DAB and DAB+

I know very little about DAB/DAB+ but often listen to Classic FM in the car, they are shifting to DAB+ in January so DAB won’t work, though they’ll still be on FM. Seems a bit naughty to get rid of DAB stations when many will have moved to DAB radios at home.

Still have the old VW lease car which is around 5 years old, can’t find any menu settings telling me if it’s DAB+ capable or not.

Any channels I could search for which are DAB+ only so I could test?

I don’t actually know about VW cars, but I think 5 years ago all mass production DAB receivers would have been compatible with DAB+. So probably you will be fine.

1 Like

I’m hoping so, DAB+ probably isn’t a huge factor, but I’m still trying to decide what to do with the vehicle which should have gone back a few months ago unless I order another or buy it. I unexpectedly got a short extension via VW ‘renewals team’ that the standard contract contact points couldn’t offer, which has caused me to put things off again. My middle name is procrastination.

“Act in haste, repent at leisure.” There’s a lot to be said for procrastination.

Interestingly a variant on my earlier unhelpful searches gave me:

(Does domestic include cars?)

The actual article now mentions 2026!

This was surprising too:


Only 48% of cars with DAB+ 2 years ago.

Again, I know little about DAB/DAB+ but in some ways it seems odd that DAB+ isn’t backwards compatible with DAB :thinking:

Indeed and there are several reasons at play with the car - I don’t need or want a new one especially and would happily continue paying VW to use what I have, but I suspect there’s a point where it’s simply not good for their margins to allow me to retain it should I eventually decide to hand it back.

Doesn’t your VW also do FM? It might be a bit hidden, but depending on where you live, FM will sound better too. DAB is an unloved engineer’s wet dream basically. To be avoided.


Yes it does fortunately and I probably listen more to it on FM as my experiences with DAB stations have not been great when I’ve moved across regional transmitter (I assume) boundaries - FM dies far more gracefully!

I used to consider myself extremely tech savvy, but I’m increasingly finding I’m ‘at sea’ with things I eschewed which the majority have happily adopted.

I know the feeling, my daughters think I am a dinosaur, but that doesn’t mean you or I are wrong.

(Mind you, when there is a technical issue, dad is a potential source of solutions still!)


Well if you are a dinosaur, they’re dinosaurs too :slight_smile: that’s at least what I tell my kids when they complain about me.

1 Like

@davidhendon is right. I can set off for Cornwall from here in Buckingham R3 locked on FM/RDS and plays uninterrupted for the whole journey, on DAB won’t get as far as Oxford before a drop out. And even on the car hifi it sounds better.


And with due apologies to the old side street mog for diverting his thread there’s something else. My car allows you to rip your CDs to its hard drive and you can then scroll through the menu. Firstly despite it being a Harmon Kardon system upgrade which I didn’t pay for it’s awful on digital, like those very first CD players in 1982. In the words of the Stranglers “I tell you what I’m gonna do………” I’m going to seek out a BMW635CSi, and decent Nak FM/tape head because tbh having 3/4 C90s and switching them at the traffic lights is less distracting than scrolling down the screen.

And that is my rant for this week. Sorry Mr @Alley_Cat :wink:


A number of my friends and family have at one point or another asked me (as of course I must know something about these things?) to reset their car radios to FM due to reception issues with DAB. All are much happier now with FM. Such is progress…


The world is completely barmy you can’t get JazzFM on FM!

1 Like

So much for all the hype about DAB being better than FM. Now they say DAB+ is better. Does anyone notice the difference on a car stereo or in the kitchen peeling potatos. All those car stereos and radios that will no longer work is a total waste.

1 Like

Well let’s not be too polarised DAB has one advantage, a lot more stations, but most folks I know who have switched back to FM on their car sets say they think it is better. In fairness though I didn’t even know of DAB+ let alone heard it.

Yes DAB+ has the potential for a lot better than DAB. I have a mix of DAB & DAB+ in my area, sorry to say the DAB+ stations are all not my kinda music and have all opted for low bit rate.
The higher bit rates of BBC on DAB are so much better. (DAB is on the kitchen radio I must add, FM is on NAT-05)

Lindsay, I travel Oxford to Towcester regularly, often via Buckingham, but have not had DAB drop outs, so yours might be a weak signal area and how your car radio selects transmitter area changes.
I believe because my journey starts and stays connected to the Beckley transmitter I don’t have such a problem, whereas Buckingham is in a DAB fringe area and you might start the Buckingham end on the Quainton or Bow Brickhill transmitter and flip to Beckley enroute. That said it should not be a problem, it should be seamless.
Whatever I’ve reverted back to FM in the car, the cars station frequency changer works better in my travelled areas.

I sincerely hope that DAB (and DAB+) will wither away in to the ether as more and more folk use the internet instead. Far better.

1 Like

The main problem with DAB and DAB+ are that the broadcasters have squeezed too much content into the bandwidth with poor bit rates for the stations. The other issue is that the coverage is not great as it requires more transmitters than FM as it has a higher frequency.

1 Like

Yep they done the same here, luckily our car has DAB + and as I use the internet for most of our radio needs it’s not a concern. DAB never really took off here so I don’t think it’ll affect many (other than newer cars). Funny or not funny unless it was you but they did a similar think here with TVs. They changed from standard hd to high leaving a lot of folk with a set that wouldn’t pick up 1/2 the stations.

1 Like