You have probably heard of some great things about the Hybrid Digital radio (HDR), the assurance of much better sound. And even more listening choices from various stations to other music sources.
HD radio technology permits broadcasters to air a standard quality digital signal and also attach the common AM and FM frequencies. It is basically more systemized than the analog FM radio. The digital technology in the HD radio allows the radio to transmit more information in the same radio wave.
With the different HD models in the market, choosing the right HD radio worthy of your money is not an easy task. This is why we have compiled an updated 7 top HD radio you can consider when choosing. So read on and discover your best pick.
The Best HD Radios Reviews 2020
1. Sangean HDT-20 HD Radio/FM-Stereo/AM Component Tuner
- HD Digital Radio/ FM-Stereo/AM Component Tuner with Analog or Digital Outputs to connect to an existing Stereo Receiver or Pre-Amplifier
- 20 Memory Presets (10 AM, 10 FM) 10 Key Button for AM / FM Frequency Direct Input with Included Infrared Remote Control
- In/Out Jacks: AC In, Analog Audio Line Output, Optical Digital SPDIF or Digital Coaxial Outputs, Headphone Out, External FM Telescopic Antenna and AM External Loop Antenna Included
The Sangean HDT-20 radio could be a good option when it comes to picking a nice stereo. The radio performs remarkably well and you enjoy some pleasant features.
The Sangean HDT- 20 comes with a lot of features such as FM-Stereo, AM component tuner, and HD digital radio. You get an FM reception as good as a CD quality sound and AM that sounds as good as an FM stereo.
The FM tuner is very sensitive and it will pick up most stations. It also has an analog or digital output for connecting an existing stereo receiver.
The Sangean hybrid digital radio comes with 20 memory presets (10 AM, 10 FM) and 10 key buttons for directly inputting the AM/ FM frequency. The analog or digital output is easy to use with an existing stereo or pre-amplifier.
The large LCD informational display shows the song currently playing, call sign, etc. The informational display also features radio text, audio mode, service mode, and signal quality. The dimmer display can also be adjusted.
Another added benefit is the dual alarm function that features a snooze function for extra sleep. It also comes with a sleep timer. There is the infrared remote control for easy access. It also comes with a headphone jacket for you to conveniently enjoy your music privately.
We appreciate the free HD radio subscription, which allows you to access additional HD content absolutely free.
The main let down is that the 10 FM preset is actually low for this unit. Not enough to store your favorite FM stations.
In general, the Sangean HDT-20 is a nice unit for listening to a high quality digital radio broadcast.
- The FM tuner is very sensitive and picks up most station clearly
- Large LCD informational display
- Dual alarm function with snooze feature, and sleep timer
- Free HD radio subscription
- Headphone jacket for your private listening experience
- Infra red remote control for easy access
- Only has 10 FM preset stations
2. Sangean HDR-16 HD Radio/FM-Stereo/AM Portable Radio
- Receive Local Stations with Additional Content, Including Sports, News and Music. Access the Latest Digital Entertainment and Technology. Discover Fresh Digital Content in a Whole New Way with More Stations, Better Sound and no Subscription Fees
- HD Radio, Digital and Analog AM / FM-Stereo Reception with 10 Memory Presets (5 FM, 5 AM)
- Real Time Clock with Date, 2 Alarms, Snooze and Sleep Functions
The Sangean HDR-16 radio is a nice stereo with an easy handle that is simple and easy to carry around.
Sangean HDR- 16 features an HD radio digital and analog AM/ FM Stereo reception. The radio allows you to enjoy local stations which include news, sports, and music. This radio gives a clear digital sound with a treble/ bass control. It has an HD/ FM Rod antenna.
The HD radio has an automatic multicast and simulcast re-configuration, and also an auto-tuning list for program services.
Access your favorite stations with the 10 memory preset (5 AM and 5 FM), although you might have quite an issue storing HD stations. It has a dual alarm timer – set your alarm to your favorite station or simply wake up to the alarm buzzer. There is a snooze function and a sleep function. The HD radio also has a real time clock with date.
The LCD is clear and easy to read with backlight and informational channel display. It also has a battery low LED indicator and a backlight dimmer. More push buttons. It also comes with battery power.
