Through a DAB digital radio there are over 40 national stations to choose from in most of the country and over 90% of the country can now receive DAB digital radio.
There are lots of DAB digital radios to choose from – such as a portable, kitchen, bedside or clock radios or integrated into a home audio system or hi-fi. DAB digital radios tune at the touch of a button, display station and track information and many have additional features such as Bluetooth, and you’ll find a range of prices to suit all budgets.
If you’re buying a digital radio, look for the Digital Radio Tick Mark. It means the product has been tested and approved and is future ready. You’ll find the Tick Mark on a wide range of products from leading manufacturers including Pure, Ruark, VQ, Sony, Philips and Panasonic.
DAB+ is an upgraded version of the technology used to bring you DAB digital radio. It is more spectrum efficient than DAB, therefore enabling more radio stations to be broadcast within the same amount of capacity.
DAB+ uses exactly the same transmitters and broadcast technology as DAB, it simply converts sound to digital in a different way and therefore requires sets capable of receiving DAB+.
The majority of digital stations will continue to be broadcast on DAB for the forseeable future. DAB+ is compatible with DAB and can be introduced alongside existing DAB services and existing DAB radios will continue to receive all the DAB stations broadcasting.
Whilst many older DAB digital radios will only receive DAB stations, the majority of newer devices can receive DAB+ stations as well as DAB, and there are lots of DAB/DAB+ radios available which will give you access to DAB and DAB+ stations, including from leading manufacturers Pure, Roberts, Ruark and VQ.
If you are buying a new digital radio, look for the Digital Radio Tick Mark as this means the radio is DAB+ enabled and will receive the available DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations. If the product does not have the Tick Mark, then read the product description carefully and check that it specifies DAB+.
Some DAB-only models are upgradeable to DAB+ via a firmware download and DAB+ capability can generally be checked with the manufacturer.
The UK’s first national DAB+ stations launched on 29 February 2016 on the second national DAB commercial multiplex, Sound Digital, and in June 2019, Smooth Extra and Heart Extra switched to DAB+ from DAB to became the first stations to broadcast in DAB+ on the national commercial Digital One multiplex.
There are now over 180 stations broadcasting on DAB+ in the UK, including 23 national stations – Capital, Capital XTRA, Capital XTRA Reloaded, Heart, Heart 80s, Heart 70s, Heart 90s, Heart Dance, Smooth Radio, Smooth Chill, Gold, Radio X, LBC News, JazzFM, Virgin Anthems, Virgin Chilled, talkRADIO, talkSPORT2, Love Sport, Jack Radio, Union Jack, Fun Kids, and BFBS Radio, and a number of local commercial stations, plus around 150 ultra-local community and commercial stations on small-scale DAB.
To receive DAB+ stations you must have a DAB+ enabled radio. The simplest way to be sure, is too look for the Digital Radio Tick Mark on the radio or its packaging. All radios that bear that Tick Mark are able to receive FM, DAB and DAB+ stations.
You’ll find a list of radios which are Digital Radio Tick Mark approved, and that will allow you to listen to all your available stations including DAB+ stations, here.
We recommend when buying a new DAB digital radio that you look for the Digital Radio Tick Mark. It means the radio has been tested and approved, and is future-ready.
The following manufacturers make radios that have FM, DAB and DAB+.