/ Technology

Let’s not be forced into a DAB radio switchover

Woman listening to radio

FM doesn’t have room for new radio stations and transmitting on both DAB and FM costs broadcasters more. Fine, but this isn’t reason enough for us to fork out hundreds of pounds to replace all our FM sets.

As a nation we’re being ushered towards a digital radio future – one without national FM stations. The government’s Digital Radio Action Plan includes criteria to ensure that a switchover isn’t announced until there’s improved coverage and a certain percentage of us have tuned into DAB.

Great, but if these criteria aren’t met, does that mean we won’t switch? Only 25% of listening is currently on digital platforms, according to RAJAR figures from February this year. The target for a switchover announcement is 50%, so there’s quite a way to go.

DAB coverage is to improved before the announcement too, assuming a decision can be made as to who will pay for it. And it seems likely that a substantial proportion of the cost will be paid by the BBC – so it’s coming from licence fee payers pockets then?

Why switch to DAB radio?

I’m not opposed to a switchover – I listen to DAB – but I’ve never gone out of my way to buy a digital radio to replace my perfectly functioning FM model. Why is that? Being honest with myself, it’s because I don’t think it’s worth it – decent sounding DAB radios aren’t cheap.

Although DAB provides me with the extra stations and scrolling text that I like, it’s not enough to persuade me to replace my FM bedside or car radios. Plus, scrolling text wouldn’t really help me when I’m driving.

It’s clear that there needs to be more benefit to switching – improved content or better quality would help. I’m not certain that ‘Ambridge Extra’ – which recently aired for the first time on BBC Radio 4 Extra – will have Archers fans swarming to buy DAB radios. But maybe I’m wrong.

Some people are happy with the stations they already have on FM. And though I’d miss my DAB stations if they were taken from me, I’d still prefer that over being left without a radio in my car, or a £100 bill to upgrade it.

Half of us will have to tune into digital

I’d estimate that half of my radio listening is on digital platforms. So if everyone in the UK was like me, we’d be part way towards a DAB switchover by now.

The methods of measuring digital listening and coverage are going to be crucial. It’s highly likely that the listening figure will come from RAJAR, which bases it’s measurement on just a sample of the population.

Fortunately for FM fans I’m not part of that sample right now, but this does lead me to question whether a sample of the nation is enough to decide upon a switchover for all?

Bob Hodgson says:
22 April 2011

Why Switch? FM is fine. I have both FM and DAB. The FM sound quality seems better to me. My several FM radios are cheaper to buy and the batteries last for ages. The Digital was expensive, needs to be plugged into the mains limiting where I can use it, especially the garden, and is out of sync (time signals etc) with everything else. FM currently seems to have plenty of stations. Lets not go down the TV route: Four of five channels with some quality programmes to 200 channels of rubbish. More is not always better!

Phil says:
22 April 2011

More is always going to be worse in this case. The amount of money available to broadcasters from licence fees, advertising and subscriptions is finite so more channels means less money per channel.


The technical details (which can be found on endless web sites and in books, HiFi magazines, Etc) mean that ANY kind of Digital broadcasting and reception physically cannot deliver as good a sound quality as FM (or even, in good signal areas, AM – i.e. Medium Wave).

This should be a good enough reason alone for FM to be retained: like so many other issues in the modern world we are being expected to accept a replacement which is basically unfit for purpose simply because someone (in this case the government) can make more money by making the change.

Technical issues aside, I totally agree with all points made by Bob and Phil (above) and am heartily sick and tired of more rubbish being peddled under a badge of “increased choice”.

And that’s before we look at the issues of coast and usability mentioned by Katie in her introduction …………………


Most commercial music stations are parochial and feast themselves on musical dirge.
Radio 2 is great if you like cardigans.

Longley Shopper says:
22 April 2011

What about Radio 3 and Radio 1? Are they dire and cardigans?

However, more importantly, I don’t think anyone is arguing that Digital should be discontinued, rather that FM is too valuable to loose so we should have both systems so we stand a chance of suiting everyone, or at least most people.

