This post on YouTube on HD radio is hilarious in the comments that follow. The guy doing the testing ultimately decides that internet radio would be the way to go (as mentioned by new NPR boss Vivian Schiller):

HD Radio is shit in homes AND cars (I made the mistake of desecrating my ’78 vette by putting a JVC HDR-1 in the dash (already was setup for a 1-DIN)). HD and anything else digital sounds like shit… major waste of cash, mate, MAJOR waste… oh, on the GOOD side, some HD radios do Stereo AM…
Digital radio in general just sounds like crap unless it’s a pretty good quality internet radio station which is still a little “kbps-y,” lol. AM radio is pretty useless in my area. we have no stations i can get reception from around here, none. So i rely on FM, internet radio stations, and Pandora sometimes.
They’ve been “improving” HD Radio since it was introduced in 2002, and it has a bleak future, to say the least. Most stations simulcast their “HD” channels on the Internet anyway, so an Internet radio definitely is a more useful investment.

The tinny sound/distortion in the upper frequencies of the sound is what did it in for me. Internet radio has it beat by far I think. AM in my area is nonexistent.

Maybe you bought the one I returned! The FM reception is acceptable, but the tuner purposefully dulls down the analog FM treble response in order to make the digital sound better; compare it to a good quality analog-only tuner and you’ll hear the difference. The AM tuner is a complete joke — hissy, crackly, and horrible sensitivity. And HD reception in a car is even worse; the digital signal is constantly cutting out and dropping back to analog, causing an annoying phasing effect.

One Response

  1. I too, have seen posts about the analog tuners in HD radios being dumbed-down, to make digital appear to sound better. iBiquity writes the specs for the manufacturers, so what else would one expect from this shyster of a company. iBiquity is trying to force listeners into local-mode, also by jamming distant, adjacent-channel stations. The UK DAB folks have been accused of lowering the bit-rates on their Internet stations to make over-the-air DAB appear to sound better, too.

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