Sirius Sportster Replay
Manufacturer: Directed Electronics Inc. Part number: SPTK2
- CNET Editor rating: Not yet rated
- Average user rating: 3.5 stars out of 22 reviews
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as of 04/16/2014
CNET editors' take
Great Radio, Crappy Install option
by NeeOki on November 28, 2005
Pros: Ease of use, great sound, great stations
Cons: Suction cup installation
Summary: Read reviews on many sites, but for some reason did not pick up on the fact that this radio, with included suction cup cradle, must be installed on your windshield. ...
Summary: Read reviews on many sites, but for some reason did not pick up on the fact that this radio, with included suction cup cradle, must be installed on your windshield. Circuit City offered to sell me an install kit that would allow me to install it on the face of my dashboard, but the only viable place would have blocked my a/c vents. Not exactly an option living in Florida
However, after only a few days, I guess I'm getting used to it being installed on the bottom left corner of my windshield. Content is excellent, and the handy remote makes changing channels easy while driving. At night, the display is nothing short of stunning. Easy to read, and it just looks nice sitting there. Haven't yet purchased the home kit or boombox. Not sure if I will. But all in all, I'm extremely happy.
15 out of 17 users found this user opinion helpful.
Slight Improvement over regular Sportster
by jawny03 on July 15, 2005
Pros: Sirius can't be beat! Ability to pause radio, attractive blue screen
Cons: Recorded programing is erased when channel is turned or unit turned off
Summary: The Sportster is an all around solid satellite radio receiver, but when I purchased this receiver I thought that it would record programming the same way that the XM MyFi ...
Summary: The Sportster is an all around solid satellite radio receiver, but when I purchased this receiver I thought that it would record programming the same way that the XM MyFi that I used to own would, with the exception that there is only 44min instead of 5hrs. If you are familiar w/ the Sportster it is almost identical leaving the decision in your mind as to how much the ability to pause radio is worth to you.
9 out of 11 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great, fun product - point it the right way!
by Joel M on December 27, 2005
Pros: Easy to set up, None of the problems I've read in some reviews
Cons: Needs to be in right position, Needs docking to hear it
Summary: I bought the unit for in-home use and have had it for a few days. I've read a lot of negative reviews of the various units but, so far, ...
Summary: I bought the unit for in-home use and have had it for a few days. I've read a lot of negative reviews of the various units but, so far, the only problem has been the drop out of sound/acquiring signal message. I visited the website and saw that I need to have the radio more on the N/NWest side of my house. This seems to fix the problem (the suggestion of putting the satellite antenna on the roof or outside seems crazy to me). I bought the boom box and the desk top speaker systems so I could pick up the unit and move it around the house - while inconvenient, I will get used to it. I had hoped the FM modulator would be strong enough so I could pick it up over any radio in the house. So far, it is not a strong enough signal and I will have to check other unused stations to determine if it is the signal strength or just a problem of living in a heavy radio market like NY/NJ.
8 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
Why did I ever wait?!
by jjwinc on January 11, 2006
Pros: Strong wireless FM transmitter, Pause live broadcasts for 45 minutes
Cons: The need for any type of docking cradle
Summary: First off, a side note. I've read thousands of reviews on various products over the years...but this is the first time I've ever had the desire to ...
Summary: First off, a side note. I've read thousands of reviews on various products over the years...but this is the first time I've ever had the desire to let others know what they're missing. My review will (hopefully) do two things. First, it will describe my experience with the Sirius Sportster Replay. Secondly, I will touch on the Sirius service itself.
I followed Sirius and XM over the years, watching the service and equipment evolve over time. What was missing, however, was something that made me say "I have to have this". That "something" came by way of Howard Stern on January 9, 2006. It made my decision easier. Suddenly, I wanted to a) try satellite radio and b) go with Sirius.
First the pros...
The Sirius Sportster is packed with a lot of features, but getting to those features does not require an engineering degree. Menu setup is intuitive and straight forward. My wife, who tends to call herself "technologically challenged" was buzzing around the dial in a matter of minutes. Program your favorites into the 30 preset memory and retrieve at the touch of a button, or turn the dial and browse by category (rock, pop, etc.) or channel number.