I did have one other thought after my earlier post: as I understand it, should there every be a national emergency, isn’t Radio 4 FM the broadcast system that will be used to give us all vital, possibly life-saving, information? If so then surely we cannot switch off FM whilst ever there would be anyone left who would miss such info? If we do then we’re either saying that emergency service is no good anyway or that some people don’t matter?

Certainly keeping both gets my vote.


When the BBC accept what people prefer you will be able to listen to 6MUSIC on FM.

Jenniferruth says:
6 February 2017

As to some people not mattering, this is the feeling that most people in fairly remote areas have held for a long time. I live in the North Pennines and am told by the BBC that there are no plans for providing us with DAB. Does this not mean that our public service broadcaster has no interest in our existence? This happens in so many spheres that I fear that our existence is, indeed, of no interest to anybody. I listen to Radio 3 almost as an addiction. The loss of it would ruin my life. I am now too elderly to think of trekking some 40 miles or more to hear live concerts in the evenings, but Radio 3 is of huge benefit. Does the prospective loss of FM not constitute some form of disenfranchisement?

Longley Shopper says:
22 April 2011

I agree with the first 3 posts above, and the intro. I’m not sure if Alistair is on the right wavelength (excuse the pun): why can’t we have BOTH systems? Then Ali can have his 6MUSIC and Dave & Bob can have sound quality? Only Phil’s point would not be addressed by keeping both. It’s obviously technically possible to have both because we already have.

Got to say, though, I think Phil’s point is the one I agree with most of all.

John says:
22 April 2011

I moved recently from Surrey to Shropshire, bringing a DAB hi-fi tuner, a DAB car radio and a DAB portable radio with me. The last two are totally useless here, and I have had to spend over £75 and a weekend fitting a loft aerial to get a barely acceptable DAB signal on the tuner. I am already annoyed at the money I have wasted on DAB radios and I will be even more angry if FM is switched off without good quality DAB in my area. It seems we still have long way to go to get the technology right.


I was too old for Radio 1 by the time I was 8. I will never be old enough for Radio 3.



I like that comment Alistair, though I have to say that personally I can agree with the RAdio 1 side of it more easily than the Radio 3 side: Radio 3 is just a different genre so it’s a different taste I think.

Personally I’ll stick to Radio 4; it’s ageless, genre-less and fashion-less so it suits everyone with a brain cell (and even many without!) and if I want music I can get exactly what I am in the mood for on demand via my LP’s, CD’s MD’s & MP3’s.

Eddie Reynolds says:
22 April 2011

I don’t know all the technical reasons for DAB being the way forward, but having bought a DAB portable radio, I find that it is very thirsty on batteries and when my mobile phone is placed near it, I get interference. My big concern is the cost of replacing my car radio system should DAB take on, not to mention my two fairly modern HiFi units – will they all be scrap on the whim of some government think tank.
Dare I mention the EU blunder in forcing us to use the low energy bulbs that we are now told are potentially dangerous – fools rush in, but will the EU back down – not a hope!
A year or so ago, my milk was delivered in good old milk bottles, then health and safety stepped in to point out the thousands of Milk delivery boys lying bleeding to death every morning surrounded by broken glass – now I have 365 PLASTIC milk cartons per year to dispose of. Oh VERY green thinking.
Joined up thinking escapes our Nanny Numpties – If it ain’t broke……


I fully agree with Dave D and Eddie Reynolds, DAB by virtue of the laws of electronics can’t be as good as FM. I too wonder how I’m suppose to convert the superb integrated radio/ stereo in my Volvo when FM is finally, inevitably turned off. Presumably I’ll be able to buy a “set-top box” for my equally well-loved hi-fi system, similar to those used for TV. Nobody seems to have mentioned the government’s secret agenda: When they consider that enough people have converted, they will switch off FM altogether and sell off the radio spectrum for vast sums of money as they did when the cellphone network was converted in the early ’90s.