In addition, it has multiple outputs and inputs. It also has an AUX input for other music sources. You get to connect portable devices such as Hi-Fi system or recordings from audio programs. And you get to enjoy your favorite recorded music with the HDR- 16 stereo speakers. There is the headphone jacket for your private listening pleasure.
The main drawback is that the 10 memory preset is quite low. Also, you might have an issue to consistently store HD stations in the presets, but this may just be a minor issue.
Overall, if you are looking for a portable AM- FM HD radio, you might want to consider the Sangean HDR- 16 as one of your options.
- Great radio for AM, FM, and HD radio
- Clear digital sound
- Clear LCD informational display
- Alarm function, snooze function, and real time clock with date.
- Multiple outputs and inputs
- Headphone jacket
- The radio only has 10 memory presets station
- An issue with consistently storing HD stations
3. Sony XDR-F1HD HD Radio Tuner
- High Fidelity AM/FM/HD Radio Technology
- Clear, static-free radio reception
- FM multicasting with no subsciption fees
The Sony XDR- F1HD radio is a well made turner radio with nice quality, it is quite portable and small and won’t take much space. It is a radio turner built for your musical satisfaction with some of its lovely features.
The Sony XDR- F1HD is a high-quality AM/ FM/ HD radio. It gives a clear radio signal with AM and FM antenna. The HD antenna is highly directional and picks up all stations perfectly. It gives you the privilege of tuning into stations that are far away from your reach.
One of the advantages we appreciate is that it is a high definition radio with free subscriptions. Yes! Completely free.
There is the 20 presets memory station to store your favorite AM and FM radio stations with preset buttons. The operation is quite easy. It comes with a functional remote for easy controls. It has an HD scan button that will automatically scan and find any of the HD radio stations in your area.
Additionally, there is the FM multicasting which enables it to broadcast additional supplemental program stream over a single FM frequency.
There is a nice clear LCD which gives an easy to read informational display. The screen also shows the radio clock, with date and time.
The downside is that it does not have an internal battery to save memory settings. So it always has to be plugged to its power source.
Another downside is that the unit gets warm. For this reason, you should place your radio in a raised area to allow more air circulation.
All in all, the Sony XDR-F1HD is a nice radio tuner at a good price.
- High standard AM/FM/HD radio
- Clear radio reception
- 20 presets stations and preset buttons
- Clear and nice informational LCD display
- High definition radio with a free monthly subscription
- No internal battery
- The radio unit usually gets warm
4. Sangean HDR-14 HD AM/FM Pocket Radio
- HD radio digital and analog AM/ FM-Stereo reception with 40 memory presets (20 FM, 20 AM) pad (program associated data) service and support for emergency alerts function
- Real time clock and date, alarm, Sleep and snooze functions and 2 alarm timers that allow you to wake by radio, buzzer or hws (Humane wake system)
- Information display for Channel frequency, call sign, radio text, Audio mode, service mode, signal quality and clock time on easy to read LCD display with backlight
The Sangean HDR -14 is a portable radio and it’s easy to carry wherever you go. Plus you enjoy some good features.
The Sangean HDR- 14 is an AM/ FM HD stereo reception. The sensitivity is very good. It picks up most FM HD signals quite clearly, even weak FM stations. Although the AM reception is not so good. Plus the HD subscription is absolutely free! The sound quality is pretty good but there is no basic tone control.
The controls are easy to use. It has a handy HD seek buttons. By the side is the smooth indented volume control. It has 40 memory presets stations (20 AM, 20 FM) with 5 presets buttons for easy access.
It has a small lock switch by the side allowing you to lock out your radio functions while carrying them. It has a nice flip out stand to stand your radio, quite handy.
The radio has an easy to read LCD display, with a battery low LED indicator. The display also shows the real time clock with date. It has a dual alarm function (customized and alarm tone) with a snooze function. The radio comes with good battery life (3 AA batteries) for you to enjoy these features.
Additionally, the radio has a good display of information such as station frequency, radio text, call sign, service mode, audio mode, and so on. It also features automatic multicast re-configuration. It also supports an emergency alert function.
