Exploring HD Radio receiver availability

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mangosman, who notes that since a number of SWLing Post readers are in North America, he’s curious if readers could read through and add to his list of HD Radios. He notes:

There was a HDradio trial in the FM band in India early 2021. The report shows the receivers used. I wonder if they are currently available in the USA?

I searched the receiver manufacturers’ websites with the following results.

It was not an easy task particularly for car radios so there could be omissions.

HDradio’s list of aftermarket car radios

Kenwood KDC-BT758

https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Car/NEX/AVIC-W8500NEX#Tuner is the only current model of car radio I can find that will receive HDradio When you click on a particular model many of the links go to the manufacturers’ website but not to their product HDradio is very difficult to find.

HD radio’s List of Home radios

Sangean. HDR-15 is manufactured

Sangean SG114 clock radio is on the manufacturers’ website but not HD radio’s website

Sangean HDR-18 is manufactured

Sangean HDT 20 Tuner is on the manufacturers’ website but not HD radio website

Sangean SG108 is on the manufacturers’ website but not HD radio website

Sparc ITR-1  Not on manufacturer’s website

Sparc SHD-BT1  Out of stock on the manufacturers’ website

Now, Viewquest only makes DAB+ radios and not HDradio versions

https://hdradio.com/get-a-radio/portables/ there is only Sparc radio which are all out of stock.

HD Radio’s list of Portable Radios

sparc-shd-tx2 Out of stock on the manufacturers’ website

AudioVox HDP01A This company was renamed Voxx international in 2012 and no longer makes radios.

Sangean HDR-14


Beatboy was an HDradio with a phone added. It is not a smart phone  https://www.carousell.ph/p/boxed-beatboy-basic-phone-243342561/ a free give away in the Philippines. Internet searches of the Philippines broadcasts shows evidence of HDRadio but all the references are old. Considering that xperi charges broadcasters for the use of HDradio standard, I wonder if they have all dropped it. It is not mentioned on the www.Hdradio website.

On phones I found this https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hd-radio/id333257742 Don’t get excited, look at the comments in 2012!

If you can find any other new HD capable radios which are currently available to consumers please post.


If you can help add to or correct this list, please comment!

Spread the radio love

34 thoughts on “Exploring HD Radio receiver availability

  1. Dana Hartsock

    Good information. Sirius/XM “does” work for me. I live in the Midwest and only very rarely have the signal drop out. Geography is my friend.

  2. Ivan-NO2CW

    I checked the previous comments and surprisingly did not find this mentioned. Sony made amazing FM radios with HD Radio capability and a superb sensitive receiver chip. The receiver chip itself is so popular there are a number of projects on the internet how to carve the chip out of the radio and construct your own computer controlled receiver with that chip. The Sony XDR-S10 is probably the easiest to find used at $30-$40 – excellent tabletop radio. The XDR-F1 is harder to come by and is expensive because that is the model that allows external computer control via a creative mod. This model now costs used three times the original selling price new. I have an S10 at home that I bought for $35. Not only a fine tabletop radio with HD, but also a DX machine.

    1. mangosman

      I was after digital radios which are currently being manufactured.
      I have been to the Sony USA site, it contains no HD radios, but in other continents they have 4 or 5 DAB+ radios

  3. Zack S

    You should add the Sangean HDR-16 to the list. I have one and it is a great HDRadio and the FM and MW RX is pretty good too.



    1. mangosman

      Go to the Sangean website and compare the radios for the USA market and those for Europe which uses DAB+ instead of HD radio.

  4. Zack S

    The Sangean HDR-16 is still in production. I have one and is an excellent HDRadio. The FM and MW RX is great too.



  5. Ron Hunsicker

    For buyers, I have an HDT-20 and it is a listening machine, not a DX machine. For lack of a better word, it lacks selectivity. It is excellent for listening. Tuning is a bit kludgy, though, and the power switch is in a very odd place.

    1. mangosman

      What is this radio like on AM and FM rather than digital?
      What is it like when you tune HD2, HD3 and HD4 like?
      I ask this because the power level of the different digital signals is much lower than the analog ones.


  6. Dana Hartsock

    I thought the US chose the wrong standard for digital/HD radio back in the day.
    I also was a fairly early adapter of Sirius, and continue to this day, receiving Sirius/XM in my car.
    Range of HD signals worked against car adaptation. Or am I wrong about range?

