Your DAB Radio Questions, Answered

Woman lying back with foot resting on radio

Looking for more information about DAB radios? You're in safe hands with us. We've put together the following list of FAQs to answer the questions our customers ask the most. Read on, and you'll be a digital radio expert by the end of this post!

Is digital radio more reliable than FM?

For the most part, yes. DAB was originally invented to solve the problem of poor FM signal. Instead of radio waves, digital transmissions are sent out as strings of ones and zeroes. It’s easier for this data to make its way around tall buildings and the like, so on the whole DAB radio is more reliable. Unfortunately, though, digital can still suffer from interference- but we'll cover how you can fix this a little later on in this post.

What digital radio stations will I be able to pick up?

There are currently over 350 different digital stations in the UK. However, many of these only broadcast locally, so you won’t be able to tune into all of them. The exact number of stations available will depend on where you live. London, for example, has around 50. In most areas, though, you can expect a solid signal from between 30 and 40 different digital radio stations.

Can I save my favourite stations?

Yes. For the most part, DAB radios allow you to save multiple preset stations so that you can quickly and easily access them. This means you won’t have to scroll through all available stations to find what you’re looking for. The number of presets varies from one DAB radio to another, but most allow you to save around 10 different stations. Some have dedicated preset buttons, whereas others save all your favourites to a menu that you will then have to scroll through.

Why is there a slight time delay between analogue and digital radio?

Digital radio signals are sent in a different way to analogue transmissions. They also carry a lot more data, too- that’s how your DAB radio is able to tell you what’s playing. However, that comes at a cost. It takes a digital radio slightly longer to process all that data, which means it can lag slightly behind an analogue model when tuned to the same station. It shouldn’t affect your listening experience too much though, as it will only ever be a few seconds behind.

What is DAB+?

DAB radio was first launched in the mid-1990s, but the technology has come a long way since. To give listeners a better experience, DAB+ was launched about ten years ago. Although most stations still use standard DAB transmission, they will all be moving to DAB+ over the next few years. Not to worry, though- all the digital radios we sell are compatible with the new tech, so you can enjoy many years of listening even after the switchover. You can find out more about DAB+ here.

Will by DAB radio also be able to tune in to FM?

The majority of nationwide FM radio stations now broadcast digitally as well. However, since transmitting on DAB is more expensive, many local stations are still analogue. If a station in your area is FM-only, though, you should still be able to tune in with one of our DAB radios. They all offer the option to switch between digital and analogue, so you can still enjoy all your favourite stations, whatever the broadcast format.

Can I listen to digital radio stations from outside my region?

Strictly speaking, local digital radio stations are only broadcast from local transmitters. If you live on the border between two regions, then you may be able to pick up stations from both. Otherwise, you will be limited to just the stations broadcasting in your area.

However, if your DAB radio is internet-compatible, then you’ll be able to tune into tens of thousands of stations broadcasting online from around the world! We stock a number of internet radios, and while they are typically a bit more expensive than standard DAB models, the extra choice of stations makes them great value for money.

Can I pause and rewind digital radio?

This will depend on what model DAB radio you choose. When DAB was first launched, this was one of the big features that brands used to persuade customers to switch to digital. In practise, though, few listeners actually made use of this feature. As a result, it's rare to find a new model which allows you to rewind live radio, but some sets do offer this option. If you are particularly interested in this feature, then be sure to check the product spec before you buy.

Will my DAB radio work abroad?

The vast majority of DAB radios sold in the UK are set to recieve so-called “Band 3” broadcasts. This is one of the two main broadcasting methods used across the world- the other is called "L Band". That means you will only be able to use your DAB radio in other countries that use Band 3 broadcasting. This includes many European countries- but not all of them. However, as we mentioned above, most DAB radios can still tune in to FM broadcasts, so you should still be able to get some use out of your radio if you take it abroad.

What should I do if my DAB radio starts picking up interference or has poor reception?

While it doesn’t give that trademark crackle and hiss that FM can sometimes pick up, digital radio can sometimes suffer from interference. Usually this comes as a gurgling sound, but you might find that the sound drops out completely. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to how you can solve this issue, which you can read here.

Any other questions?

Here at liGo, we pride ourselves on always taking care of our customers. If you have any more questions about DAB radios, or want to know about the products that we stock, please don't hesitate to get in touch via our contact page. Our friendly customers service team will be happy to help!