Future of 'Radio' Stations in Streaming Era

(14-05-2024, 10:42 AM)James2001 Wrote:  There's still a fair few DAB radios on sale which can't do DAB+... which is pretty ridiculous really. I know most of the ones B&M sell don't!

They usually do, in my experience, they just don't advertise it anywhere on the box. Similar story with some cheap Akai ones I won in an arcade years ago; zero mention of supporting DAB+ anywhere on the box but the product itself finds and plays them no problem.

I could be wrong, but I guess all newly produced DAB decoding chipsets support DAB+ now.

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Some of the DAB radios on sale in Argos actually have it written in the description they don't do DAB+

(14-05-2024, 10:07 PM)James2001 Wrote:  Some of the DAB radios on sale in Argos actually have it written in the description they don't do DAB+
The person writing those descriptions may be clueless though and just writing that based on the assumption they don’t do it because they don’t have the correct certification.

Also I’d imagine a few years ago they had a lot of returns because people realised their favourite stations weren’t on their new DAB radio. Which probably prompted them writing that and I can’t see that would have been corrected if the situation had changed.

You might be correct though.

(14-05-2024, 10:07 PM)James2001 Wrote:  Some of the DAB radios on sale in Argos actually have it written in the description they don't do DAB+

Half tempted to buy one and test that claim. If I nip by an Argos, and I remember, and they have one - I will.

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I think the issue is with the DAB radios that use Argos badged brand Bush that have this issue of not having a DAB+ decoder.

However I've had a quick look on the Argos website and found three Bush branded receivers that have DAB+, so I think Argos are finally getting to resolving the issues, but there are still vanilla DAB receivers for sale from Bush as well.

(12-05-2024, 04:41 PM)Technologist Wrote:  See appendix 2 of this very full radio commissioning document
on “Audio Quality Information & Standards for BBC radio “

DAB is MPEG1 L2 at 128k joint stereo
BBC Sounds is AAC LC at 320k &128k or HE AAC v1 at 96k or 48k all in stereo.
I would think only Sounds at 48k might sound worse than DAB

DVB is MPEG1L2 192k stereo on all platforms

A bit more on Sounds packaging at

Thanks for this - I had actually come across that information already but I couldn’t really understand much of it or find the equivalent DAB information (nor do I fully understand which one is effectively better than the other!), so that was really useful!

(14-05-2024, 08:59 AM)i.h Wrote:  My car has DAB. It doesn't have carplay, but it does have bluetooth. I can't be bothered to set up my phone every time I get in the car. DAB is automatic and goes to the station I last listened to.

On that basis alone it wins. Since my car doesn't have a pointlessly overspecced sound system it's not like 128k stereo MP2 is that much of an impediment anyway.

Of course radio wins in emergencies anyway. Even DAB will hold up better than attempting to stream over what's left of the mobile network, and there's arguably a case for not pushing people to consume valuable network resources to listen to something that can be much more efficiently broadcast.

I’ve setup an automation on my iPhone which, when it connects to CarPlay, will automatically play Radio 2 on BBC Sounds. I find it to be mostly seamless at this stage, and not only do I listen to it this way because it provides better quality sound, I also enjoy seeing the album art for each song on my car display and the ability to skip forward/back 15 seconds at a time using the controls on my steering wheel if I miss something or want to listen again. Do I need these things? Absolutely not, but it’s nice to have.

DAB is still absolutely perfectly fine, but it’s nice to have these additions and the quality of sound if I can get them in a non-painful way. I do have quite a nice sound system in my car, and my phone data is unlimited, but my commute is mainly the M25 and surrounding areas so I fully appreciate this isn’t the same experience available for everyone!


Online listening share is 27.8% compared to FM and AM at 27%. 16.6% for smart speakers too.

What does that say about a channel if it scares fish? Just talk me through that.

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