Don't Dump Your Old Radio for HD Just Yet

Sound quality not worth the delays, reviewer finds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2010 10:11 AM CST
The Coby Electronics Portable HD Radio System was simple to use, writes Boehrer, although it lacked the reception sensitivity of the Sony and Insignia models.   (Coby Electronics)

(Newser) – In a world of Kindles and flat-screens and iPods, it may be tempting to ditch your radio for a new HD device. But Katherine Boehret decided her trusty old radio doesn't need to fear the trashcan after trying out three HD radio models. HD offers more channels and better sound quality than traditional radio, but those pluses aren't worth the big minus of waiting through the patience-trying 5 seconds or more it takes to change channels, Boehret writes in the Wall Street Journal.

Commercial-free sub-channels are a bonus with HD, Boehret writes, although she couldn't find all the 41 HD channels meant to be on offer in Washington, DC. On the upside, the technology is supposed to make AM sound like FM and FM sounds like CD quality. That sounded about right to Boehret, who tested Best Buy's Insignia HD Radio Portable Play, Electronics Corp.'s Portable HD Radio System, and Sony's HD Radio with Dock for iPod and iPhone.

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