The Best HD Radios for 2020

Investing in the best HD radio is a wise decision especially if you want to broadcast the content of convenient AM and FM stations over digital signals. The good thing about most AM/FM HD radios is that they tend to produce a better quality of sounds compared to AM/FM radio bands.

Best HD Radio

According to many legitimate HD or high definition radio reviews, this type of device also makes it possible for stations to integrate more programming. All they have to do is to use additional channels that they can broadcast along with the main frequency of the station.

Most stations also use the sub-channels frequently as a means of providing information regarding weather and traffic. They also use the sub-channels to offer diverse music content. If you want to start enjoying the benefits of HD radios for home or other purposes, then the following short yet informative HD radios reviews will be of help.

Best HD Radio Reviews

1. Sangean HDR-16 HD Radio

The first out of the many HD FM radios that got my attention is the Sangean HDR-16. It is one of the most portable HD radios I had the chance to encounter in the market. This kind of portability is what makes it perfect for those who are constantly on the go, particularly those who intend to travel most of the time and bring their radio with them.

You can find this Sangean radio in any legitimate high definition radio review because of its top-notch quality and dependability. It even features the most recent offerings in the HD radio technology while ensuring that it comes in a stylish and appealing package.

What I am so fond of with this HD radio is that it can supply local HD radio stations while ensuring that the digital sound is clear. I notice that its design is modern. It also boasts of its glossy black hard plastic chassis, which feels completely substantial. Another thing I like is its fully functional fold-out carry handle, further promoting its portability.

The HDR-16 from Sangean also boasts of a couple of front-facing speakers (2.5-inch each). Both speakers can supply crisp sounds/audio that you can customize using the bass EQ or simple treble setting. The simplicity of this radio also promotes ease in operating it. It is also one of the most intuitively designed radios I discovered.

I am also satisfied with its excellent FM HD and analog radio reception. Furthermore, the AM broadcast reception is impressive even if this radio is designed to be digital, modern, and portable. I also like the sleek and compact yet durable design of this unit. Furthermore, it has auxiliary jacks designed for audio.

However, I am slightly disappointed with its ten memory presets because I think this is quite limited.
Pros
  • Portable and compact design
  • Excellent FM reception both in HD and analog
  • Customizable audio or sounds, thanks to its bass EQ or treble setting
  • Equipped with a fold-out carry handle so you can bring it anywhere
  • Comes with auxiliary jacks
Cons
  • Somewhat limited memory presets
Despite the slight disappointment, I still agree with some of the best portable HD reviews today that say Sangean HDR-16 HD Radio is one of the most dependable HD radios for those who want a truly portable source of entertainment wherever they plan to go.

2. Sangean HDT-20 HD Radio

When I browsed some fair and famous HD radio tuner reviews, I also got the chance to know more about Sangean HDT-20 HD Radio. There are so many things to love about this option for HD AM radios and FM radios. One thing that I am truly happy about is that this unit is created in a way that it can conveniently interface with all audio/video setup at home.

I think it is because of the standard RCA line-out jacks included in the radio combined with its digital and SPDIF optical outputs. With such compatibility to almost all setups, I can say that the Sangean HDT-20 takes pride in its maximum flexibility in terms of connection.

I am also glad that it is equipped with clear controls and a large front panel. With such features, mastering this specific HD radio is easy. This also promotes extreme convenience when it comes to using the unit. This HD radio also boasts of its clean display and sleek black design.

This specific style is sure to fit all component collections. Sangean HDT-20 is also equipped with hybrid and full digital search functions for the usual AM or FM signals as well as full digital HD. The large and clear LCD is also a big advantage as it clearly shows info about the audio, including the artist, title of the song, and station call letters.

Another advantage of this radio is that it has a memory that can let you preset 10 each of AM and FM stations. With such capability, you can conveniently and quickly tune the radio to your favorite station. All you have to do is to use its remote control or console.

