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Sony XDR-F1HD

HD Radio™/AM/FM stereo tuner

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Item #: 158XDRF1HD
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Sony XDR-F1HD

by Dave Bar
Sony

Experience the crystal-clear sound and expanded listening choices of HD Radio programming with Sony's XDR-F1HD component tuner. This tuner lets you access the free digital programming that many AM and FM stations now broadcast, and it works with any home audio system that has an auxiliary input. You'll hear a marked improvement in sound quality when you tune in digital HD Radio signals — FM can approach CD-quality sound, while AM nears current FM quality. This compact tuner also does a great job pulling in standard analog broadcasts.

The XDR-F1HD lets you access the additional digital-only channels some stations are broadcasting — channels which can only be received with an HD Radio tuner. And stations can send text information with their digital signals, such as station IDs, artist names, and song titles. The XDR-F1HD displays this text on its large, easy-to-read LCD screen.

Convenient controls let you search for all available AM and FM stations, analog and digital, or just those broadcasting in HD. Forty station presets give you plenty of room to store your favorite stations. And the included full-function remote makes tuner operation a breeze.

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Highlights:

  • AM/FM HD Radio tuner with multi-casting reception
  • 40 station presets (20 FM, 20 AM)
  • external AM and FM antenna input
  • signal strength meter
  • backlit LCD display with adjustable brightness and contrast
  • RCA stereo line-level output
  • remote control
  • 7-1/8"W x 2-3/8"H x 6-3/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • HD Radio Receiver
  • RMT-CF1A wireless remote control
  • FM wire antenna
  • AM loop antenna
  • Operating Instructions

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Sony HD Radio Receiver (XDR-F1HD) allows you to add subscription-free HD Radio to your home audio system. The XDR-F1HD features a high-fidelity HD Radio receiver, an FM wire antenna, AM loop antenna, stereo RCA outputs, an easy-to-read display, and includes a wireless remote control.

HD Radio Technology: HD Radio is digital FM and AM broadcasting, allowing you to enjoy your same favorite FM and AM stations with digital sound quality. FM stations offer near CD-quality sound and AM stations sound like today's analog FM stations. Because the transmission is digital, multi-path distortion (a common problem with analog radio, receiving signal reflections slightly later than the direct signal) is eliminated. Stations broadcasting HD radio can also pass along text information, such as artist name, song title, weather, traffic, etc. Another benefit of FM HD radio is a station's ability to multicast, broadcast multiple programs (up to eight) using their existing frequency. The display shows multicast stations with the frequency followed by the multicast number, 107.1-1, 107.1-2, 107.1-3, etc. Unlike digital satellite radio, there is no subscription needed to listen to HD radio.

Hybrid AM/FM Tuner: The Sony XDR-F1HD has a Hybrid AM/FM tuner that receives analog and digital transmissions. There are a couple methods of tuning a station; the tuning buttons manually step up or down the dial in 0.1 MHz or 10 kHz steps, while the Scan button searches up or down the dial for the next strong analog or digital AM/FM station and holds for 3 seconds, and the HD Scan button searches only for HD Radio broadcasts and holds for 3 seconds. The tuner's frequency range coverage is as follows:

  • FM and HD FM: 87.5-108.0 MHz
  • AM and HD AM: 530-1710 kHz

Presets: The tuner features 40 presets for your favorite radio stations, including primary and multicast HD stations and analog AM or FM stations. You can select 20 analog or digital FM presets and 20 analog or digital AM presets. Once you program the presets, you can quickly tune them using the numeric keys on the remote control or the Preset search buttons on the unit.

LCD Display: The Sony XDR-F1HD features an easy to see large, full-dot backlit LCD display with adjustable brightness and contrast settings. The LCD display indicates station tuning, menu settings, and clock.

Connections: The Sony XDR-F1HD features a pair of spring-clip terminals to attach the included AM loop antenna and a threaded coaxial connector for attaching the supplied FM loop antenna. The Sony HD Radio Receiver also includes a pair of RCA connectors (left/right) for connecting the unit to your AV system using a set of stereo RCA cables (not included).

Remote Control: The Sony HD Radio Receiver comes supplied with a full-function IR wireless remote control for convenient, simple operation. Note: The remote requires two AAA batteries which are not included.

