HD Radio Roundup – What’s New and What They Cost

Over the course of the past several months, electronics manufacturers have released a fair number of new HD radios. There are new tabletop radios, car radios, and even a new category – bookshelf systems.

Tabletop HD radios

The new tabletop radios are from AGT, Directed Electronics, Dice Electronics, Polk Audio and Sony. In addition, Visteon has introduced an HD Jump transportable receiver which the company says easily goes from car to home and back.

Polk Audio has two new units. One is called the Executive HDX3(TM) HD Radio and is priced at $299. This is about $300 less than Polk’s original HD offering, the iSonic Entertainment System that checked in at a hefty $599.99, and roughly $200 less than Polk’s new iSonic 2 system.

The AGT HD Pulse HDT200 Radio comes in a handsome, natural, cherry wood cabinet and has a six line graphic display, backlit LCD display, manual and seek tuning capabilities, 10 memory presets and an analog and digital clock. AGT’s suggested price of the HD Pulse is $199.95

The Directed Electronics tabletop HD radio has a large backlit multi-line display that shows station, artist, and song title, as well as other broadcast information. Directed Electronics says this radio’s normal MSRP is $199.95 but it’s currently available for $149.95.

The ITR-100 from Dice Electronics, with a MSRP of $199, features HD station seek, an alarm clock, an RCA auxiliary input, and an optional, add-on speaker.

The XDR-S3HD HD radio from Sony comes in an attractive wood cabinet, and has a backlit LCD display, 20 AM and FM presets, and a number of other good features. Sony’s suggested price for the XDR53HD is $199.95.

The hybrid of the group is the HD Jump transportable receiver. According to Visteon, the HD Jump radio allows you to enjoy the superior sound and diverse programming of HD Radio in your car or in your home. Docked in the car cradle, HD Jump uses your car’s existing radio and antenna to play the HD Radio transmissions. Dock HD Jump in-home with the optional home cradle kit and listen to HD Radio unique content through your home stereo. The unit is priced at $177 with a car kit.

Bookshelf systems

A new entry in the HD Radio market is the Insignia Shelf System which retails at Best Buy for $149.99. It is described as a complete component system with progressive-scan DVD/CD/MP3 player, 2 speakers and digital AM/FM/HD radio tuner. In addition it Plays DVD, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-RW, DVD-RW DL, DVD+RW, DVD+RW DL, CD-R/RW, CD, VCD/SVCD, JPEG, MP3 and WMA formats. The Insignia system comes with a remote and has two audio inputs, and outputs for composite video, S-video, component video and digital optical output.

Car audio systems and tuners

The introduction of new HD car radios has not exactly kept pace with that of their tabletop cousins, but there has been some activity over the past few months.
For example, there are at least four new in-dash units currently available. They are the JVC KDHDR1 50-watt CD Deck with built-in HD tuner at $149.99; the Sony CDX-GT320 HD-ready CD deck for $99.99; and two Dual radios.

The Dual units are an XHD6425 50W x 4 In-Dash CD Deck with HD Radio Tuner and Detachable Faceplate at $149.99 and the XHD6420 50W x 4 In-Dash CD Deck with HD Radio Tuner and Detachable Faceplate. Finally, Directed Electronics has a Directed Car Connect Radio.

Dice Electronics has an external HD Radio receiver called the HD Dice HD Radio which it says will integrate to your factory car radio.

There are also HD tuners available that can be connected to existing in-dash units for HD Radio reception. In this area, Alpine has a TUA-T500HD Radio Tuner Module that is compatible with all new 2007 Alpine head units. The T500HD has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $250. Kenwood offers a KTC-HR100TR tuner for around $179 that can be connected to compatible Kenwood in-dash units. And Sony has a tuner, XT-100HD, with a suggested retail price of $99.95.

Leave a Reply