Pros:100 hours of recording
Clear color screen
Pause listening live
Record 5 channels at once
Cons:Battery life short when listening live
Unit may die for any unknown reason
The Bottom Line: Recent price breaks due to XM and Pioneer rebate, and new subscriber rebate makes this more tempting. With those, I do reccommend it. But, it still has issues.
For the last few years, I have had and enjoyed my Pioneer Inno. When I heard Pioneer had a new upgraded version with similar and also improved features as the Inno, I jumped at it. As it turned out, I should have waited until I heard the XMP3 was as bullet proof as my Inno had been.
Recommend this product?
For starters, the XMP3 has the look and feel of an MP3 player more than the Inno, which also has some MP3 capabilities. With the XMP3, you can record up to 100 hours of satellite radio content with 2 Gb of storage. If you want to use it for MP3 or WMA files, you have to purchase a separate microSD card.
It has a slightly larger and clearer color display screen than the Inno, if you are familiar with that. It is much easier to read the XMP3 screen than that of the Inno. The XMP3 comes with everything you need to set it up as a home receiver. A car kit is available separately. You can also use it separately to listen live with included ear-buds if you have adequate exposure to a satellite. Or you can use it separately to listen to previously recorded content. It should be noted that if you listen “live” with the battery, listening time might be cut in half compared to listening to pre-recorded music. I used mine just for XM content, and I only used it as a portable to play pre-recorded content.
The units as originally shipped had a few glitches in them that are due to firmware issues. You should check for the latest firmware available from XM. See their website for details and instructions to download the newest upgrade.
For XM content, you can record up to 10 hours with the touch of a button. It also will record up to 5 channels at once. You can schedule the recordings one day a week, once a day, or once a month. It also auto-records up to 5 channels at a time. This feature can be turned off, which you might want to do since it will fill your available space up quite quickly. If you do use auto-record, you can let the XMP3 choose what channels you want to record. It will do this based on “remembering” channels you have stopped and listened to previously. Or, you can limit the channels it auto-records to channels you know you want to have in case other recordings are not available. The XMP3 has an option to see the upcoming programming on each channel. You can highlight from this list and tell it to record based on that listing schedule. The XMP3 also will allow you to “pause” a live program similar to the live TV pause button on DVR recorders. These are all features I liked, and I will miss them.
I think the sound quality on mine was just a bit better than the Inno, or the other XM units I have tried. This may be because it has pre-installed settings for the type of music you are listening to. Try them. If you do not like the pre-set equalizer settings, you can leave them off.
If you do get an XMP3, if you have a chance to get an extended warrantee, it might be worth it. The initial units sold seemed to have operational bugs. Some were related to the firmware version, but even if the firmware is upgraded, I have heard of units that have failed for various reasons. My XMP3 only lasted for two weeks before it died. I know of people who had to go back three times to find one that would function correctly. Then there were those that had no problems at all. Even so, when I decided to try one, I thought mine would be OK. I did not have the problems I had heard others having. Then, one day, I decided to delete some recorded content. One thing I deleted went without a hitch. The next one I tried, I got an error message that would not go away. I removed the battery to try to re-set the unit. That killed it for good. It started to cycle on and off by itself, and there was no way to recover any function.