    1. Dave Mason

      I’m not that technically educated but the answer lies in the way the IBOC signal is sent. Analog audio is where it’s always been but digital is added to the sidebands (which is why the HD “Hash” has been known to cover adjacent frequency stations). Technically: “The power in a 1 kHz sample of each FM sideband is approximately 41 dB below the power of the analog FM carrier. Each individual subcarrier is about 46 dB below the analog FM carrier. With 191 sub-carriers in each FM sideband, the total power in an FM sideband is 23 dB below the analog FM carrier.” Bottom line – the HD signal is significantly weaker than the analog signal. If an analog signal could be heard 100 miles away, it’s quite possible that the HD signal could only be heard 30 miles away before it “blends” back to the analog signal taking any HD2 (or 3 or 4) signal with it. One of our local stations has “Comedy Now” on HD3 – and imagine the frustration when the signal fades right before a punchline.

      1. mangosman

        FM does not have a carrier, just a centre frequency which is what is displayed on the radio.
        Deviation is the shift in frequency from the centre frequency and increases with increasing sound volume. Side frequencies because the sound has a frequency as well. There is no centre frequency power in certain combinations of deviation and modulating frequency.
        The digital power is between 1/25th to 1/10th of the FM transmitter power. In pure digital HD AM it is only 0.3 % of the AM transmitter’s rated power!
        When the digital errors cannot be corrected, the receiver on HD2 – HD4 mutes, and on HD1 it blends with the analog signal. Does this occur at the same physical location?

        1. Dave Mason

          Thanks for the FM clarification, I should have known that. The HD experience where I live (San Diego) has been varied. I live 12 miles from the major FM transmitter site and yet on certain areas almost parallel to Mt. Soledad, FM signals fade due to the terrain. The HD blending isn’t a big problem unless the two signals aren’t in sync. Fortunately I know enough people to see that it can get fixed when needed. My home is high enough (and I can see the FM towers) where the majority of HD signals come in just fine. In the car is another story where a number of things have happened. As you explained, the lower power HD signals fade and HD2 and 3 will just blank out. One of the signals (KYXY)-when switching to HD1-was a good 3db louder. The HD2 signal is a corporate “Classic Alt” format of dubious over processed quality, When KNX (50kw AM) was running IBOC it would switch in and out in the car-and the processing difference was terrible. XEGM (2500 watts) in Tijuana was running AM IBOC-sounding just a little better than a low bitrate MP3 file -but all AM stations seem to have turned the HD off except for religious KBRT (50k/directional). In that case my Sangean HDR-14 blinks the HD indicator on and off but the signal is too weak here to fire up the HD signal.

      2. mangosman

        What is the call sign, frequency and the name of the licence area you are giving distances for?
        I want to consult the FCC station database to find out the radiated power of the transmitter and the height of the tower the antenna is on for comparison purposes with transmitters I know.



        1. Dave Mason

          Hi “Mangosman” — if you’re asking about the “Comedy Now” station, it’s changed from 97.3 (KWFN) HD3 (50k ERP/440′ HAAT) to 94.9 (KBZT) HD3 (26.5kw/606′ HAAT) . I’m in North County San DIego. I’m about 12 miles from their transmitter. 97.3 also has three boosters for North County which sometimes work-and sometimes show different metadata.

    2. Tom Servo

      With modern HD encoders and stations running more than 1% of the analog, my experience has been the HD is pretty reliable out to the 60 dBu contour, and if it’s running higher power it can even exceed that by a noticeable margin.

      Since the majority of radio listening happens in the 60 or even 70 dBu contours, urban listeners these days should experience relatively few dropouts unless they live in particularly hill terrain. But if you’re between major markets or a rural user, HD radio is best turned off since it’ll be way too dropout prone.

      As for AM, I’ve only had limited experience with that due to the lack of HD AM stations in my region of the US (the deep south). But I’ll say WXJC in Birmingham has a pretty good sounding and reliable AM HD signal. They also run 50 kW! I’ve heard KRLD in Dallas and Sun Radio in Austin and both were super disappointing in both fidelity and range.

      1. mangosman


        Outside of North America, HD radio is not used, so the power levels of the digital signals in DAB+ and DRM are not controlled by interference other broadcaster unless they are on the same frequency. For example in Australia, DAB+ transmitters run at 50 kW ERP at around 209 MHz on tall towers, along with TV. DRM in the Medium Frequency (“AM”) band in India there are 1 million Watt transmitters which if running AM would be 2 MW!

    3. mangosman

      You are correct about HD radio, because the digital signal is transmitted at between 1/100 – 1/25th of the analog signal to prevent interference to the broadcasters’ own signal and those in adjacent channels.

      Sirius is not the answer either, because it is transmitted from a satellite and such high frequency signals will not penetrate buildings, bridges and terrain.

