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Dissapointing DAB

mij

Well-known Member
Yesterday I purchased a Sony XDR-S55DAB radio for £50.00 and am returning it this morning.

I already had an old Roberts FM/AM/LW RDS radio and did not expect the smaller Sony to sound as good, but not as bad as it does. They should give a free box of headache tablets with it.

LBC at 64bps sounds distorted, Talksport at 64bps sounds even worse although some of the higher bitrate stations do sound OK.

Are all DAB radio's this bad on the low bitrate stations or is it just my Sony?

I want a DAB radio with a sleep timer that takes 4 or less AA batteries, or has a built in rechargeable battery, a headphone socket and sounds OK with talk radio. Does such a thing exist?
 

njp

Well-known Member
Are all DAB radio's this bad on the low bitrate stations or is it just my Sony?
Silk purses and Sow's ears, I'm afraid...

Bitrates on DAB have been progressively decreased since its inception so that more stations can be crammed in, but they still have to make do with the original antiquated compression algorithms. Of course it sounds crap at 64kbps!
 

mij

Well-known Member
Silk purses and Sow's ears, I'm afraid...

Bitrates on DAB have been progressively decreased since its inception so that more stations can be crammed in, but they still have to make do with the original antiquated compression algorithms. Of course it sounds crap at 64kbps!


So it is not going to make much difference if I purchase a bigger/better DAB radio then :(
 

malcolmk

Active Member
I have an £800 DAB tuner feeding a £4,000 pair of speakers. It sounds just like yours, only louder. DAB is useless as a quality sound source.
 

amcluesent

Distinguished Member
Due to the weak encoder used by DAB, 64kbit is more like 48kbit on an MP3 player. Would you accept listening to ripped CD at 48kbit? If not, DAB isn't for you.
 

mij

Well-known Member
Oh dear, not what I wanted to hear.

I think it is money back and make do with the old Roberts :(
 

Cable Monkey

Well-known Member
It might be a bit more listenable, but to be honest the underlying problem is the bitrates and the majority of talk stations are very low, even by British DAB standards.
 

mij

Well-known Member
It is such a shame because the lack of hiss (compared to MW) is great.

I remember reading a What Video mag years ago warning of this very problem when Freeview was announced.
 

malkit

Active Member
Oh dear, not what I wanted to hear.

I think it is money back and make do with the old Roberts :(

You'll get much higher quality digital radio than Dab through a freeview tv,sky or cable tv box.If memory serves me right sky generally has the highest bit rates availble.
 

mij

Well-known Member
You'll get much higher quality digital radio than Dab through a freeview tv,sky or cable tv box.If memory serves me right sky generally has the highest bit rates availble.


My main use is with my pillow speaker (why I need a sleep timer), the bathroom and the garage/office.

Thanks anyway.
 

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