Reasons to get DAB and which reciever to get

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by Ikki, Aug 19, 2005.

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  1. Ikki

    Ikki
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    The reasons in favour of DAB are:

    clear, reasonable sound quality, free of interference.
    Many more stations than FM including local stations.
    no knob twiddling to find precise frequencies.
    Station information.
    No need to find space for a TV + Freeview/SKY box in the kitchen, bedroom etc.
    The decent sets have very good reception.
    Some have inbuilt recording and live pause functions.
    There are now clock radios with DAB receivers built in.

    What DAB is not is a 'HiFi' source, get your vinyl or cd out for that, besides who needs to listen to gardners question time' in superperfect 'HiFi' sound. So don't be put off by all the comments about poor sound quality, it's great for most things that you would use a radio for.

    Like any other electronics based medium, some of the DAB receivers are great, others are rubbish. Don't be put off when it is quite obviously a lousy DAB set that has negatively clouded a users opinion of DAB.

    As a service to prospective purchasers, it would be great if users could write mini reviews of their receivers below. Please don't clog the thread up with 'Don't get DAB because the sound quality is poor' type posts. :smashin:

    n.b. I don't have anything to do with the DAB industry.
     
  2. Ikki

    Ikki
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    This receiver looks good and is well made, the ideal kitchen radio.

    The reception is very strong and resolves all the available stations in my area with ease on the telescopic aerial. The telescopic aerial can easily be replaced with an external aerial via an F type connector.

    Sound quality is good, there is plenty of volume available with no noticeable distortion at normal listening volumes. There are no tone controls, but the need for them hasen't arisen yet. A second speaker can be fitted for stereo sound. The receiver has a line out connection as well. A USB port is fitted for the potential of upgrading the firmware.

    Stations can be accessed either by turning a rotary knob or through six presets. The display is a clear blue colour and can show radio info or signal strength. The set is powered from a mains adaptor and is therefore not portable. It also has a built in timer for use while cooking.

    Thoroughly recommended. :thumbsup:
     
  3. Ikki

    Ikki
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    A big disappointment. The looks are in the eye of the beholder, but build quality didn't impress.

    The reception was so poor that an active external aerial had to be fitted. This is possible via an F type connector after removing the telescopic aerial and a plate.

    Sound quality was muddy at best, the tone controls couldn't sufficiently improve it. Maximum volume is low, especially on R4 and the whole case resonates at certain audio frequencies causing the case to vibrate and buzz when in contact with the work surface. A line out is fitted and I only improved the sound quality by fitting active speakers.

    Station access is by rotary knob (which rubbed on the case during part of it's rotation) or via up to ten presets. The radio also has an FM tuner built in.

    Power is by mains or battery, so the radio can be used as a portable.

    It died after a year and a half.

    I cannot recommend this radio. :thumbsdow
     
  4. ad47uk

    ad47uk
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    IKKI, the problem is with the system, you can have the best made DAB radio, which could produce the greatest sound, but it will never do so, well not in this country anyway. The other problem is price, £30 for a clock radio, just to listen to a radio staition in bed is a lot of money. I can pick up a AM/FM clock radio for £7, which will do the job. for a bit better quality, I could get a FM/AM one for just over a tenner.

    As for local stations, we can not get out local stations on DAB here.
    FM is beter, the only advantage of DAB is if you want to listen to a station that is not on FM. But then I would prefer to use the FReeview box or the Sky box.
     
  5. Jules

    Jules
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    I've got a quality Sony 777ES DAB/FM tuner (£600).
    However, I think I've listened to DAB no more than half a dozen times as FM's soudn quality is miles better.

    Like others have said, its only really of use to get stations that aren't on FM, and even then you're better off with freeview/sky.

    I'm afraid DAB really is big saggy pants IMO.
     
  6. Scunnyjack

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    Have a Woodstock53 in the car, very rarely use the cd/mp3 player,do use the SD card record facility to record programmes for listening to later in the week.Usually listen to the ARROW classic rock,59 min's music, 1minute chat per hour-great!
    Just bought a new Roberts Gemini 1 off Ebay for £90,good sound but eats D cell batterries(less than 24hrs).The SD card recorder is ok but the record timer is very fiddley,often hasn't recorded what I wanted.It records as a ramfile that will play on the Woodstock in the car.The SD card playback in the Gemini leaves a lot to be desired, you can't fast forward or back and if you press stop it goes back to the start again.Also it will only allow one recording per card regardless of card size,theWoodstock allows up to 99 or until the card is full, 7-8hours on a 512mb.How Dixons etc sell the Gemini 1 for almost £200 I don't know.
    Also have a Grundig Opus that I use at work on shifts.Stations such as Virgin,Magic & Classic Gold that only transmit on AM radio are pretty good on DAB.If you want The Arrow or Planet Rock away from home it has to be DAB,loads more stations, good clean reception!.
     
