The Good Portable HD Radio; small and light; built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to 10 hours; 10 station presets; includes armband; charges via Mini-USB port; inexpensive.
The Bad FM only; overly convoluted controls; doesn't include AC charger; reception can vary.
The Bottom Line While the HD Radio format still has its foibles, the Insignia NS-HD01's $50 price tag makes it recommendable for anyone who wants a cheap, easy, and portable way to enjoy digital HD Radio stations.
The price of HD Radio technology has been dwindling over the past few years, with digital-capable car stereos, home tuners, and clock radios priced south of $100. But Insignia's new NS-HD01 adds two new wrinkles to the HD Radio equation. The iPod-size unit is the first truly portable (battery powered) HD Radio, and its $50 price tag makes it the most affordable HD model to date. It's now available exclusively at Best Buy (Insignia is one of the chain's in-house brands).
While it may look like an old MP3 player, the NS-HD01 is strictly a radio tuner that can pull in analog and HD (Hybrid Digital) stations on the FM band. There are 10 user-programmable presets. A sealed (not user-replaceable) rechargeable lithium ion battery powers the radio. What's good is that the recharging port is a standard Mini-USB connection (USB cable included). That means you can juice up the battery from any PC or USB charger. Like the iPod, a wall charger isn't included, but any USB-compatible iPod charger should work.
In addition to the charging cable and requisite pair of subpar earbuds, joggers will appreciate that Insignia includes a Velcro armband in the box. There's no belt clip, but the NS-HD01 will fit into any pocket, and the hold switch on the unit's side will prevent inadvertent button pushes.
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