- DAB Radio
When DAB does not work you just get nothing – its fine at home but my portable is intermittent on camping trips
True, but listening to FM fading in and out is not a lot of fun. We’ve got a DAB car radio and coverage is surprisingly good now – the motorway network seems pretty rock solid and when it does go I’m sure there is no FM either.Posted 4 years agopipnet1Member
My experience of DAB is it needs to be a lot better! I had a cheapy one first and had all sorts of problems getting reception anywhere in the house. I put this down to it being cheap. I now have a relatively expensive system and its just as bad! The antenna has to be in a very specific place to get a good amount of stations.
This isn’t too bad until you think that with FM you just plug it in and switch it on and you tend to have pretty good reception (in urban places at least). Also comparing FM with DAB (Radio2 for example) FM still sounds better on the same system.
OK you get a lot of stations but the same as digital TV, there’s just more shite.
It’ll get there, but right now I’m not impressed.Posted 4 years agodrlexMember
I’d agree with pipnet1- the quality is sub-FM. I can hear a lot of what I assume are compression artefacts, as it can sound like a very low quality mp3 track at times. ISTR that a number of stations are packed onto the same or very close wavelengths, so that each has quite a diminished bandwidth for transmission. Fine for predominantly speech channels (R4, R7 etc), but poor for music. I’ve found that the best digital quality radio is via an old Sky box.Posted 4 years ago
at home in london signal is excellent
got a decent sony one for the car and it’s been great and real revelation (stations are so much better) get excellent reception, better than fm in most placesPosted 4 years ago
and have driven down to cornwall and up to liverpool , cwmcarn, and newcastle all with no signal problems, did strugle in snowdonia though but then no phone signal eithermuddyfoolMember
I think the biggest problem has been car manufacturers charging silly amounts for dab as an option on new cars really. Most finally seem to be including it as standard now though, I think?
Personally, I’d take patchy dab coverage over the repetitive rubbish played most of the time on fm. Switch it off tomorrow as far as I’m concerned. More variety of music can only be a good thing, and I’d give up a week of any fm station to listen to Craig Charles or Huey Morgan on 6 music. Other dab stations are available for those who may not share my taste in music…Posted 4 years ago
In my old car I fitted a retro fit DAB radio in it and it was rubbish.
What aerial did you use? It’s never going to be great with a bit of wire stuck to the glass.
We bought one of these – a proper aerial that sticks on the outside of the glass (with a capacitive connection to the inside cable). Rock solid nearly everywhere.Posted 4 years ago
I have a DAB in the car, with the little supplied aerial stuck inside the windscreen. Reception all around North Wilts, Somerset, South Glos, is really very good, driving down to Burnham and Weston on the M4/5, there’s a dead spot just past Avonmouth, but otherwise it’s fine. Driving from Devizes to Salisbury, OTOH… 😡Posted 4 years ago
FM, on the other hand, is shite! Driving from Chippenham to Bath, the Radio 2 signal goes half way to Corsham, five miles away, and is patchy even in Bath; driving to Bristol is fine, until you get to Tog Hill on the A420, then Radio Cardiff swamps it. Radio 1 isn’t much better, and I refuse to listen to either, on the grounds that I’m a discerning adult with impeccable taste in music. 😉IanWMember
I don’t find reception the problem, its just an all round worse standard than FM which is just as, if not better sounding, quicker to locate channels and much less energy consuming.
The only thing DAB has going for it is the content which is nothing to do with the technology. It’s also being superseded by Internet delivery so is in effect a dead duck.Posted 4 years agoRich_sMember
Built in DAB in my Golf. It’s cracking! Pretty good everywhere, although strangely not in the middle of Liverpool. Sounds loads better than fm too. I had to get it as an option, but ny next car (Octavia) has it as standard.
Also have a portable one at home which really struggles with getting a signal.Posted 4 years agoCougarSubscriber
My first factory-fit DAB in a car was in a Vectra, and it was pants. Dropped out constantly and wouldn’t change transmitters automatically which meant you spent half your life re-tuning the bloody thing.
I then had it in a Mk4 Mondeo, and it was a revelation. Very, very rarely out of signal, and when it was you could almost guarantee that it was such a blackspot that you’d lost FM too.