  7. Ikki

    Ikki
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    Jules and ad47uk, you obviously didn't read the start of the thread. It was a depressing inevitability that DAB naysayers would post here. This isn't a thread to moan about DAB, if you want to do that there are other threads. The Freeview/SKY argument is totally fallacious in this context and I'll say it again,

    it's not about 'HiFi' sound quality,

    just normal listenable sound quality and other plus points.

    Please, if you want to moan, do it elsewhere. If you have a receiver review please post.
     
  8. Jules

    Jules
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    ok, sorry! I admit to getting a bit carried away.
    Happens to us all at some point.

    :)
     
  9. Ikki

    Ikki
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    That's ok
     
  10. Steven

    Steven
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    The only DAB-only stations I'm interested in is 1xtra and that 5 live sport thing

    Until the digital switch over, FM more than caters for my needs. I'm not spending £50-£100 just for a handful of channels.

    And I think I speak for a lot of people
     
  11. ad47uk

    ad47uk
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    The only digital station I do listen to is BBC7, I use the Freeview or Sky box for that. Normally the Freeview box, as I can record the programme onto the hard drive. then I stick it onto DVD and rip the sound track off. It is the only way I can think of doing it.

    As for FM, I don't think there is any talk of it being switched off and if there is, it wll be many years before it happens. I don't think it will be in my lifetime.
     
  12. AMc

    AMc
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    I do that with a Psion DAB Wavefinder - its a USB accessory which I bought for £25 off the net. It does scheduled recordings directly to MP3 (doesn't work with the latest version of XP).
    I believe the Pure Bug also does timed recordings direct to MP3 on a memory card.
     
  13. Dr Diversity

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    I thought it was about sound quality when compared to medium wave, otherwise whatis the point?
     
  14. Big Adam

    Big Adam
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    Originally bought a 1XT for my Dad for his birthday after auditioning a few sets in John Lewis.

    Have to say that after an hour's playing around, the Pure range was the only one I would consider spending my money on as almost all the others sounded very hollow or tinny. I found the Pure radios to be much more warm and rich in their presentation.

    Anyway, bought the 1XT but quickly took it back after realising that this 'portable' radio wouldn't run off batteries! :suicide:

    Was going to pick up the Evoke 2 but read some horror stories r.e. battery life so held out for it's successor, the Evoke 2XT.

    It arrived today (£136inc from Go-Electrical) and all I can say is "Wow". Not only does it look special but the sound is much improved, even above the 1XT. Battery life has yet to be tested but I'll leave that up to my pop. Blurb says 25hours from 6x C cells which isn't bad. I guess it'll be around 15 hours using rechargeables. Don't think I'll be shelling out the £30 for Pure's "Charge-pak".

    Hopefully Dad'll be a happy bunny doing the gardening with Capital and Classic Gold in the background.
     
  15. JOHNSTEPHEN

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    Hi
    I recently bought the above Sony and i have to say that it is a fantastic tuner.

    The FM reception is crystal clear and sounds very warm.I mostly listen to classic fm and it is a joy.

    As far as the DAB goes that is fine.Much better than AM but obviously not as good as FM.

    I use DAB to listen to BBC Radio 6.
    As far as i am concerned it was worth the purchase just to be able to listen to some great music played by DJ's who are informed,unlike the muppets that are employed by radio 1 and the majority of local commercial stations !

    John
     
  16. windfall

    windfall
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    Guys
    I wa swondering around dixons the other day taking in the different DAB radio's. Ihave been sitting on the fence and I always listen to talk sport and 5 live. Apart from those two I dont use a radio unless in the car.
    So is it worth spending the £100+ for those two channels in your opinion. From reading this post it would seem not. We purchased My MUM a grundig DAB radio and she loves its sound and receiving capability and the Radio Stations mentioned above are very clear, that was only £60 last xmas.
    I am after one that will give good audio output at loudish volumes (when I'm in shower etc etc) which one should I get?

    Thanks
    Tone
     
  17. Steven

    Steven
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    hey ppl, if you like loads of DAB sations, get a DAB radio. I'm just saying personally, I don't like the sounds of enough to justify getting one....

    This offer from Dixons is interesting
    Offer must end Tuesday though
     
  18. Ikki

    Ikki
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    Tonetrainer, I don't think that you would go wrong with one of the Pure Evokes. I am not sure if anyone makes a waterproof DAB radio yet.
     
  19. General Skanky

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    and this -

    do put me off.

    I haven't heard DAB yet. Like many I'm waiting (not bothered?). However, wether intentionally or not, it doesn't really promote DAB to me at all.

    When analogue radios can be produced to such high standards such as Naim or the famous Audiolab tuner, designed specifically for sound quality, DAB has already lost out. Am I correct in saying that it has an absolute limit in sound quality?

