This post consists of three stories I originially wrote for my publication, Car Buyer's Notebook. It's a rundown of the XM MyFi portable satellite radio, which functions as a walkman, home stereo receiver and car unit, all-in-one. It's a great buy at $269 [at Amazon, $299 elsewhere], if you're in the market for satellite.
This is My XM MyFi
The knock at the door was the FedEx lady bearing gifts — this portable XM satellite radio unit, aka the MyFi.
And I say gifts, because the MyFi is much more than a handheld, belt-clippable satellite receiver that lets you listen to over 150 channels of XM's digital music, news and sports through a pair of headphones.
The unit ships complete with everything you need to use it in its three modes — as a portable, a home unit or an in-vehicle radio.
As I'm writing this I've got the MyFi in its home cradle, wired through my computer speakers and controlled by remote.
Later on, I'm going to "install" it in the Ford 500 I'm test driving. I put that in quotes because the MyFi has a truly cool feature that lets you listen to XM through your car's existing stereo — yet without using any permanent hardware.
Known as the Wireless FM option, the Myfi has a built in transmitter that sends the signal to any FM radio. By tuning the radio to an unused frequency, then setting the MyFi to communicate with that wavelength, you'll hear XM through your car stereo!
But, for those of you who decide to take the plunge and go XM, you can purchase an adapter that can be installed at a stereo shop. Alternately, the MyFi kit also comes with an adapter for cars with casette decks.
I'm going to fiddle around with the MyFi and will post an in-depth review. For now, though, I can report the sound on the unit, when used as a portable, is simply great.
And more than loud enough — this morning, the road crew was using a jackhammer to bust up the parking lot right outside my window. In cases like this, using the speakers just wasn't good enough.
I was also surprised at the clarity — certainly better than any Walkman I've ever listened to.
The MyFi now sports a much tastier price — list is $299 for the entire kit, down $50 from when it first appeared.
And don't forget about the "My XM" feature, that allows you to record up to five hours of programming. This is perfect for frequent flying business travelers, sports junkies who want to record specfic events or NPR-refugees who want to capture every minute of the XM-exclusive Bob Edwards show.