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best dab radios

The Best DAB Radios in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

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Frequently Asked Questions: DAB Radios

What is a DAB Radio?

DAB Radio is a more popular radio standard, where DAB stands for “Digital Audio Broadcasting”. A DAB radio from a comparison is therefore the distribution of the audio signal via an antenna. This is referred to as terrestrial broadcasting. There are not only DAB radios in the test, but also products with DAB+.

This is the further development, which has improved the digital audio compression even more. The simple “+” represents that it is a modern transmission in the best sound quality.

In addition, a DAB radio from a comparison offers many different stations and at the same time various additional information, for which the display is intended. Which functions are supported depends entirely on which DAB radio you choose.

How does a DAB Radio work?

The collective term “digital radio” is often used for a DAB radio, although there are many different types. It should be noted that not all digital radios from a juxtaposition are automatically DAB radios. There are various hybrid terminals on the market that can process audio signals from multiple sources.

In the case of the DAB radio from a test, for example, this is also possible via the Internet. Otherwise, the functionality is comparable to the conventional FM tuner. The special feature is that the DAB radio from a test receives the data via transmission mast.

This leads to a clear, digital sound and various additional services. It is practical that you can still listen to FM in addition to the stations via DAB.

Advantages of DAB Radios

A DAB radio from a comparison table is very versatile and can thus be used both indoors and outdoors. Even mobile in the car is no problem, just like in the park or on the campsite. The reason is that the DAB network coverage is spreading more and more.

Already 90 percent of all regions are covered by DAB. Indoors, the figure drops to over 75 percent, but this is still very good. 

There are many reasons why you should choose a DAB radio from a suitability test. First and foremost, you get a greater variety and selection of programs.

In addition to the familiar FM frequencies, you can receive many more programs, which is why you always hear exactly what you are excited about. Especially special interest programs, such as local music, classical music or pop, are no longer a rarity with a DAB radio in comparison.

The additional information, which is shown in text or image via slideshow on the display, is another advantage. During the test run, you will notice that you can easily read points such as weather, programs or news here.

In addition, you no longer have to remember or search for your frequency, but an automatic station search takes place. In conclusion, a DAB radio from a test is future-proof.

Types of DAB Radios

A DAB radio is actually divided into DAB and DAB+, although today there is almost only DAB+. Therefore, it is useful if you compare a DAB radio with other types. The analysis will show that while there are many similarities, there are also massive differences. We will show you why a DAB radio performs best.


For many years, VHF was the standard, being a receiver that can only receive transmitters in the ultra-short wave range. Therefore, the range of a transmitter was severely limited, usually to 10 to 200 kilometers.

Although there are several local and national FM transmitters, you usually have to change the radio station several times during a long drive, because it is simply not received anymore

However, an inspection also shows that various additional data is simply transmitted along with it, such as information about traffic jams, speed cameras or music tracks. Nevertheless, FM radios are considered obsolete compared to DAB radios.

The advantages:

  • Cheaper than a DAB radio
  • Various additional data possible
  • More than 2,500 local and national stations

The disadvantages:

  • Only ultra-short waves receivable
  • Range limited to 10 to 200 kilometers
  • Often the transmitter must be changed


A DAB radio should not simply be a trade-off, but it is the modern radio standard that is used almost everywhere. As with FM, radio waves are also used, although these are in the range of 30 MHz to 3 gigahertz.

If you try a DAB radio, you will notice that you can receive significantly more programs. Among them also the programs, which are actually only available via FM.

Another advantage of the DAB radio from a comparison is that the practical test showed that you get a much better sound quality. There are no constant dropouts or jerks. In addition, other data can be transferred such as music tracks, weather maps and the like. 

The advantages:

  • DAB Radio is today’s standard
  • Compared to FM, much more programs
  • Can also receive FM stations
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Very good network coverage

The disadvantage:

  • Costs a little more to purchase


The last major type in the DAB Radio Test is the Internet radio, where web radio stations are used to transmit the audio signal. Therefore, the receiving devices must always be connected to the Internet, either via WiFi or a network cable.