The display is bright and easy to read. Text that is too long to fit on the screen will scroll.
The included remote is small and sometimes hard to use for my fingers, but still gets the job done. All features can be accessed via remote.
Don't feel like running wires to your stereo or car unit?! No problem. This unit comes with a very powerful FM transmitter that can be set for any frequency on your FM dial. This makes it easy for you to pick an empty frequency for interference-free listening. The signal is so strong, I can listen in my car about two to three houses away while the Sportster is docked in my home (assuming I'm tuned to the correct FM frequency). This feature also makes it easy to listen to Sirius in other rooms of your house. Just tune any radio in the house to the right frequency and you're on your way.
You can pause live broadcasts or music (ala Tivo) for up to 45 minutes. I didn't think I would use this feature, but it has quickly become one of my favorites.
Lastly, another cool feature. If you like a song you hear on one of the channels, you can add it to a "watch list". Activate "seek" in your menu options and this unit will scan all channels for all of the songs on your watch list (up to 20). If the song starts playing on any channel, you'll hear a beep and see a message as to which song is playing. Press the dial to select that song and it'll auto tune to the station.
Antenna placement wasn't an issue for me in Pittsburgh, PA. The manual instructs you to place the antenna based on where you're located relative to the satellite. Here in Pgh, we should place it in a west facing window. I, however, have mine placed in a northeast facing window and it works with nary a dropout.
The cons list is a short, but powerful one...
In my opinion, there is absolutely no need to have a docking cradle of any kind for this (or any other) Sirius unit. Docking kits should be optional, not mandatory.
There is a proprietary connection on the bottom of the unit that matches up to their docking cradles. The audio cables (if you go the wired route), power cord, and antenna all plug into the docking cradle. In the age of wireless this and iPod that, there's just no need for that type of restraint.
The down side of cradles would be you need to do some wiring if you wish to keep your car looking clean. I have a lease that's up in less than a year so I don't feel like dealing with it. I opted to lay the antenna on the corner of the dashboard and let the cigarette lighter power cable hang in front of the dash. Ugly, yes...functional, definitely.
Another downside is you'll need to purchase one of the docking cradles if you want to use it at home and on the road. My kit came with a home docking cradle, forcing me to buy the car cradle. Additional money ($50), but watch the Sunday ads for sales.
Now a short word on Sirius service...
Activation was a snap, did it online. Many payment options were available (monthly, yearly, two years, etc.). I opted for a one year subscription, pay for eleven months, get one free. Once activated, I was listening to music in seconds.
I'm very pleased with the selection, playlist depth, and categories (pop, rock, electronic, news, etc.) available. Some playlists are longer than others, but even the shorter ones are growing all the time.
The greatest thing?! The music stations have absolutely NO commercials. One song after another, all day, every day (other than the occasional welcomed break from a DJ). Speaking of which, not all stations have them, but for the ones that do, the DJ's are pleasant, to the point, and informative. No droning on or soapbox speeches to be found.
I would hedge a bet that future units will be truly portable, walk anywhere with a Sirius unit attached at your hip, but until then, you will not be disappointed with this unit OR the service.
Even if Howard Stern would not have made his move, I would STILL be happy giving Sirius $13 a month. I can't believe I waited so long...
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Easy to use great reception, some hidden costs and dissapointments...
by scho01 on January 12, 2006
Pros: Well thought out interface and menu's, easy to use and navigate. FM transmiter works well. A breeze to activate.
Cons: Not all channels are broadcast over the internet. Bracket only good for applying to windows. Hidden charges. Antenna wire not long enough.
Summary: If I were to give a review for just the actual receiver itself, I would probably give it a 9 (I would never give anything a 10, as there's ...
