"Pure digital quality" is one of the great sales jobs in the history of technology. Whether it's mobile phones, MP3s or satellite radios, it's a code for the provider that stuffs more signals into the same bandwidth or the same space, sacrificing audio details. You have a more efficient business, but in the end you hear sheet metal.
Sat radio is a major culprit. I ran XM Channel 130 here at CNET in the early 2000s, so I know it addresses the shortcomings of FM broadcasts, but you pay with a signal that often sounds dry and lifeless. However, there are some things you can do to "rehydrate" SiriusXM.
Give the bird the bird. Satellite is the biggest problem with satellite radio: its bandwidth is precious, so if you have to ram more than 200 channels, crush it with compression. In the mid-'90s, when I talked about the launch of satellite radio in the US, companies raved about their "perceptual coding," an algorithm that removes audio that they believe they do not perceive. But this kind of strong compression adds uncomfortable artifacts in the music that your brain perceives and processes. If you are streaming satellite radio instead of actually receiving it from a satellite, you can mitigate the problem using the Maximum Accuracy option in the app. Streaming is already part of your SiriusXM subscription, although you have the 4G LTE data you need for it.
Listen to prejudice. If you buy a new car, do not be all agog just because it's new. Listen to the audio system critically and compare the broadcast radio sound with FM, a CD brought along and the Bluetooth transmission from your phone. If the satellite radio sounds more brittle than the other sources, you know that you will probably notice this over time, something I've learned in reviewing over 1,100 cars. A few car systems do a good job of making the sat-radiosound comparatively good, but the majority does not.
Upgrade your audio system. In particular, a new amplifier can improve the satellite radio sound by using a sophisticated EQ or digital signal processing (DSP) to highlight the best parts of the satellite radio and attenuate the worst. By the way, be careful with a store that offers you an upgrade to Hi Res Audio: this is because you have a highly detailed audio source at the beginning, just what you do not have with satellite radio.
Look at AI audio. It's a bit of a buzzword, but these new systems test the sound for what's missing and then try to put it back in just before the signal goes to the amp and speakers.such as Bambu AWSM or Harman Clarify, the latter now in some JBL aftermarket car amplifiers. AI audio is different from any other EQ or processing that may be present on a particular amplifier or system.
And that was it's. You can only do so much when the data is just not there.