It has a headphone jacket which sounds good on FM stereo and more amazing on HD stations. It also has an HD FM rod antenna.
The downside is that there is no basic tone adjustment and the AM reception is not that good.
All in all, this is a nice pocket radio for someone who is always on the go. The radio is quite handy and you enjoy good features while on the move.
- A nice AM/ FM HD stereo
- Easy to read LCD display
- Easy to operate
- Alarm function, snooze function, real time clock, etc.
- Headphone jack
- Emergency alerts functions
- No tone adjustment
- Not too good AM reception
5. Insignia NS-HDRAD2 Tabletop HD Radio
- LCD display:Features continuous backlighting for easy viewing.
- Auxiliary input:Enables you to connect a wide range of audio devices.
- FM tuner:Lets you listen to your favorite stations. Receives additional HD2/HD3 without a subscription.
The Insignia NS- HDRAD2 is a portable little radio which can look nice on your office desk, library, room, or anywhere else. It is a compact radio perfectly made to suit your musical experience.
Insignia NS- HDRAD2 is a nice compact HD radio with good audio. The HD radio receiver enables an LCD informational display, showing the song currently playing, artist name, station ID, etc.
This radio picks up HD1, HD2, HD3, HD4, and more. The HD2/ HD3 stations offer new content on the FM dial digital sound. Which produces audio almost as good as a CD like audio quality, and a good digital sound. The HD radio also comes with a free subscription fee.
Additionally, it comes with 20 presets stations to save your special stations and access them with ease. It has an auxiliary input to plug in an iPad, MP3, or any device with a 3.5mm jack. It has a telescoping antenna. It also has an input speaker that coveys powerful audio.
It is powered by an AC adapter which is included. It also has an optional 4 AA batteries. So it enables you to listen to music on the go, away from its power source.
The downside is that this radio only receives FM stereo, FM standard, and FM HD. There are no AM stations.
Overall, the Insignia NS- HDRAD2 is a good radio for the money.
- It’s a nice compact radio
- Good sound quality
- Clear informational display
- 20 presets stations
- 5 mm AUX input
- No AM radio
6. Sangean HDR-18 Radio/Cabinet Table Top Radio
- Discover the Experience of Crystal-Clear, Distortion-Free HD Radio that is Backed by Sangeans 45 years of experience in quality, high-performance radios. The HDR-18 Features the Latest in HD Radio Technology with More Stations, Better Sound and no Subscription Fees
- HD Radio Digital and Analog AM / FM-Stereo Reception, 20 Memory Presets (10 FM, 10 AM)
- Real Time Clock with 2 Alarms, Sleep, Nap and Snooze Functions. Wake by Radio, Buzzer with HWS (Humane Wake System)
The Sangean HDR- 18 wooden cabinet radio features the most recent in HD technology. It is a good radio that will give you an amazing sound for the money spent.
The Sangean HDR- 18 is a high standard radio with features of FM- Stereo, AM, and digital radio. The sound quality is crystal clear with a bass and treble control and the AM and FM reception is sensitive and picks up distant signals very clearly.
There is a smooth display that shows the information on the music and station currently playing. The display also shows a real time clock. It also features a dual alarm system set to your favorite radio station or a buzzer alarm that gradually increases in volume. There is also the snooze function and a sleep timer.
It has a volume knob, tuning knob, mute button which is on the remote control, bass and treble control, and other controls for easy access.
What we admire most is the free HD subscription. Yes! Absolutely free additional HD contents at all times. It also features a 3.5mm auxiliary input so you get to connect your MP3 and other external music devices. It has a headphone jacket for you to privately enjoy your favorite stations and music.
Additionally, the Sangean acoustically tuned wooden cabinet comes with an infrared full-function remote control. There are 20 preset stations (10 AM, 10 FM) to store and access your favorite stations.
The drawback is that it has only 10 presets per band, and it does not have a backup battery.
