Features and performanceThe KD HDR1’s headlining feature is its built-in HD radio receiver. Comparing the sound quality of HD- and standard- analog broadcast on the KD HDR1 is easy, as it takes up to 10 seconds for the device to pick up the radio channel’s HD signal after it has found the regular analog signal. During the time it takes to lock onto the digital signal, an HD icon flashes in the bottom right-hand corner of the display. The difference between the two signals is startling: when the HD mode kicks in, the audio output becomes far clearer, with the hissing and fuzz associated with regular FM broadcasts completely eliminated. In HD mode, the KD HDR1 reproduces instruments and voices with greater clarity, and acoustic separation is far more distinct than in analog mode.
Another benefit of HD radio (other than its being free) is its ability to carry multiple channels of music from the same radio station–so-called “multicasts.” Most HD stations have only one or two channels on each channel to date, but there is potential for up to seven channels to be multicast on a single FM or AM frequency.
In sumThe KD HDR1 is a bargain for those looking for an in-car stereo with a built-in HD Radio tuner. While its monochrome display is a little small for navigating audio libraries, its user-friendly interface and range of supported sources make it an appealing option for the price.