Furthermore, this radio is equipped with a headphone jack, giving you the chance to listen to your favorite local stations in HD comfortably and without worrying about disturbing others. However, I am not that satisfied with the performance of the remote control as I find its viewing angle too narrow.
Pros
  • Highly flexible as it is compatible with all audio and video setups
  • Features a headphone jack so you can listen privately and comfortably
  • Equipped with memory presets for the quick and convenient tuning
  • Comes with a large and clear LCD
  • Clean display and sleek black design that seems to suit all component collections
Cons
  • Too narrow viewing angle for the remote control
Still, the Sangean HDT-20 HD Radio is a fantastic unit for anyone who loves music and wants to enjoy the flexibility and amazing sound quality of their chosen radios.

3. SPARC SHD-BT1 Tabletop Radio

If you are in search of HD table radios with Bluetooth capability then I am sure that the SPARC SHD-BT1 Tabletop Radio will leave a good impression on you. What I truly enjoy from this tabletop radio is that it broadcasts radio stations in digital and clear quality depending on your local area.

This means that being one of the best HD home radios of today means that it is devoid of the static radio fuzz and hiss you usually hear from older units. It utilizes the HD radio technology, which gives HD radio stations the chance to broadcast the digital signal version of their content over traditional radio frequencies.

This also leads to the opportunity of letting up to 3 more stations having new local content. I am also very impressed with the stylish look of this HD radio from SPARC, which can be somewhat attributed to its wood-grain finish. The wood cabinet used in the design of this radio also reinforced the material to improve the sound quality even further.

I am glad that it comes equipped with Bluetooth technology because this allows wireless streaming. I am very satisfied with this tabletop radio’s huge 2.4-inch color LCD. It shows important info about the audio you are listening to, including the name of the song, the artist, and station ID, among many other important data.

It also has plenty of additional features, like the real-time clock equipped with a sleep timer as well as its dual alarms. Moreover, it takes pride in its twenty programmable presets.

However, one fault I discovered is that its display is not designed in a way that it will dim automatically once the lights are turned off, which means it needs to be manually dimmed.
Pros
  • Capable of broadcasting radio stations in digital and clear quality
  • Stylish look, thanks to its wood-grain finish
  • Features a huge color LCD
  • Allows wireless streaming, thanks to the built-in Bluetooth technology
  • Boasts of twenty programmable presets
Cons
  • Requires manual dimming of the display as it does not seem to dim automatically
Despite that, the SPARC SHD-BT1 Tabletop Radio is an incredible choice designed for those searching for HD radios for car, home, and any other purpose and application because it has plenty of features that boost its flexibility and versatility.

4. Audiovox IHDP01A HD/FM Radio

Anyone who is searching for a dependable HD radio receiver will also fall in love with the AudioVox IHDP01A HD/FM Radio. This portable unit provides the ultimate solution if you want to take full advantage of HD radio technology. It can even provide to thousands of HD broadcasting stations that supply over a thousand additional channels in HD2/HD3.

I like how this HD/FM radio from Audiovox was created to be compact and portable, making it ideal for those who would like to bring it anywhere. You can use this radio to listen to your favorite music anywhere you want. I am so satisfied with the rechargeable lithium-ion battery included in the purchase.

It is because this built-in battery has a long life. A single charge of this battery will let you enjoy around eight to ten hours of great music. I am satisfied with the ability of this radio to supply crystal clear digital sound quality that resembles that delivered by music in CD formats.

I am happy with the small and compact size of this HD radio as it means that it will serve as a great companion wherever I want to go. It is also well-built and equipped with user-friendly and clear controls. It also takes pride in its 10-station presets and the headphones and headphone jack incorporated into the purchase.

Furthermore, your purchase of this item will also let you take hold of an armband and belt clip, which is a big help in ensuring that you can carry the radio even more conveniently. However, I found out that its tuning ability is weaker compared to the others.
Pros
  • Crystal-clear digital sound quality guaranteed
  • Well-built and integrated with user-friendly and clear controls
  • Compact and portable design, making it a great companion for people on the go
  • Equipped with a rechargeable battery with a decent battery life
  • Comes with headphones and headphone jack
Cons
  • Somewhat weak tuning ability
Overall, I like how the AudioVox IHDP01A HD/FM Radio performs, especially because I noticed its excellent reception, great sound quality, and sturdy construction – all of which are important for music lovers out there who are searching for fantastic radios that can meet their demands.