- Crystal and clear sound quality
- Clear informational display
- Alarm function, snooze button, and real time clock
- Free HD subscription
- AUX input and headphone jacket
- Full functional remote
- Only 10 presets per band
- No backup battery
7. AudioVox IHDP01A Portable HD/FM Radio Player
- HD FM Stereo Portable Radio
- Built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery lasts 8-10-hours of play time on a single charge
- Features 10-Station presets
The AudioVox is quite portable radio allows you to enjoy music the way it’s meant to be. This little radio will provide you some good benefits an HD radio technology can give.
The AudioVox is a portable radio HD FM that has a battery powered source that can last up to 8- 10 hours. So you get to enjoy your music on-the-go. It also has a mini charging USB cable.
It has a 10 preset station where you get to store your favorite stations and access them with ease. There is the 3.5 mm headphone jacket for you to privately enjoy your favorite stations.
The sound is good with an adequate volume and it picks up most channels. Although there are no tone controls. It features an audio input and TV keys allowing you to comfortably manage your home theatre components.
There is the master power that allows you automatically put on all your programmed devices on and off. It has a menu and quick guide support.
The drawback is that it does not offer AM radio and it does not have bass and treble control.
All in all, this is a nice little radio that you can carry and listen to on the go.
- Portable HD FM radio with a battery powered source
- 10 preset stations for you to store your favorite stations
- Easy to carry radio
- Headphone jacket available
- No AM radio
How To Choose A HD Radio: A Buyer’s Guide
Before making your Hybrid Digital Radio purchase, you might have some questions on your mind. Such as: Would this be a good purchase? Why should I invest in an HD radio? Or is this product worth buying? And so on.
Clearing all your doubts and answers is important for you to finalize your purchase. For this reason, you should make some good research, look through the information, and buying guide before making your decision.
However, to assist you in making a favorable decision, we have compiled some features you can consider when making your choice.
Here are some features to consider when choosing your Hybrid Digital Radio:
HD radio gives the sound quality like that of CDs and makes AM broadcasts sound like that of analog FM. One of the most important questions you should have at the back of your mind is: How well does it sound?
You would not want a situation where you unbox your HD radio and realize it sounds nothing like what you wished to get. It is one thing to wish to purchase a good sound quality HD radio. It is another thing to be able to purchase that quality sound HD radio.
Some people might not mind listening to average sound quality. While others might prefer a terrific audio quality. Whichever quality you prefer, you should make good research when purchasing your HD radio.
Another feature you should consider is the reception. A good HD radio should be able to pick up most frequencies crystal clear without any hissing sound. HD radio signals are rarely vulnerable to receptions trouble.
Music Source and Other Inputs
One of the best parts of HD radios is that you are not just limited to the AM and FM radio. It allows you to connect other music sources through its jackets and listen away. There are some HD radios that allow you to connect to various external music sources. And there are some that allow you to connect to just one source or no music source at all.
This is why you should look out for HD radios that allow you to connect other music sources such as: Auxiliary input for you to connect your MP3 player or iPod, USB input, and so on.
You should also consider other inputs such as the headphone feature. The headphone feature is a smart choice if you love your private listening experience and you would not want to disturb anyone around you.
You need to think about how and where you like your radio to be placed. Do you want your radio to be placed at home, in your sitting room, bedroom, or kitchen? Or you would like to move around with your radio, outdoors in the garden, at the beach, on the boat or anywhere else?
Then you should consider a model that comes with a battery pack so you can enjoy your radio away from its main power source. Also, you can go for models that have handles for easy carriage.
Snooze option, Real time, and Presets :
Alarm functions are nice features for your HD radios. You might want to consider this feature when choosing your HD radio. Also, some HD radio comes with a snooze feature where you can snooze to get some extra sleep.
Almost all HD radios have presets to store and access your favorite stations easily. Some HD radios have more presets, while some have less than 10 presets. If you are the one that loves to easily access your favorite station, you should consider picking a model that has more preset options.
Some, but not all HD radios feature the real time with dates on their informational display.
Sometimes, you might not need an expensive setup for you to enjoy great music. There are various HD radios to pick to suit your budget and you get to enjoy better sounding music.
Hopefully, with this detailed guide, you can choose a nice HD radio that favors you. If you decide to go for any of the picks in our review, it should be a great place to start.