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SiriusXM Lynx mixes portable music player with satellite radio receiver (hands-on video)

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Sirius showed off its new Lynx receiver at CES, a mix of a portable media player and a satellite receiver.

SiriusXM Lynx
SiriusXM Lynx

SiriusXM's reach is astonishing — it feels like every product we've seen this year at CES comes with the satellite radio service built in. Sirius's own product lineup recently got a new addition as well, in the form of the Lynx receiver. It's one of the most portable dedicated Sirius devices we've seen: when the Android-based device is plugged into a Sirius dock it gets full satellite radio coverage, and when it's on its own, it uses Wi-Fi to stream Sirius Internet Radio. It uses a cool TV Guide-like feature to show you what's on every channel, so you can flip straight to the song you want to listen to — Sirius also caches every song, so you can always start at the beginning. Maybe the coolest feature is the "Radio Replay," which lets you choose up to 25 presets and then automatically records 200 hours of content from those 25 stations. Even if you're offline, you can listen to the cached radio, and the Lynx just kills the oldest stuff as new material comes in.

We got to play with the Lynx a bit at SiriusXM's CES booth, and were impressed with the idea, though not quite as taken with the implementation. The device was slow to do just about everything, and the screen is pretty unresponsive. But the functionality is pretty awesome, and we loved the idea of having a couple of hours of everything from Top 40 to NFL radio automatically available offline. When we dropped the Lynx into a dock, it picked up a satellite signal almost immediately. The device's interface was nice despite being a little laggy, and it was easy to find whatever we wanted to listen to. We're not really convinced that it's a smarter purchase than an iPhone or iPod touch, since the Sirius app for iOS is pretty solid, but there's definitely a use case for a modular Sirius system. We were told the Lynx will be widely available in February for $249, along with a few new $49 docks; if ubiquitous Sirius piques your interest, this modular solution looks like a pretty good one.

TC Sottek contributed to this story.