Pioneer Inno

The Good The most portable satellite radio receiver yet, the Pioneer Inno (and its twin, the Samsung Helix) lets you listen to live radio and stored content on a device about the size of an iPod. It has an attractive, easy-to-learn interface, and it can schedule recordings or record any XM song live.

The Bad We got only 5 hours of satellite playback from the battery, and the Inno's 1GB storage capacity is too small for power MP3 and WMA users. You can't skip backward in the song list or pause a live stream, and there's no way to add more storage space.

The Bottom Line The Pioneer Inno is compact, gets great reception, and lets you enjoy live satellite audio and your own tracks on the go. Better battery life and more storage would make this XM portable even better.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
7.7 Overall


Pioneer Inno

Troy Dreier

Pioneer's XM-ready Inno

Editors' Note: As of November 2008, this product has been replaced by the Pioneer XMP3.

Oh, the humanity. Satellite broadcaster XM has always been one step ahead of rival Sirius, but with the Pioneer Inno and its twin, the Samsung Helix, XM is officially two steps ahead. While XM is already on its second generation, Sirius hasn't released even one portable receiver yet; the best it has, the Sirius S50, can't play live content unless it's plugged into a dock. First came the Delphi XM MyFi and a few similar devices, which were great but a bit too bulky. Now come these slimmed-down models, which put a satellite receiver in an unbelievably small package and throw in MP3 and WMA playback, song recording, and FM transmitting. XM's required subscription service ($12.95 per month) matches Sirius's in offering a wide variety of music and talk with an arguably better roster of big-name hosts, such as Oprah, Ellen, and Snoop Dogg, as well as MBA and NHL sports coverage. XM also currently has 2.5 million more subscribers. While the Inno will make many users happy, we hope the next generation has better battery life (Inno has 5 hours of live satellite playback time) and more than 1GB of storage or an SD slot. The Pioneer Inno measures 2.2 inches wide, 3.7 inches tall, and a slender 0.6 inch deep; it weighs 4.5 ounces. You could park it in your jeans pocket and not even know it's there, which makes it far slimmer than the Delphi XM MyFi, XM's first portable receiver.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Pioneer
  • Type XM radio tuner / digital player
  • Run Time (Up To) 15 hour(s)
  • Technology lithium ion
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type TFT
  • Type USB cable, audio cable
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model XM

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