Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Question on HD radio

Anyone own a HD radio?? My stereo on my 4runner has been acting up. Since it’s cheaper to buy a new one then getting it fixed I started looking at new systems…

I’ve never heard a system with HD radio. The prices are about the same or maybe $20 more then a regular analog tuner.

My question is…how is the reception??? With HD-TV I can pick up stations from Boston very clear and clean with a simple HD antenna for my HD TV. But I can’t pick the same stations analog signal. It’s fuzzy and very weak.

Is it the same for the HD radio???

I don’t know about reception, but one advantage to HD radio is that, like HD television, each broadcaster can have more than one digital channel, so if you don’t like what’s playing on NPR, you can try their HD2 channel to see what’s playing there.

My wife’s car has it, although I’ve rarely listened to it. For $20, I’d say to get it. The quality of the HD1 stream is a bit better, plus I assume you’ll find some HD2 and maybe HD3 streams for extra variety. My only experience with distant stations is with one station around 40 miles from here, which comes in fine.

Personally, I’d go for satellite radio over HD radio any day, but of course that costs money, so that won’t be the right choice for everyone.

Personally, I’d go for satellite radio over HD radio any day, but of course that costs money, so that won’t be the right choice for everyone.

I just find it not necessary for satellite…Maybe if I did a lot of traveling out of the area I’d consider it.

I have an HD radio in my car. It looks like only JVC has this built in, all other manufacturers carry HD ready radios, you have to buy a separate module to listen to HD. It ticks me off that in stores that do not carry JVC, they have the unmitigated gaul to tell me that it is against the law for manufacturers to include HD as standard.

Off the soap box now. I hardly ever listen to any radio stations anymore. The “oldies” stations are disappearing, at least the oldies of my generation. The CD is handy, but now that I have an i-pod, that is the only thing I listen to, except when click and clack are on.

I got my radio with the i-pod compatible adapter, and I ordered the i-pod cable and it was worth it to me. Almost all new radios now come with a usb port that can receive digital music in from any mp-3 player or i-pod. Once you go mp-3 or i-pod, you probably wont care if it has HD or not.

From a quick look at Crutchfield…MANY sell units that are HD built-in…JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer, Clarion, Dual all make units that are HD built-in.

That wasn’t the case when I bought mine, about three years ago. Kenwood would have been my first choice at the time if it had HD built in. I thought that I would use it more at that time.

Kenwood and Pioneer had HD built in units, but had just dropped them, due to the “new law”. At least thats what every salesman I talked with told me. The shop where I bought my radio told me the others had dropped them because of lack of demand. JVC only had one model with HD built in at the time, or at least that was the only one this shop carried.

Here’s a link from Crutchfield showing all the HD radio units that fit my 4runner.|FFHD_Radio_Tuner_Built%40in

Is it like HD TV? Is there a subscription required?

I see that Crutchfield has 22 models with built in HD now. The model that is closest to the one I bought is $99 now, I paid $275 for mine.

No subscription…

It’s hi-def digital radio. The problem is the radio station has to broadcast in HD. And not all stations do. But the number is growing.

That’s just 22 models that will fit MY truck. There might be more.

My car came with a 3.5mm jack for an mp3 player. Rarely ever listen to the radio anymore, even less than in my old car with just a CD player

If any have the satellite option build in get it and try it. I think you a free trial. Like 30 days. If you like HD you will like satellite radio. There is so much more to it now.

My only peeves with satellite radio is that somehow they seem to play the worst of the available music for any given channel (the 80s channel has a serious Duran Duran fixation for example), and the fidelity is actually slightly less than a strong FM station, probably due to the extreme compression used. (at least my ears tell me this)

Commercial-free is always good though.

. But I can’t pick the same stations analog signal. It’s fuzzy and very weak. <<

No wonder, since the TV stations no longer broadcast an analog signal.

No wonder, since the TV stations no longer broadcast an analog signal.

Correct they no longer broadcast a analog signal…but when they DID broadcast in analog I could barely pick them up…Then sometime after they switched to all digital…I finally bought a HD TV (my 27" Sony died). And with a simple antenna I’m now able to get those Boston stations I never could before…Thus the question - Does HD Radio work the same way??

I have an HD home radio and find the connection intermitent with HD with all but local radio stations in Seacoast NH. However it gracefully reverts to analog .

I have a several peeves with satellite radio:

-They advertise that their music channels are commercial free, but they aren’t. If you listen, you will hear commercials for their talk channels, which have paid advertisements. These might not be outside advertisers whose commercials are being played on the music channels, but they are commercials nonetheless.

-If, tomorrow, you discover they discontinued your favorite channel (which they did while I was a subscriber), there is nothing you can do about it. If, for example, your favorite channel is the 80s music channel, and that’s the only one you listen to, they can shut it down tomorrow, and you will be left with a useless subscription you can’t get out of until it expires.

-The warranty on parts sucks. If, for example, you have one of their kits instead of an in-dash system, and the power cord breaks, you have to buy a whole new kit, pay for shipping, swap the power cord, and then pay to ship the while kit back to them and wait for a refund on the kit you had to purchase. Their equipment isn’t very durable, so when it breaks, it ends up being a big expensive PITA, just for a cheaply made power cord. Heck, I wouldn’t mind paying for a new power cord. It would be cheaper than the shipping charges. However, they won’t just sell you a new power cord.

-They automatically renew your subscription. It makes it harder to opt out, and when you make that call, they don’t make it easy. After I cancelled my subscription, they charged my credit card anyway, and it took me about five phone calls spanning two weeks before they finally reversed the charge.

There are so many other options available that don’t have these shortcomings, like iTunes and spotify, that I don’t miss my satellite radio at all. Save yourself the headache, and buy a good MP3 player instead.

Similar in that with digital you either get a signal or you don’t. No more “snow”. The change to digital also incorporated new equipment, possibly more power and in some cases different transmission towers, so the reasons for your improvement are muddid–plus you have a different TV and I assume a different antenna than you did before.
HD radio si great. Sound is better, stations have multiple broadcasts, i.e. WFNX may have WFNX2 and WFNX3 going at the same time.
While I love satellite radio, in some ways the lack of local flavor and local news is a real negative.