The included remote is especially small and has only five buttons: one each for treble, bass, and standby, and two for volume. Unfortunately, the remote controls only the speaker system, which means you'll still have to get up to change the channel on the Roady itself. (The Roady Home Kit includes a remote; Delphi also sells a remote separately for $20.)
The MX5021 doesn't offer other stereo functions, such as an AM/FM tuner, but it's a little more versatile that a satellite-radio system alone. It comes with two cables, one of which lets you plug in any portable device with a standard headphone jack, such as an iPod. The other is a Y-cable that lets you attach any standard A/V component with RCA jacks, for example, a gaming system or a VCR. There's also a headphone jack for late-night listening.
We were happy with the MX5021's sound quality, which was rich enough to fill a large room without distortion even when we cranked the volume. If you're a serious XM radio fan, though, you should consider investing in a Polk Audio XRt12 and pairing with a high-end receiver/speaker combo.
Is the $200 MX5021 a must-have for the Roady fanatic? The aforementioned Roady Home Kit will handle home hookups to existing stereo systems for much less. But a better comparison to Altec's offering would be the identically priced Cambridge SoundWorks PlayDockXM. The PlayDock offers luggable, all-in-one portability and a rechargeable battery. But if you want to get your Roady a homebound listening rig that can also handle a second audio source, the MX5021 is a viable alternative.
- MSRP: $179.95
- Similar model: $
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