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May 31, 2010

Comments

Mark Roberts

I wonder what it offers that the Insignia HD portable doesn't offer, other than AM reception and potentially better ergonomics. Battery life may be an issue, too. The Insignia radio is actually a very good FM performer, but HD FM feels to me a lot like the audio equivalent of New Coke.

Carlos

I share Mark's sentiments about HD FM.

What I like about what this Sangean promises is the rechargeable battery and the lack of an external speaker. Both smart moves by Sangean. People who want an external speaker in their portable will do better to opt for the Tecsun PL-300WT (Grundig G8) or the Kchibo D96L.

What I don't like is that it looks like a cell phone.

As far as being the "new king of (ultra) portables", I think we can all agree that the Sony SRF-T615 presently holds that title (for digital receivers, at least). I'm not sure it would be fair to the Sangean to expect that kind of performance.

Jeffrey McMahon

I agree, putting a tin speaker on would be a waste. I've never tested the SRF-T615, about $160 the last I checked.

scooby214

One Nor station in my area actually sounds better in HD than analog, though the others in my area (all owned by Clear Channel and Citadel) all have varying degrees of digital artifacts when listened to with quality headphones. It is not a dealbreaker for me, as I never notice any artifacts when listening through speakers.

scooby214

Pesky auto spell correct in my phone's browser changed NPR in my last comment to Nor... Jazz does sound great in HD on that NPR station.

Jeffrey McMahon

Brian, what HD radio do you use?

Kevin S

I applaud the fact that AM is analog-only. This will perhaps signal to Ibiquity, and the slowly dwindling number of broadcasters who still currently put out an AM HD signal, that HD was and is a flop on that band, and shorten the time we have to wait until the AM band is free of the dreaded IBOC interference.

Given the size and thus lack of room for a ferrite antenna, the sensitivity on AM will likely be abysmal, but it may have DSP filtering (radio-on-a-chip technology) that will make it quite usable will an external passive antenna.

Jeffrey McMahon

Kevin, what makes you think the DT-600's AM won't be as good as the DT-400's?

Carlos

To be fair, I've never tried HD radio, so my sentiments about HD FM are entirely speculative and cynical.

Scooby214

Jeff, I am using the Sony XDRF1HD tuner attached to my mixer and FM transmitter. Using it with my attic antenna yields tremendous FM DX results. The biggest problem with the Sony is that it sometimes loses its presets when the power flickers. To solve that, mine is plugged in to a battery backup (together with my other broadcast components). I am about to trade out my attic yagi for an omnidirectional antenna, in hopes of increasing my FM DX station count. I may also move the antenna to an outdoor pole.

Brian

Jeffrey McMahon

Thanks, Brian. I had that model, but didn't like AM sound or the external antenna so I sold mine.

Scooby214

Jeff, I agree about the AM sound on the Sony, but I have plenty of radios that fill that void. The Sony does have a place in my radio family, as it can take the weakest analog FM signal and make it cleaner and more listenable than most other radios I own. Its analog FM is more of a selling point for me than its HD FM reception.

Jeffrey McMahon

Brian, if I still had one, I wouldn't even use AM.

brandon

Scooby - that's interesting that you say that all your HD FM stations have some degree of digital artifacts because I'm fairly certain that FCC regulations require that a station's primary HD signal (HD-1) must sound at least as good or better than its analog counterpart. I think radio stations would better serve the public by not re-broadcasting their primary analog signal on the digital band, thus leaving more bandwidth to be divided up amongst the digital-only channels.

Kevin S

Jeff: given that it is only 2 inches across, and ferrites are usually placed across the top so you can hold the unit upright while using it (i.e., you don't want the ferrite vertical), my guess is that the internal ferrite is rather small. It also remains to be seen whether or not all of the internal circuitry and the display is shielded well enough from the ferrite, precluding noise.

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