● HD Radio with Multicasting
● Input for Headphones, iPod®/MP3
Players or Other External Devices
● 20 Preset Stations
● Second Speaker Option
● Remote Control Included
● Dimensions: 4.4" H x 7.6" W x 6.8" D
● Weight: 1.6 Pounds
● MSRP: $299 USA
We've been bombarded over the
last few years with HD-This and HD-That. With High Definition television
accelerating and the current debate with High Definition DVD formats taking
center-stage, the poor radio market has fallen behind – which it shares in
general with all high resolution audio formats.
Frankly, I'm not surprised, as commercial over-the-air "free" radio hasn't been
entertaining since FM was introduced, and like most consumers, I find that getting good reception
Now, satellite radio, such as XM or Sirius, delivers
digital sound and depending on your gear, some pretty good quality.
It's predominately commercial and host-free, yet most
importantly is fee-based.
Enter HD Radio, which promises digitally transmitted CD quality sound for
free. But, of course, you'll need an HD Radio tuner capable of receiving the
over-the-air digital signal.
So what is HD Radio? First and foremost, it's your local radio stations
transmitting in digital format, like the satellite guys. This
bumps up AM to sound as good as current FM quality, and FM to sound like your
All that static and drop-off should disappear too.
One other thing it
does is allow the radio stations to multicast on the same frequency.
Developed by a company called iBiquity Digital, your favorite radio station
could broadcast different formats at the same time, all carried on their
And unlike the mandate for television transmissions to switch entirely to
digital, no such requirement is set for radio.
With the technology now getting adopted by more and more radio stations
(converting to digital broadcasting is inexpensive), manufacturers are
responding with HD Radio equipment – in cars, in your hi-fi system and with
stand alone units such as the Boston Acoustic Recepter Radio HD.
More information including finding the HD stations in your area can be found
Outwardly, the Recepter looks like a bulky alarm clock in platinum/silver.
Including the second speaker component
which is optional, the unit looks more like one of those "Wave" radios. It's
about 4" high, 7 ½" across, and 6" deep. If you include the optional speaker, add
another 4" across.
Connecting the two units via an 18" or so cable allows
you to keep it together or spread them apart for better stereo imaging. It's
also supplied with a compact remote control.
Overall, it's a handsome unit, and the bright blue dimmable display is quite
legible and attractive. The screen will display time, source, frequency, HD
reception, and all the typical alarm clock indicators.
top has the usual clock functions, Snooze/Sleep and a flip-up panel
for setup functions.
Operationally, the Recepter is quite straightforward. Once a HD station is
tuned in, the unit will signal revelations.
Two knobs on the front control tuning and volume. By pushing on each, they will
turn the unit on or off and give you the 20 possible presets.
Included is a dipole antenna which I found offered the best reception -
looks like a "T" against your wall.
Let's not forget iPod (like that's possible these days) – on the rear is an iPod or MP3 cable connection. You'll find that right next to a headphone
The sound comes from a 3" driver, and I found very little information on the
construction. I really didn't want to take it apart to identify the
design. Surprisingly I found a small 1" port on the rear behind each driver.
sound is extremely pleasant and laid back – although a bit on the warm side.
It does deliver enough believable deep bass aided by those rear ports.
Keeping the speakers apart and standing back several feet yielded some
pretty good sound dimension that I found thoroughly enjoyable.
The dozen HD stations in my area (the NY metropolitan) all came in
extremely clear, and a few offered more than one format.
The Receptor took a few seconds
to lock onto an HD signal but had no problem keeping the signal strength.
The difference in sound between an HD signal and a good quality analog
source is marginal for some stations and exceptional for others, i.e., HD
Radio is generally better.
The playback from the iPod surpassed my expectations. I enjoy the pleasant
and overall presentation of the MP3 sound through the Recepter.
High Definition (HD) Radio is a solid breakthrough and will hopefully allow FM
radio to grow by the improved reception, although, adversely, it's programming from
I won't kid you that this was the greatest fidelity I've ever heard - but so
what. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the Recepter as I write my reviews or
do anything near my desk where the Boston Acoustic HD radio sits, hmm,
Piero Gabucci -
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