Accurian Tabletop Gets High Marks - Radio World

Accurian Tabletop Gets High Marks

I bought the RadioShack Accurian Tabletop HD Radio for $99 at its introduction sale in November 2006 using a $25 off coupon.
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PRODUCT CAPSULE:
(click thumbnail)The Accurian Tabletop HD Radio by RadioShack can receive multicast signals.

RadioShack Accurian Tabletop HD Radio

THUMBS UP:

Inexpensive

Multicast capable

24 station presets

Good reception

Well-written manual

THUMBS DOWN:

Front-panel operation requires standing in front of the radio

Too much 'push' of the HD) Radio logo

PRICE: $200

CONTACT: RadioShack stores or visit radioshack.com

LOS ANGELES I bought the RadioShack Accurian Tabletop HD Radio for $99 at its introduction sale in November 2006 using a $25 off coupon.

Let's not kid each other; the Accurian HD Radio is definitely RadioShack quality. It's okay for an inexpensive, consumer entry-market HD Radio. I appreciate the tabletop unit for its simplicity and low price for a radio capable of receiving multicast and Program-Associated Data signals. For that niche, the Accurian (RadioShack 12-1686) is spot-on.

The trusty ol' Bose Wave Radio was laid aside as the new Accurian HD Radio took its place. The Accurian fit nicely into this spot and didn't look too bad, either. The Accurian has a metallic-looking, plastic case with brushed-aluminum front panels. The external power supply accepts 100–240 ~ 50/60 Hz and outputs 12 volts DC at 5 amps.

Okay, I admit I plugged in the Accurian Tabletop HD Radio and tuned around the AM and FM bands before reading the manual. The blue LCD display has a fixed illumination with white .5 and .25 inch letters. On the front panel an “HD) Radio” symbol emits an amber glow when the radio is operating.

'Smooth' tuning

Even when you're not tuned to an HD Radio station, the amber HD) Radio lamp is on. When powering up the radio the “HD) Radio” appears for three seconds on the LCD display in 1.5-inch letters.

On the display the larger font shows the clock, frequency or station call sign. The smaller font shows RDS text messages, frequency, equalizer setting, signal strength, 12-hour clock and date.

After I connected the FM dipole and AM loop antennas, FM reception was impressive at my location in my Los Angeles condominium apartment building. I set the clock, saved a few AM and FM presets, and selected the best one of five equalizer settings for my listening pleasure.

Tuning between the multicast channels of a station with the presets was smooth and quick. Controlling the radio was straightforward, and I was able to perform most of the radio's functions without reading the manual.

Later, I unplugged the radio and moved it to a new location. The clock reverted back to Midnight, but the station presets were as I had programmed them before. On power-up, the radio came back to its previous station and EQ settings prior to shutdown.

Then I opened the manual and was surprised to read good discussions on how HD Radio works, multicast channels, and system delay in addition to the regular operating instructions. The 28-page manual has identical sections in English and Spanish. Receiver specifications were not published.

The volume control rotates to control the volume. Pushing the volume control will cause the radio to change to one of five operating modes. The volume range was sufficient for my apartment. At full volume I did not notice distortion.

The Accurian provides six preset positions for each band — FM1, FM2, AM1 and AM2 — giving a total of 24 station presents. Aux In completes the Mode selections. The Aux In connector is on the rear panel of the radio and is an unbalanced, 1/8-inch stereo mini plug.

A mini stereo headset jack is provided on the front of the radio. The speakers mute when headset operation is engaged. The antenna connections on the rear of the radio are convenient easy to attach an antenna to.

Five equalizer presets allow selection of: Normal, Jazz, Classic, Rock and Pop. I prefer the Normal EQ setting so that I can listen to the Accurian's definition of a flat frequency response. These DSP settings are not saved in memory with the station preset.

The palm-sized, IR-remote control makes controlling the radio easy from across the room. I prefer using the radio's full-function IR remote control. Otherwise, one must be in front of and above the radio's local controls in order to use them.

The Accurian Tabletop HD Radio's simplicity, ease of operation, informative operation manual and low cost makes this HD radio a winner in the entry-market of HD Radio receivers for consumers.

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