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SiriusXM Tour brings tunes to the cockpit

New satellite radio includes 150 entertainment channels

When it comes to entertainment in the cockpits of light general aviation airplanes, there are only two ways to enjoy it: Bring it with you or stream it from SiriusXM. A new portable radio from SiriusXM makes it easier than ever to enjoy a wide variety of entertainment on those long cross-country flights.

The new SiriusXM Tour radio features a touch-screen interface and the ability to connect to your headset or audio panel via Bluetooth, potentially eliminating one additional wire in the cockpit—the connection to the Aux input.

The Tour is a portable radio and includes an installation kit designed for automobiles. As with other portable installations, pilots will have to improvise a bit to find a suitable place for the Tour, which is a little larger than a deck of cards. Because it is not an FAA-approved device it can’t be “permanently” installed. The mount can, however, be attached to the panel, for example. The radio is easily removed from the mount, making it all OK with the feds. Get electrical power from a cigarette lighter-style port and find a place for the small antenna. The instructions say the antenna with its magnetic back must be attached to the outside of the vehicle. But, of course, the magnet is worthless on an aluminum or composite airframe. Instead, it will do just fine up on the glareshield as long as it can be placed far enough from the magnetic compass to avoid interference.

Once the Tour is in place, you can enjoy some 150 channels streaming from the SiriusXM satellites—music, sports, news, and comedy. Paired with a quality headset, the sound is amazing and really does make those long trips, well, fly.

Subscription fees vary from about $11 to $22 a month depending on how many channels you’d like. Discounts are available when paired with your SiriusXM Aviation weather datalink package and/or other SiriusXM subscriptions for home or car. Plus, you can purchase additional vehicle kits and move the radio to other airplanes, boats, motor homes, or vehicles to get more value of out of the monthly subscription. The current deal through Sporty’s includes three months free.

When within range of a Wi-Fi signal, the Tour includes a host of additional features and capabilities, including streaming even more channels and voice control.

Thomas B. Haines
Thomas B Haines
Contributor (former Editor in Chief)
Contributor and former AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
Topics: Aircraft Modifications, Gear, Technology

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