HD Radio™ technology

Great sound and cool features


Ken Nail

Ken Nail has written about car audio for Crutchfield since 2003, after four years as Crutchfield Sales Advisor, and 10 years as a music teacher. He's an avid music listener, whose favorites are classical and film music. When not chained to a desk, Ken spends most of his time training for triathlons and marathons, and likes getting outside for backpacking, downhill skiing, and bicycle touring. He attended West Virginia University, where he received a Master's Degree in Music Performance and a Bachelor's Degree in History.

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If you’re like most drivers, you spend most of your listening time in the car with the radio on – up to 85% of the time according to some sources. So it makes sense to make the most of that time, an HD Radio™ receiver is the way to do it. HD Radio broadcasts sound dramatically better than analog radio, and you get features that standard analog radio can’t match. Best of all, with over 2,000 HD Radio stations broadcasting nationally, there’s a good chance you’ll find one or more in your area.

HD Radio in the car

HD Radio Technology’s expanded features take radio to another level. Depending on your receiver and your local HD Radio station, here’s some of what you can expect.

Digital sound is at the heart of HD Radio broadcasts

The HD Radio experience begins with better audio. In fact, the digital sound of HD Radio signals is so good that FM broadcasts can rival the sound of CDs. That's a big improvement from the current FM standard. While AM broadcasts won't approach the CD-quality signal of digital FM stations, the boost in sound quality is significant. So when you tune in your favorite news, sports, or talk programs, you'll hear AM that sounds like current FM-quality sound. And that annoying static you're so used to on AM broadcasts? It'll be a distant memory.

Multicasting provides more listening opportunities

Many HD Radio stations feature HD2 and HD3 channels. These provide different content than the main channel, so you'll be able to experience deeper album cuts, news feeds, or alternative music programming without changing stations. It's like getting three stations to listen to on one frequency.

iTunes® Tagging makes it easy to buy the music you like

When you're listening to an HD Radio station and your iPod® is connected to the receiver, you can "tag" songs you like with the touch of a button. The song info is saved on your iPod or iPhone®. When you plug your iPod into your computer later, the songs you've tagged will be ready for you to purchase at the iTunes store.

Artist Experience spices up the display

If you have a DVD or navigation receiver with a video screen, you’ll enjoy Artist Experience. It provides you with a much richer visual experience when you’re tuned into participating HD Radio stations. You’ll enjoy album art, station logos, and other fun visual content, plus song, artist, and album info as well.

Artist experience

Digital Traffic for the road warrior

Receivers that offer Digital Traffic serve up up-to-date traffic reports and much more. Think of it as your in-car concierge, with info on weather, movie times, sport scores, news, stocks, and more. And no other services update quicker than Digital Traffic — up to 20 times faster than analog services.

Channel Guide can show you what’s playing on other stations

Receivers with Channel Guide give you a complete rundown of the HD Radio programming available in your area, including programs available through multicasting — secondary channels that some HD Radio stations offer. This makes it easy to find what you want to hear.

channel guide

Find out more with Bookmark

Want to find out more about a song, product, or story you’ve just heard? Touch the Bookmark icon on the screen to save the info so you can look it up later. Some bookmarks even come with a QR code, so you can snap a picture and access the info with your smartphone.


See how many HD Radio stations there are in your area

Many new car receivers offer HD Radio tuners. But before you buy, you can go to the HD Radio website to see the stations in your area that are already broadcasting a digital signal.

With the continued popularity of HD Radio broadcasts, more radio stations are investing in the upgrade. They want to keep up with the enhanced sound quality and added features of digital radio. And so do we!

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