Digital Radio

DAB Car Radios Buyer's Guide

Installing a DAB car radio means you can listen to a wider selection of stations while on the move, including exclusive digital-only content. Read Halfords' handy DAB car radios buyer's guide to discover why you should upgrade to the next generation in radio.

Fitting an in car DAB radio means your car stereo system can receive stations using digital technology rather than analogue, offering many benefits. However, we know that choosing a digital car radio can be confusing, so use our simple guidance below to help get you started.

Benefits of a Digital Car Radio

Just like digital television, DAB radio offers additional features not available on traditional analogue systems, including:

  • Wider choice of stations - In addition to your current favourites, you'll be able to listen to a massive selection of digital stations like BBC 6Music, BBC 1Xtra, talkSPORT and Planet Rock
  • Tune by station name - Rather than you having to remember the frequency, a DAB car radio automatically detects available stations and lists them by name for you to choose from
  • Clear digital sound - No background noise or interference
  • On-screen information - Including show listings, news headlines, sport results, song titles and artist's names
  • Pause and Rewind - Some models allow you to pause and rewind live radio so you never miss a moment

Get your DAB Radio fitted at Halfords

Whichever type of in car DAB radio you choose, make sure it's professionally installed by taking advantage of Halfords' great fitting service. Fitting is free on some models including the Pure Highway, while others can be fitted at your local store for a small fee.

Getting your DAB car radio fitted professionally by Halfords means it will be connected properly to your car speakers, the antenna will be fixed correctly and the cables will be neat and tidy - which is important for safety and to avoid damage to your car.

Types of DAB Radio

There are three main ways that you can get DAB in your car. One option is to buy a 'Plug and play' DAB adaptor, which fixes to your windscreen like a sat nav and plays digital radio through your existing car audio system. For example Halfords own Sonichi S1000DAB adaptor.

The second option is to still keep your factory car stereo and buy a more integrated, or hidden adaptor. Some, like the Pure Highway 300Di, come with their own discreet controls and display, others like the Connects2 AutoDAB, are hidden and use your standard steering wheel remote controls.

Halfords have a range of DAB digital radio antenna solutions, from Magnetic external antennas providing great signal, to discreet high performance internal glass mounted antennas to suit your needs.

Prepare for the Digital Radio Switchover

The government aims to switch over to digital radio once certain criteria have been met, and buying a DAB radio for your car means you can prepare for this. If you choose one that also has FM, you can still listen to analogue in the meantime. See our guide to what the digital radio switchover means for cars for more details.