Indi says:
23 April 2011

Interesting posts… it is perhaps useful to see this discussion in the wider context of the lie that has been peddled to the entire population for many years now – that the great God that is “Digital” is far superior to the “old”, whatever that may be. Digital is your saviour, Digital cures all ills, Digital is the future and if you don’t repeat and espouse those mantras, then you are not a modern person and not part of the future.

Of course, that digital is superior and the only answer IS a lie. This lie, like many other commercial decisions is wrapped up in persuasive advertising, endorsed by paid supposed celebrities and fed down our throats. Don’t kid yourself that it’s political – there is no such thing as politics controlling society for the good of the people, only the all-pervasive power of big business and the shareholders’ dividend.

Change IS good if it is better – better for people and better because it actually is an advance. DAB is a perfect example of the lie – inferior in every way. But the selling of the lie continues, and is swallowed by a public not informed well enough to know or to make an informed decision (and big business wouldn’t want that!)

As the advertising slogan goes… “Believe in better”. Because you are told it is better, even when its not. Belief comes with faith and faith has absolutely nothing to do with truth, evidence or reality. Eh Robert???


Well said Indie.

I was trying to make this point but I didn’t do it very well: you have put it much more succinctly.


I can see why broadcasters want to change to DAB and shut down FM, it’s about cost. But I don’t thing it will happen for many years.
DAB radios are comparatively expensive, DAB car radios are next to useless and basically people don’t want to change.
Broadcaster will rethink when there is no one out there listening to DAB compared to the million upon million of FM listeners.
My prediction? it won’t happen for a very very long time so no need to buy a ****** DAB car radio at extortionate price.


I’m happy using both DAB and FM radios. FM will be around for a while yet, and I am more concerned that my DAB radios could become obsolete when DAB+ takes over. Anyone contemplating buying a DAB radio should look for one that will work with DAB+.

Dave says:
27 April 2011

I am led to believe that DAB is not the latest technology nor is it the favoured European standard. Can you confirm this? Is this why they are so expensive. Why are TV set top convertors so cheap?
The average portable am/fm radio can use as few as only about 9 transistors (ok I know there are lots of other passive components) and is most efficient compared with DAB and batteries last much longer I believe.
Also I have at least 14 am/fm radios around my home, cars, workshop and garage. All are tuned to Radio 4. I cannot imagine ever wanting to listen to the rubbish churned out on all the new digital channels. The day that Radio 4 dissapears from the bands that it now occupies on my current equipment, is the day that I no longer will be able to listen to the radio as I will not be replacing any of these receivers. Perhaps you can tell me where I can send them for others to enjoy. Alternatively, may I suggest that we take them all down to The Radiocommunications Agency and dump them in front of their office!
You must know that powerful forces have been at work in the industry lobbying for the commercial organisations who care little about all the people that are quite satisfied with existing radio and I am so dissapointed that WHICH? is not discouraging changes to satisfy them. Lets face it all this technology will come from abroad and do little for our own people.

Linda Snell says:
28 April 2011

I bought a Roberts digital radio 6 years agol, the digital radio has a permaent hiss although no hiss if played on FM eventually I got totally fed up with this and thinking it was due to the make I bought a Pure digital radio this year, this also has a hiss, I have contacted Pure and followed their advice but still have a hiss. All the information on the web tells me I should have no problem with DAB reception but experience tells me this is not the case. Until problems like this are ironed out we should not be forced into DAB.

I know the switch to digital tv is going ahead and am not against that as there have been years for people to get used to it and be able to purchase digital receivers that are now very inexpensive, digital adaptors for radio are expensive especially compared to those for tv until the price falls the switch over on radio should be put on hold.


Poor reception is unlikely because this causes an annoying burbling sound that is well known to most users of DAB portable radios. It is unlikely that you have two faulty digital radios but it might be worth testing the new radio in a different building.

