The three of the new Plug & Play units—the Starmate3, Starmate4, Sportster3 are extensions of Sirius’ current Plug & Play offerings, while the new Sirius Stratus aims to make it more affordable for people to get hooked on satellite radio. The Starmate4 is designed to be as small as possible—to wedge into tight mounting spots in vehicles, boats, and other locations—while still offering a good-sized display supporting longer track and artist names and five lines of text. The Starmate 44 also replays up to 44 minutes of content and offers pause, rewind, and fast-forward features. The Starmate4 will be available in October at a retail price of $119.99; it ships with a poewr adapter, remote, antenna, vehicle dock, and mounts.
At $99.99, the Starmate3 offers the same capabilities as the Starmate4, minus the 44 minutes of stored playback, and should also hit stores on October. The Sportster3 should be available in September for $119.99, and will feature the same rotary knob and large buttons of previous Sportster models.
The Starmate3, Starmate4, and Sportster3 will also offer numerous Sirius programming features, such as Sirius GameZone and Game Alert for sports nuts, One-touch Jump which provides one-button switches to favorite stations or traffic and weather information, and program alerts which switch to specific Sirius stations at specified times. A memo function stores the names of artists, songs, and programs when playing on any channel, and the units offer 30 channel presets and parental controls so you can believe you’re somehow preventing little Timmy from listening to Howard Stern until he’s mature enough to handle it.
The new Sirius Stratus Plug & Play unit will ring in this October at only $59.99, and offers 10 button presents, direct-entry tuning, large buttons, and a three-line text display. The Stratus is aimed at lowering the cost barrier to satellite radio, with the clear intent of getting people hooked (and paying subscription fees), expanding the user base, and creating a larger audience who can upgrade to more capable receivers once they get their feet wet. The Stratus package will include the receiver, vehicle power adapter, magnetic antenna, and dashboard and vent in-vehicle mounts.
If the Plug & Play isn’t your thing, the new Sirius Conductor is designed to hook up to your existing home stereo system so you can pump Sirius content through your audiophile gear—but the real story here is the a wireless controller with an easy-to-read display carrying information like artist, title, and program title, category, channel number, and preset number. The controller works from up to 150 feet away and is in constant communication with the satellite receiver so it’s display is always accurate and up-to-date. users can program up to 30 of their favorite channels as presets and search by programming category. The Conductor will also feature parental controls, channel lock, and can be used to control as many as six other audio and video components. Better yet, the Conductor can be used wit the SiriusConnect Home Kit, enabling users to play two different channels (presumably in different rooms) at the same time…as long as you have two separate Sirius subscriptions. The Conductor should land in stores this November for a suggested price of $149.99.