About HD Radio


HD radio is a digital technology that delivers a station free of interference. Further, HD radio's "multicasting" capability allows a single radio frequency to bring you more than one station at a time. While a standard radio will give you the primary station, you'll need an HD radio device with multicasting to access the additional stations. As more stations adopt HD radio, more listening options are becoming available. And more HD radio devices are being found in the marketplace.

There is a difference between a "digital" radio (which refers to the digital readout display of frequency) and an "HD" radio (which refers to the ability to receive digital signals as well as traditional analog signals). To tune in to our HD Radio channels, listeners will want an HD radio and shouldn't be misled by the term 'digital'.

Not all HD radios have multicast capability. Listeners should also double-check to be sure that the radio they are purchasing has multicast capability. Most HD radios do, but some HD radios, when first manufactured, did not. All HD radios are also able to receive traditional analog FM stations.

HD Radio devices and purchase options

The following product suggestions are intended to help you navigate the numerous HD radio devices on the market. Because products change frequently, be sure to check with a store on item availability. In addition to the retailers mentioned below, Public Radio Market (where your purchase supports public radio) offers an online product selection that is pulled from Amazon's offerings.

Handheld portable: The Insignia Model NS HD02 handheld portable HD radio is available through Best Buy for about $70. Check with the store to see if the item is in stock.

Tabletop: A tabletop radio is self-contained with a tuner, amplifier and speakers built in. A tabletop radio may also often serve as a clock radio for your bedside. The Sangean HDR-1 tabletop radio can receive HD radio signals and is available through many internet retailers such as Best Buy for around $175. The Polk I Sonic Entertainment System PH612650 is available through the Pretty Good Goods catalog for $349.95.

Boombox: A boombox is a self-contained radio, with built-in tuner, amplifier and speakers. It is portable, and able to be operated either with house power or on batteries, and usually has a handle for carrying. The Insignia Model NS-BHDIP01 boombox radio can receive HD radio signals and is available through Best Buy, both in-store and online for around $100. Check with the store to see if the item is in stock.

Tuner: A tuner is a component of a home stereo system; tuners need amplifiers and speakers to operate; they can also usually be plugged into a receiver. The highly-regarded Sangean HDT1X HD component tuner is available through many internet retailers, including Amazon, for about $150. Online retailers Crutchfield and Circuit City also sell other HD tuners.

Receiver: A receiver is a combination tuner and amplifier, and is used with a home stereo system. Online retailer Circuit City sells the Sherwood 7.1-Channel High-Performance 2-Zone A/V Receiver with HD Radio (YYD1-RD7405HDR) for $225.

Aftermarket Car Radio (for older cars): An aftermarket car radio replaces the car radio that came with your car. Aftermarket HD car radios retail for $100 and up. Best Buy and other electronics retailers sell many aftermarket HD car radios, including Kenwood, JVC and Sony. Online retailers Crutchfield and Circuit City also sell aftermarket HD radios for cars. Be sure to specify an HD multicast radio.

New Car Radio: HD Radios are available on 17 different brands of new vehicles (Ford, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Hyundai, Lincoln, Mini, Subaru, Volkswagen, Audi, Land Rover, Scion, Jaguar, Kia, Rolls Royce and Tesla). These manufacturers represent 109 different vehicles with HD Radio Technology, a total of 54 which come with HD Radio Technology as a standard feature during 2011; more with the 2012 model year.