Summary: If I were to give a review for just the actual receiver itself, I would probably give it a 9 (I would never give anything a 10, as there's always room for improvement). Receiver gets great reception, my commute to work is through a lot of back roads through wooded areas, and it doesn't drop at all. FM transmitter is also top notch, although quality is compromised, but that’s to be expected. I thought the interface and menus are well thought out and easy to use. My biggest gripes are with the service provider Sirius. I pay 12.95 a month for a subscription for satellite service that is broadcast to my receiver AND the Internet which I have access too. How can Sirius limit the amount of station it broadcasts on to the Internet? I paid for em, I want to listen to em!!! I bought this subscription for the Internet service just as much as the receiver. I work in a building that cannot get reception for satellite or terrestrial radio. I was looking forward listening to some talk shows and comedy at work. But there are only a select few to choose from. For those of you looking to listen to Stern on the Internet, its not offered either. Also, there is a 15 dollar activation fee that's not mention till the very end of the process for activating your service. These two things left a sour taste in my mouth.
The bracket that comes with the unit has a suction cup that only works on very smooth and very flat surfaces. I had planned to install it by my center consol. I'm going to have to do some custom installation to get that to work. I also wish there was a bit more wire included with the antenna. I have to have the antenna on the back of my SUV because of roof racks. I couldn't run the wire like I wanted because it was too short. Some wire is exposed because of this.
OK, so I'm done gripping. I've only had it for a few days; I love the music selection and the lack of commercials!! Once I get this installed the way I want it, I'm going to love this unit.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Good Luck Getting a Signal
by njpeixegato on January 7, 2006
Pros: Uncensored radio
Cons: No signal if antenna isn't outside of the house
Summary: We got this and the boombox accessory with the hopes of being able to listen to satellite radio anywhere in our house (as is advertised by the "portable, take it ...
Summary: We got this and the boombox accessory with the hopes of being able to listen to satellite radio anywhere in our house (as is advertised by the "portable, take it with you" boombox). Unfortunately, there isn't ONE spot inside our house where the antenna can pick up a signal. Mounting the antenna on the roof and running the wire inside the house is just not practical, especially if we hope to use it with the "portable" boombox that we paid good money for. I tried calling customer support, but after sitting on hold for 30 minutes, I gave up. I guess I'll have to try again. This technology has a LONG way to go before it will be able to replace terrestrial radio.
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Its completely worth the investment
by czvo024 on December 18, 2005
Pros: Great content, bright vivid screen, versitile, simple use and installations.
Cons: Player lacks a battery, and options to mount in my car. After market addons are pretty required to fully enjoy the player.
Summary: I must say I am not as excited as I though I would be with the Sportster. I made an a$ of myself by assuming this was a standalone portable ...
Summary: I must say I am not as excited as I though I would be with the Sportster. I made an a$ of myself by assuming this was a standalone portable player. I have to agree with those who chide about the car kits size, and the lack of options to mount the kit.
The player makes up for these shortcomings in many ways. It’s a solid player with good reception. Its nice when the room is lit at night with the bright vivid screen. The installation was quite simple to the CD receiver in my home and car. NFL, NHL is great content; I only hope that MLB defects to Sirius. I have no inclination to listen to music in great frequency so playlist depth is not a concern of mine.
It sucks that I already bought a home kit, and looks like I am going to need to buy the boom box to enjoy the player at work or while im moble.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Perfect solution if you want to hear what you want (aside from MP3's)
by faizalstar on October 24, 2005
Pros: VERY easy to install and use, activation done in less than 5 minutes, installed and playing 15 minutes after I got out of Best Buy
Cons: Can't use as a walkman.
Summary: Very easy to use, remote definitely comes in handy (once you figure out and remember what each button is for). Display is bright and adjustable. Makes driving more pleasurable since ...
Summary: Very easy to use, remote definitely comes in handy (once you figure out and remember what each button is for). Display is bright and adjustable. Makes driving more pleasurable since now I can control what I hear via the stations I set in my memory.
You'll need to find a place to tuck/hide all the extra wires unless you go to a professional auto install shop. I did it myself by tying up any extra and tucking it wherever it fits and looped around a few obstacles. Antenna is cool and sticks (magnet) to the cover of my sunnroof. It's a small round flat piece, not like a real vertical antenna. Installed actual unit on my front windshield in the middle right above my dashboard. Make sure it doesn't obstruct your view.
2 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Wonderful receiver & terrific reception
by chronostf on December 17, 2005
Pros: Sweet Looking Screen...~45 min record/pause options... tons of channel presets options... dial makes 'channel surfing' while driving easy and safe
Cons: Difficult figuring out where to mount it... No battery option... 45 min recording time is limited
Summary: I've never had a satellite radio before, but was interested in trying it out, especially with Howard leaving regular radio. While I love listening to Stern in the morning, ...
