The XpressR is Audiovox's top-of-the-line XM Satellite Radio receiver, providing a plethora of customizable settings not offered in entry-level units such as the Xpress and Xpress EZ. The two main features that distinguish the XpressR from the competition are a split-screen display that allows artist and channel information to be displayed side-by-side, and a 30-minute recording buffer that lets users pause and review broadcasts. The retail price of $129 will likely scare away XM newcomers, but for existing users looking to take their XM experience to the next level, the XpressR is a logical choice.
The Audiovox XpressR is one of the more attractive XM radio receivers we've come across. Removed from its dock, the XpressR measures a slender 4.5 inches by 2.5 inches by 0.5 inch and sports a glossy black finish with silver plastic preset buttons. The high-contrast, monochromatic screen measures 2.5 inches by 1.25 inches and presents large, legible text on a clean, uncluttered interface.
One of our favorite design features on the XpressR is the multifunction navigation control. The solidly constructed control works as an incremental dial for scrolling menus, a four-way joystick for switching between stations, and a push-button that acts as an enter key. Surrounding this main navigation control are dedicated buttons for power, info, and menu, as well as play/pause and scan controls for the 30-minute automatic recording buffer.
While the XpressR could easily rest on its good looks, the receiver's features are what set it apart from the herd. To start with, the XpressR offers four display modes that can be easily toggled among. The first two display modes offer a typical XM radio readout (track and channel information) using either a large or regular font size. The third display mode shows a split display that allows you to see information on the current channel on the left side of the screen, while browsing channel listings on the right side of the screen. The last display mode also splits the screen, simultaneously showing the currently playing channel and previously played channel, providing a means to visually monitor what's playing on two channels at once. We found the split screen displays to be very effective at allowing you to juggle stations, but with so much information presented on one screen, we would hesitate using the feature while driving.
If you're wondering why Audiovox tacked an "R" onto the end of this product's name, it's because the XpressR includes a 30-minute recording buffer that allows you to pause and replay live broadcasting. The recording buffer resets each time you turn off the device, but it's a great way to pause talk shows while you're pulling into a toll booth, or for replaying your favorite songs.