iSimple HD Radio Tuner Add-On for the Gateway Interface
The iSimple HDRT is an HD Radio tuner add-on for the Gateway PXAMG interface. The HDRT receives analog and digital radio stations and gives you control through the factory radio and retains all the functionality of the factory installed Sirius satellite radio tuner. The HD Radio tuner will provide clearer sound on the AM/FM radio as well as access to simulcast HD Radio stations. The simulcast HD Radio stations are purely digital for optimum audio quality.
Internal Product ID:
HD Radio Retrofit to Factory-Installed Stereo
When we bought a 2010 Mazda 3, my wife insisted on iPod integration. The Mazda brochure talked about the feature and the dealership offered it for a reasonable price, so we bought it. What they actually supplied was an after-market adapter that didn't integrate with the factory stereo, nor did it charge the iPod. They then gave us a different after-market product that would charge the iPod, but introduced noise into the signal.
When it died a year later, I saw the iSimple Gateway. It promised full iPod integration along with noise-free charging. It also offered an option for HD Radio, something I had long wanted. Sonic Electronix had it in stock for a good price. B**t B*y agreed to install it along with the iSimple Gateway.
iPod and iPhone 4 music player integration both work as promised, and the HD radio is a real pleasure to listen to, though there is a slight hiss. All factory controls (both on head unit and steering wheel) continue to work.
The iSimple Gateway offers a choice of either Sirius or HD radio. You can't have both. This wasn't a problem for me. I prefer free HD radio to the monthly expense of Sirius. I dinged the product's "Features" for this reason, however.
The iSimple HDRT tuning is also a little fiddly. Instead of having an HD-only mode, you tune to the station and then wait a moment to tune past it to get the HD signal. Preset buttons can store the location of the HD station so you can switch to it automatically (with a moment delay). Somebody who hasn't read the manual or been given instructions will not be able to figure out how to make it work, so I dinged the product's "Ease of Use."
Great Concept poorly executed
First of all, Sonic is great to deal with. I had all manner of problem with the product and they made it all simple, fast and painless to resolve.
The HD radio / and interface module is a brilliant concept. In theory, you can just plug the module into your existing harness and add the HD radio feature into your existing radio.
The reality is a little different. The iSmple QC department is probably two chimpanzees that haven't been fed for a while. Every component had to be exchanged at least once and the HD tuner twice. Even today, about 1 time in 10 when I start he car, the add on module won't be found. The HD tuner is much weaker than the basic car tuner. the signal drops out from the HD tuner about 20 or 30 miles sooner than from the car radio.
It is also much larger than it really needs to be. It is almost the size of a single din radio and it is only the solid state tuner. This makes it pretty challenging to find real estate behind the dash to put it.
Overall I would give the product about a 3 or 4 on a scale of 10
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