The VM9423 touch-screen multimedia system is the first of six new Jensen models that will launch during the first half of 2009. This top-of-the-line system has a built-in HD Radio tuner, integrated iPod connectivity, and iTunes tagging. The VM9423 is GPS navigation, backup camera, Bluetooth, and Sirius/XM satellite radio ready--all of which require additional modules to add their respective functions. We cringe thinking about the mess of cables and modules that would have to be tucked behind the dash for the full-blown, all-bells-and-whistles install, but we think this modular approach will let users add the features they can afford … Read more
We haven't seen too many HD clock radios, but at CES, iLuv will be showing off the dual-alarm iHD171 HD Radio with iTunes tagging for iPhone 3G and iPod. The iHD171 also features a video output for watching your iPod videos on a TV, along with an AM/FM radio that receives standard analog stations. It will be available starting in January for $199.99.
Here's a rundown of the specs:
*Compatible with iPhone 3G and 2G
*Time sync function automatically updates the clock to match the time on your iPhone or iPod
*One-touch iTunes tagging: tags music … Read more
It's White House or bust for Detroit, will Intel go into the car battery business? Mercedes puts two displays in the dashboard, and we drive the 2009 Acura TL.Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES
HD Radio enables AM and FM radio stations to broadcast both digital and analog audio from the same channel, as well as add new sub-channels and text information. HD Radio has been on the market since 2002, and yet--over six years later--we're only just beginning to see the technology proliferate. Currently, there are only a handful of car stereo receivers that have HD Radio tuning built in, with the bulk of the units on the market requiring external, and at times expensive, add-on tuners.
So, why doesn't anyone seem to care about HD Radio? Most likely, it's … Read more
Sony's XDR-F1HD HD Radio has developed a real buzz among my audiophile pals; on second thought maybe buzz isn't the right word. It's the quietest, noise-free radio I've ever used.
These guys can be real snobs and only listen to ultra-high-end components, and some wouldn't be caught dead using mainstream gear with their hi-fis, and yet they're all going ga-ga over the Sony. We're all thinking it's too good to be true.
I originally heard about the Sony from Steven Stone, a writer friend, and then from an engineer at an American high-end audio company known for making awesome tuners that sell for thousands of dollars. The engineer was positively gushing about how good the XDR-F1HD is; not just that it sounded great, but also because it pulls in tough-to-receive analog stations with lower noise and distortion than tuners that sell for big bucks. You can read my full CNET review here.
I rushed right out and bought an XDR-F1HD from Amazon, and sure nuff, it's true, the little Sony is no baloney. Analog FM stations came in like gangbusters, clean as a whistle, and HD stations, like my favorite jazz station WBGO had "CD quality" sound. That phrase is tossed around a lot, but this time it's for real. I listened to WBGO with the Sony over my high-end system with Magnepan 3.6/R speakers, and the sound was amazing. It's day and night better than what I get from Sirius Satellite Radio, which is almost unlistenable over those speakers. … Read more
LA Auto Show a mix of highlights and doom, Green Car of the Year, your cell phone becomes a traffic probe, Chrysler offers a "Web Edition".Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES
As someone who's never been a big fan of AM/FM radio, I never really saw the advantage of HD Radio. At first, the all-digital format promised little more than CD-quality digital transmission of existing stations. Then the broadcasters added multicasting, offering "HD2" stations that weren't available at all on analog hardware. They even sweetened the deal by temporarily reducing or suspending commercials on those HD2 stations (though that program has recently ended).
But the thing that most retarded the growth of HD Radio adoption was the price of the hardware. The earliest tabletop HD Radios, for instance, cost upward of $500--not exactly an impulse purchase. In the years since, prices have tumbled: tabletop and in-car models hit $200 last year, and newer HD-enabled clock radios can be found for less than $100 now. Still, as far as in-home options go, none of the models we'd tested had really blown us away.
That's finally changed with the Sony XDR-F1HD.… Read more
Donald and Jasmine discuss the latest Zune firmware, as well as their opinions on the current state of Bluetooth technology.
Also this week, an iPod concept that takes fashion gadgetry to another level, cute and tiny travel speakers from Sony, and thoughts on HD radio. Plus, the winners of our Burton prize giveaway are announced.
iPod speakers are a dime a dozen. There are big ones and small ones; black ones and red ones; some with alarm clocks, and many with built-in docks. As one might expect, you don't have to look hard to find models with integrated FM--and even AM--radios, but if you must have cutting-edge tech, HD radio with iTunes Tagging is where it's at. Among the handful of models offering this feature is the JBL On Time 400iHD, a tabletop speaker dock with JBL's signature space-age design. At $300, the On Time is anything but cheap, but the plethora … Read more