Once the unit has collected the DAB stations, it searches for a suitable FM frequency between 87.6MHz and 107.9MHz to transmit to the car radio. You tune the car radio to the frequency displayed on the Highway. If your radio has RDS, the job is made even easier as the words "Pure DAB" will appear when the tuner reaches the designated FM frequency.
Quite a few up-to-date in-car set-ups have a line-in, and the Highway can plug straight in, eliminating and sound quality lost in the shift from DAB to the very busy FM band. We found that in general the DAB signal was pretty reliable. However, problems can develop in built-up areas with interference on the FM frequency used to deliver the DAB signal to the car radio.
A powerful magnet, yesterday
Pure has supplied an answer here, and the next suitable FM transmit frequency can be found by a quick press of the rescan button, and the car radio can be retuned accordingly. The unit can store four FM transmission frequencies, each triggered by pushing the numbered buttons on the top of the unit. The user then stores these pre-sets in the car's radio. You can fine-tune the signal in increments of 0.1MHz by using the Highway's manual tuning mode.
You'd be forgiven for expecting the sound quality on a digital-to-analogue device like this to be a little patchy, but not at all. The sound quality on DAB is really excellent, with the top of the mid-range and treble frequencies enjoying particularly good levels of clarity and bounce. Detail throughout all levels is very good.
A bit of Pink Floyd later and we discovered there was enough room to appreciate even this band’s kitchen sink approach to sound production, complete with gently sobbing babies, manic laughter and penguins being fired out of cannons.
I want one
The difference between DAB sound quality and FM sound quality is going to be inaudible over traffic noise. FM is only better when you have a good signal, which I often don't. And DAB vs AM is no contest, even if it's 64kbps mono DAB.
I love the fact that it's got ReVu - I often listen to podcasts in the car off a CDRW and I've lost count of the number of times I've gone to rewind because I didn't quite catch something, only to realise I'm actually listening to the radio and it doesn't do that. Now if they only added a memory card slot so that I could record a good track or an interesting programme that came on, or listed to those podcasts with slightly less hassle than doing the CDRW thing, it'd be perfect.
Shame about the please-smash-my-window-in-the-hope-of-finding-my-satnav-in-the-glovebox windscreen sucker though - any alternative mounting options (other than leaving it to rattle around on the dashboard)?
FM and AM are both appauling.
At Home, Radio 4 is constantly intercepted by a cr*p pirate station - so bad I even called the mobile number and told them to shut up (in my best middle class RP voice).
In the car in London Radio 5 is impossible to listen to, and while driving north, around the Midlands there's a section where neither the 909 or 693 frequencies will work.
So I bought a freeview TV for the kitchen, for the same price as a DAB radio, and have TV and all the digital radio I want, and a DAB head unit for the car - the talk and sports reception (Radio 4&5) is reception is excellent and interrupted, and while an audiophile would contest the true quality of the music, they wouldn't have the sunroof open and the the wind in their hair while singing along....
Nice looking device though.
>> Works just fine for me!
Well that's good for you.
Personally, I like to listen to BBC 5Live without interference (as it's only available on AM) and TalkSport (ditto) when I'm in the car (so "online" SIN'T an option.
And I enjoy Planet Rock and BBC 6 and 7....and listening to some classical music on DAB is great coz there's no background noise....!
So, feel free to "put up with" the poorer signal receiving capability of FM and all the "nasties" you get if you live on the fringe for reception - in my neck of the woods, there's not a lot of choice at all on FM.
Personally, I like to have the choice when I'm out and about and to enjoy the benefits....