5. VQ Retro Mini Bluetooth Speaker with AM/FM/HD Radio

I have to say that the VQ Retro Mini Bluetooth Speaker equipped with not only AM/FM radio but also HD radio is an amazing choice for audiophiles, music lovers, and HD fans out there. It shows amazing flexibility as it provides the ultimate solution for radio options.

It is so flexible in the sense that it lets you enjoy your favorite AM/FM stations through the auto-scan function that it has. The built-in HD radio also allows you to take advantage of more programming without the need for a paid subscription since you can get it for free.

I love the overall audio quality of this unit, too. It takes pride in its expert British acoustic style, which is a big help in producing flawless and high-quality sounds. The sound it delivers is also further improved by the radio’s full-range and ultra-wide 10-watt stereo speaker filled with plenty of distinctive and patented features.

I am so happy with the premium quality finish used in this unit, too. It makes use of PU leather to wrap the Retro Mini lavishly. With that, expect it to look good apart from its ability to deliver decent sounds. I am sure you will also enjoy the many colors it offers.

The fact that this radio also works as a Bluetooth speaker is a big advantage as it lets you stream and listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and playlists wirelessly. All it takes is connecting it to your device, like a tablet or mobile phone. However, one complaint I have is the somewhat subpar AM reception it has, especially when compared to other radios.
Pros
  • Highly flexible as it performs numerous functions – Bluetooth speaker and AM, FM, and HD radio
  • Features an auto-scan, which lets you access numerous radio stations
  • Delivers incredible audio quality, thanks to its ultra-wide speaker
  • Nicely designed, making it look great in any setting
  • Works effectively as a Bluetooth speaker
Cons
  • Somewhat subpar AM reception
Despite that, the overall performance of this amazing option for those searching for a reliable HD radio is more than decent plus it contains several cool features that maximize its sound quality and ability to entertain users through great music.

6. Sangean HDR-14 AM/FM HD Pocket Radio

Do you want to invest in a dependable pocket HD radio? Then it would be a great idea to check the Sangean HDR-14. What I love about this radio is that it seems to deliver the most reliable performance as far as audio quality and radio reception are concerned. It assures users of such a performance even with its compact and lightweight design.

This unit works effectively as an AM/FM radio as well as a digital, analog, and HD radio, proving its flexibility. It has amazing flexibility that it can indeed perform its multiple functions without compromising its quality. I am also glad of its huge memory presets as it can reach up to forty (20 each for AM and FM).

Using these memory presets will prevent you from wasting time searching for your favorite stations since you already have them programmed. I am also impressed with this pocket radio’s information display. It is because it shows a lot of important data clearly, including channel frequency, clock time, call sign, audio and service mode, and radio text.

The information display can also be expected to show the quality of the signal, letting you know about how the radio performs in a particular setting or location. I am also glad to say that this unit offers support through its emergency alert function. Another thing that caught my interest in this radio is its real-time date and clock feature.

I am impressed with its snooze and sleep feature as well as its dual-alarm timers, making it possible for you to wake up not only by radio but also by a buzzer. It also has intuitive and user-friendly buttons and menu. However, I am not so fond of its tuning knob because I found out that it is slightly hard to use.
Pros
  • Compact and lightweight design, promoting ease of use
  • Multifunctional and versatile
  • Comes with a clear and readable information display
  • Supports emergency alerts function
  • Equipped with intuitive and user-friendly buttons and menu
Cons
  • The somewhat difficult-to-use tuning knob
This is just a minor flaw that anyone can tolerate and easily manage especially once the Sangean HDR-14 AM/FM HD Pocket Radio starts to showcase some of its coolest features and benefits, including its amazing sound quality and intuitive controls.

