How to Tune a DAB Radio

DAB radios usually don’t require much effort to tune into stations unless there is a fault with your radio.

When you buy and switch on a DAB radio for the first time, it automatically scans for signals and stores details of each station it can receive.

Once it’s done this, you will have a list of stations so you can scroll through them alphabetically and select the one you want.

They’re all identified by name so you don’t have to know the transmission frequencies like you do with analogue AM and FM stations.

To make selection easier, most DAB radios let you save your favourites as presets so you can find them more quickly.

Several radios have numbered buttons so you can tune into your preset stations quickly.

DAB radios don’t come with presets already programmed. This means that if you want to set BBC Radio 4 to preset number 4, for example, you’ll have to do it manually.

How to Retune Your DAB Radio

DAB radio is changing all the time. The individual radio stations within a multiplex can change and stations can also move to other frequencies while new stations are launching frequently.

For these reasons, it’s best to retune your DAB radio periodically, especially if a favourite station is suddenly no longer available.

National stations do tend to broadcast on the same frequency wherever you are in the country so your digital car radio should automatically retune to the nearest transmitter or, if there isn’t one, switch to FM.

However, that’s not the same for local DAB stations and so you may need to retune to find them if you do move outside the area.

Your DAB radio will store a list of known stations and these are available as named selections so you can choose a station easily. Retuning will update this list and ensure you have as complete a selection as possible.

To retune, use one of the following options.

Scan Button

Press the button that’s labelled either AutoTune, AutoScan or Scan.

The screen should show ‘’Fast Scanning’, ‘Auotune Quick Scan’ or similar while the process is taking place, which shouldn’t take more than a minute.

The number on the station counter will increase as stations are found and new stations are added to the list. On completion, you can select any listed station.

Holding down the button for at least three seconds will cause a full scan to be done rather than a quick scan. This will ensure the radio scans for all stations rather than just adding new ones.

Menu Button

If your radio doesn’t have a Scan button, press the Menu button instead and then the Tune button until AutoTune appears on the display. Select this and the same procedure as above applies.

Info Button

If there’s no Menu button either, there should be an Info button you can press until the display shows Station Sort. Press and hold again until the display changes to AutoScan, then press Enter or Select to start the scan.

Factory Reset

If none of the options above are available or they don’t work, perform a factory reset by pressing and holding down the Select, Menu or Info button for at least three seconds, then confirming the factory reset by pressing Select or Tune.

This will also clear from the list any old stations that are there but unobtainable. These will be marked with a ‘?’ and can also be cleared by a ‘Trim Station List’ option that may be available on the menu.

Bear in mind that a full factory reset will cause all your preset stations to be lost (though you can save them again afterwards).

If you still can’t find a station you’re looking for, it may simply not be there.

You can check for the stations that should be available in your area by clicking here.

Of course, the unavailability of certain stations may be due to poor reception.

You can sometimes improve this by fully extending the aerial or moving the radio nearer a window or to a higher floor.

See some more tips on improving your DAB radio reception here.

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