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I've had XM radio in about all my previous vehicles and always got CD quality sound from them. Just bought a 2013 Ridgeline RTL w/ navi and noticed that the volume from the XM compared to CD or FM radio is much lower. Took it to the Honda dealer and they said everything checked out fine. Anyone notice this?
 

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Most channels on Sirius XM can run at a bitrate as low as 24-46 kbps. This is the approximate equivalent of a low-medium quality MP3 from the early 2000's. The talk/news/sports channels generally run at a lower bitrate than the music channels.

I don't know why the sound quality would change from vehicle to vehicle, perhaps you were using XM versus Sirius or the other way around? I know they're the same company now, but the channels are still different.
 

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...the volume from the XM compared to CD or FM radio is much lower.
Try this:

1. Load a CD - any CD - in the changer.
2. With the radio on, press the CD/AUX button before pressing the XM button.
3. Enjoy.

There is a bug in the audio system of Ridgelines with navigation where the equalization for the XM input is wrong. Switching to CD mode with a disc loaded before switching to XM temporarily "fixes" the equalization for the duration of that ignition cycle. What a joke, huh? :(

To reproduce:

1. Listen to XM.
2. Shut off the ignition.
3. Turn the ignition back on.
4. Listen to XM again and make note of the sound quality.
5. Change to CD mode (make sure a disc is loaded, but you don't have to actually listen to the disc).
6. Change back to XM mode and marvel at the increased volume and bass relatively to step 4.
 
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