Quality varies per station. I found Kerrang (outside of London) to be unlistenable, but most of the other stations I liked (Planet Rock, Real XS etc) were at least as good if not better than FM. Where stations simulcasted I’d generally choose DAB over FM.
I don’t think DAB is inherently bad, but there are a lot of poor implementations about (both in terms of stations and head units). That will only improve once (if) FM gets switched off as there will be more bandwidth available. It should already have improved with analogue TV dying.
New car doesn’t have DAB and I really miss it.Posted 4 years ago
Another failing with DAB is that many broadcasters are still compressing the signal to make their broadcasts sound ‘louder’ than the competitors – like with CDs.
The original idea was that there would be no compression and your receiver woudl apply the appropriate compression according to the environment it was in, so a car radio would compress, but a home hifi would not.
Any the bit rate wasn’t supposed to be this low – the original BBC recommendation was something higher like 192k, as anything less was ‘annoying’. Only radio 3 hits this rate now from the BBC channels. Plus it is MP2 which doesn’t handle the low bitrates as well as MP3.Posted 4 years agocraigxxlMember
At home it’s perfect and sounds much better than FM but this dependent on the radio. We’ve had the ASDA special, Gear4 and finally Roberts. The reception between all 3 was different with the ASDA radio worst and the Roberts just working perfect as it should be for any radio regardless of price like it would be if listening to FM.Posted 4 years ago
In the car I bought a Pure Highway. With the screen mounted antenna it was awful, dropping signal and a dull sub FM reception. I changed the factory fitted external antenna for an expensive highly recommended one and the difference is night and day but not perfect. Very built areas will see the signal drop off from 5 bars to one and anything less than 3 is hit and miss. Also from a one mile radius of the broadcasting mast at junction 28 on the M62 I get nothing at all which happens to other people I know including someone who lives half a mile away from it. When moving in the car (13 plate Audi A6 with factory fitted DAB) in this radius he gets nothing or very patchy reception. Within his drive still in this area it’s almost perfect. Walking into his house he can gets perfect reception on his Pure DAB radio. I think the broadcast and reception of the signal needs to improve vastly before they can think about dropping FM broadcasts
At home it’s perfect and sounds much better than FM but this dependent on the radio
what you mean is your DAB radio sounds better than your FM one – assuming decent aerial setups a lot of people prefer FM for fidelity of signal – although in some ways this is funny as FM chops off at 15KHz.
Listening via Freeview or virgin cable is a better option than DAB as the bitrates are better.Posted 4 years ago
And one of the original reasons for Dab was for decent in-car reception…
and with any sort of decent aerial it is. Dropout free reception from central London to North of the Scottish border without having to retune. FM won’t do that. With the background noise in (most) cars at motorway speeds the highest fidelity is not really an issue.
Home reception is the same – I can just about see Crystal Palace from home but however good the receiver FM reception is pretty crappy with a strung down the back of a chest of drawers and even with a rod aerial I’d get constant interference from pirate stations and the like. Naturally with a proper roof aerial it was perfect but I didn’t have that cabled to everywhere I had a receiver (next time).
DAB internally however is rock solid again, even without the rod aerials on the Tivoli portables extended. An old Pure separate works well enough with a bit of Coax to a TV rod aerial.
As pointed out above, bitrates on DTT and Satellite are higher but it’s a bit of a faff to use.Posted 4 years agoohnohesbackMember
Aren’t there two DAB standards, with the UK adopting the earler one, so that in the event of a DAB switchover existing DAB sets will join the mountain of WEE created.
The whole thing as a farce forced on us by the ponytailed techies in the BBC. I hope that the planned switchover is forever postponed.Posted 4 years ago
The only thing DAB has going for it is the content which is nothing to do with the technology. It’s also being superseded by Internet delivery so is in effect a dead duck.
Let’s see you get continuous Internet access in a car driving across country. If you think you’re going to get any kind of coherent net access through mobile networks, in all areas of the country, at an affordable price, you’re going to have a very, very long wait.Posted 4 years ago
The topic ‘DAB Radio’ is closed to new replies.