XM Cafe vs. Sirius Coffee House

On an earlier post I mentioned how the XM programming transition to Sirius-XM caught me by surprise; especially when I discovered my favorite station, XM Café, was no more. Surprisingly, (for whatever reason) that post is one of the most-frequently read on this site.

At that time I pledged to give the Sirius Coffee House a try, so now is the time to render a verdict.

A Few Notes

  • XM Café offered a more eclectic selection of music, whereas one will hear more-recognizable music on Coffee House.
  • XM Café offered a bit more energy behind the music, whereas Coffee House music has a tendency to be more acoustical – which includes acoustic version of hit songs by the original artist, plus different arrangements of cover tunes by other artists.
  • XM Café offered an outlet for lesser-known artists, whereas while Coffee House is somewhat like that, its playlist includes more high-profile names.

The Coffee House taglines from commercials are accurate:

  • Acoustic reinterpretations of great songs
  • The best venue for acoustic singer songwriters
  • New music from your Coffeehouse artists

The station’s description is also accurate:

Unwind in the Coffee House – with your favorite singer/songwriters, new artists and rare acoustic versions of great songs! The perfect place for a laid back mood, a stress-filled workday, or you just want a perfect musical getaway. Settle in for the great acoustic songs and cool vibe of the Coffee House!

Although I still prefer XM Café, the reality is simple – it’s gone. I find myself bouncing around a bit more, but the Sirius Coffee House (Channel 51) is my station of choice. Then again, there’re still CDs and MP3 music for the car.

30 thoughts on “XM Cafe vs. Sirius Coffee House

    • Rod …Happy New Year!

      First of all, debt is certain after a merger.

      Secondly, I can see what the author is saying on your link. As you know, that’s the way technology is … and he certain is looking at it from that viewpoint.

      Therefore, it will be interesting to see what happens here – even though its a good marketing feature for the automakers. Then again, many new cars have MP3 jacks now.


  1. I’ve had XM for a few years now, and I wasn’t happy about the merger…It was more like a takeover…Only the weaker company took over….They dropped alot of very good XM channels….I prefered the XM Cafe…I also miss Lucy…SO far they haven’t taken any of the talk radio I listen to off.

    Great posts.


    • BEEZE,
      Cheers to another listener who misses XM Cafe.

      You mentioned your fav talk radio stations have stayed. Guess I haven’t given them a chance. On the other hand, I was a guest on the Blog Bunker.

      Thanks for stopping by as we seem to read common poss.


    • Andy … and that’s ok. One of the benefits of satelite radio is the number of choices. Although I still prefer XM Cafe, I still listen to Coffee House more than any other channel.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


  2. I have been disappointed with Satellite Radio since the Merger. XM Cafe and Fred were favs. I know there are similar stations but those former stations as well as a few others had personality. Luckily, I only have a few more months left on my contract then back to FM and HD radio.


    • David,
      XM Cafe was my fav too … so I miss it. For me, and fortunately, I have gotten used to Coffee House, after all, there wasn’t a choice.

      Interestingly, some like myself have adjusted, while others prefer Coffee House. Unfortunately, some as you haven’t been as fortunate. The beauty of music is that it comes in so many forms, definitely something for everyone; plus what is good for one isn’t true for everyone.

      I have satellite radio only in the car … and still prefer the “post-merger XM” over commercial radio over CD or MP3.

      David … thanks for your time and comment.


  3. I have been a big Coffee House fan for many years before the merger and was thankful it made the cut. I wasn’t a big fan of XM Cafe however I was a huge fan of Hear Music XM 75 back 2 years ago. Once they created the Starbucks XM Cafe I then totally lost all interest in XM Cafe.


    • Alex,
      Your history is much longer than mine, so I appreciate your input. It’s interesting that the Cafe is what caught my interest while it lost yours … as you state b/c you knew what was before.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, and I hope you return.


      • No Problem.
        Depending on when you discovered XM Cafe, you might have heard it when it changed formats. They merged Hear Music and XM Cafe to make Starbucks XM Cafe. Years before that it was a very boring station. You might also be interested in The Spectrum XM 45 and The Loft XM 50.


        • Alex … I’ve tuned into 45 & 50 … but not enough to have an opinion … but I’ll check it out now. Thanks.


    • Dan,
      I still miss it, but accept the fact that it’s gone.

      Coffee House (51) has been a substitute, but just not the same.

      One visitor highly recommended Spectrum (45), which I hadn’t listen to much, but then decided to give it a chance. It’s a tad more aggressive than Coffee House, but has been a pleasant surprise.

      Thanks for visiting.


  4. I felt XM cafe had lost most of it’s soul anyhow. I had preferred XM75 the Starbucks channel back about 4 years ago to the Cafe anyway until they merged. It is more what the Coffee House is today. 51 is a great channel. Just set it and listen to it for hours. It doesn’t disappoint though I may be missing a lot of new indie music that’s ok.


    • Steve,
      You are the second person who has related a story about these channels from a longer history view than mine – so much appreciated.

      Today I seem to be bouncing between Spectrum and Coffeehouse … probably seeking the desirable level of musical energy to fit my mood at the time.

      Thanks for the comment and hope you visit this site again.


    • Hooper,
      Although I still prefer XM Cafe over Coffee House, I pattern has been bouncing around, primarily between Coffee House and Spectrum. Not a song-to-song bounce, but the mood of my mind at the time.

      You obviously enjoy acoustic guitars. Although I don’t play guitar, I appreciate your passion.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting … hope you return.


      • What about The Loft, Sirius XMU? Have you listened to either of those stations?

        I do quite a lot of bouncing too; Coffeehouse, The Loft, XMU, Lithium, On Broadway, Siriusly Sinatra, The Groove. I’m all over the place.


        • Hooper,
          I tried The Loft, but wasn’t impressed. I don’t know anything about XMU, but I’m willing to try. After all, a comment to this post directed me to the Spectrum!

          Thanks for the recommendations.


        • Hooper,
          Since you suggested XMU (channel 43), I tuned in during my trip around town today. A bit to edgy for me – but that’s ok, so thanks for the tip.


        • Oh well, you can’t win them all. I only mentioned it because you intimated that Coffeehouse was too sedate compared to, the now defunct, XM Café.

          I only recently discovered XMU myself. Thus far, I absolutely love it (most of the time.) It reminds me of the stuff I used to listen to in high school/college in the 80s.


  5. Pingback: On XM 32: The Message « A Frank Angle

  6. It’s September 2010 and I still miss the XM Café. The Spectrum has the vibe of a 70’s album rock station and the Coffeehouse is pretty lame.
    Contemporary eclectic adult alternative is sadly lacking since the merger.


    • Tom,
      I’m right with you! Good assessment of the alternatives. Besides, their playlist is also short/repetitive. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


      • Alex,
        Agree … Coffee House plays what it says. On the other hand, although Tom called it “lame”, I believe is reference is not against Coffee House being what it is, but simply that he (as I) prefer XM Cafe. It’s gone, but we still miss it.

        Coffee House is one of the stations I regularly listen. See this post. https://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/on-my-drive-time/

        As for the Loft. I’ve tried more than once, but it simply does not grab my attention. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


  7. Any chance that anyone has old recorded XM Cafe programming? It’s been gone for a long time, but I still miss its diversity. Thanks – Terrific


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