Summary: I've never had a satellite radio before, but was interested in trying it out, especially with Howard leaving regular radio. While I love listening to Stern in the morning, I'm also a big baseball fan so XM appealed to me as well. I decided that I still had the option of listening to Met games via regular radio and in the end I had little interest in listening to a Brewers / Pirates mid season snoozer anyway. I opted for Sirius.
There are a bunch of radios available, some older ones that look more like radar detectors than sleek radios, and others like the Sirius S 50 that are not only individually portable (at least as portable as a satellite can be since they rely on a 'line of sight' signal like a TV remote control, rather than like a cordless phone or cell phone) but record many hours of radio programing for future use. I read up on a number of radios and liked what I read about the sportster regarding features, reliability and price so I was able to snag one of the few left from a local best buy for $90 including tax and after rebates and coupons.
Anyway, I was anxious to get it going so I opened it and started setting it up. I ran into 2 issues. First was running the antenna cable. The directions were a little vague, at least for someone who has never undone panels and run wires in a car. The directions basically tell you to run it from the roof, down the back window along the weather stripping, into the trunk, into the car finally ending up in where the radio will be mounted, which for myself and most of you will probably be in the front seats. For some this might seem easy, but for me it sounded difficult and not really worth my time. Being cheap and not wanting to pay for it to be installed I put the antenna on the front/drivers side part of the roof, tucked as much of the wire as I could down the weather stripping, ran it directly into the car tied to existing wires located between the pedals and the steering wheel and into to the radio mount which is located more or less immediately infront of my regular radio. While this might not have been the prettiest install, it worked for me.
My second issue was with the actual mounting of the radio. The 'suction cup' mount that comes with the radio is all fine and dandy for windows and other flat surfaces, but is otherwise useless if your radio can't be mounted on your widow due to a huge blindspot developing or you simply don't want your radio located up there. For me if was both. My solution ended up being to glue velcro to both the surface where I wanted it mounted and to the suction cup part of the mount. This solution is satisfactory for the time being until I figure something else out.
As far as just about everything else goes I have no complaints. The service might drop out for a second while it's under an overpass or surrounded by a heavily wooded area, but 99% of the time it's solid. I'm not one to get completely nuts if a cell phone call drops for a moment while I'm driving since I accept that thats one of the drawbacks of the type of service. And like a cell phone, even after having it only a few days, I can't imagine my life without it. The choice of music channels is simply overwhelming. I live in NYC and we have a pretty healthy diversity as far as radio stations go (top 40's, hip hop, hard rock, classic rock, latin, etc). This is like nothing you've ever heard before. The choices in music is simply staggering. And best of all it's commercial free. I can't stress enough how good that is. A lot has been made of the whole censorship angle and theres definately something to be said for this. When a song is played on the radio, the cuts, bleeps, edits, etc are sometimes so screamingly obvious and distracting from the song that it makes listening to that song an almost infantile experience. It's very similar to TV in this respect. Watching a movie on network TV or USA/TNT etc is a freaking joke. Not only do they take a 2 hour movie and turn it into a 3 hour movie with commercials, but some material which isn't even racy is edited out of the movie. It's always that one scene, or one line, or even one shot that you've been waiting for and all of a sudden it's gone. It's no secret that for years the best stuff on TV has been on HBO. It's not because they cram all the nudity and swearing and violence into an hour program to shock the viewer, just that in scenes that call for nudity swearing and or violence they show it rather than sloppily edit it out. Satellite radio has been no different. It's not about cramming the F-bomb on the N-word into a song as many times as possible, but about if it is in there just let it be and let the listener decide. Sirius radio, much like cable TV gives parents the options to control what their kids listen too. Beyond that, screw the kids. I want to hear songs and ideas the way they were meant to be heard and make up my own mind whether or not I want to keep listening.