      The answer could have been DAB and now DAB+ but the channels that these radios tune are the equivalent of TV channels 6 – 12 and are thus occupied in many licence areas.

      Digital Radio Mondiale was standardised the year before and has no limits on the transmitted power. Initially it was in the “AM” and high frequency (“SW”) bands which was upgraded to include the now virtually vacant TV channels 2 – 6 where there is 208 channels available which is more than AM and FM combined.

  7. Shirley Dulcey

    Best Buy’s Insignia brand also still sells a tabletop/portable HD Radio receiver, model NS-HDRAD2, that is not listed on the HDradio.com site. They call it a tabletop radio, but it’s fairly small and can be powered with four AA batteries. It does not receive AM radio. It only has a single speaker; the specs do not indicate whether it offers stereo reception with headphones.

  8. Shirley Dulcey

    In the past, cars were one of the early adopters of new radio technology. Many people first encountered an FM radio, and later an FM stereo radio, in the car. Cars were also the first place that most of us saw AM stereo radios, radios with RDS/RDBS capability, and radios that receive traffic and weather info from a subcarrier.

    But in the period when HD Radio emerged there was a competing new radio technology, satellite radio. Cars widely added satellite capability to their radios for a variety of reasons.

    General Motors was a major investor in XM Satellite Radio, and there was a contract between the two companies that required a large percentage of GM cars to be shipped with XM radios installed at the factory. The US branch of Honda also made an investment in XM. XM had agreements with Honda, Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and SAAB to offer XM radios.

    Meanwhile, competing company Sirius Satellite Radio won installation agreements with Ford, Chrysler, and BMW. Sirius and XM merged in 2008, though the two satellite networks have continued to operate in parallel.

    The installation agreements with the car companies include a bounty for each owner that signs up for service. The car companies have a disincentive to include HD Radio capability because it might reduce the number of satellite radio signups.

    iBiquity, the owner of the HD Radio standard, charges a royalty of $3 per receiver. That is another disincentive to including it. Add a new feature that you pay for, vs add a new feature that they pay YOU for?

    1. mangosman

      Thanks for the background. The broadcasters see that listening in the car is where their ratings are coming from.
      The competition between SiriusXM started off using satellite to cars. Satellite signals will not penetrate solid objects such as bridges, or buildings, so now they also distribute using mobile broadband (phone network) and fixed line internet. HDradio’s digital signals are usually around 1 % of the power of the analog signal of the same station so gives poor coverage areas. Receivers on HD1 will blend back to the analog signal if the digital errors are too great. In HD2 – HD4 you get silence when this happens. This is probably why the car makers backed SiriusXM because it is more reliable.
      HD radio was sold by Ibiquity to xperi quite a while ago. I don’t really know how many new cars contain HDradio considering it has been on air 20 years. The HDradio website shows a lot of brands, but many of them are very expensive. Not only does Xperi charge royalties, but they also charge broadcasters ongoing fees as well. Additional channels cost more.
      Digital Radio Mondiale, operates in all broadcast bands. In India they have a couple of 1 million watt DRM transmitters in the medium frequency (“AM”) band. They radiate 1 million Watts each, the highest power AM station in the USA is 50 thousand Watts, which if converted to DRM would be 25 thousand Watts. DRM is also available in the FM band and would also operate in the almost empty TV channels 2 – 6

    2. Mark Fahey

      Slight off the topic of listing HD radios – but related to the technical change in receiving modalities….

      Perspective from Sydney Australia – Every-time I drive I listen to radio broadcasters in my car (a Fiat 500) but its been at least 3 years since I listened to radio via AM, FM or even DAB+. In my car I use Apple CarPlay both for local radio and any international stations I want. I just flip between presets for KROQ Los Angeles, KNDD Seattle, and ABC News Radio (The Australian ABC), BBC World Service and even AIR Tamil on a typical drive. All works great for both local and interstate and regional driving.

      CarPlay and Android Auto are pretty well standard features in all new cars sold here now. It’s still RF transmission of course – 4G and 5G.

      1. mangosman

        Using mobile internet has the following problems that the telcos don’t mention;
        During the 2019-2020 fires, 1400 mobile phone towers failed usually due to the electricity lines being burnt down, although some towers were also burnt. So without radio there is no warnings! Both the mobile phone towers, and fibre to the node street equipment have batteries which last 3 hours when new.
        The Australian telcos don’t want to take over radio program distribution to the public. This is because each listener needs a separate signal so for example in Sydney say a radio station has an audience of 1 million people and as is usual they only listen to breakfast, the telcos have to supply around 48 Gigabit/s from the broadcaster, but it is unevenly distributed between base stations. Each listener has to have a transmitter and receiver at their base station, and many listeners are mobile. The rest of the day these extra transmitter receivers are unused assets.
        If you look at the Telco’s coverage area maps there is plenty of white parts of the map with no signal. My sister lives in one 80 km from the centre of Sydney.
        Lastly the broadcasters advertise free apps and programs, they don’t mention the mobile charges from the telcos. If all the listeners went to them , they would have to make a huge national investment which would cause price rises.

