Audi A5 Forum & Audi S5 Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys

The first bit of my post is really for those who have specified DAB as an option on their cars, particularly those in the UK.

I don't have a DAB radio as I am aware of its current technical and commercial limitations (particularly in the UK). I'm not sure which radio stations broadcast exclusively in mono or which use a higher bit rate for stereo, but how do most channels sound in the car, compared to FM? I'm aware that people will associate "digital" with higher quality and this will skew their response in what they perceive to be the "correct" answer. Here I'm asking for a truthful response not what is considered to be the correct response.

In terms of listening quality / pleasure, are you therefore disappointed with DAB? Compared to the same station on FM, which is the better station to listen to?

Next question: is the DAB set up sold by Audi simply DAB, or is it compatible with the newer DAB+ which (I think) all countries will eventually adopt switching off the "old" DAB signal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
When I can get a signal - by no means a certainty in Berkshire / Wiltshire - the quality of the DAB signal far exceeds that of FM. I was coming out of London the other night, tuned into FM when AC/DC 'Back in Black' came on the radio. Sounded OK.

Switched to same station on DAB and wow, what a difference (the bass was stronger, no hiss, just good quality music, like it was coming from a song on the iPod sampled at a high bit-rate). Drove home with huge smile on my face. Well, until I got past Reading and lost the DAB signal....

:-S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I get a pretty good DAB signal in most places, lose it a bit across Salisbury Plain and similar but thats to be expected.

With a good signal the DAB sound quality is fantastic, you can really hear the difference with a decent track playing :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I asked the first question because according to Wikipedia:

The original objectives of converting to digital transmission were to enable higher fidelity, more stations and more resistance to noise, co-channel interference and multipath than in analogue FM radio. However, in the UK, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland, which are the leading countries with regard to implementing DAB, 98% of stereo radio stations on DAB have a lower sound quality than FM due to the bit rate levels they use being too low for the inefficient MPEG Layer 2 audio codec to provide good audio quality.

I asked the second question whether Audi installed DAB or DAB+, because again, according to Wikipedia:

An upgraded version of the system was released in February 2007, which is called DAB+. This is not backward-compatible with DAB, which means that DAB-only receivers will not be able to receive DAB+ broadcasts. DAB+ is approximately twice as efficient as DAB due to the adoption of the AAC+ audio codec, and DAB+ can provide high quality audio with as low as 64kbit/s. [3][5] Reception quality will also be more robust on DAB+ than on DAB due to the addition of Reed-Solomon error correction coding.

Italy, Malta, Switzerland have started transmitting DAB+ stations. Hungary is due to launch DAB+ stations in 2008 and Australia and Germany are planning to launch DAB+ in 2009. The radio industry in the UK is expecting DAB+ stations to launch between 2010 and 2013,[6] and podcast services using the DAB+ format will be launched in the UK in 2009.


So with the original flavour of DAB, it maybe defunct in a very short period of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,346 Posts
I have DAB ( not sure is it's +/-) but it is absolutely superb. GWR in particular is brilliant.

Cheers
RG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
The UK’s DAB infrastructure is statistically the worst in the world. DAB signals are much weaker than FM so unless you are receiving a strong signal it will cause problems. The biggest downside being DAB signals are compressed so that lots of different radio stations can stream into the bandwidth, due to this most stations stream at 128k. Think of it as similar to an mp3, the lower the bit rate the lower the quality. You can distinctly here the difference between a 128k mp3 track and a 192K mp3 track, at least I can anyway. At the moment only BBC Radio 3 broadcast at 192k while a small handful use 160k leaving the majority on 128k, which is a lower sound quality than any CD you can buy in the shop.

It is expected that DAB+ will start to replace all existing DAB formats in the UK by 2010. Although it’s not certain when DAB(-) will be phased out completely it would make sense to ensure any DAB radio you buy now is compatible with DAB+. I don’t know whether or not the Audi DAB system is DAB+ compatible but I would be very surprised if a software update would not make it so.

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Suzy - as with the others I have been impressed with DAB but the biggest gains are made if you would otherwise regularly listen to MW stations such as Radio 5 or TalkSport etc. With a good DAB signal these are miles better than analogue. The FM/DAB argument not quite so clear cut IMHO - unless you like listening to birdsong of course :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm, I'm not sure DAB to DAB+ could be fixed via software. I think the error correction algorithms involved will require new hardware. Not viable really.

I don't really listen to anything on MW, so I think based on the DAB+ issue, I'll probably skip the option.

Many thanks guys for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Dab

I was thinking of DAB as the analogue radio seems to be poor at reception in Scotland at least and compared to my last Alpine unit. But at £500 retrofit I might try and find a portable unit with USB output until the availability improves
I would love the US style Sirius satellite radio system to be available over here. Anyone know if anything similar is coming ?
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top