    The Arcam DAB tuners can't realise their full potential for example, because of this.

    I don't want to sound negative, as the benefits like perfect reception, greater choice etc are most welcome.

    When DAB was being pitched as the best sound ever, I was very hopeful. Now I'll wait and see how the technology progresses.

    Until it does, I see little point in splashing out until I have to. Analogue is fantastic in its own right.
     
  20. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    And to add, at the more 'normal' levels of price for a DAB vrs Analogue radio, as mentioned, there are no real advantages over a good little analogue radio, which looks to be cheaper too.
     
  21. Cruickaz

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    I recently got the Sharp FVBD1ES, and was greatly disapointed by the poor reception of the radio on DAB. FM was great but I have several FM radios already and do not want another.
    I want a radio that will be able to get a good signal in the middle of a row of Victorian terrece houses.
    Any suggestions would be must welcomed.
    The Sharp was taken back.
     
  22. Ikki

    Ikki
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    The biggest advantage for me over an analogue radio is that there are some stations for which there is no other practical way to listen to in my kitchen - no matter how good FM is.
     
  23. fortean

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    Apart from picking up stations not available on FM there are 3 other reasons to buy DAB...

    1. To line the pockets of the manufacturers.
    2. Because you can't think of anything else to buy.
    3. To increase the damage to the environment.

    DAB has a built in limit to the maximum sound quality, which is poorer than a good FM signal. This means when there is only DAB then there will be no more high quality radio sound.

    DAB consumes more power.

    Since DAB doesn't really offer anything new it is replacing an existing technology that doesn't need replacing. This means that all the FM radios are being replaced for no good reason.

    If you want additional, poor quality, radio stations you will find plenty of them on the Internet.
     
  24. Ikki

    Ikki
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    What a load of rubbish. :rolleyes:
     
  25. AMc

    AMc
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    I agree that DAB is not all it could be - especially the overal sound quality - but the continous nay saying in this thread is getting a bit dull.
    Perhaps one of the more vocal opponents would like to start a thread called "Reasons NOT to get DAB and which FM reciever to get".

    If someone could shut down the FM pirates around N16 then I'd be happy to go back to FM - but as it stands DAB is my ONLY choice if I want interference free radio at weekends.
     
  26. Dogz

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    If you want a clock radio that works and sounds great the Pure evoke is brilliant, great sound and interference free reception far better than any similar priced portable radios that rely on built in aerials, plus the evoke has 2 alarms one for me & one for the missus. Not hi-fi quality but terrific for an everyday bedroom radio, i'm going to get another for my daughter's room.
     
  27. Dogz

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  28. monopole

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    Recently I went through a few DAB radios - I wanted one with a dual FM/DAB tuner, clock and alarm and possibly an AUX input for my ipod (though I could always use FM and my iTrip to listen to the iPod).

    First up, Roberts Gemini 9. I was very happy with this until I went to bed... and then all I could hear was the HUMMING from the built in transformer. If you picket it up while powered, you could actually feel the transformer vibrating. And frequently, if you pushed the button to switch between DAB and FM, it would freeze, requireing it to be switched off then back on again at the mains. Back to the shop.

    Back in the shop, I asked if they had an Evoke 1xt tri-band (since I have an evoke-1 in the kitchen, I thought it best to go back to a brand that I am 100% happy with). They have one, so I go home, plug it in. Ahh, this is great. I love the blue on white display, the sound is good, it doesn't hum or vibrate... but where's the FM? Doh! They had given me an Evoke 1xt (not triband). Back to the shop.

    No, they don't have any 1xt tri-band models in stock... but an iTech XFM catches my eye... Stereo speakers, looks kinda cool. And has everything I require. Get it home and unpack it - very Apple in the packaging and looks. Switch it on and discover you have to manually enter the time. OK, no biggie. Tune it in. Cool. Sounds good enough (for a bedside radio). iPod works via the AUX in and via the iTrip on FM. The display is a bit bright though - bright white with black text. OK, let's see what this is like at night.... like having a bedside lamp switched on! Fine, the display can be disabled - but it will come back on the next time you switch the radio on. But you know what, I like it. Since I have a projector clock at the other side of the room throwing the time onto the ceiling in big, red letters (so i don't need to put my glasses on during the night to look at the clock), turning the display off is fine. And the controls are easy to use in the dark. Finally, I'm happy.

    I still look at the Evoke 2xt (which wasn't available at the time) with envy. If that had been available, I would definitely have gone with that. Still, it's hard to justify the price difference - the iTech XFM was £80 (a special offer at the time). The store was Currys.
     
  29. AMc

    AMc
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  30. ad47uk

    ad47uk
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    You mean you will just put up with what we are given and that is it? Just like what is happening to our T.v, we are going back not forward. Just because we get more channels, or stations, some people think it is great./.
    Wake up before it is too late and quality goes out though the window.
     
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