  9. Dana Hartsock

    Ocean Digital produces some HD/DAB/Digital radios, whatever the proper nomenclature is. I have an Ocean Digital WR-23D. It is a portable internet radio, with DAB and DAB/FM. I live in the States so DAB is lost to me.

  10. Dave Mason

    It’s a shame that HD has turned out to be the AM Stereo of the new decade. Hard to figure out, hard to receive and continually changing. The hdradio.com website is seriously outdated as many AM stations have shut off the IBOC signal. In San Diego there are no receivable AM IBOC (HD) signals. In Los Angeles I only know of one-that’s on KMZT (1260), classical. The lower powered IBOC signal is difficult to receive unless you’re in close proximity to the On the FM side-many stations have shuffled their HD2, HD3 (etc.) formats around and even “main channel” formats have changed -not reflected on the website. I could go on and on, but why? HD radio, in theory, is great. In practicality it’s pretty much dead in the water. If the gatekeepers at its own website can’t keep up, how can the consumer?

    1. rtc

      For those who came in late,here is a demo of C-Quam AM Stereo:


    2. mangosman

      It was a pity that the NAB and FCC have chosen to join with the Digital Radio Mondiale not for profit consortium and gone with DRM. It was standardised a year earlier. It was designed to be pure digital from the start and use channels which were not adjacent to the broadcasters’ same signal causing interference to themselves and any broadcasters in adjacent channels.
      DRM uses an industry standard audio compression system, where as ibiquity made the same compression system incompatible for commercial reasons. Since then DRM is now using the latest most efficient xHE AAC compression system which gives very good sound at tiny data rates.

      The NAB/FCC could use DRM in the virtually disserted (41 medium power TV transmitters) on channels 2 – 6 for DRM giving more channels than for AM and FM combined. Also there is no overlapping of channels to cause interference to other broadcasters. USA TV went digital 10 years ago, with the government specifying an analog switch off date, which drove receiver prices to analog levels. Digital radio also substantially drops the transmission costs of broadcasters who are in competition with the telcos.

    3. Tom Servo

      The range really depends on the power levels used. In my market we have tons of 100 kW FMs on tall sticks, and some of the HD broadcasts use higher than minimum power. The result is dropout-free listening in the core urban area and fairly reliable reception out 50+ miles in certain directions.

      And, at least in my car, tuning is as easy analog radio. Turn the knob, and a new channel pops up. The sound quality isn’t always great, but some broadcasts have album art and song title/artist information. In major markets like Los Angeles and Atlanta, there’s also HD traffic data that covers major highways.

      One of the stations I listen to most is an HD2 playing deep cuts of classic rock, and I’m actually outside their 60 dBu but their HD2/HD3 signals don’t dropout unless I really get out of range of the analog.

      One feature that HD is missing that I wish it had is AF – auto frequency tuning. It’s a longstanding feature of RDS that’s widely used in Europe but not here. Mississippi Public Broadcasting uses AF on their statewide radio network, so if your radio has RDS you can stayed tuned in for hundreds of miles! But if you’re listening on HD, you have to re-tune every so often.

      As for AM, maybe it’ll work better on the stations that cut analog out completely and go all-digital, but the hybrid mode just doesn’t work very well or sound very good, in my limited experience. AM stereo is by far preferable IMHO.

  11. Leon Webster

    Minnesota Public Radio has two HD channels in addition to their standard FM broadcast. One for “Radio Heartland” and one for “BBC and More”. I have a Sangean HDR-18. The only quibble I have is that I can’t find an FM station which is broadcasting the time on their RDS signal. So I have to set the radio clock by hand, and it goes off the correct time frequently.

    1. Zack S

      In the Detroit area I can only find two stations broadcasting the RDS CT time signal. One is WUOM which is 30 miles away. The other is due south of me in Windsor ONT, CIMX and they are not getting NTP to their signal as it is 4 minutes off. It is weird that more stations do not utilize this as RDS does not require the signal to be HDRadio.

    2. Tom Servo

      At one time, I lived in a town that had probably six or seven stations transmitting CT and every single one of them was slightly off-time, so depending on which station your radio was on, your clock would be off anywhere from a few minutes to hours! It was rather frustrating.


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