Sleep Timer: You can enjoy falling asleep to the HD Radio Receiver using the built-in sleep timer that turns off the radio automatically after a preset duration (15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes).

 
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Sony XDR-F1HD Reviews

Average Customer Review:

15 people say:

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4 out of 5

This does the trick

Written By Preacher's Kid, Pensaocla, Floirda on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
 
I have had this unit for well over two years and I am pleased with. As with most tuners in fringe and near-fringe, its weak link is the antenna. Anyone have any good ideas on Antennae that will work
Pros:
Great selectivity and precise tuning
Cons:
Arcane, miniature and obtuse instruction leaflet
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3 out of 5

It's okay

Written By Jay, Wisconsin on Saturday, March 19, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
It would be better if it included a better FM antenna. As it is, I am trying to make
my own, and you cannot buy the wire that runs from a roof antenna to the unit.
At least, I haven't found it yet. ANd you have to fabricate your own antenna if you
want any more than the silly little thing they include.

Also, the tuning options aren't too well thought out. You cannot just tune
automatically from one HD station to the next. It just goes through all th eFM
stations. Preseting is a little complicated and the remote is minimal.

But, it is a good way to get HD RAdio in the home, which is no mean feat these
days.
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5 out of 5

Outstanding Product

Written By Edward, Pell city , al on Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I give this product 5 ****
Excellent sound quality ( I recommend you get a Visio HD
sound bar for H D Sound ) Am Is Fair , but turn your loop untill
you get better reception ,
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3 out of 5

Sony XDR-F1HD

Written By Bill, Anderson SC on Sunday, February 20, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I would probably recommend this only for urban areas where multipath interference is
an issue or where the digital stations provide significant alternative programming. If you
have a very good receiver/tuner and atenna, you are likely to be disappointed in the
sound from the unit, which seems less dynamic than good quality FM analog
broadcasts- not sure why this is the case. Range for threshold digital reception is about
the same as good quality stereo analog. Display has to be viewed straight on.
However, it works as designed, and if there are digital stations in your area you want to
pick up, it's worth the money.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Very good radio reception

Written By Barry, Bethesda on Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very easy to set up and use. The HD and standard FM reception are excellent. The
HD station scanner is good, but misses several of my local HDFM stations, so you're
better off downloading a list of your local HD stations and setting them manually.
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5 out of 5

Sony XDR-F1HD

Written By FayeW, Florida on Thursday, February 10, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The product was exactly as advertised and was what we were looking for.
I would recommend it to any buyer looking for this type of item.
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4 out of 5

Sony XDR-F1HD

Written By Illini in Florida, Tavares, Florida on Monday, January 31, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This unit is easy to install and hook up. LCD display is always lit, but there are 3
brightness settings. One is very dim for night. Tuning seems to work fine for both analog
and digital (HD). AM reception is a little fuzzy for us even with a separate Terk antenna
since we are located about 33 miles from the station's transmitter. FM reception from
Orlando (forty miles) is good for most availablestations. The remote control comes in
handy. Operating instructions are concise and understandable.
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5 out of 5

Great HD Receiver

Written By cradot, Washington, PA on Monday, October 18, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This turned out to be a great buy. It was an easy installation of plug and play into an existing sound system that has great speakers. I added an old pair of rabbit ears for the antenna and was immediately tuning HD stations with quality sound and clear reception.

And the Crutchfield folks had it shipped to me withing two days of my order. Thanks...
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sony XDR-F1HD

Written By Nick, Petoskey, Mi. on Monday, June 07, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I listen almost exclusively to FM broadcasts. I live in a small town and the closest broadcasting tower is approximately 35 miles away. Several of the stations I want to listen to came in but with some static. I thought about buying a new Yamaha stereo receiver that cost over $450, in hopes of getting a clear signal. Then I came across a review of the Sony XDR-F1HD tuner, and the reviewer rated the tuner quite high. The tuner was affordable, so I thought I would give it a try I am now using my older stereo receiver with the new Sony tuner. The FM broadcasts are now coming in,beautifully. There is no static at all in and the music I am listening to is crystal clear and as good as a CD player with absolutely no background noise. The stereo separation is fantastic and I am hearing things that I never heard before.
I'm really enjoying this FM tuner.
Chutchfield customer service was the best I have a very countered. When I called an actual person answered the phone. There was no animated screening process to go through I was shocked. The representative I spoke to was courteous and helped answer all the questions I had regarding this item. I then placed an order, I was told it would be delivered in under a week. The merchandise arrived as promised in great condition.
10 out of 10 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