Anyway back to the radio itself... The radio stations are set up more or less according to category (pop, rock, dance, hip hop, etc). The sportster allows you to set as many as 30 preset stations into it. This seems like overkill to me since I can't really keep track of 30 presets and I like to 'channel surf' so my presets are usually just the first channel in each of the categories and then I just twist the dial to 'surf'. You do have the option of 'surfing' only your presets which is helpful if you have 0 interest in stations like classical or jazz or country etc. For me while I tend to listen to rock I like surfing throuhg all the channels so I don't really use this feature.
The pause/record option is pretty sweet. It's like a DVR (Digitial Video Recorder) or a TiVo in that it allows you to pause and rewind live radio. It is limited in 2 respects 1) only 45 minutes of time and 2) it doesn't store anything if the radio is turned off or the channel is changed. There are other devices that not only store many hours but store it on a more permanent basis for later listening. These devices are obviously much more expensive so I understand why this feature is limited on the sportster. Still I'd like to see if Sirius can bump up this feature on future generations.
Another feature is to be able to tag a song so that the radio will automatically notify you when the song is playing on any channel. This is a cool and easy to use feature, however the limit right now is 20 songs. It doesn't seem like tagging a song should take up a whole lot of memory, nor should the searching for songs take up all that much processor power. I'd like to see that at least up to 50 on the next gens.
The blue screen is terrific and the display is clear and concise. A lot of info is packed onto the screen at any time (song, artist, channel, category, channel #) yet it's all organized and easy to understand and read. The remote control is handy, though I've positioned my radio so that the main knob is where my hand rests so I don't use the remote much. I use the FM transmitter, due to me not being able enough to hardwire it directly into my radio and being to too cheap to have someone else do it for me. I don't really have any issues with static, though if I'm under and overpass I can hear it for a brief second.
Bottom Line is I'm very happy with the radio and even more happy with the satellite service as a whole. Countless uncensored commercial free music isn't free, but for $13 a month if you spend more than 15 minutes in your car or set up the radio in your home, this is money well spent. You dont realize how irritating commercials and edits are until they are gone.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Not the best
by cassiusatl on April 3, 2007
Pros: Easy to read.
Cons: Too heavy to really use with mount. Display fades in the heat.
Summary: I've been through two already. Being only able to mount the radio on the windshield, the radio grows really hot when left in the sun. My first sportster the ...
Summary: I've been through two already. Being only able to mount the radio on the windshield, the radio grows really hot when left in the sun. My first sportster the display finally grew so hot it faded beyond readability and the next radio ceased to work if I changed the channels. I'm through with Sirius. Time to try XM.
- Manufacturer: Directed Electronics Inc.
- Part number: SPTK2
- Description: PRODUCT FEATURES: Replay feature - allows users to store and replay up to 44 minutes of SIRIUS content; Enhanced sports features include Game Alert - keep track of your favorite team!; One-Touch Jump allows quick access to your designated favorite channel; Artist/Song title information; Presets for your favorite channels; S-Seek capability to search for favorite songs; Over 120 channels of satellite radio; 65 channels of 100% commercial free music; 55 channels of news, sports, talk, traffic and entertainment; Full system package includes all parts needed for in-car installation (P/N SPTK2); Built-in 100 channel FM transmitter; New stylish IR remote control; Supplied with new car kit components including "Dot" ultra low profile antenna, and suction cup mount.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Sirius satellite radio tuner
- Recommended Use Car
- Integrated Components RF modulator
- Width 4.5 in
- Depth 1.1 in
- Height 3.1 in
- Weight 7.1 oz
- Sound Output Mode Stereo
- Built-in Display LCD
- Clock Yes (digital)
- Additional Features Security code,
Auto power off,
Built-in FM transmitter,
Rotary encoder multi-control,
Sirius satellite radio recording capability,
- Type Sirius satellite radio tuner
- Antenna External
- Tuning Display LCD
- Preset Station Qty 30
- Signal-To-Noise Ratio 75 dB
- Type Remote control
- Technology Infrared
- Included Accessories Antenna,
Car power adapter
- Service & Support 1 year warranty
- Service & Support Details Limited warranty - 1 year
- Manufacturer profile
- Browse Directed Electronics Inc. products on Shopper.com
- Manufacturer:Directed Electronics Inc.
- Phone: 1-800-876-0800