Your hiss could be due to interference. You might be able to identify the source of interference by moving the radio, but that will not help if the source is outside the house.

You might be able to reduce the hiss by adjusting the treble (or tone) control, if the set has one. I turn down the treble on my Pure FM/DAB radio to decrease hiss on weak FM stations, but I have never had any problem with hiss on DAB.

BillD says:
29 April 2011

We had to replace a hifi Digital Tuner with a combined Digital/FM tuner in order to get more than a few DAB stations. We have a high quality external aerial for this and reception is acceptable with the aerial, though there is no benefit to us from the Digital tuner, we would have been better sticking with an FM tuner. We live on the West Coast of Scotland, NOT far from major population centres, and still only have a very limited choice of stations. We did replace an old FM portable with a DAB/FM portable and boy is the reception poor on that on DAB. If we are listening to the news, then the reception will be bound to go when there is a critical item of information.

As for listening via our digital TV, in the evening in Scotland the digital stations are cut off so that Gaelic broadcasting can take place.

If you want to listen to Radio 5 Live, fine, get a digital radio and put up with the poor reception, burbles and so on, but for us, DAB stands for”Definitely Atrocious Broadcasting” .

Government bureaucrats and ministers want to sell the bandwidth for FM no matter what the cost to the public. Under no circumstances should they be allowed to do this.

Robert says:
1 May 2011

Having bought a new car in Dec 2010, it baffled me to find that DAB wasn’t in as standard. At least it should have been there in addition to FM/AM. The car is the main place I listen to radio and is therefore the place that I’ll start to get “seduced” by the idea. I won’t be getting another car for five years or so, so probably won’t give DAB a second thought until then.

Antony Hill says:
2 May 2011

I have 3 DAB radios and the sound is good but no better than the performance from my other FM radios.But what about the other 10 or so radios I have ; they are in very good condition and why should I be forced to buy DAB. Another down side to DAB, it is exclusive to the UK so won’t work abroad and I believe DAB + is better. So the end result is DAB is very limited and inflexible.


Antony Hill says:
2 May 2011

I have 3 DAB radios and the sound is good but no better than the performance from my other FM radios.But what about the other 10 or so radios I have ; they are in very good condition and why should I be forced to buy DAB. Another down side to DAB, it is exclusive to the UK so won’t work abroad and I believe DAB + is better. So the end result is DAB is very limited and inflexible.


Simon says:
3 May 2011

I see no reason whatsoever to switch off FM. Generally FM reception is better than DAB. My main objection to the switch over is the waste of perfectly good radio and Hi-Fi equipment. As if we didn’t have enough electrical waste in this country already the Government seems ****-bent on creating more.

Frank says:
4 May 2011

I just spent £250 on a hifi DAB/FM/AM tuner. The FM is great. The DAB has a burbling ‘mud-pot’ noise on all channels. The problem is signal strength at the place in my house where the hifi is located, since a portable DAB we have in the kitchen sounds fine. So now I’ve had to shell out further on an external aerial. Technically the quality of UK DAB is bound to be poor, but as I understand it the drive to force everyone onto DAB is to free up wavelengths that are currently used to transmit FM. From this recent experience I now totally support any campaign to keep FM, whether or not DAB stations continue.


My wife and I are TOTALLY against the cessation of national FM transmissions for, among others, the following reasons:

* We have 9 FM receivers (4 high quality tuners (i.e. several hundred pounds worth), 4 radio alarms and 1 car radio). Each one of these would need replacing at considerable cost.
* If all our FM receivers become redundant, there will be significant increase in waste costs to be dealt with under the WEEE regulations.
* DAB signal processing uses more complex circuits than FM, hence the power requirement for receivers will increase. This does not help the UK energy strategy, let alone my own.
* The replacement DAB transmissions are, very probably, likely to be of lower fidelity than the FM transmissions. See BBC white paper WHP061.
* ‘Live’ transmissions will actually be subject to delay (due to the encode/decode circuitry), therefore, for example, the hourly time pips will be incorrect.
* It is very unlikely that our listening habits will change with the increased number of stations. The advent of digital TV didn’t really change our viewing habits. It has, however, meant that the visual quality has improved with HD transmissions. This viewing enhancement is coupled with the availability of larger TV screens due to LCD and Plasma technology. This is an advantage that cannot be applied to radios. And the higher quality audio capability is not likely to be implemented due to commercial considerations cited in various sources. Does anyone really sit and watch the scrolling text on their DAB radio?
* The MPEG and HE-AAC codecs required for DAB are proprietory. Therefore, a large public system will be supporting a private system. This cannot be an open system and there will be no competition as only a single vendor can supply the codecs.

In short, there is no real advantage to us, as consumers, in the phasing out FM in favour of DAB. In fact it will incur significant costs and we appear unconvinced that it will deliver any audible benefits.

Why, why, why must FM be phased out for DAB?

dubs1948 says:
10 May 2011

The BBC needs to save money but is constantly advertising DAB radio. I would like Which? to ask the BBC how much money it would save by totally abandoning DAB and associated advertising. The public would not suffer since digital radio would still be available on the internet and satellite platforms. If they keep FM nobody would incur an unnecessary cost in purchasing another receiver. DAB is already superseded by DAB+ and, I believe, that better systems than DAB+ exist. Early adopters of DAB might not be able to upgrade to DAB+.
I would like Which? to form an expert group on digital radio available for comment whenever digital radio is discussed in the media to correct any misinformation Members will have their own ideas as to who should be in such a group but I would certainly welcome the presence of Steven Green from Hi-Fi World, if he was agreeable to the idea.


I, too, think it is pointless to switch of FM and make everyone go digital. Why? Well, the only reason I can think of is so the government can make money by selling off wavelengths. Even when the signal quality has substantially been improved, there seems to be a range of reasons why keeping FM is a far better option: 1) DAB radios simply drink battery power. I saw one advertised as ‘giving up to 10 hours of reception on one set of batteries’. My various FM radios give up to one month on one set of batteries. 2) A big thing is made of the fact that we can listen to loads more stations. Yet I’m sure the vast majority of people are like me and regularly listen to just 2/3 stations, with many simply listening to just one. 3) Quite apart from the waste of having to replace all the mains and battery driven FM radios we have accummulated over the years, car radios will also have to be replaced or adapted. And digital reception is either there or it’s not. Yet when listening to Five Live in my car, I really don’t object to poor reception. Yes, I would like better reception all the time, but I least I get a continuing feed.


Overall I think DAB is worse than FM. Although both have similar sound quality, DAB has annoying breaks in reception, my portable radio and its telescopic aerial are more sensitive to position than when tuned to FM, and digital stations take longer than FM to come through after pushing a preset button. I use FM unless listening to a station only transmitted digitally.

This “portable” radio’s batteries last only about 2 hours, so it’s not really portable and a 240v power unit is needed,. It uses more than 50 times as much electrical power when receiving DAB as my 45 year old battery FM portable, in which the batteries last for weeks. There are no reception problems with digital listening ‘on-line’, sound quality is good, but my desk top PC uses 1000 times the power of my old FM portable.

For a year I owned a car with a factory fitted DAB receiver, which only got enough signal strength in some places when parked. When moving, it made a loud distorted buzzing noise, or no sound at all. I deduce DAB car radio is at present of little use.

I think the Government is being misled by the radio industry into backing a national radio change from FM to digital. There has been no public consultation. The Digital Economy Act was forced through Parliament with inadequate debate. I’ll be very cross if the four national FM stations I listen to are closed, which will infringe consumers’ right to decide individually how to use services in the best way for them. I think it would be a scam to oblige consumers to pay for new equipment which will be more costly to run and may well give a poorer service. I think it will be the worst environmental example to make us get rid of working radios when we’re already using resources much faster than they can be replaced. The present system has no consumer problem and a changeover should be cancelled.