WATCH FOR POWER OUTAGES

Written By vincent, SAN ANTONIO on Saturday, May 22, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After setting up ten presets it was no fun to lose AC power, and have to reprogram the whole thing. Do not plug it into the back of your amplifier either. When you turn it on again, have fun listening to the stereo hissing while you are trying to read the little screen to push the little buttons to get something for it to tune in to.

Great not to hear commercial advertisements. Great to have more stations than available in standard FM reception. But, it is in Stereo NOT surround sound.
2 out of 9 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sony XDR-F1HD

Written By Brian, Sauk Rapids, MN on Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This unit is doing exactly what I wanted. Reception is good, but in a metal pole barn, the a.m. antenna needs to be in the window. Instructions were clear and the unit is very easy to use. It is matched to an old amp/preamp that would have been recyled. Works great in my man cave.
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5 out of 5

Sony XDR-F1HD

Written By James, Hartford, CT on Sunday, February 21, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
There's been a lot of Internet chatter about the Sony XDR-F1HD tuner, enough so that I would have been tempted to buy it even without the HD reception option. Crutchfield's open box offering that brought the price with shipping down sealed the deal for me.
This FM tuner is very good. It is sensitive, selective and stable. It is hard to evaluate the sound from FM tuners today (stations do so much audio processing) but one local NPR outlet that broadcasts classical and jazz sounds very good. That said, this Sony does not quite match the high end and sonic spaciousness that a classic tube-type tuner delivers on the same programming.
AM reception with the included antenna is fair to good. Eventually, I plan to try a long wire antenna to see if that situation can be improved.
HD AM sounds different, not better, to my ears. Claims that it equals standard FM sound quality are, based on the one local HD AM station, overly optimistic.
The bottom line: This is one very good tuner. Frankly, considering the paucity of really good FM programming being broadcast today, this is all the tuner most people would ever need. That it is only this much makes it an unmitigated bargain.
One final note: The service from Crutchfield was second to none once more. Then again, when is it not?
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great Basic HD Tuner, Minor Quibles

Written By Greg, Solana Beach, CA on Monday, February 15, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Purchased an HD Radio in part out of curiosity and also because we previously received pretty terrible analog reception in our condo.

So far the reception has been great, and the sound clarity is as advertised near CD quality. I have not noticed the heat issue that a couple of other people have written about in previous posts. I do have a couple of minor quibbles with the unit though:

1) The display is impossible to read in a large room. Why they did not choose a dark display with white lettering so that you can read the display from across the room is mind boggling to me.

2) Why no video out? It would be great if I could display the song/channel on my TV like I can with my iPod using Sony's adapter to my receiver .
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

it's great

Written By Dan, chicago on Saturday, January 30, 2010
 
there's tons of hd channels in chicago and i've been listening to them in my car
for the past couple years. i wanted to add an hd tuner to my home audio to enjoy
the better sound and more channels at home as well, and with this unit i found
the answer. i get great reception, am/fm i get the hd channels on am that you
have to live here to know they're there since hdradio.com seems to forget
there's a whole am band out there, and all the fm channels. i've seen and used
other hd tuners in the past, none of them lock into a channel as easily or as
quickly as this one, this may be the best hd tuner on the market, and it's tiny.
now the downside, no optical out, i mean why not have an optical out, it's all
digital, but you have to use rca cables, that's stupid, but the tuner is great,
so there you go.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sony XDR-F1HD

Written By Mark, Silver Spring Md. on Sunday, November 29, 2009
 
Outstanding reception.Clear and without hiss.However,it does not pick up any AM
stations with the supplied AM antennae.Interesting enough,some HD FM stations
have 2 or 3 channels which surprised me.Inexpensive, yet high quality
sound.Beats regular FM tuners that cost 10X more!
78 out of 82 people found this helpful
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