I like how the bright LED screen shows off information about what you’re listening to from the song name, artist, and the album art.
You can use the 10 shortcut buttons along the bottom to save your favourite stations for easy access with a single press. You can also set up alerts to be notified when your favourite artists or songs are playing on any station. The alerts, combined with the radio replay function, ensure you’ll never miss a moment of your favourite tunes. It’s important to note, however, that a SiriusXM radio subscription is required to use the device, and the subscription needs to be activated before you can start using it, either online or through their call centre.
Features of the SiriusXM universal radio Boombox
As it’s a dedicated portable speaker with a dock for your Onyx Plus, the SiriusXM Boombox was incredibly easy to set up and use. All I had to do was plug it into power (or you can insert the separately sold batteries for wireless use), then dock it with the radio. My favourite part about this speaker is the compatibility options for wired devices and even other radios. The AUX and headphone ports let you use a music player or headphones to enjoy music with great sound quality and bass. While I do wish it had a Bluetooth connection for a seamless experience, I like that you have more device options than only using the included SiriusXM radio.
The portable boombox does also have a satellite mount with a very long cable. It slots into the back of the speaker, coiling the excess cable around a hook. This mount makes it perfect for listening both indoors and even somewhere with a poor connection. It allows you to detach the antenna and move it to a spot with stronger satellite reception. The device also has a handle for easier carrying so you can listen to your favourite stations without the boombox being awkward to transport.
SiriusXM Onyx Plus bundle audio quality
One of the main advantages of satellite radio compared to standard FM is having a more consistent connection. Satellite eliminates the need to tune your radio to find what stations are on, while also drastically reducing the static you might normally experience. The only downside compared to a standard radio is the extra subscription cost required to access SiriusXM stations. However, the commercial-free music on over 130 SiriusXM channels is great for interruption-free listening. You’ll have to decide if the added cost is worth it for your needs.
The same clear, consistent connection is also present when accessing SiriusXM’s satellite stations with the portable boombox. I was honestly impressed with how good the audio quality was on this speaker, especially at this budget. While the bass might not be as good as its high-end competitors, the volume and range were both excellent. The boombox still offers plenty of bass for a punchy feel to your music. On top of the great audio quality, you can quickly swap between the AUX and radio connections, allowing you to seamlessly transition between your music sources.
Should you choose SiriusXM Onyx Plus?
If you’re a fan of listening to the radio, the SiriusXM Onyx Plus bundle is a strong contender amongst its competitors. This radio was very easy to install and acts as an upgrade to an existing sound system while providing a number of unique features you can’t find elsewhere. It also has a much lower initial cost than a standard radio replacement, even when you factor in the SiriusXM subscription. You can also get a separately sold FM adapter, and that allows you to listen to local stations using the Onyx Plus as an all-in-one radio controller.
There are also other SiriusXM radios with a cable-free experience that might suit your needs better. The fully wireless Roady BT radio offers a hands-free connection from your vehicle’s sound system and you can read my review of it to learn more. Both the SiriusXM radios I’ve reviewed offer access to some pretty great features, and they will give you excellent audio at a budget price.
The only area I felt could be improved is the lack of Bluetooth connectivity, especially for the portable boombox. However, if you want the radio and don’t plan on using the speaker, you can also get the Onyx Plus satellite radio separately.
If you’re ready to upgrade your audio, you can find the Onyx Plus and Boombox bundle and SiriusXM’s other devices over at Best Buy.