The DAB+ car radio is the technical flagship of car radios: with the current digital standard DAB+, you can receive not only digital radio stations, but many of them: 10 to 24 programmes fit on one frequency. With digital transmission, not only is the sound quality better, but you are also preparing for the future - when radio transmission via older technologies is switched off.
With our big DAB+ car radio test 2022 we want to help you find the perfect device for you. We have taken a look at different car radios with DAB+ and have selected the most important facts for you. We also show you the advantages and disadvantages of car radios with DAB+.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best DAB Car Radio: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for car radios with DAB+
- 5 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a DAB+ car radio
- 5.1 What is special about a car radio with DAB+ and what advantages does it offer?
- 5.2 What types of car radios are available with DAB+?
- 5.3 Who are car radios with DAB+ suitable for?
- 5.4 How much does a car radio with DAB+ cost?
- 5.5 How big are car radios with DAB+ usually?
- 5.6 How do I install a DAB+ car radio?
- 5.7 Which stations can I receive with a DAB+ car radio?
- 5.8 What alternatives are there to a DAB+ car radio? / Can I convert an old car radio to DAB+?
- 5.9 Do I need an extra antenna for DAB+?
- DAB+ is the standard of the future for radio transmission. There are already dozens of stations that can be received this way. DAB+ car radios can receive radio stations via both analogue FM and digital DAB+.
- Many models have additional functions such as control via smartphone, USB connection or a CD/DVD drive. You should consider which features you need or want before buying.
- The antenna must also support DAB+ for you to be able to listen to the radio via the technology.
The Best DAB Car Radio: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for car radios with DAB+
How do you recognise the perfect car radio with DAB+? That's not an easy question. But we've put together some relevant pointers to help you make your decision.
In summary, these are:
- Connections and drives
- Size / Depth / Dimensions
- Control via remote control or smartphone
- Number of display lines
- Type of antenna
The following paragraphs will tell you what the individual criteria are.
Connections and drives
Many car radios with DAB+ are combination devices that also include a navigation system. They usually also have a hands-free system. Here you should pay attention to whether a microphone for the hands-free system is also included. Another feature that must be purchased separately is a reversing camera.
If the car radio also has a touchscreen, it is often possible to play not only music but also films or videos via a USB stick or microSD card. Another option that can be offered instead of a touchscreen is a pairing attachment for the smartphone. This turns the mobile phone into a screen.
The amount of memory available can also vary.
Car radios with DAB+ usually offer a lot of other features that make them attractive multimedia devices for the car.
Size / Depth / Dimensions
There are two standardised sizes of car radios with DAB+: 1-Din and 2-Din.
- The 1-din car radios are 180 millimetres wide and 50 millimetres high.
- The second type, also called double-din car rad ios, are taller (100 millimetres) and have a larger display.
The slot for car radios in modern vehicles is at least 160 millimetres deep. However, not all radios use this depth. As with analogue car radios, the same applies to car radios with DAB+: For installation in classic cars, you need a car radio with a shallow installation depth.
Control via remote control or smartphone
Pressing the button on the car radio while driving can be potentially dangerous. How convenient is it if the children in the back seat can control it themselves? A remote control is supplied with practically all DAB+ models. However, the function to control the car radio via the smartphone or MP3 player is not always available.
Some devices can be controlled via voice input. Remote control via the steering wheel is also a relief, as the driver does not have to reach away to the right. The transmitter and volume can then be adjusted via buttons on the steering wheel.
Number of display lines
1-Din car radios with DAB+ usually have one line on the display, which is used to show the current station name or music track.
2-Din car radios with DAB+ may have two or three lines on the display. This depends on the model.
Type of antenna
The antenna is usually bought separately from the car radio, so make sure it also supports DAB+. The antenna also transmits GPS data for the navigation system and LTE signals so that the mobile phone has reception in the car. There are rod, windscreen, vehicle and body antennas. Depending on which antenna is best suited for your car, you should choose this type.
- Rod antennas are nowadays more like "shark fins" on the roof or rear of the car. They are very short and hardly visible.
- Windscreen antennas are attached to an inner window of the car. If you want to retrofit your car with a new antenna, this is the easiest option.
- Car and body antennas are built directly into the car and are not visible from the outside. These antennas are often found in the mirrors.
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a DAB+ car radio
What is special about a car radio with DAB+ and what advantages does it offer?
Modern DAB+ tuners have integrated "seamless blending". This means that if the DAB+ signal is too weak, the radio automatically switches to the corresponding FM frequency of the radio station. And this switching to FM radio is possible without being heard - time delays are compensated.
At the same time, the power consumption of a car radio with DAB+ is relatively low. DAB+ brings a wider selection of radio stations, automatic station scanning and interference-free reception. They are able to switch between digital radio and FM and can store data.
When staying overnight in a caravan, the DAB+ car radio can also be used as a multimedia device to watch movies.
What types of car radios are available with DAB+?
Who are car radios with DAB+ suitable for?
- Technical future: If you plan to keep your car for a while longer, you should make sure your car radio is up to date. In the next few years, the analogue radio signal will be switched off because it is obsolete and DAB+ will be the better alternative.
- Safety: The car radio is not only relevant for listening to music, but also for traffic reports and disaster alerts. DAB+ transmits without noise and with automatic station change. If there are reception gaps, the radio switches to analogue radio so that you still don't miss anything.
- Environmental protection: Car radios with DAB+ are also better for the environment because they consume less electricity than analogue models.
Car radios with DAB+ are the technology of the future and environmentally friendly.
How much does a car radio with DAB+ cost?
How big are car radios with DAB+ usually?
|1 DIN||180 millimetres||50 millimetres|
|2 DIN||180 millimetres||100 millimetres|
How do I install a DAB+ car radio?
For some cars, you will need an adapter to connect the FM cable to the new radio. Before you attach the cables to the new radio, the frame must be fitted in the slot. Then you can connect the cables, slide the radio in and test whether the radio turns up when you start the engine.
Which stations can I receive with a DAB+ car radio?
|Country||Number of stations||Examples|
|Germany||between 30 and 70 stations, depending on location||Deutschlandfunk, Energy, Klassik Radio, Radio Bob!, Schlagerparadies, Sunshine Live, Schwarzwaldradio|
|Austria||between 10 and 23||88.6, Energy, Klassik Radio, Arabella Relax, Mein Kinderradio|
|Switzerland||depending on location, 130+ in total||Radio SRF, Rete Tre, Couleur 3, Radio Rumantsch, RSO|
What alternatives are there to a DAB+ car radio? / Can I convert an old car radio to DAB+?
Buying such an adapter including antenna costs between 45 and 80 euros.
Do I need an extra antenna for DAB+?
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