GSI Review: The Sportster 4

Monday, June 05, 2006

Click on Images to the right to enlarge

The Sportster 4 is the thinnest SIRIUS radio to date. Thanks to TSS-Radio, we got our hands on one to play with... The big question is.. is it the best radio yet? Well with about 5 hours of use.. I have hold off on the answer to that question...

The Sportster 4 has some things that puts it above the other Sportsters on the market.

1st - The size, and look, a sleek and thin body. Nice brushed metal look, and easy to use round knob and buttons.

2nd - Getting more stations, the Sportster 4 is picking up all the stations carried by SIRIUS Canada. This has something to do with the new chipset. How long will this last? We do not know.. SIRIUS has not said a word about the Sportster 4 getting more stations then other radio.. This is something we will have to keep an eye on.

3rd - Song and Artiest seek, this will let you set a memo, to let you know when a song is playing on any SIRIUS station, and like the Starmate replay you can set a Artiest seek, and the radio will tell you when that artiest is playing on any SIRIUS station.

4th - Replay List Mode, view and play back individual selections from the Replay memory buffer. You can look at content in your 44 min buffer and scroll to play a song from that list.

5th - Aux input on dock, when you plug in a mini-stereo plug from your S50, Ipod, or DVD player, the dock will mute the audio from your radio, but still saving to your 44 min buffer. This is nice if you only have one line into your radio, or want to use the SIRIUS FM transmitter to get the Aux device to broadcast on the radio.

6th - Box and packing is very nice.. Small box, nice looking and the box sell SIRIUS as a service with a list of what sets SIRIUS above the rest on content.

7th - Better (so far the best) the Suction cup, and mount. Strong plasic and one hell of a suck..

Something’s I have noticed

1st - The FM transmitter is weaker then others, and you can not use 87.7 and 87.9 anymore. These were very good freq. for big city users, because no stations in the USA broadcast under 88.1FM. I did not get the FM whip wire to plug into the FM out. The Starmate Replay has a nice little button to have some preset FM Freqs, to change easily when you get interference. The new Sportster unit did not get this useful button, but it is on the remote. But it works a little different, it is a shortcut to pick the FM Freqyou have set, and will let you jump around the freq but not freq to freq, but from 88.1 to 89.1 to 90.1.. etc….

2nd – Display is just like the Sportster Replay, but when you hit the display button to make the display bigger, the large letters are very choppy, like a 80’s font.. Not a bad thing very easy to read. The display is easy to view most of the time.. I still like the Starmate replay display better, it works wonderful in all lighting.

3rd – New categories, Howard 100 and 101 are in there own category.. Some categories are not the same as the other SIRIUS radios out there.. Chip set?!?! Who knows…

4th – Power and very cool running.. Unlike the other Sportster units the Sportster 4 is 5V like the S50.. Most other radios are 12V. Make sure you only use the power plug that comes with this radio not the one from the old units. The lower volts equals a cooler running unit.

Overall, should you buy this radio.. Sure, why not.. .I would say this is the best docking radio, easy to take in and out of your car… Once the home kits and Boom boxes hit the street the docking option makes this radio better then the Starmate Replay, because the Starmate has the wires plugged right into the unit not a dock, so if you remove it, the wires just hand there.. I would rate this as of now as my 3rd pick behind the S50 and the Starmate Replay...

I have only had this thing for a few hours and will play some more, and update you as needed.. If you have any questions on this radio email us at

Were to get it?!?! Well right now it is in stock at TSS-Radio, this is the place we at GSI get all of our SIRIUS Stuff. Take a look at what they got, and you will be shocked at all they have. TSS-Radio is run by SIRIUS fans, and only sells SIRIUS, this is why I like them! The know the items and can get you the info you want. If you call, you get reall people who have SIRIUS and know the stuff they sell. You know you are dealing with good people at TSS-Radio, and they stand behind what they sell you have to watch the guys on the net who try to trick you and lie..
So if you think you want a Sportster 4 get it today from TSS Radio Here!


Blogger Lugosi said...

Earlier this week I ordered a Sportster 4 from the Circuit City website. Received it yesterday & packed it back up for return today. The FM converter in the unit is absolutely worthless. I was unable to find a frequency clear of interference. In fact, down in the 88 and 89 range, you hear nothing form the unit. And it's not a matter of unrealistic expectations on my part; I have a Starmate Replay, and have had several XM radios. I have been able to use all of them with no problem.

Fri Jun 23, 07:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Damian said...

AS we said the FM Trans sucks on this unit, that is thanks to the FCC, all new radios from XM and SIRIUS will have this problem. This is why you need to get the WIRED FM MOD. Retailers like TSS Radio are selling the sportster 4 with the wired FM Mod.

Fri Jun 23, 08:20:00 PM EDT  

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