7. Insignia NS-HDRAD2 Tabletop HD Radio

Your search for an incredible HD radio, which you can truly rely on will also most likely come to an end once you come across the Insignia NS-HDRAD2 Tabletop unit. There are so many things that seem to draw me closer to this tabletop HD radio from Insignia – one of which is its affordable price that still results in an HD radio with decent quality.

I am very pleased with this product’s FM tuner as I find it effective in searching for my favorite stations so I can listen to them conveniently anytime. I also like the fact that it is capable of receiving additional channels in HD2/HD3 formats even if you do not have a subscription.

This tabletop HD radio is noticeably small, compact, and lightweight, so expect it to fit nicely in a small bag or carry-on bag. I am happy that this radio already comes equipped with an external audio input as well as a whip antenna as both can help me enjoy the flexibility of the radio’s performance.

There are also two ways for you to operate or run it – one of which is to use the provided AC adapter and the other is to use 4 AA batteries. I also like the slim body and structure of this radio as it is a big help in ensuring that I can easily hold and aim it by just using one hand.

The large display screen of this radio is also clear and readable, providing info about the station, artist, and song while you are listening. Moreover, you can use the 3.5-mm jacks integrated into the unit in connecting audio devices and headphones. Another cool thing about this HD radio from Insignia is it delivers CD-like and digital audio/sound quality.

However, one problem I have is that the dim of the display is not adjustable and does not turn off automatically, causing it to sort of drain the batteries.
Pros
  • Affordable without compromising the HD radio’s quality and performance
  • Small, compact, and lightweight structure
  • Large display screen integrated into the radio
  • Produces CD-like and digital audio/sound quality
  • Can be connected to various audio devices and headphones, thanks to its 3.5-mm jacks
Cons
  • The display’s dim light can’t be adjusted or turned off automatically.
The numerous benefits and cool features of the Insignia NS-HDRAD2 outweigh that minor flaw, though, which is the reason why it continuously earns positive feedback and a high customer satisfaction rating.

8. Sangean HDR-18 HD Radio

Another amazing product from Sangean is the HDR-18 HD radio. This refers to the brand’s newest HD tabletop radio offering, which appears in a wooden cabinet. It has numerous enhancements and striking and cool features designed in such a way that all users will have a pleasurable listening experience.

I am so delighted to announce that this HD radio delivers distortion-free and crystal-clear sounds that prove how high its level of quality is. Another advantage of this HD radio from Sangean is that it utilizes the most recent offering in the HD radio technology, which is why it showcases better sounds and a higher number of radio stations.

It provides all that without requiring users to pay any subscription fee. I am also very happy to say that you can easily adjust the loudness, treble, and bass of this HD radio. This makes it customizable, allowing you to adjust it based on your unique demands and requirements.

It also takes pride in its total of 20 memory presets (10 of which are for AM stations while the remaining 10 are for FM stations). I am also very fond of the auxiliary input that forms part of this unit as I find it useful in playing various audio devices, among which are MP3 players and iPods.

The built-in controls in this unit are also easy to use. Furthermore, it is equipped with a readable and clear informative backlit LCD, which shows relevant info like, call sign, audio and service mode, clock time, signal quality, and channel frequency. Moreover, I am glad of its ability to offer support for emergency alerts.

It also has a full-function remote control with infrared settings. However, one drawback I discovered is its expensiveness as the price is somewhat higher compared to other HD radios.
Pros
  • Delivers crystal-clear sounds without distortion
  • Uses the latest in terms of HD radio technology
  • Features user-friendly controls
  • Comes with informative backlit LCD with info that you can see and read with ease
  • Offers support for emergency alerts
Cons
  • Quite expensive
Buying this HD radio, despite being somewhat costly, is worth it, though, as it lets you take advantage of some of the coolest features you can ever find it HD radios.

