updated 08:20 am EDT, Tue May 29, 2007
Sony HD Radios
Sony on Tuesday ventured into HD Radio with its first two units, alternately aimed at desks and cars. The XDR-S3HD (pictured) is meant to blend into most desk or bookshelp layouts with a cherry wood finish and a covered grill, but draws on modern technology for its features. The use of the digital radio standard lets the S3HD put song information on its main LCD and also enables virtual surround for the more advanced stations; AM and FM tuning are available as fallbacks, and an aux-in jack will pipe audio from any portable music player with a headphone port. The radio further adds an alarm clock and should be available in July for $200.
For vehicles, Sony has also rolled out the XT-100HD, a tuner that adds HD radio to most of Sony's Xplod head-end units through its data bus. The device hides away within the car and relays its track information to the stereo's own display; it can also display genres and station IDs when the channel and the LCD allow. The 100HD will arrive at the same time as the tabletop unit but will sell for half the price at $100.