Saturday, October 6, 2007

JVC KD-SHX900 and KD-HDR1 Review
JVC's KD-SHX900 and KD-HDR1 are automotive AM-FM HD Radio receivers with a CD deck that also plays MP3 and WMA (Windows Media) files. Both are reviewed here as they are similar in performance.

The AM and FM analog tuner sections are quite good. Sensitivity is as good as most any other auto radio, and selectivity is likewise good. It is resistant to overload and spurs even very close to transmitter sites. All in all, a quite competent analog tuner.

The KD-SHX900 has amazing graphics ability, though sometimes that gets in the way of the basic radio functions. Some can be turned off, some cannot. The KD-HDR1 is a simpler and more functional design.

The HD Radio section is a bit of a question. It does work, but HD coverage seems to be about half the radius of good, useable analog reception. For example, WBZ-1030 is maybe 30 miles or so north of me. Analog reception was solid throughout my normal driving area. HD Radio coverage was spotty. Outside interference such as the buzz from traffic signals, or even ignition noise would kick it back to analog. At sunset the multipath from short skip skywave would render HD unuseable.