Compared to DAB radio, this is very inconvenient, because a good WiFi or mobile connection is not available everywhere , which means that dropouts can occur again and again.

In return, however, the Internet radio has a great advantage in comparison, because there are thousands of radio stations in almost every language and on an infinite number of topics.

However, as soon as you don’t have the Internet, you can’t listen to the radio. The research proved that Internet radio is easy to fail especially in foreign countries or tunnels. You also have to configure the Internet connection before using it, which further clouds the test score.

The advantages:

  • Receive radio via the Internet
  • Substantially more radio stations than with FM or DAB
  • Diverse reception devices possible

The disadvantages:

  • There must be a constant Internet connection
  • Particularly in rural areas, connection interruptions are more frequent
  • Not always receivable in tunnels or abroad
  • The Internet must be configured beforehand

What should I look for when buying DAB radios?

Do not buy just any DAB radio, but it is important that you look at the various aspects. This is the only way to ensure that you get a good model that will delight you for a long time. We will briefly show you what is important when it comes to DAB radios.

Sound Quality

Probably the most important point with the DAB radio is the sound quality, because you want only the best sounds. The sound quality is best determined by the wattage, because the higher this value is, the more powerful the sound. If the device is rather small and compact, the wattage will also be lower, and the sound quality will suffer.

It is optimal if you can test the device beforehand. This will give you an immediate impression of the sound quality.


The display is omnipresent in the DAB radio and therefore an important feature. The display should be of high quality and at the same time large enough that you can comfortably read all the information on it. Whether you want a simple LC display or even a color display is entirely up to you.

However, keep in mind that devices with a color display are comparatively more expensive.

Power Supply

A DAB radio can not be used if it is not supplied with power. Today, there are three types: cable, battery or batteries. All types have their advantages and disadvantages, so you should think about what you actually want to do with the radio beforehand.

For example, batteries and rechargeable battery are useful if you travel a lot, where there is not always a power outlet.

The cable variant, on the other hand, is recommended in a fixed location, so you don’t have to constantly replace the batteries or recharge the battery. In the DAB Radio Test, there are also products that work with several variants.


The connection options also depend on what you want to do with the DAB radio. Common models have a universal headphone jack as well as a line-in or aux-in port. With the latter, you can also connect a compact stereo or speakers, which is especially handy if you want to use the radio at home.

However, you can also connect the device to the TV via a special adapter. Modern devices, on the other hand, offer a USB port, through which you can not only charge the battery, but also connect a USB stick. Even data transfer via smartphone or tablet is possible


Today’s models already have numerous additional features, and you decide for yourself what you need. Standard are date and time, which you can read on the display. In most cases, such devices from a comparison also have an alarm function, which is of course very convenient.

The automatic switch-off is also advantageous, because you can set beforehand after how many minutes or hours the radio should switch itself off. A remote control is another feature that can inspire. You can operate the radio remotely via the remote control.

The station memory is also already standard, so you can store your favorite stations, which is why you do not have to search for those again and again.

Playback format

This point is only important if you want to connect the radio to other devices or equip it via SD card. Now the model must support multiple playback formats, such as MP3. This is the only way to guarantee that these formats can be played. There are also adapters so that the playback formats can be formatted so that the radio can play those.


The dimensions depend on what you want to do with the radio. If you take it with you on a trip, it should be as small, compact and light as possible. If, on the other hand, it is only going to stand in one place, you can opt for a slightly larger model. In general, larger devices are better, because their sound quality is usually higher.

DAB Radio Accessories

Certainly, there are various accessories for a DAB radio in the comparison, so you should take your time to look around. First and foremost, external speakers are useful when there is an audio-in input. Although the built-in speakers are not bad either, it is worth it in most cases if you purchase suitable speakers.

This will make the sound from the DAB radio from a test even better. Another accessory is a protective cover. These are not available for every radio, but if they are, you can use them to protect your DAB radio from a test. It is usually a sturdy plastic cover that protects the radio from knocks and bumps.

Otherwise, there are individual accessories that vary depending on the manufacturer.

4.7/5 - (8 votes)

Last product update on 2022-06-28 | Source: Amazon Affiliate