updated 02:15 pm EDT, Mon July 13, 2009
Insignia portable HD Radio
Best Buy's in-house brand Insignia has recently released its first HD Radio device, the NS-HD01. The device picks up both analog and digital stations on the FM band and has 10 user-programmable presets. Power comes from a sealed lithium-ion battery that is recharged by a standard mini-USB connection and an included cable. On a full charge, the device is said to be good for 10 hours of playback, and the screen automatically dims to save energy.
Also included is a pair of earbuds and a Velcro armband for use while exercising. There is a hold switch and nine control buttons surrounding the 1.5-inch color LCD screen. Tuning to HD-enabled stations switches from the analog to digital signal within a couple of seconds. A signal strength meter will let users know if they can freely listen and lock onto a signal. There is no fading like in traditional FM stations, as digital broadcasts drop out when the radio is out of range.
HD Radio requires no paid subscriptions and allows multicasting, or access to multiple digital subchannels not available on the analog band. These usually offer different music genres, or HD simulcasts for clear reception of AM stations in certain areas. There is no internal memory or memory card slot in the NS-HD01.
The Insignia NS-HD01 is now available at Best Buy, priced at nearly $50. [via CNET]