9. Grace Digital Audio SHD-T750 Stereo HD Radio

My next recommendation for those who are looking for HD radios is the Grace Digital Audio SHD-T750 Stereo HD Radio. This specific HD radio carries plenty of unique and cool features that make it stand out in the industry. It takes pride in its use of HD radio technology, which makes its features more advanced.

I noticed how this technology helped in boosting the number of stations it can play and scan as well as in ensuring that the sounds it produces are of top-notch quality. I am also very satisfied with its large graphic TFT color display. It is large enough as it is around 2.4 inches, allowing you to see everything it displays clearly.

It is also one of the most flexible HD radios in the market as it offers support for multiple languages, including Spanish, English, and Portuguese. The radio even features voice prompts that the visually impaired can conveniently use. You can also further improve your experience with its bookmark features.

It provides a port tuning feature, which you can use in ensuring that the sound delivered by the stereo will always be full, rich, and powerful. You can also use the twenty programmable presets of this radio so you would not have to spend time looking for or scanning the radio for your favorite stations.

You can just save them for easy access. Other nice features that this HD radio takes pride in are its headphone output, alarm/snooze functions, and aux input. However, it also seems to lack some useful features that other HD radios have, including the sleep timer and the treble/bass adjustment.
Pros
  • Uses HD radio technology for better sounds and a higher number of stations
  • Features large and readable graphic TFT display
  • Flexible with its support to multiple languages
  • Features voice prompts so even the visually impaired can use it
  • Twenty programmable presets guaranteed
Cons
  • Lacks sleep timer and adjustment setting for treble/bass
Even with some lacking features, this HD radio from Grace Digital Audio still exceeds the expectations of many, making it one of the top choices of many HD radio users.

10. Pioneer AVH-501EX DVD Receiver with HD Radio

The last choice I would like to recommend is the Pioneer AVH-501EX DVD Receiver with HD Radio. While this unit is primarily a DVD receiver, it still features an HD radio, making it an incredible choice for those looking for one. With the many functions it can perform, it is safe to say that this is a versatile and multifunctional investment.

I am so happy with the display integrated into this unit. The screen size and resolution are just right that you will not have problems seeing all the data that the screen displays. It also takes pride in its LED backlight, which further improves the clarity and readability of every data in the display.

The built-in Bluetooth technology in this DVD receiver with HD radio from Pioneer is also amazing. It lets you stream wirelessly using different devices. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod, and other devices. It is even ready for use together with a back-up camera. Another thing that impresses me is the hands-free profile.

It also allows you to take advantage of the unit’s video/audio remote control profile, further boosting its flexibility. Installing this unit is also very easy. Once you finally set it up, I am sure you will love its overall sound quality and performance.

There is also no reason to complain about its finish and fit as both look and feel great. However, one thing I noticed is that its price is high but since it is a multifunctional product, I still think that it is a cost-effective option.
Pros
  • Multifunctional as it is a DVD receiver and HD radio in one
  • Easy to install and set up
  • Promotes great sound quality and performance
  • Clear and readable display
  • Built-in Bluetooth technology, which makes the unit compatible with numerous devices
Cons
  • Expensive
Overall, this multifunctional DVD receiver with HD radio from Pioneer is a cost-effective investment knowing that it can perform several functions without compromising the quality and performance of all its features.

What to Look for When Buying an HD Radio

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Traditional analog radio is beginning to get phased out of modern radios and in its place is the HD radio that tends to rise as the future of radio. With the HD radio around, you no longer need to be bothered by the static and low audio quality. The great thing about all this is that you don’t have to pay for a premium subscription or anything.

You just need to buy a radio that has HD radio capabilities. Another good news is that they are affordable. If you are quite intrigued by all the hullabaloo about HD radio, you should find out firsthand what it’s like. Here are some of the things that you need to look for when you are out shopping for a new HD compatible radio:

Type of Radio – There are several different types of HD radios that you can choose from: home radios (tabletops), portables, and car radios. Each type has its own set of merits and disadvantages. However, to choose which type is the best for you, you must consider when and where you listen to the radio most often.

