How do I Choose the Best Portable HD Radio?

Harriette Halepis

The main thing to consider when shopping for a portable HD radio is a unit's battery life. Some radios last a lot longer than others. Battery life is particularly important when you consider the cost associated with replacing a portable HD radio battery. HD radios are certainly clever, though many people are under the false impression that these radios have something to do with high definition.

Portable radios are extremely convenient due to their ability to operate almost anywhere.
Portable radios are extremely convenient due to their ability to operate almost anywhere.

Within the United States, a company called iBiquity was chosen to broadcast digital audio signals. When the company first released this type of radio, the name HD radio was trademarked. However, the HD in this case solely refers to the radio itself -- in short, HD is a marketing term that was given to this type of radio. Originally, iBiquity stated that HD meant hybrid digital, not high definition. Thus, the portable HD radio should not be associated with high definition televisions or other high definition electronic equipment.

Whether iBiquity simply chose to cash-in on the HD craze has yet to be seen, though the portable HD radio does still exist. In essence, this type of radio simply allows users to hear digitally transmitted broadcasts. Standard radios do not pick up improved digital broadcast signals. Thus, the main advantage of the portable HD radio is a clearer sound.

If you intend to purchase a portable HD radio, make sure to take a close look at a radio's battery life. A good radio should last for a couple of hours without running out of power. Older models may be inexpensive, though most of those models will not last very long. Presently, there are a multitude of digital stations strewn throughout the United States. Digital stations are also prevalent throughout Europe and Canada. Aside from battery concerns, most portable HD radios are quite convenient.

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A portable radio allows a user greater independence. Since these radios can function nearly anywhere, they are appealing alternatives to standard radios. Transporting a radio from room to room is just one of the reasons why most people enjoy HD radios. Also, these radios are easy to travel with.

Portable HD radios can be purchased online or in any electronics store. Before purchasing a radio of this type, be sure to check with a manufacturer regarding the cost of a replacement battery. Finding out the life of a battery is also worth considering prior to purchase. Lastly, all portable HD radios manufactured by reputable companies should have a warranty. If you plan to buy a used HD radio, find out if a warranty is still valid -- these radios can be expensive to repair.

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