Pros SRS Surround technology, 7 Band EQ, built-in HD tuner, very good bass production with any speakers, great price
Cons The buttons are a little small, red illumination on the buttons is very difficult to read at night
Summary First off, this is one of the only car cd receivers with a built-in HD tuner. That said, it's also one of the only receivers with such a vast amount of excellent features such as SRS Circle Surround technology, a 7 band EQ, sub outs, power amp outs for mains, numerous cd changer options, iPod controls right on the head unit, and to top it all off this unit can be found for $160!
Of course many people will buy this just for the HD capability, which is awesome, but the other features is what sold me.
As for the HD tuning, when you connect to a channel with an HD simulcast an HD icon shows up and blinks while it connects, then when it connects you notice a crystal clear difference. It makes AM sound like FM, and it makes FM sound like a 96-128 kbps mp3 since that's the bandwidth most stations are streamed at. You can also scan for HD stations only if you like.
The SRS CS (Circle Surround) technology and the 7 band equalizer is what sold me. I like to be able to make my music sound the absolute best I can, and the EQ lets you tweak exactly with a 10dB range at 60 Hz, 150 Hz, 400 Hz, 1 kHz, 2.4 kHz, 6 kHz, and 15 kHz. The SRS CS is a technology that lets you configure the receiver to position the volume to be louder in certain speakers. So say you have an SUV, like me, which means you have 4 speakers: 2 large front, and 2 large rear door mounted speakers you can set up the SRS CS to amplify the bass accordingly for each speaker. Also it widens the stereo field, so no matter where you are in the car you feel like you're in the middle of the speakers.
This stereo makes any car with pretty much any speakers set up sound great. I was going to connect my subs to this receiver, but when I listened to the quality of JVC's "TruBass" I was overly impressed and decided that the subs weren't needed at all!
My only cons for this unit are that the buttons are a little small and the illumination on the buttons is very hard to read. The screen is awesome, just the buttons are hard to read when it's dark.
"What a bargin"on by andytparsons
Pros Full XM control
Cons It's either XM or Ipod
Summary A great deal with a 40.00 rebate at Crutchfield. The HD (Hybrid Digital) sound is stunning. Commerical radio needs to be plugging this more. Easy install and clear operations manual. The downside appears to be you cannot have XM AND IPOD control as it's either or.
Pros High-Def Radio, Plenty of power (50wx4 Mosfet)
Cons None exist this unit is the real deal
Summary As far as head units were concerned, for years I always bought Pioneer and I still think they are one of the best in the business. But, when I decided to finally upgrade my Dodge Ram I did my research. I knew that I wanted a head unit with HD capability, I'm not blowing my money on satalite when I can get the same sound quality for free.
During my research phase I found that Pioneer doesn't even offer HD (as far as I could find) and that was a bit of a bummer. But then I dug deeper and found that most companies only offer "HD ready" units (beware of this), meaning that I'd have to spend another $199.99 (minimum) on an HD tuner. I wasn't about to do that, I had almost given up all hope till I found the JVC KD-HDR1! It had everything I was looking for and was comparable with Pioneer units I had in the past, so I was quite excited.
So I decided to buy two, one for my truck and one for my wife's 2002 Dodge Stratus R/T coupe with the Infinity system. They both sound great, granted now I need to upgrade my speakers, but it sounds amazing in my wifes car! I highly recomend this unit for anyone who wants to add an HD upgrade. This Unit is the real deal!
"POWER PACKED"on by mikepow75
Pros Clean Powerful sound
Cons Cumbersome Ipod Navigation
Summary I had this installed as a replacement to a stock Honda radio ('97 Accord). Original factory speakers sound really good....better than they did with the old radio. Some HD stations have text available and will include song title and artist name (as well as station slogan during commercial breaks). I wish the trim on this unit was black instead of silver because the radio screams "AFTERMARKET" when you look at it. Also the ipod navigation is exhausting at best, so I suggest setting up your playlists before you leave home to avoid needing to tinker with the radio on the road. Removable faceplate is a nice feature in big urban settings. The display is virtually illegible in bright sunlight. The designers need to visit the Alpine guys and learn how to style a radio. Having said that, this unit delivers power which is manifested as deep bass and crisp highs. Avoid using any equalizer settings (like bass booster) on your ipod otherwise you risk causing major sound distortion. Spend time tweaking your sound to get the best out of this system. In summary, I'm glad I bought it.
Pros Good use of HD Radio and available features
Cons Too few options for fine tone adjustment
Summary Overall great radio. Works perfectly for what I need. I live in Dallas with lots of HD radio stations that broadcast in HD2. Has included changer controller. It falls short a little when compared to the Alpine units that can control cd changers as well as ipods.
Also, it could use more controls for fine tuning the audio like specifically enhancing bass and treble.
Other than that, a superior radio on the market today.
Paid $140 for it online.