Display or None? – The neat thing about the HD radio signal is that it is not just audio that is being transmitted. It also sends other data. When the DJ plays a particular song along with the music, the HD radio will also be displaying the artist’s name and the album over the LCD screen.

If you choose the HD radio with colored screen displays, you can also receive the album cover where the current song is playing. However, because of the larger screen, you have to compromise with the battery life.

Battery Life – Speaking of battery life, some HD radios run on regular alkaline batteries, especially the portable ones. However, other brands and models have built-in lithium-ion (or other batteries) that are rechargeable. Some tabletop radios are also capable of being battery-powered. These larger radios run on larger cells, like C-cell or D-cell batteries.

The tabletop HD radios that are also battery-powered are great for use as storm radios. The neat thing about HD radios is that they do not consume that much electricity, making them great choices for weather emergencies.

Additional Features – Although it is completely acceptable that your HD radio only has one function, which is to receive HD radio signals, note that such will also make it boring. That is why many manufacturers decided to add a bit more to the mix.

For instance, tabletop HD radios also double as DVD and Blu-ray audio players and can be connected to hi-fi speaker systems to provide the maximum effect. Another example would be the car radios, especially the 2-din sizes. These radios often have huge touchscreen displays.

Because it would be such a waste if the only thing that these components can do is pick up HD radio, many manufacturers added MP3 compatibility, GPS, and Bluetooth so it can sync with your phone.

Even the portable pocket HD radios have additional features like Bluetooth so you can pair wireless headsets. They can also play other music formats, like MP3s, Ogg Vorbis, etc.

Other Important Factors to Consider

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What is HD Radio?

HD radio is the trademarked term, describing the IBOC (in-band on-channel) digital radio tech, primarily used by AM and FM stations in North America and Mexico. It transmits audio and data using a digital signal that is embedded “on-frequency”, which is immediately above and below the station’s analog signal.

This gives the listener the choice to listen to standard broadcast (analog, standard sound quality), or in high definition (digital radio, excellent sound quality). The cool thing about the HD format is that it allows the station to simulcast one or more different programs along with the one program broadcasted live on the analog channel. This gives users more listening options.

Who is this for?

HD radio is for the audiophiles who want to experience superior audio quality through the radio. It is for the regular folks who like to listen to the radio but are hoping that there will no longer be the annoying hissing static sounds that they usually hear in traditional radios.

This is also for those who always want to be at the forefront when it comes to technology. They are the kind of people who are looking for the next big thing, the next tech killer, and it seems like the HD radio is poised to give the killing blow to an already struggling business model.

If you just want better quality audio from your radio then that is more than enough of a reason for getting one or two.

How Does it Work?

The neat thing about HD radio technology is that radio stations can continue with their regular-scheduled programming without the need to drastically upgrade their equipment.

Also, unlike the heavily publicized switching over from analog to digital broadcasting on TV, there is no need to phase out analog radio. It is mainly because if there were no longer any radio broadcast, that does not mean you can reclaim any of the vacant bandwidth and then resell them.

It is required that the radio stations upgrade their equipment for broadcasting and pay a licensing fee to iBiquity (the owners of the HD radio standard) so they can broadcast using the HD radio format. To receive the new HD signals, the listeners must also upgrade their hardware as the old radios can only receive analog signals.

How to Receive HD Radio?

Speaking of receiving HD signals, a radio with a compatible tuner is required. You can find aftermarket HD radio tuners from prominent manufacturers. Also, some high-end cars come standard with HD radio receivers, so you do not have to buy a separate HD antenna

However, do take note that HD radio is currently available in the US and a handful of other countries around the world. The digital standards used in other countries, such as the ones used in digital broadcasting in other countries are not compatible with HD radios used in the US.

This means you have to buy local versions of HD radios so that you would not run into any trouble.

What are the Different Types of HD Radios?

HD radios come in different forms, assuring you that you can find the one that suits your listening habits perfectly:

Home/tabletop radios – These are perfect if you like to listen to your favorite radio shows at home. If you are looking for superior sound quality, then these are the ones that you need to get. These radios have large, built-in speakers that reproduce sound like nobody’s business.

