We couldn’t find any wireless headphones with built-in DAB radio on the market, but you can buy ear defenders with built-in DAB radio. Ear defenders are bulkier than headphones and are designed to block out external noise, so you won’t be able to hear what’s going on around you very well.
If you don’t mind wearing something bulky, you can use ear defenders as headphones. Bear in mind that they won’t look very stylish as they’re designed for industrial use, unlike regular headphones which are designed with fashion in mind.
Another point to bear in mind is that these products are usually made by companies who make personal safety equipment rather than audio products. This means that the sound quality won’t be as good as it would on a regular pair of Bluetooth headphones as the focus is on protecting the ears rather than providing detailed and balanced sound.
Most radio ear defenders only offer AM/FM radio, but there are a handful that offer DAB/DAB+ radio. Some of them also have Bluetooth so you can listen to music from your phone or take hands-free calls. Below are all of the radio ear defenders we could find on the market in the UK with DAB radio.
EARMUFF DAB+ Ear Defenders
These ear defenders pick up FM, DAB and DAB+ radio signals and allow you to save 20 preset stations on FM and 20 on DAB/DAB+. They are designed in Germany, which uses DAB+ rather than DAB. This is why the manufacturers focus on their ability to receive DAB+ stations. If you’re using them in the UK though, you will also be able to pick up regular DAB stations.
The EARMUFF DAB+ Ear Defenders use a built-in 2000mAh rechargeable battery which you can charge via a USB cable. They have an SNR of 31 dB, which means they can reduce the volume of the sounds around you by roughly 31 decibels. These ear defenders don’t have Bluetooth, but you can connect an external device with an aux lead.
These ear defenders do a good job of blocking out external noises, but the DAB signal can be quite weak, especially when using them indoors.
Clas Ohlson 41-1465 Bluetooth FM/DAB+ Radio Ear Defenders
These ear defenders from Clas Ohlson feature Bluetooth in addition to FM/DAB/DAB+ radio, so you can use them to listen to music from your phone or take hands-free calls using the built-in microphones. Bluetooth will work within a range of 10 metres.
You can save a total of 60 preset radio stations and access them using the LCD display, which also displays the time. If you want to listen to music from a device that doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can use the aux input.
These ear defenders have a built-in rechargeable 1.5 Ah lithium-ion battery which you charge using the micro USB cable included.
You can buy these ear defenders on the Clas Ohlson website or sometimes on Ebay.
Protear DAB/DAB+ FM Radio Earmuffs
These ear defenders feature FM, DAB and DAB+ radio as well as Bluetooth for playing music from your phone or taking hands-free calls. They have an SNR of 30 dB which means that they will reduce the volume of loud sounds in the environment by about 30 decibels.
These ear defenders have a built-in rechargeable battery and feature an LCD screen on the outside of one of the ear cups.
These Protear earmuffs are comfortable and have an adjustable headband. However, the sound quality is quite poor—the sound is tinny and barely has any bass. The DAB signal is also relatively weak.
None of these products are ideal if you want a pair of headphones with built-in DAB radio. They are all designed as ear defenders rather than headphones. One alternative is to attach a Bluetooth transmitter to a pocket or portable DAB radio and use it with regular Bluetooth headphones, which will have a slimmer design and better sound quality. We’ve written more about listening to DAB radio through wireless headphones here.