Annie says:
22 May 2011

I agree with almost everything that has been said. On that basis I am going to buy another FM radio ( I dont care for my new DAB for reasons already mentioned). Please can someone recommend a good model? There doesnt seem much choice as all the stores are plugging DAB. Thanks.

Dave says:
27 May 2011

There was consultation with industry about 7or 8 years ago about the future use of the spectrum and a report issued. Naturally enough this was mostly contributed to by commercial interests and industry that had their eyes on the radio spectrum for their own benefit. As far as DAB was concerned I pointed out that people had barrowfulls of FM radios that were perfectly good for their needs. But governments have been selling off the family jewels for years now and can’t resist the temptation to cover their waste by any means.

Rupert says:
6 July 2011

I agree with most of the recent comments. There has been no clear articulation of any real reason for switching to DAB other than the ‘better quality’ arguments (totally disproved by the many comments above) as or ‘extra radio stations’. i have no desire to listen to BBC 6,7,8 or specialist minority stations. The existing number and quality of FM stations are entirely adequate. Like one of the other commentators I have about 10 radios (in various rooms, plus garden sheds, DIY portables and crucially 2 TMS radios) Why o why should I be forced to ditch all these and splash out on DAB replacements at £80 plus each?
Politicians beware at the next election!


According to industry data cited in Parliament by Communications Minister Ed Vaizey, in the third quarter of 2011 some 17.8% of new cars registered were fitted with DAB radios.

My comment on this is what he didn’t say:
“Or, put it another way, some 82.2% of new cars did not have DAB radios fitted!”

Now that’s hardly a ringing endorsement from the motor trade – despite all the promises of “things to come”!

The deadline will have to continue to move, and the technology will become increasingly prehistoric!


Dump all my old AM radios! I have about 10 – no way! They will always be some countries using the AM band in Europe as its cheap and covers distances.

Why waste a fortune on (a) buying a DAB set when FM is superior audio quality (b) having to buy significantly more batteries. The cost of batteries for DAB is still vastly in excess of that for “old fashioned” radios, so many aspects about DAB have to be linked with comments of the “better things to come” type.

I bought one DAB set and found that does not work in some rooms of my house! A friend who works in retailing tells me that customers often return their radios as they “don’t work properly”. I hardly use mine, should have returned it.

“The Emperor’s Clothes”?


“Let’s not be forced into a DAB radio switchover”

A letter to your MP setting out some salient points might be one way of achieving this.

Maybe your MP would sponsor an Early Day Motion? Its worth asking.


I am inclined to agree with most comments here as I mainly listen on my phone’s radio all night and would not like to be forced to use a technology that would require me to buy new hardware, I would rather the BBC cater for my needs (as I pay for them) than to have to find an alternative.

Peter says:
6 September 2012

The statement in the article at the top of this conversations saying “decent sounding DAB radios aren’t cheap” rather presupposes that decent sounding DAB is actually possible!

Look at the September 2012 review of Internet Radios which also contains some strange remarks.

It says that one of the drawbacks with internet radio is the sound quality, although it only mentions Listen Again programmes saying that they are transmitted at “only 48kbps”. I do not believe that this is true. There is indeed a low quality option of 48 kbps but most people with an adequate internet connection will choose the higher quality option of 128 kbps. But this is not the whole story, please read on.

Elsewhere on the Which? Website, there is the surprising statement that “BBC Radio 4 is broadcast on DAB at 128kbps, but 48kbps over the internet”. This is factually wrong because Radio 4 on DAB often drops to 80K mono (for example when Five Live Extra is broadcasting) and BBC live internet radio is at 128kbps. A lower bandwidth version is also available. This is not comparing like with like because DAB and internet radio use different methods of encoding. DAB uses an out-of-date system called MP2 (the technology that preceded MP3 which most people will have heard of). BBC internet radio uses the superior AAC encoding which allows a comparable quality of sound to be broadcast using considerably less bandwidth.

