Thinking of buying a DAB radio but worried about reception

GeeDoubleU

Standard Member
So as a newcomer reading throught the forums,I can summarise the following:-

* DAB is rubbish on the move
* DAB quailty is very dependent on the Radio you choose
* DAB requires a bigger antenna that FM
* DAB will be rubbish via a wire antenna common on bedside Alarm clock Radios or on cheap DAB radio's
* DAB is being broadcast at less and less quality currently equivilent to 128kbps MP3 music, but some at 64kbps


I have listened to DAB on a Pure Evoke and was impressed with the quality especially when compared to AM radio, but when I went to Curry's, in a big warehouse, I could barely pick up a single station and some were worse than others. I couldn't test any Pure products as they didn't have a PSU. I can't believe that a thin corragated roof could block out the signal so I assume that the radio's I tested were just crap (Roberts/Matsui/Hitachi) all with tiny antenna or wire antenna's.

I have to say DAB looks great in theory, but I suspect that signal quality is just not good enough.

Can anyone answer this, a typical DAB radio is £100, a typical freeview box is £50, so why do we have DAB broadcast and freeview TV broadcast, why not one system type of broadcast that you received either TV or radio.

I am right in thinking DAB doesn't have much of a future?
 
GeeDoubleU said:
* DAB quailty is very dependent on the Radio you choose

Yes and no. The audio quality is poor on DAB whatever radio you buy, but if you buy a portable radio then you won't notice the problem much because small portable radios are incapable of producing hi-fi sound.


* DAB requires a bigger antenna that FM

No, DAB aerials are shorter than FM aerials.


* DAB is being broadcast at less and less quality currently equivilent to 128kbps MP3 music, but some at 64kbps

No, 98% of stereo radio stations on DAB use 128kbps MP2, which is equivalent to about 80kbps or 96kbps MP3. 64kbps is used for mono DAB stations.


I have listened to DAB on a Pure Evoke and was impressed with the quality especially when compared to AM radio,
The audio quality you get on a small portable radio like the Evoke is lower than you get on a portable FM radio. Try listening to a Sony FM portable radio and compare it with a DAB radio, the Sony will sound better.


I have to say DAB looks great in theory, but I suspect that signal quality is just not good enough.
Actually, DAB was designed in the late 1980s, so it's totally out-of-date. Both the problems with the audio quality and the problems with reception are caused by the fact that it is such an old system.


Can anyone answer this, a typical DAB radio is £100, a typical freeview box is £50, so why do we have DAB broadcast and freeview TV broadcast, why not one system type of broadcast that you received either TV or radio.
You can receive 25 radio stations on Freeview, and all the BBC radio stations are at a higher audio quality than on DAB.


I am right in thinking DAB doesn't have much of a future?

No, unfortunately it does have a future, because the BBC and commercial radio groups will just continue to brainwash us with never-ending adverts for DAB until we all get it.
 

GeeDoubleU

Standard Member
Ok, I understand that DAB is not comparable to FM for Hi-fi quality but in this IPOD/MP3 world I don't see that as a particular problem.

My main concerns are reception, as the cheaper radios in Curry's were terrible reception and could only pick up radio1 which broke up constantly. They all had pathetic supple wire antenna's or tiny telescopic ones.

My dad has the pure evoke and that has a relatively large telescopic antenna and seemed to work pretty well and the sound quality was good enough. Although some station broker up.

So can you buy a freeview box with built in speakers that you could use as a radio instead and if so I would guess you would need a large roof mounted antenna.

I was hoping to use DAB radios in the kitchen and the bedroom as a radio alarm clock and the garden. I like DAB as channel selection is easy and the display of the current show and music is great.

Are we saying I should spend £100 on a good RDS enable FM radio instead?
 

Rezillo

Active Member
If the stations you want are already on FM then you're better off with an FM radio. If you want hifi forget DAB. If you want more stations and portability then DAB is worthwhile but for battery use, be prepared to buy some rechargeable batteries because they don't last long. One tip - Ebay battery purchases from the US, even with postage, work out at a fraction of the price in the UK.

I disagree with digitalradiotec about portable DAB units and Evoke - my Evoke sounds very similar to previous (expensive) Sony FM units of similar size that I've had over the years. It is also better with a weak DAB signal than some other brands.

I would suggest you try your dad's Evoke at your house to test reception first - coverage is variable!

John
 

Lexeus

Active Member
I had a Samsung DAB hifi which I was very happy with until I had to take it back because the amp in it started screwing up.

The new black version DAB hifi samsung has brought seems to have lower quality speakers, lower impedance, which I am getting has been changed because the amp just couldnt cope with the 70W it was rated as.
I just dont like the new one, and luckily Comet gave me back all my £180 even after having it for 6 months.

Unfortunately on top of that most of the decent hifi Dab's have been discontinued as I expect they are bringing new ones out for christmas. Only really the sony which came out alot later than all the other lg etc.

I really want DAB mainly for XFM as the internet streaming is really not that great, and I was more than happy with DAB really, except for the fact that there is no DAB in the south wales valleys, but was ok in southampton at uni.

I really dont think the little clock radio things are worth buying, they are just crap quality
 
Rezillo said:
I disagree with digitalradiotec about portable DAB units and Evoke - my Evoke sounds very similar to previous (expensive) Sony FM units of similar size that I've had over the years. It is also better with a weak DAB signal than some other brands.
I'm just going off my experience. I have both a Pure Evoke-1 and a £25 Sony ICF-703L FM/MW/LW portable. The Sony sounds significantly better than the Evoke-1 (as far as portable radios can sound better than one another). I bought it a couple of years ago. I just wanted a cheap FM portable, and didn't do any research into what to buy before I bought, but it looks like I was lucky that I chose an excellent value for money model.
 
