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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:36 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:09 pm
Posts: 556
Location: suffolk
Hi,

my wife and I are going to treat ourselves to a portable DAB radio for christmas, i'd like it to be stereo but other than that have no idea about them, we'd like a good quality one but are hoping to spend no more than £100-150. If anyone has any model/make recommendations or what to avoid advice, it'd be appreciated. It'll be mainly used for 6 music in the kitchen and garden.

Cheers Matt


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:04 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 26186
Location: Moomin Valley
How do I put this carefully...

There is little or no difference between DAB receivers overall. Individual sound quality relies on cabinet materials and speaker quality but not from the DAB broadcasts themselves.

The broadcasts are little better than listening to a poor MP3 (DAB is still based on MP2!). The bitrate (quality) is very low for all stations except Radio 3 which is only just at 'CD' level.

Thats how it is. FM wont be switched off for sometime until at least 50% of listening is via DAB (NOT including the internet, satellite or freeview).

Roberts can be expensive, Pure can also be pricey but they all use the same chipset as the supermarket or Argos cheapies.

Its like choosing between 10 different cars that all use an engine from one manufacturer - some will be basic, some will have plenty of toys but overall performance will be the same.

*EDIT - dont rely on the postcode checker for coverage either. This can be very inaccurate. The radio may work in one room but not the room its intended for.

The BBC have upgraded or are upgrading transmitters since analog TV was switched off (now used by the mobile networks for '4G') and reception has got better. But, content hasnt got any better. In fact a lot of commercial stations have decided not to invest or to even pull their DAB broadcast altogether with just web based services.

Personally, I would hold on or use a wifi enabled set or just borrow/ buy a cheapy for now.

Then theres DAB+.... Used abroad but not here nor is it likely as the take up is just too low. And if they do go to DAB+, it will be another embarrassing amount of redundant electronics sent to the landfill (well, 'WEEE' anyway) to join FM radios for company.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:28 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 2981
Location: Super Sussex by the Sea
I've got a Roberts solar powered one and it's great. I also use a Pure digital one and it is mostly rubbish, so much so that I generally rely on a wind up am/fm Tesco basic radio instead. I understand the chipset may be the same but the other internals seem to be completely different!

Certainly true about reception in different rooms though, check before you buy.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:20 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:09 pm
Posts: 556
Location: suffolk
Thanks guys,
we've been listening through the tv via the hifi for the last couple of years so may have been a bit spoilt, i understand about the sound quality issues but we both love 6 music and have got to the age where we can't think of owt else either of us wants for christmas!

Matt


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:37 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 16973
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
I have a pure tempus on my side of the bed with a matching extension extension speaker on the other. Sounds lovely. ONKYO cd/dab receiver in kitchen and a Pure One in the shed. Happy with them all but the tempus stands out.

very nicely made.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:38 pm 
Anglian Deputy AEC
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Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:13 pm
Posts: 6928
Location: Livin' in a dust bowl
Best thing about DAB radio is Planet Rock.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:43 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
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Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
LGF, that's like saying all bikes with the same groupset ride the same.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:13 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 26186
Location: Moomin Valley
The History Man wrote:
LGF, that's like saying all bikes with the same groupset ride the same.


No. If you had read it correctly, it was the same engine. For a bicycle, it would be you riding ten different bikes but you would still be the same person. You would be the limiting factor for the bikes performance as in the car engine or the DAB broadcast.

It doesnt matter what make/ model you listen to, DAB broadcasts are physically not as good as current FM. You could have a £1200 DAB tuner or a £19.99 Argos DAB radio, what they receive is the weak ingredient.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:18 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:19 am
Posts: 2098
Location: Sheffield, top city
I have a fairly cheap one (goodmans poss, cant remember) and its ok, but limited no. of presets etc. It sometimes takes time to tune into a station with the aerial extended.

I also have a pure. this has loads of presets, tunes in quickly and never needs the aerial out, so would say from my aspect you gets what you pay for.

I also have numerous FM radios, one was a quite an expensive roberts and they are crap in comparison - always losing the station. I feel I need RDS in the house to keep it in tune - bring on more dab.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:24 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 26186
Location: Moomin Valley
RDS has nothing to do with sound quality or keeping an FM radio 'tuned in'. I'm not sure how any radio would 'lose its station'?

Both FM and DAB radios need moving about or arials tweeking to get the best reception. You cant just plonk them on the side and expect them to work.


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