Pros it receives HD stations!
Cons user interface, sound quality
Summary I have a non-HD radio from Cambridge Soundworks that I like a lot, so I bought this 820HD from them when it first came out. When I finally got it four months later (after it passed certification), I was very disappointed. It does bring in my favorite local station better and with no static due to the digital signal, but that's about all I like about it. The list of complaints I have is long, and includes the HD signal dropping out often, an optical output that varies with the volume control rather than being fixed (so you have to listen both to the radio and the stereo it's plugged into), you can't set or adjust an alarm unless you first turn on the radio, the RDBS scrolling display is jerky, the remote has to be pointed right at the unit, sometimes the display shows another station's info if I scroll thru channels quickly, and the sound quality is really pretty mediocre. I just can't believe they made some of the design decisions they did; it must have been a different team from the CSW 745 team.
Pros very good sound, HD, alarm, toslink output; price
Cons display too bright
Summary I live in a crowded section of San Franciscio, and I've always had trouble picking up the local NPR station, with lots of hiss and noise. This radio provides far improved audio quality most of the time for NPR and some (but not all)other stations with weak signals. The access to extra HD stations is a pleasure. I hooked up a 30 foot toslink connector from this radio to my receiver, and get fine sound through my stereo system. The sound from the radio's speakers isn't quite as good as that from CS's 700 radio series, but it's quite good. The dual alarm is reasonably easy to set, once you get the hang of it, and gives you lots of options (e.g., you can choose a different station and alarm level for each alarm). The remote control isn't particularly ergonomic, but it's very useful. In short, I found this radio to be a very good deal at $180. Now and then the digital signal thins and quality degrades, as if you're listening to a telephone. Or the digital signal disappears and you hear hissy analogue reception. With strong signals, the sound is consistantly excellent: free of hiss and distortion. Minor design annoyances: 1) even though the LCD dims in low light, it's still way too bright; instead of a brightness setting, you get a useless contrast setting; 2) you can't check or set the alarm unless the radio is switched on, and 3)you can use either the speakers or the toslink output, but not both at the same time--switching them is a bit inconvenient.
Pros Great sound and looks
Cons Lousy repair policy
Summary I understand some % of electronics are going to fail. I don't undestand 6 weeks in the shop to make the repair. Mine failed at 62 days - it lost it's ability to receive digital signals and to set up favorite stations. Since mine is outside the 45 day return policy, I was told to send it to their Canton Mass repair facility and it would take six weeks to repair and then return it to me. I was told they will not extend the warranty beyond the 1 year even though their repair with shipping will consume about 2 months of the warrantable period.
I thought I was buying a premium product with all that goes along with that... premium service. Apparently I was wrong.Updated
My previous post noted Cambridge Soundworks quoted me 6 weeks to repair a radio I had for about 2 months when it failed. This is to confirm that true to their word; it has now been 7 weeks since I returned the radio and still do not have a replacment. I have proof that it was received but am still waiting.
Yesterdat I emailed them a request to give me a refund in exchange for their keeping the radio. I was refused this 7 weeks ago. Since they are now apparently unable to give me a repaired radio per their comitment, this seems reasonable.
Pros looks nice and sound seems pretty good
Cons keeps needing to be reset after losing its settings; user manual in terrible and radio controls are not intuitive; overly sensitive to antenna positions so reception is often staticy
Summary Sorry I bought it. I previuosly had a Kloss radio from Cambridge Soundworks. I thought this radio would be a good replacement when the Kloss got cooked in an electrical storm; wrong!