Off Topic: HD Radio In Chicago

By now most people have heard an ad or two on the radio for something called HD radio.  If you’ve wondered what the difference is between regular radio and HD radio, it boils down to two things — quality and content.

The quality of the sounds is better.  Even on AM.  In fact, I used to be an avid WGN Radio listener, but since it’s not in HD, I simply can’t stand the noise of regular AM in my ears anymore.  Sorry, WGN.  It’s time to turn your HD transmission back on.

On the FM side, the sound is cleaner.  I won’t say it’s CD quality, but it’s certainly better than regular FM.

The big thing is content — people wonder what they will be able to hear with an HD radio that they can’t with a regular radio.

We have an HD radio near the top of the John Hancock Center, so we put together a list of what we get on our radio.  Your mileage will vary based on your radio and your location.  But the radio does a great job of pulling in distant stations that weren’t available before, even just regular FM ones.  So if you’re in Chicago, you should be able to hear most of what we hear.

Here’s the list.  HD-only channels are highlighted:

 88.1 WCRX Chicago Columbia College
 88.3 WDGC-FM Downers Grove Downers Grove High School
 88.5 WHPK-FM Chicago University of Chicago
 88.7 WLUW Chicago Loyola University
 89.1 WONC Naperville North Central College
 89.3 WNUR-FM Evanston Northwestern University
 89.5 WBEW Chesterton, IN Chicago Public Radio
 89.7 WONU Kankakee Olivet Nazarine University
 90.1.1 WMBI-HD Chicago Moody Bible Institute
 90.1.2 WMBI-HD2 Chicago Moody Bible Institute
 90.1.3 WMBI-HD3 Chicago Moody Bible Institute
 90.5 WRTE Chicago Spanish
 90.9.1 WDCB-HD1 Glen Ellyn Jazz
 91.5 WBEZ Chicago Chicago Public Radio
 92.3.1 WPWX-HD Hammond, IN Urban
 92.7 WCPT-FM Arlington Heights Talk
 93.1.1 WXRT-FM-HD Chicago Rock
 93.1.2 WXRT-FM-HD2 Chicago Rock
 93.5 WVIX Joliet Spanish
 93.9.1 WLIT-FM-HD Chicago Adult Contemporary
 93.9.2 WLIT-FM-HD2 Chicago 70’s/80’s
 94.3 WZOC Plymouth, IN Oldies
 94.7.1 WLS-FM-HD Chicago Oldies
 94.7.2 WLS-FM-HD2 Chicago Talk (WLS relay)
 95.1 WIIL Kenosha, WI Rock
 95.5.1 WNUA-HD Chicago Smooth Jazz
 95.5.2 WNUA-HD2 Chicago Jazz
 95.9 WEFM Michigan City, IN Variety
 96.3.1 WBBM-FM-HD1 Chicago Top 40
 96.3.2 WBBM-FM-HD2 Chicago Dance
 96.7 WSSR Joliet Adult Contemporary
 97.1.1 WDRV-HD Chicago Rock
 97.1.2 WDRV-HD2 Chicago Rock
 97.9.1 WLUP-FM-HD Chicago Hard Rock
 97.9.2 WLUP-FM-HD2 Chicago Heavy Metal
 97.9.3 WLUP-FM-HD3 Chicago Indian
 98.3 WCCQ Crest Hill Country
 98.7 WFMT Chicago Classical
 99.1 WMYX-FM Milwaukee, WI Adult Contemporary
 99.5.1 WUSN-HD Chicago Country
 99.5.2 WUSN-HD2 Chicago Country
 99.5.3 WUSN-HD3 Chicago Sports
 99.9 WCPQ Park Forest Talk
100.3.1 WILV-HD Chicago Adult Contemporary
100.3.2 WILV-HD2 Chicago Love Songs
100.7 WRXQ Coal City Rock
101.1.1 WKQX-HD Chicago Alternative
101.1.2 WKQX-HD2 Chicago Punk
101.5 WNSN South Bend, IN Adult Contemporary
101.9.1 WTMX-HD Skokie Adult Contemporary
101.9.2 WTMX-HD2 Skokie 80’s
102.7.1 WVAZ-HD Oak Park Urban
102.7.2 WVAZ-HD2 Oak Park Gospel
103.1 WVIV-FM Highland Park Spanish
103.5.1 WKSC-FM-HD Chicago Rhythmic CHR
103.5.2 WKSC-FM-HD2 Chicago Dance
103.9 WXRD Crown Point, IN Rock
104.3.1 WJMK-HD1 Chicago Rock
104.3.2 WJMK-HD2 Chicago Oldies
104.7 WCFL Morris Religious
105.1.1 WOJO-HD Evanston Spanish
105.1.2 WOJO-HD2 Evanston Spanish
105.1.3 WOJO-HD3 Evanston Spanish
105.5 WLJE Valparaiso, IN Country
105.9.1 WCFS-FM-HD Elmwood Park Adult Contemporary
105.9.2 WCFS-FM-HD2 Elmwood Park News (WBBM-AM relay)
106.3 WSRB Lansing R&B
106.7.1 WPPN-HD Des Plaines Spanish
106.7.2 WPPN-HD2 Des Plaines Spanish
107.1 WZVN Lowell, IN Adult Contemporary
107.5.1 WGCI-FM-HD Chicago Urban
107.5.2 WGCI-FM-HD2 Chicago Hip Hop
107.9 WLEY-FM Aurora Spanish

 560 WIND Chicago
 650 WSM Nashville, TN
 670 WSCR-HD Chicago
 700 WLW-HD Cincinnati, OH
 720 WGN Chicago
 740 CFZM Toronto, ON
 750 WSM Atlanta, GA
 760 WJR-HD Detroit, MI
 780 WBBM-AM-HD Chicago
 810 WGY Albany, NY
 820 WCPT Crystal Lake
 830 WCCO Minneapolis, MN
 840 WHAS Louisville
 890 WLS Chicago
 950 WNTD Chicago
1000 WMVP Chicago
1020 KDKA Pittsburgh
1030 WBZ-HD Boston, MA
1040 WHO-HD Des Moines, IA
1080 WNWI Oak Lawn
1100 WTAM Cleveland, OH
1120 KMOX Saint Louis, MO
1160 WYLL Chicago
1180 WRTO-HD Chicago
1270 WWCA Gary, IN
1390 WGRB-HD Chicago
1430 WEEF Highland Park
1450 WCEV Cicero
1450 WRLL Cicero
1490 WPNA Oak Park
1510 WWHN Joliet
1530 WJJG Elmhurst
1590 WONX Evanston
1600 WCGO Chicago Heights
1690 WVON Berwyn

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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