"Fine sound & reception; a few annoyances; a great deal"4.0 starson by mazfromsf
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.