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Best Buy Insignia HD Radio Portable Players NS-HD01 & NS-HD02

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was just looking at the Best Buy website and I see that BOTH of their portable HD radios are on sale right now. I already have the original NS-HD01. I am just wondering if anybody here has both of these and if they are able to compare them to one another. I already know the differences in:

-Display Size (1.5" vs 2.4")

-Number of Memory Presets (10 vs. 20)

But I am most interested in sensitivity and selectivity. Does anybody happen to know if the NS-HD02 is more sensitive or selective than the NS-HD01?
post #2 of 13
Bought the -02 yesterday and am returning it today.

It just blows my mind how they can release a product without overcoming the tuning issue.

This thing has trouble tuning in regular FM channels, forget about HD channels.

I live in a pretty large market with numerous HD Radio stations but I am lucky to tune in one.

I bought it mainly as an add on for my car stereo.
Using the AUX cable, driving around, it could never get a station and if it did, it would lose it in seconds.

The only way I would recommend this if you want it to walk around outside with a pair of headphones.

I would have kept it if they could actually pick up HD stations, had AM HD Radio support (why everyone dropped this is beyond me, I would think HD Radio would insist if you want their logo) and had some storage options, MP3, etc.

It's a bad deal at $49, and a no way at the regular price of $69.
post #3 of 13
Neither of these units could every take the place of a HD car radio. This mobile environment is a poor choice for receiver comparison. All I know about is the NS-01. The selectivity is very impressive, the sensitivity is miserable, and the RF dynamic range of the tuner itself is anemic at best. Thus overload from a strong local station is possible, lack of sufficient signal strength in many instances, par for the course. About the only stellar attribute is the relative selectivity for something in its form factor, it does remarkably well in this area making the device very "translator friendly" whereby low power FM signals that would normally be trounced by 2nd or even 1st adjacents, can be heard with great clarity thanks to good selectivity. I know for a fact that the NS-01 loves to be 'spoon fed" RF just like a newborn. That's one "front-end" that's not about to fend for itself anytime soon. I am also very curious as to whether or not there is any discernible "up tick" in usable sensitivity or image/spurious signal rejection and not at the expense of the coveted selectivity benchmark that virtually ALL HD radios take for granted. If I ever get my mitts on one, I'll let you know what I come to realize about the new kid on the "Insignia block".
post #4 of 13
Interesting reviews, thanks. I was thinking about purchasing one of these units but I will wait until something better comes along. Is there any better portable HD Radios on the market right now?
post #5 of 13
I'm going with the -01. All I want is a basic HD Portable Radio.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfca View Post

Interesting reviews, thanks. I was thinking about purchasing one of these units but I will wait until something better comes along. Is there any better portable HD Radios on the market right now?

I've had a ZuneHD since they came out and have been pretty happy with it. When it first launched the HD reception was pretty atrocious (for me) but the firmware updates they released since seemed to really help.

It's not cheap and much more than just a portable HD radio but it's a pretty nice unit if you can get around the massive anti-Zune bias out there. (This was my first Zune and I love it EXCEPT for the fact it can't drag and drop, you have to use Microsoft's wonky software; but once the songs are on the player it's been rock solid)
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmscott42 View Post

I've had a ZuneHD since they came out and have been pretty happy with it. When it first launched the HD reception was pretty atrocious (for me) but the firmware updates they released since seemed to really help.

It's not cheap and much more than just a portable HD radio but it's a pretty nice unit if you can get around the massive anti-Zune bias out there. (This was my first Zune and I love it EXCEPT for the fact it can't drag and drop, you have to use Microsoft's wonky software; but once the songs are on the player it's been rock solid)

To the best of my knowledge Microsoft did one firmware upgrade for the Zune HD. I got mine the day they came out and did the upgrade. Am I missing something? I've noticed no reception improvment in my Zune after doing the upgrade.
post #8 of 13
Picked up the NS-HD01 on a whim while at Best Buy after reading the reviews first which didn't seem all that bad and there were 170 of them (good to see some folks are cost conscious). Of course I was going to check here afterwards which I'm doing now.

I assume "location" is key to locking in and holding the signal. It doesn't seem like folks were complaining about that on the BB website that much.

I will give er a go. I can always return it within 30 days if I don't care for it.

BTW there seemed to be lots less complaints about the HD01 versus the 02 so that is why I went for that one.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by R.F. Burns View Post

To the best of my knowledge Microsoft did one firmware upgrade for the Zune HD. I got mine the day they came out and did the upgrade. Am I missing something? I've noticed no reception improvment in my Zune after doing the upgrade.

There have been 3 Zune HD firmwares; the device actually shipped without firmware (it wasn't done yet) so that first day wasn't really an "update", it was the first load of the firmware. That was version 4.1. HD reception was terrible for me in my car with this firmware. (If I was going over about 10-20mph HD dropped and was gone til I slowed down again)

4.3 came out around 4-5 months later and I think it had the best HD reception overall. Totally fixed almost all of my reception issues and made the Zune a viable portable HD unit for my needs. (working in the car being a big part of that) They definitely tweaked something dealing with multipath issues or something.

4.5 came out back in the fall I think and seemed to tweak the reception a bit more; for me some channels have been coming in worse, some a bit better. Been a bit of a wash. (Driving the same commute at the same time you know which channels come in well and which don't)

Kind of wish I had been able to keep mine at 4.3 but 4.5 isn't horrible. You should definitely make sure you have the latest..!
post #10 of 13
Tried the NS-HD01 last night after charging it. I'm about 30 miles or so from NYC so I was able to get a decent amount of HD stations and hold the signal.

The stock earphones aren't too good. I switched them out for a pair I already own and felt the quality was better. I ain't going to walk around with my Grado cans for this unit that I use with my CD player but I might try to find even better earphones for a good price than what I used last night. Pretty much I don't think BB has lots of those in stock but with their return policy I rather deal with them. Maybe I can try some from other B&M stores with a good return policy also.

The unit is pretty decent and if you can tune into HD stations, hold the signal, and like the music on those stations, then go for it. I don't really know any other decent alternative portables for the buck than this to tell the truth.
post #11 of 13
Holding the signal is key. I bought Skullcandy Titan earphones and HD sounds great but it is going to depend on where you live, how many stations you get and like I said, if you can hold the signal.

And I still don't know of any other portable option worth it currently besides.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
The older one is on sale for $39.99 right now.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....egories&ks=960
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfca View Post

Interesting reviews, thanks. I was thinking about purchasing one of these units but I will wait until something better comes along. Is there any better portable HD Radios on the market right now?


The most important thing to think when buying for a portable HD radio is a unit's battery life. Some radios last a lot longer than others. Battery life is mostly 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.
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