Is it me but does car DAB radio suck

oldfart

Active Member
Purchased a new car four years ago with a DAB radio fitted as standard and was looking forward to listening to good quality radio but, ever since the signal constantly drops out and annoyingly when at a set of traffic lights or waiting at a junction to filter onto a main road. Does this happen to anybody else or perhaps the fitted radio is just not up to the job. To be honest it's so annoying will not listen to the DAB function anymore and stream radio from my phone via bluetooth which is much more stable.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
It's complete [email protected], it can be made worse by a dashcam causing interference, you could try sreaming Audio.
 

larkone

Member
DAB is totally rubbish in the UK - seriously missed opportunity
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Definitely not you. Didn’t bother on this car and just stream instead.
 

152bobby

Active Member
I have the latest Kenwood 2020 DAB all singing and dancing head unit and I'd say it works 80% of the time without cutting out. Obviously it depends on the area you are in and the type of aerial your car has. I paid about £150 for the best sharks fin DAB aerial from Germany, it made a HUGE difference from the Kenwood stick on windscreen one. I think its ridiculous how DAB+ ( which is meant to be the next step up from DAB) is being advertised, its just not ready to replace FM radio yet.

Once they sort out the UK coverage properly, then DAB+ will be great, as it just opens up a huge selection of channels which are not available on FM.
 

Topmetom 2

Well-known Member
I have the latest Kenwood 2020 DAB all singing and dancing head unit and I'd say it works 80% of the time without cutting out. Obviously it depends on the area you are in and the type of aerial your car has. I paid about £150 for the best sharks fin DAB aerial from Germany, it made a HUGE difference from the Kenwood stick on windscreen one. I think its ridiculous how DAB+ ( which is meant to be the next step up from DAB) is being advertised, its just not ready to replace FM radio yet.

Once they sort out the UK coverage properly, then DAB+ will be great, as it just opens up a huge selection of channels which are not available on FM.
What aerial is it please?
 

152bobby

Active Member
See attached.

The price excludes professional fitting. In my case I used a local mobile stereo fitting company, they charged £75 (if I remember) as they have to feed it from the rear of the headunit into the cars roof liner and if course take the factory fitted aeriel off .

The company I bought the Fin aeriel from also do a "whip" type equivalent, but that would have hit my garage door, so I went for the fin type.

Be sure to read the reviews and star ratings on each aeriel before you decide which one to buy and chose wisely.

They are VERY good at advising which one will suit your particular head unit.

 

Topmetom 2

Well-known Member
See attached.

The price excludes professional fitting. In my case I used a local mobile stereo fitting company, they charged £75 (if I remember) as they have to feed it from the rear of the headunit into the cars roof liner and if course take the factory fitted aeriel off .

The company I bought the Fin aeriel from also do a "whip" type equivalent, but that would have hit my garage door, so I went for the fin type.

Be sure to read the reviews and star ratings on each aeriel before you decide which one to buy and chose wisely.

They are VERY good at advising which one will suit your particular head unit.

Thank you! I have messaged them, will post back what they recommend for my car
 

Topmetom 2

Well-known Member
I had a reply.....


Thank you for your enquiry,

For the best possible results, we suggest a roof mounted DAB FM/AM aerial. Below are a few options, but the DRA-6006 is the best performing aerial we stock.

Kinetic DRA-6006 DAB - DAB+ / FM-AM car aerial - DAB on Wheels

Kinetic DRA-6001 DAB/DAB+/FM/SW/MW/LW car aerial - DAB on Wheels

Kinetic DRA-6003 stubby DAB/DAB+/FM/SW/MW/LW car aerial - DAB on Wheels

Calearo DAB/DAB+/FM/AM Car Aerial - DAB on Wheels

Please let us know which aerial you are looking at, we can then let you know what bundle you require.
 

152bobby

Active Member
They probably all have the same ratings, so it's up to you which one to pick. The "bundle" they mention will be the aeriel and the wiring loom together, as you will need both. I see that the Sharks Fin that I bought is currently out of stock.

I personally think the fin type looks more streamline and looks better on any car and no one can screw any part off the sharks fin off, unlike the whip types, which allows you to unscrew part of it if you want to take the car through a carwash.

It's up to you, good luck.
 

152bobby

Active Member
Another point. Due to the design of the whip aeriels and the fact that they stick up more, you should get slightly better reception, but as I said, mine is fine, but it depends on where you live and where you drive. NONE are 100%, don't let anyone tell you different. If you happen to live in a total dead spot, no aeriel will work well.
 

rpr

Active Member
I lose Planet Rock regularly on certain parts of a street at random times, other times its fine
The bitrate Planet Rock broadcast at is embarrasing.

I was at a launch event for DAB back in the 90's and what we have now is a shadow of what it was meant to deliver.
 

152bobby

Active Member
Like I said, keep good old FM as back up or even stream from your mobile if you have a good data package.

I didn't go out my way to find a head unit with DAB+, it's just difficult to find one without it nowadays !!
 

rpr

Active Member
Plus it's mono! :facepalm:
It's stereo AAC 48kbps or mp3 112kbps. They can't even manage the minimum 128kbps mp3, let alone 192 or 320kbps
 

rpr

Active Member
fudge me that's an utter disgrace for a 'National' station :mad:
 

Ron Hilditch

Active Member
When DAB was first mooted, the recommended minimum bit rate was 192kb/s. The Government at the time wanted to free up as many frequencies as possible. To get as many DAB stations on air as possible they put them into as few as frequencies as possible. The decision was made to reduce the bit rate to as low a number as possible. Money was not allocated to make coverage over the entire country. Like many of you I've got a DAB radio in my car. Constantly dropping out, so I don't listen to it any more. Years ago bought a DAB tuner for my Hi-Fi. When I got a signal the sound quality was crap.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Apart from the crap bitrates, I don't have too many reception issues in my Polo or the the company Caddy. The one that does have issues is Planet Rock (again). But that's been an issue ever since they pulled out of the primary Digital One national network & then relaunched in mono on the inferior Sound Digital network.
 

rpr

Active Member
When DAB was first mooted, the recommended minimum bit rate was 192kb/s. The Government at the time wanted to free up as many frequencies as possible. To get as many DAB stations on air as possible they put them into as few as frequencies as possible. The decision was made to reduce the bit rate to as low a number as possible. Money was not allocated to make coverage over the entire country. Like many of you I've got a DAB radio in my car. Constantly dropping out, so I don't listen to it any more. Years ago bought a DAB tuner for my Hi-Fi. When I got a signal the sound quality was crap.
At a launch event for DAB they were broadcasting at 320kbps. The two classical music fans in front of me were still moaning
 

rpr

Active Member
I listen a lot to HD internet radio, broadcast at 320 Kbps and it's excellent.
I was involved with internet radio for over ten years. The first station I worked on we tested a multitude of different file formats and bitrtes to ensure the best possible sound quality.
 

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