This means that 128 kbps AAC (internet) will normally sound considerably better than 128 kbps MP2 (DAB).

Even the low bandwidth (48 kbps) option on Listen Again should, by virtue of its better encoding, sound at least as good as the 80kbps mono signal on Radio 4 DAB.

So the Internet Radio article should really have shown sound quality as an advantage over DAB so far as BBC is concerned.

In fact Which? Magazine really ought to be making the point whenever thay review digital radio that the sound quality of DAB as currently implemented in the UK is inherently poor, even assuming decent reception.

Which? should certainly be campaigning against switching off FM if the alternative is DAB. What would be to the ultimate advantage of listeners would be to campaign to switch off the obsolete DAB system and replace it with the new world standard, DAB+.

Kam says:
19 June 2014

Thank you Katie for being the voice of reason! I just cannot see the point of DAB if, like me and many others, one is perfectly happy with FM.

My beloved Eton Traveller has just packed up after many years of excellent service, giving me an excuse to look at DAB (yet again). But as with previous research, and try as i might, I just am not convinced DAB makes sense for me personally nor, I suspect, many others, including those who have already gone down the DAB route as it is the ‘in thing’. It feels like a terrible con. Who on earth is benefiting from this nonsense? Certainly not the radio listener !

PS Katie, if still there, has your position on DAB changed since 2011, the article date?

Wayne Allen says:
27 June 2014


With the popularity of streaming and the ready access from many devices to internet radio I wonder if DAB has already been overtaken by technological advances, The ever faster broadband speeds should allow internet radio to broadcast at much better bit rates with, presumably, better quality listening than is currently being offered by DAB stations. With so many people happily enjoying FM why not keep this, scrap DAB as a digital platform and use internet radio instead? No doubt, if there are flaws in my thinking on this there will be some helpful posts to correct me.


One of the main benefits of DAB is for car radios. Streaming is not an alternative here.

Wayne Allen says:
28 June 2014

Hi Wave Change,

This is one of many links showing how internet radio can be received in cars:-


Of course all these links might just be a giant conspiracy, but I will leave it up to readers to make up their mind on the veracity of these links.


Thanks Wayne for pointing out my error. I accept that this might be a possibility for the future but judging by the problems I have using mobile broadband in many areas, it might be well into the future. DAB radio has worked much better in my car than I had hoped for and it will switch over to FM if the signal is poor.

Barney says:
19 February 2015

Let’s not be forced into a DAB radio switchover, indeed.
Why are DAB radios so expensive?—they cost around the same amount as digital television receivers/tuners despite obviously only receiving and giving a fraction of the information!

Ian Rodwell says:
4 October 2016

We live in a part of the country where FM reception is not great and the digital TV signal is very restricted. I doubt that switching to digital radio would have any positive benefits whatsoever. At a rough count. I reckon that switching off the FM signal would render useless about 20 radios, Hi-Fi tuners, radio alarm clocks, mobile phone radios and car radios. That would cost us hundreds of pounds to replace and all for no benefit. I would strongly encourage Which? to fight the digital switchover.


I hope that we will have the choice of DAB and FM radio for years to come.

I had a look to see what Which? has to say about the switchover and found this undated article: http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/radios/article/digital-radio-switchover-explained

PLEASE could all articles on the Which? website carry the date of publication? I have no idea whether this one is recent or a few years old.


@ldeitz Hi Lauren – Please could you ask for all articles on the Which? website to show the publication or revision date? This has been mentioned by several people on Which? Convo, but it has not happened.


I’d agree that sort of information is essential.


Hello @wavechange, I know it’s been a while since you asked this question. I’m pleased to report that as part of a migration project of all which.co.uk reviews, the product description pages now include a launch date and a testing date, for example http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/fridge-freezers/lg-gbf59nskzb/review

These details currently feature on all migrated pages, if you’re spotting pages that are missing these dates it’s likely to be because they haven’t yet been moved onto the new system.


Thanks Lauren. Onwards and upwards.