Will a Portable DAB Radio Work in a Car?

Although some of the latest cars may have a DAB radio installed as standard, older ones certainly won’t. The easiest and cheapest way to have the advantages of DAB radio while driving may therefore be to simply take a portable radio with you.

A portable DAB radio will work in the car, though it isn’t an ideal way to listen to the radio while driving.

There are a few different ways you could use a DAB radio in the car:

  1. Simply listen through the radio’s speakers
  2. Use headphones
  3. Plug the radio into the car stereo’s aux-in port using a cable

If the area you’re driving in has a strong signal, this may work fine. Otherwise, you may have problems positioning the radio to get good reception, which often means positioning it higher up than is practical. If you are connecting it to the speaker using wires, they can get in the way and become a distraction.

An additional problem is that the portable radio may not automatically retune for the strongest signal as you move around like a DAB car radio would.

Alternatives to Using a Portable DAB Radio

If it proves difficult or impossible to use a portable DAB radio, there are some alternatives. The most obvious but also most complex and expensive is to replace the existing radio. You’ll need to determine if the current radio can be removed and if a DAB version will fit in its place, and then have the problem of fitting it as well as a new aerial, which is not a job for an amateur.

A simpler alternative is to buy a digital car radio adapter, which plugs into your car stereo via the aux-in socket. If your car radio has one (not all cars do), installation may be simple depending on the adapter you choose. Check before you buy.

You will often need to attach an additional roof-mounted aerial, which may necessitate professional help.

If this is all too much you could listen to the radio over the internet on your phone, which would incur data usage charges unless you have an unlimited contract.

For some more advice, see these articles:

 

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