The SIRIUS Home Connect Receiver was released last month without fan fare. With that said, this could be one of the coolest SIRIUS products to date. This piece allows you to add SIRIUS Satellite Radio to any SIRIUS Ready Home Stereo and control it with the receiver. I decided to give this system a test run.
The RCA system I used is a small bookshelf system that is only slightly larger than a large boombox. The main unit and speakers are separate, so the speakers can be placed apart to improve the stereo image. Each speaker features a separate plastic cone woofer and tweeter. It also features a built in 5 disk cd changer and a removable, portable MP3 player and recorder that will allow you to record from CDs, the Radio and SIRIUS (if set up properly). It also includes a wireless remote and 3 AAA batteries for the remote and MP3 player.
Setting up the RCA is simple for anyone who has connected speakers to a receiver. Next I set up the SIRIUS Home Connect, which was also very simple. It required connecting a single 8 pin cable between the stereo and Home Connect, connecting the SIRIUS antenna, and then plugging it the AC power. The one trick in this setup is that if you only connect the 8 pin cable, you will not be able to record SIRIUS content. You will need to connect either the RCA or optical audio outputs to you recorder. In the case of the RCA unit I tested, you need to connect the audio to the auxiliary inputs to be able to record SIRIUS. This good in the sense that you can record SIRIUS, but you will have to switch to Auxiliary mode in order to record, which means you will not be able to change channels and it will not record the artist info al la the S-50.
As far as performance goes, the RCA looks good and sounds great. It has a number of preset EQ Curves that are set for specific music types (i.e. jazz, rock, pop) and a single level bass boost. I found that the most universal EQ curves were “Rock” or “Flat” (if you want to call Flat a curve…). The other curves were good with there specific genres, but “Flat” and “Rock” really sounded good with most music. The bass boost was overkill for most styles of music besides Hip Hop and R&B were it really added some ommpp to the bass. While listening to rock, jazz or classical it was just to muddy with the bass boost on, but without the boost it sounded great.
The big selling point for the RS2058 besides the SIRIUS Ready feature is the included MP3 Player. The top of the main section of the unit has a cut out with a USB port where the MP3 player rests while docked. The MP3 player can be fully controlled with the remote control. It allows for recording of tracks from CD, FM and Am Radio, and from the a auxiliary input. As I mentioned before, you can record SIRIUS if you have the audio output from the Home Connect Tuner plugged into the AUX input.
The real Beauty of the MP3 player is that it can be removed from the unit and used a portable MP3 player and also has a built in USB connection for transferring files to and from your computer, AWSOME!!!
If you are looking for a home SIRIUS System and a need a new home stereo, I believe we have a winner with the RCA RS2058 and the SIRIUS Home Connect.