Friday, September 2, 2011

HD Radio Tryout

As I mentioned in my previous post about walking to Signal Hill and back, I listened to my recently acquired HD radio during the workout. Last week, after reading a newspaper article about HD radios, I began checking for prices on the internet because I was getting tired of listening to static on my mp3 player/radio combination. I guess it was too small and the radio receiver wasn’t strong enough to maintain a good signal. Besides I prefer listening to radio rather than just mp3 music because I also like hearing the DJ’s talk.
While shopping around for portable HD radios, the only one I can find was sold by Best Buy with a price of $49.99. It was the Insignia NS-HD01 HD Radio Portable Player. I called one of their stores for availability and to inquire whether the product would go on sale any time soon. The salesman said it had not been on sale since it came out in 2009. Hmm, it must not be a popular product. So I searched further and found one slightly used from Ebay. It was being sold for only 16.95 with free shipping and no sales tax! I ordered it right away and it arrived within days. Upon opening the box, the radio didn’t even look as if it had been used. The plastic film covering the face was still perfectly aligned and not a scratch or ding was in sight. I’ll have to give that seller a very good positive feedback on Ebay! So anyway, first things first. I charged the radio through a USB port on my computer. After about 3 hours it was fully charged and was ready to be tested. If you don’t know it already, HD radios receive digital sound and are supposed to be much clearer than regular FM or AM. You can also see the title of the song being played and the name of the artist. At first I was unimpressed by the sound because the bass wasn’t good enough and there were no adjustments available for it. But I could live with that. I also added 3 preset stations: pop, oldies, and urban contemporary. After all that preliminary testing, I set the radio aside and didn’t get a chance to listen to it more extensively until I did the 2 ½ hour walk on Tuesday.
                The HD radio did indeed deliver a crystal clear sound without any static interference. I tested the 3 preset stations and they were all received very well. So all in all, I got a good product for a very good price, and more positive feedback to the Ebay seller is forthcoming. I’m definitely sold on high definition radio.

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