C

Coble Landing

Guest
I too bought an expensive DAB radio and was very disapointed indeed in the reception despite an outside aerial. (East Kent)
I'd prevously researched the BBC DAB site which told me I could receive most of the popular stations but I can't even receive Radio Kent.
Thankfully the radio also has FM which I'm back to listening and now I'm sore at the money I wasted when I already had a perfectly good FM set which I've given to a friend.
I wish now I'd done more searching (like this Forum) but I guess I was too enthusiastic to have the latest technology and listened to much to the media hype.
 

ad47uk

Novice Member
I have just got myself a cheap DAB radio, I only got it for listening to the radio up here in the computer room and I only got it because it was dead cheap and I wanted to listen to primetime.

Anyway, the quality is ok for a portable, but when I listen to radio 2 on FM on DAB and listen to it on the same radio on FM, you can tell the difference. FM is certainly better than DAB.

for hi-fi use then you are better of using FM, but if the station you want to listen to is not on FM, then you have to use digital, the best thing is to use a FReeview box connected to a hi-fi or even a Sky box.
 

Nick_UK

Banned
I think digital (DAB) radio and digital TV have a lot in common. Lots of people don't like the "soft" pictures that they get on digital TV, and because of that they say analogue TV is better. However, they overlook the lack of "ghosting" on digital, and the the total absence of picture "noise".

Likewise, DAB doesn't have as good a frequency response range that FM has, but DAB has negligable noise, and less distortion than FM, especially under less-than-ideal conditions.
 

GeeDoubleU

Standard Member
Right I've just received delivery of a Pure Evoke 1-xt.

Wow, impressed. I can pick up tonnes of stations, what a choice.

Nearly all are 128kbps and I have a 100% reception quality.

Radio5 Live streams the latest football scores on the display.

For a small speaker it sounds great, good bass for it's size.

I live in a 2 bedroom flat and it's in the kitchen and I can hear it clearly in every room.

First impressions are that all the slagging off of DAB is not justified, I think there are a few hi fi purist's on the site that are too vocal about technical high end hi fi.

I guess reception varies but in Crayford, SE London it's all crystal clear, no distortion.

DAB is definitely better than FM for the clock radio, Kitchen, portable arena I have no doubt.
 

huwg

Active Member
GeeDoubleU said:
Right I've just received delivery of a Pure Evoke 1-xt.
If you haven't already, it is worth getting the extra speaker (comes as standard with some versions eg prestige)
 
GeeDoubleU said:
First impressions are that all the slagging off of DAB is not justified, I think there are a few hi fi purist's on the site that are too vocal about technical high end hi fi.

I guess reception varies but in Crayford, SE London it's all crystal clear, no distortion.

DAB is definitely better than FM for the clock radio, Kitchen, portable arena I have no doubt.
You've completely misunderstood the arguments. I've always said that on kitchen radios the audio quality is irrelevant, because kitchen radios aren't capable of hi-fi sound. What do you expect from a 3" mass-produced speaker? Does your Evoke-1 sound anything like listening to a CD on your hi-fi system?? No, it does not. It's a small portable radio.

Our point is that DAB on a hi-fi system sounds very poor. Not an extremely expensive hi-fi system, all hi-fi systems apart from the bottom end of the market. Same goes for car stereos and personal radios. These are designed to reproduce high audio quality, small portable radios are not.
 

richard340

Novice Member
I Just had to respond to negative posts regarding DAB. I have owned a Naim active Hi Fi system, now have a Quad/Spendor S8 setup, so quality is important to me.
I have just bought a Honda Accord, which has a so called premium audio system, made by Pioneer with bass speaker and eight others. However havind had a Bluespot Woodstock BAB 53 in my previous car, it was a shock to go back to AM/FM only with just a handful of stations.
Because the set has no RCA inputs, I have installed a Revo set, which modulates an FM signal into the factory fitted radio.
Not only is the choice of stations huge, reception and audio quality are also excellent. Stations such as Virgin, 6 music, Chill etc are every bit as good as FM. Also, throughout the East Midlands, with a few exceptions, reception and changing transmitters is seamless, unlike FM, even with RDS.
My home setup includes a Sony DAB reciever which gives first class quality sound-I previously had a Naim 01 tuner, so do know what good sound is.
I know Mp2 is old technology and the bitrates on some stations low, but
DAB is a real alternative to FM and offers good sound quality and a wide range of stations.
 

simon100

Novice Member
richard340
How easy was it to fit the Revo to your Accord?
I have an Accord Sport and I can get at the head unit easily by taking the little cubby hole box out which is underneath it. I have done this to fit a Dension ice>link to the CD changer socket for my iPod.
Is the ariel lead/socket easy to get to and where did you mount the Revo?
Thanks
Simon
 

alan mapp

Standard Member
D-A-B RADIO poor reception - poor audio quality town and city friendy but not so much out in rural areas.
my D-A-B works if i put it on an upstairs window ledge facing west (stockland hill transmitter 40 miles away )
no local stations on line. Now bought an internet radio. totally satisfied D-A-B is doomed to failure with options such as freeview satellite and wi-fi.. Long live F.M. for the car and portability
 

Sonic67

Distinguished Member
Wow you've brought back a five year old thread. Is this a record?
 

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