There’s some justifiable criticism of DAB sound reproduction, which typically isn’t as good as you’ll get with a strong FM signal. But the perceived deficit isn’t so much endemic in the technology, more its application, as the audio quality is dependent on the broadcast bandwidth and to what extent the signal has been compressed to accommodate it. But compared to the compressed-to-the-hilt output of a pop station like Radio 1, sound quality is generally more than good enough for casual listening. Indeed, the more robust signal you tend to get on the move also makes up for any step down in sound quality.
With FM radios appearing in most Nokias, will users pay for more of the same?
DAB radio on your phone is a great idea given the more robust signal you get, assuming you’re in a DAB-friendly area, which is 85 per cent of the UK at present. The alphabetical listing of stations, many of them unique to DAB, and the additional information supplied, all improve the user experience. While this tuner is currently compatible with just two Symbian^3 devices, DAB on a handset has the potential to be a hit, but it seems Nokia users really do have to pay for the privilege.
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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.