Some brands even have such powerful amplifiers and speakers in a compact package that you can use them for parties. It is because the sound can travel through a huge room with ease.

Car radio models – If your job requires you to spend most of the day in your car, then you should get one of the car radio models that are available. If the stereo system in your car still has a CD player, or worse, if it still has a cassette player (even worse, an 8-track), don’t you think that it’s about time for an upgrade?

With all of the additional stations and programs that you can choose from, there will never be a dull day stuck in traffic ever again.

Portable HD radios – On the other hand, if you don’t have a car and you have to endure an hour-long commute to and from work, you will need a portable way to listen to your favorite radio station. There are many portable HD radios that you can choose from. Some resemble the classic pocket radios that were all the rage in the 80s.

Others look like the old iPods or Zunes that were popular in the 2000s. These have small built-in speakers with so-so sound quality. You can also find those that have monochrome LCD screens. Furthermore, there are models with full-color screens.

I suggest that you get the full-color screens because aside from the song name and artist, you can also get colorful album covers as you listen to your favorite tunes. Although these have built-in speakers, they will still truly shine when paired with a good quality pair of headphones or earphones.

Some radios even have Bluetooth connectivity so you can do away with the pesky wires.

Why Do You Need an HD Radio?

Some people find the sound of white noise relaxing but most of the time, it is pretty distracting and even annoying, especially when you are in the middle of enjoying your favorite music.

With the advent of HD radio, you can say goodbye to the pesky white noise that you get when the antenna runs into interference. With HD radios you can listen to your favorite songs from beginning to the end without hearing even one hint of static.

Furthermore, you will get various information displayed on the screen, like song title, artist, album, and others depending on what you are listening to. The screen will also display emergency messages as broadcasted by NOAA.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the most trusted HD radio brands?

When shopping for a good HD radio, it is essential to spend time reviewing and scrutinizing the reputation of the different brands offering it. Compare all your options so you can better decide which one suits your specific requests and demands the most.

Among the brands you can truly rely on are Sangean, SPARC, AudioVox, VQ, Insignia, Grace Digital Audio, and Pioneer.

How to set up and use the HD radio?

Even though HD radios are complicated pieces of hardware, operating them is not that hard at all. First of all, check if the unit still has enough batteries or if it has at least a 50% charge left. Turn on the device and pull out the antenna. Turn on the device, and once it has finished booting up, you will find yourself on the menu screen.

Here, you can choose from the different modes that the HD radio has. For instance, if you want to listen to analog broadcasts, set it on the appropriate setting and proceed to use the device as you would a regular radio. If you want to listen to the HD radio, go back to the settings menu and choose the FM1.

In some models of HD radio, there is also a record function. You just need to put a micro SD card into the radio’s slot and make sure that there is still enough space in it for your recording. This way, you can listen to your favorite shows later whenever you are free.

Some HD radios even come with an MP3 player. You just need to load up a micro SD memory card with all of the songs that you like and then insert it into the micro SD slot on the radio.

Setting up an HD radio for your car will be a bit trickier. Considering the amount of skill that you will need to have to successfully install an HD radio head unit, it would be better if you just let a professional automotive electrician do it for you.

How to care and maintain an HD radio?

The nice thing about HD radios is that just like the traditional transistor radios, there are no moving parts that can undergo a massive amount of wear and tear. It can even last for many years without requiring you to open it up for repairs. The only thing that you need to do is clean the outside of the radio to keep it looking like new.

For that, you only need a damp microfiber towel to wipe off any dust or dirt that is on the surface. If the plastic seems dull, you can buy a small container of plastic polishing compound and rub it in there using a small piece of fabric. Buff it all using a small piece of a very soft cloth.

Some of the portable HD radios are waterproof to a certain degree. This means it can resist getting wet or dropped into muddy puddles. However, even though this is the case, you should never clean your HD radio under running water.

