Making Good Sounds Even Better

HD Radio is the most significant advancement in radio broadcasting technology since the advent of the FM station, more than 50 years ago. Developed and licensed by iBiquity, this technology enables both AM and FM radio stations to broadcast digitally. Now you can listen to the radio and expect the same sound quality as what you hear from your CD's. Your FM radio stations will sound like your CD's, your AM radio station will sound like your FM stations. Crystal clear reception and no static, hiss or other distortions are just a couple of the advantages of HD Radio. Since the majority of motorists still listen to their radio while travelling, rather than CD's or tapes, HD Radio technology will be a welcome guest as they travel to and from work and other places. We'll give you more information on this technology, as well as price ranges and where to get your HD radio.

Some Points To Consider

First, unlike Satellite radio or HDTV with cable or satellite services, HD radio is not based on subscriptions. It's there for you to use, free of charge, with your HD radio. The broadcast format is the same, just better sound quality. Sure, you will have to buy a special radio system, be it home or car, but there are no additional costs other than that. As more manufacturers join the list, prices will drop as they have with HDTV's. More and more radio stations are broadcasting in HD format, as well. To see HD radio stations in your area, go to hd-radio.com . Another feature that you may appreciate is the digital readouts of the artist who is performing, as well as news headlines and traffic information.

HD Radio Products and Prices

HD Radio tuners come in three basic styles: Table Top, Home Component, or Car Radio. Price ranges currently are from $200 to $300 for table top and car radio styles, all the way to about $8,000 for a full home system. As mentioned before, as more manufacturers enter production of HD radios, the prices will continue to fall.

Table Top Models

Table top models include:

Accurion, distributed by Radio Shack, selling for around $200, and includes the radio, a power adaptor, remote control, and both AM & FM antennas. Should be available at your local Radio Shack, or it can be ordered online.

Receptor RAdio, manufactured by Boston Acoustics, and sells for around $300. Clicking on the link in their web site will give you a list of dealers in your area, or you can order online.

Car Radio Models

Kenwood's KD-HDR-1 sells for around $300 and uses your standard FM antenna. You can buy one from many retail stores, including Circuit City or Best Buy, or even your local Costco/Sam's Club and Walmart.

Alpine has a model selling for around $200.

Home Components

If you really want to go crazy, and money is no object, here are a couple of choices for Home HD stereo systems:

DaySequerra has models available from $1,595 all the way up to $7,995.

Audio Design Associates also has several home models available, or models which will be available soon.

Final Comments

HD Radio technology is fairly new, compared to HDTV. Prices are already falling, and will continue to fall as more manufacturers join the ranks. We've given you the basics, as much as we could find, on this new technology and how to enjoy it in your home or car.

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