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How good is DAB?

Discussion in 'DAB Digital Radio & FM Radio' started by DEANO-B, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. DEANO-B

    DEANO-B Member

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    I'm considering buying a DAB enabled head unit, but have heard the reception constantly cuts out, and that they are a waste of time. Is this true or do they need setting up (new ariel etc.). I know there are DAB sites which show you the nationwide coverage but how wide is the coverage realistically???
  2. DEANO-B

    DEANO-B Member

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    Please help - please!! Also is there any DVD DAB units that don't cost £££££££ .

    P.S. Pleeese help!
  3. laser

    laser Member

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    Hi

    I have a protable DAB radio (not a car DAB radio) and reception is very poor in buildings or in a car when moving. The reception breaks up and the audio turns into babbling garbage. In some case the signal is lost altogether.

    This happens listening to Radio 1, Virgin and BBC 5 live. THat's about all I listen to.

    The sound quality is OK. Virgin broadcasts at 160kb/s (stereo), Radio 1 at 128kb/s (stereo), bbc 5 live at 80kb/s (mono), bbc world service at 60kb/s.

    Therefore quality is no better than average MP3.

    Audition before you buy is my advice.

    Also check the reception in your area. There is often zero reception in the countryside. But even in towns or cities, tall buildings can block the reception unlike analogue radio.
  4. DEANO-B

    DEANO-B Member

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    thanks for the reply. I'm tending to believe the rumours of them being pretty useless as hardly anybody sells them.
  5. drdavewatford

    drdavewatford Member

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    You might want to go to the "Pistonheads" website and ask some TVR Tuscan owners on the TVR forums - The TVR Tuscan S comes with a DAB radio as standard so you'll get some more "real life" experiences.

    Dr. D.
  6. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    Whether DAB is any good or not depends on many variables.

    If you want to listen to stations that broadcast only on DAB & not FM then some reception is better than none.

    You will get much better reception from a proper aerial rather than a stick on jobbie. Trying to use a portable radio in a car is no way of evaluating reception.

    I drive around rural Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk & Cambridge & there are very few black holes these days.

    Find yourself a proper ICE dealer & ask if you can have a mobile demo. Completely pointless trying them out in a showroom. If you get a demo & like something then buy from the dealer rather than the web. By all means negotiate hard but show some appreciation of their service.

    Check out these threads (not all relevant) & this site.
  7. rozzar

    rozzar Member

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    i haev a Blaupunkt DAB53 cd/mp3/fm/dab unit in a Focus estate. The BBC and Digital One ensembles work perfectly throughout the UK. The only problem are the local stations which are a bit temperatmental. But the signals always improving and i would NEVER go back to an Fm only h/u now.
  8. ad47uk

    ad47uk Member

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    The quality of DAb isnot as good as FM, if you got a good strong FM signal, then the sound quality knocks DAB to pieces. I borrowed a DAB set once and compared it to my FM tuner. DAb audio sounds weak and feeble, the problem is the bitrates, and the more ststions they stick in the space, the worse it will get, just like digital T.V

    talking about digital T.V, if you want the extra Digital BBc radio stations, then that is your best way, even by Freeview or Dsat. The problem is they are not portable.
    The quality is still not as good as FM, but you can use FM for Radio 1,2,3,4 and and other, then use digital for the digital only stations.
  9. roversd1

    roversd1 Guest

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    DAB was originally designed for in car use. The original transmitter network followed the main motorway routes.

    DAB was supposed to stand for quality, now its quantity. The best broadcasts are only half of what DAB was capable of, and who wants to listen just Radio 4?

    There are many threads covering the DAB quality issue- and with the current availability of headunits being very very poor, you would be better off with an MP3 player, an AUX IN, and recordings of your favourite music/ radio programmes. Much easier than trying to install some cack DAB head unit, associated arial and so on.
  10. Ikki

    Ikki Member

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    I know someone who has fitted a DAB DA-1 receiver from Dixons into his car. It is meant for use with your HiFi in the house, but he says that it works well.

    DAB DA-1

    Reading earlier posts, I think that there is a bit of confusion between signal quality and sound quality. DAB probably doesn't give as good SQ as it could because the broadcasters have done their usual trick of squeezing as many channels in as possible, increasing compression and losing SQ. But it's fine for the kitchen or the car.
  11. roversd1

    roversd1 Guest

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    I dont really think it is currently any good for the car, most newer cars/luxury cars have very little external noise intrusion. On long journies, compressed FM is a far better option than dodgy DAB.

    The Kenwood headunit I had, I sold simply because it couldnt work as well as the FM.
  12. rgreening

    rgreening Member

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    I've got a Vauxhall with their CDC 40 Opera DAB unit and the reception is great. I travel 30k miles a year. It only comes unstuck in Wales, but even FM is dodgy their.

    I'll not go back to FM if I can help it as I find FM a little harsh in the car. However, at Home FM offers better sound Quality.

    Each to their own.
  13. wassap

    wassap New Member

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    I have Dab in my Focus ST and imvery happy with it, the supplied aerial (stick on jobbie) was rubbish, but i managed to get an Autoleads splitter, which enabled me to use my std aerial, never skips a beat on the BBC channels, its a bit iffy on the local stuff.

    I will never go back to a FM only setup.
  14. RobN

    RobN Member

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    Coverage is patchy, maybe you could borrow a portable to test what you can pick up where you live. Though there is no hiss or interference the sound quality is fairly poor, heard through a decent stereo DAB sounds thin and brittle, much prefer FM. The selling point of DAB is that it has a monopoly on some content I really like especially BBC Radio 6 .
  15. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt Well-Known Member

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    I can't listen to FM as my reception is rubbish. I can only get local radio. With DAB I get everything plus the DAB only stations. The quality for me perfectly fine and have no complaints.

    I do have a Technics DAB which cost £400 at the time years ago (DAB chips were £100 of that) but I also have a personal DAB which sounds just as good.
  16. Oakwood

    Oakwood Member

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    I"ve had a Sony unit with DAB in my car for over a year now, with a seperate external aerial for DAB. In my area(Derby) which is not exactly fantastic for strong signals, I get perfect reception of the Digital 1 and BBC Muxes, plus near perfect signals of the Now Nottingham mux and also good reception in the higher parts of the MXR West Midlands mux, and even the CE Birmingham mux. The Now Derby mux comes on stream next spring. It"s been miles better than the crackly reception of FM in the city centre and has certainly surprised me, besides extending the choice available. Certainly having a good aerial is vital...I was initially fobbed off with an internal windscreen aerial which was close to useless.

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