Another tip for portable radio owners is that if you will be replacing the batteries, use the same brand and kind of batteries. For instance, if you are going to use AA batteries, make sure that they are of the same brand and model.

Remove the batteries when you will be stowing the HD radio away, like if you will be going on an extended vacation. If you leave the batteries inside the compartment for too long without using the radio, the batteries will leak acid, which will ruin the insides of the radio, rendering it irreparable.

What is the warranty?

HD radios are robust as they can get. Even if you don’t take care of it that much, they will still be able to last a couple of years at the very least. The reason for this is because there are no moving parts inside these radios, so there will be no components that will suffer from normal wear and tear.

This is why HD radio manufacturers have no problem giving up to three years warranty for their products. You can even extend the warranty to five years for a bit more cash but I believe that’s already too much to ask for.

Where to buy HD radios?

You can probably find a couple of different brands and models of HD radios in your local appliance store. However, if you want more choices, you should check out most retail websites like Amazon and eBay.

In those websites, you will find dozens upon dozens of different brands and models of HD radios, including some that you might not have even heard of at all. However, if you have a brand in mind already, check out their company website and buy your radio directly from there.

They will usually provide you with a better deal and you might even get a couple of freebies.

Can you hear the same HD radio stations from your hometown in other cities?

No, HD radio still works the same way as traditional radio. The radio signal can only travel up to a certain distance and once you are at the limit, the HD radio transmission will abruptly drop, unlike analog signals that gradually trail off and get drowned out by static noises.

When you go beyond the range of HD radio, the signal will just abruptly cut off completely without going to static. Herein lies one of the problems of HD radio, adapting to this new radio signal transmission has been quite slow to catch on.

The problem is that no one asked for this technology, so it is understandable why not that many people even know about HD radio. As of now, there are not that many local radio stations that have adopted this new technology, thinking that this is just too gimmicky, failing to see the bigger picture and their listeners’ enjoyment.

How much does this service cost?

The HD radio service is completely free. It is just like a traditional radio where you do not have to pay for anything. HD radio is free and some stations have opted not to play commercials in their HD bands to attract more people to switch over to HD radio.

They plan to reintroduce advertisements after a couple of years once the HD station has increased the number of their listeners. The only payment that you will need to do is to purchase a radio capable of receiving HD radio signals.

You don’t have to worry about this. HD radios are not that expensive at all. You can get a pretty decent portable one for less than $20.

Is HD radio the same as satellite radio?

It is a completely different technology. HD radio enables local radio stations to use their technology to transmit digital signals alongside their traditional analog radio signals. This means that a station’s HD radio signal is at the same frequency as the analog signal.

Because HD radio opens up additional avenues for programming, they can simulcast several different programs at once if the station desires to. The biggest difference between HD radios is that they are free, unlike satellite radio that offers select programming for a monthly fee.

However, with satellite radio, you can listen to your favorite stations regardless of wherever you are in the country.

What does the HD in HD radio stand for?

Just because they are used to imply clarity, you cannot call an HD radio a High Definition radio. Originally, HD meant “hybrid-digital”. It is mainly because the digital signals are carried along with the analog signals.

However, according to the owners of the HD radio format, iBiquity Digital Corporation, the meaning has been changed and now, the letters HD does not stand for anything at all.

Many people mistakenly think that the HD meant high definition, which is wrong. It is because you cannot use the adjective high definition to describe sounds. It can only be used on visual mediums.

Conclusion

The future of radio is here in the form of HD radio. Thanks to this somewhat new technology, you can get CD-quality sound on the FM band and FM quality audio in the AM frequencies, making everything sound a whole lot better.

However, it is unfortunate that even after being available now for more than ten years, not that many people are using HD radios. Hopefully, these numbers will increase in the next several years. If you want to give this a try, you do not need to pay a monthly subscription. You just need to buy radios that are compatible with the HD radio signals.

Although the technology is barely a decade old, there are many different brands and models of HD radios currently available. You just need to pick the best HD radio that fits your needs and you are ready to step into an entirely new world of radio listening experience.

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