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Tivoli Model Satellite (Sirius) review: Tivoli Model Satellite (Sirius)

  • 1

The Good AM/FM/Sirius Satellite radio tuner; real wood cabinet; rich sound; excellent AM and FM reception; flexible connectivity options.

The Bad Crowded button layout; expensive; you'll need to purchase separate speaker for stereo sound; no bass or treble controls.

The Bottom Line The world's first Sirius satellite table radio also offers AM and FM radio, as well as enviable sound, style, and connectivity.

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7.6 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8

Tivoli Model Satellite

Tivoli Audio's specialty is high-quality table radios, so we were more than a little curious about its new Sirius radio, the Model Satellite ($299 list). It's also the first satellite radio we've tested that receives AM and FM radio, and it doesn't hurt that the Model Satellite is a beautifully built component. As with all such products, a $12.99-per-month Sirius subscription is required to access satellite programming.

The Model Satellite measures a compact 4.5 inches high, 8.4 inches wide, and 5.25 inches deep and shares the handsome styling and real cherrywood cabinet of brethren such as the Model One and Model Three AM/FM radios. Its proprietary AM/FM tuner and smooth-turning tuning dial are likewise identical to the sort featured on the other Tivoli radios, but the big, blue, easy-to-read Sirius display, which keeps you informed about the Sirius channel, artist, and song title in play, is a clear departure.

The radio can store up to 20 Sirius presets, in four banks of 5 each, but it can't store AM/FM presets. When you turn the radio off, the display reverts to your choice of a digital (numeric) or analog alarm clock. A 3-inch speaker is mounted in the on the top panel, under a protective metal grille.

Its front panel is crowded with a bunch of buttons and knobs--17 to be exact, and we found the controls' labeling and frequency markings barely legible under low-light conditions. Curiously, the included remote controls only the radio's Sirius related functions, not volume or AM/FM tuning.

Overall sound quality is miles ahead of that of everyday tabletop radios, though we noted that the unit's Sirius sound is no better than its FM--although once you've locked onto the Sirius signal, it's always 100 percent noise- and interference-free. That said, we found AM and FM reception above par. The radio can run off either the included external AC power pack or an optional 12-volt DC (car or boat) adapter.

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