Once you’ve downloaded the free DAB radio app from the Ovi Store, there’s a simple interface that allows you to scan for available stations – all laid out in alphabetical order. Once you’ve selected one, it will display whatever text info is available (programme name, track title etc) and you can skip to adjacent alphabetical stations using the large arrows. You can also save your favourites in a separate list so they’re easy to find.
Easily laid out with all the options you'd expect
These are multi-purpose headphones too, so long as you remember to hide the app. You can use them to play tracks held on your phone, in which case the controls revert to standard FWD and RWD. The playback audio will cut off automatically when you receive a call, with DAB returning automatically when you finish. But if you want to use your FM radio, you’ll have to remove the adapter and insert your headphones into the 3.5mm headphone jack, which seems like a trick missed.
As well as many of the stations you can get on FM (some of them with improved reception) DAB offers a host of specialist music stations including the Beeb’s 6Music and 1Xtra and additional sports coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.
Nokia’s Digital Radio Headset doesn’t offer quite the same range, and therefore choice, as you might get with a tabletop DAB radio equipped with an extendable aerial. For instance, in a simultaneous scan for new stations the Nokia turned up 58, while a Roberts Stream 63i produced 66 stations and Pure’s Evoke Flow promised 64. Not a bad total though and, of course, as well as the greater range of stations, you’ll also get generally better sound quality too.
With DAB, if the signal’s not strong enough to reach you, you won’t get any of it, but if your radio can pick it up, it will be distortion-free with no hiss or crackle, though at the limits of your device’s range you may get occasional dropouts. It’s still an improvement on the wax and wane you tend to get with FM when you’re on the move.
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The reason the iPhone doesn't have a radio...
Is that having a radio would mean users could listen to music without buying it from iTunes!
Most (if not all) DAB radios eat up batteries for fun - smartphones aren't exactly renowned for long battery life either.
Wonder how long you get listening if like most people you leave 3G, Bluetooth and wireless on......
Choice, dear AC, choice.
Person A wants to listen to pop music and likes the typical assortment of tunes played on radio station X. Person B also wants to listen to pop music but can't stand the presenters on station X, so tunes into station Y instead. Person C doesn't really care about the presenters on either station X or Y, but prefers to listen to certain types of pop music which don't get played often enough for their liking on those two stations, so ends up listening to station Z instead. And so on.
Oh, and even if only 10% of the extra stations are non-pop (and I suspect the number might be a bit higher than that, thinking about the stations I see listed when I scroll through the list) there's still enough diversity amongst these stations to make DAB worthwhile on their own.
It is not just that though
I read the article, and I don't believe the headline claim re the FM v DAB chips. I'd like to see a direct comparison between the lowest power FM (only) and the lowest power DAB.
However, for me, the biggest issue is that I prefer the quality of FM. DAB (with the crap over compressed codecs used to squeeze more channels in) just doesn't come up to scratch for quality I'm afraid.
I'm not impressed by having 101 channels of rubbish, I'd much prefer a few I can listen to.
Just my opinion and no offence to DAB lovers. :-)
You beat me to it
I was going to say exactly the same. Sadly, my iPod died, so my Rovi is currently sitting on a shelf unloved while I listen to music and FM radio on my Android phone.
I'll take issue with the review, however. Quote - "Indeed, the more robust signal you tend to get on the move also makes up for any step down in sound quality" - Where the hell did you test this?
Whenever I try to listen on the move, the dropout rate and the bubbling mud problem from varying signal strength makes DAB impossible to listen to, especially for spoken word programmes. Try listening to a comedy show when you keep missing the punch-lines. I know I live out in the sticks, but I also have this problem travelling down the M5 within 10 miles of a major city with a correctly installed DAB radio specifically made for a car.
With FM, you get a hiss or maybe some distorted output, but you can follow a conversation. Try doing that when you completely loose the channel for seconds at a time.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for Digital Radio, and have five in total in the house and car, but until the transmitter power levels increase, I'll be listening to FM on the move.
BTW swisstoni. The delay is caused by the time it takes to digitise the audio at source and decode in your receiver. It's never going to go away regardless of what anybody tries to do. You could try buying a more expensive receiver, but there is no guaranteeing that it will have a faster processor in it, and would only address the decoding side. I'm afraid you will just have to learn to live with it.