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Sony Enters HD Radio

San Diego — Sony is offering its first HD Radio products in the form of an aggressively priced car radio adapter and a tabletop radio that are expected to reach stores in July.

Sony said it will launch a simultaneous radio advertising campaign to promote HD Radio. The radio spots will explain the benefits of HD Radio and feature Sony tags.

“One of the challenges we think we need to overcome is that although people have heard of HD radio, the understanding of it is light. We wish it were better,” said a spokesman.

There are currently more than1300 HD Radio stations nationwide.

The company’s new XDR-S3HD tabletop radio will be sold in most Best Buy locations starting this summer. Sony claims the unit is able to pull in a better signal in “fringe area” locations where radio stations typically begin to fade out. The AM/FM/HD radio’s display shows multicast stations, it has a built-in simulated sound system for a wider sound stage and offers wake and sleep timers and an audio line input to play a digital player through the radio. It is expected to arrive in stores in early July at an estimated $199.

Sony’s HD Radio car adapter, model XT100HD is priced at $99, which is $50 to $100 below most adapters on the market. It works with all 2007 Sony CD changer control head units starting at $119. The head units will display HD Radio multicast stations.