Since it was made widely available in the UK in the early 2000s, DAB or Digital Audio Broadcasting has taken over the radio world. DAB radios are more efficient than any previous form of radio and use newer bandwidth technology which avoids interference, makes the radios easier to use and provides a better quality of sound. Thousands of radio stations worldwide now broadcast in DAB, including all the major ones.
For a driver, a DAB car radio is pretty much essential. They provide high-quality and easy to use listening at the touch of a button. Sales of digital radios have grown by 50% in the last year alone, and over one-third of new cars in the UK now come with a DAB set-up. If your car doesn’t have one, you have a few options.
You can have a DAB radio installed in your car. Stores like Halfords sell these products, which are manufactured by major companies such as Sony. You will need to have the unit installed as well so buying it from a store like Halfords may be sensible as they offer to fit the unit for you. Most of these products have the features discussed above as well, allowing the user to listen to their own music via USB and Bluetooth, as well as letting you tune into DAB digital radio. These products are flash and multi-functioning, but they can be expensive. The latest Sony model for instance, the XAV-602BT, will set you back some £300 to £350 depending on where you make your purchase. You will have to make sure that your car is compatible with the product as well. Some websites offer FAQs about the compatibility of the different models with a variety of cars, so searching on Google may be the first port of call for this. Some of these more expensive models offer a huge number of features such as re-winding live DAB radio, hands-free calls and specific Apps to connect the system to your Ipod, Iphone or Andriod device.
You can get DAB digital radio in your car by installing a cheaper head-unit which has less features but which will still allow you to listen to DAB digit radio and play your other audio devices wirelessly and without trouble. Auto Express, the online car magazine, have offered a review of 10 more affordable head-sets of this type, so this guide is worth consulting. These start from around £80 pounds and go up towards the £250 mark and the vast majority offer the basic features discussed here. Some are less efficient than others, and struggle to tune to every station, so once you’ve checked that the spec is right for you, it may be worth consulting reviews before you make your final purchase.