Is FM Radio Signal Getting Worse?

Witterings

Well-known member
Is the FM radio signal getting worse .... I have an outside aerial at the house but I've also noticed a change and worse inteference / dropouts in the car as well.

I don't know if maybe it's just the radio station I listen to (Wave 105) rather than the whole of FM and I do have access to internet radio in some areas in the house so can use that but it's less convenient than just hitting 1 pretuned button on the remote.

Interested to see if anybody else has noticed any change?
 

DCarmi

Well-known member
I've noticed poorer signal over the past while. I'm was wondering if its is atmospheric or perhaps related to high solar activity (which I think is currently the case). Dunno but it is annoying.

Normally I raise from slumber to Radio 4 . The signal here is normally adequate but of late it has been poor. Means I cast BBC Sounds when I am awake enough to figure out how to use my phone .
 

nopiano

Well-known member
I think I’ve mentioned before that despite considering myself a massive fan of FM for decades, I now listen almost exclusively to internet radio.

There is definitely a sensitivity to adverse weather conditions with FM, which a robust signal can largely overcome. But I suspect your local transmitter may be the issue unless your aerial has suffered a knock, or the tuner itself has begun to drift.
 

Witterings

Well-known member
Cheers for both the replies, certainly didn't realise it may be weather based but that'd explain why some days it's absolutely fine and others much worse but I will check the aerial as well ... especially as it's my wiring :fearscream: :LOL:

Is DAB meant to be any better, I haven't even looked at how it works but could tune it into that if it is and would still mean it's one click for the wife.

I have been using internet radio in the area it's on most recently but that's only after I've listened to poor FM and it's annoyed me enough I bother swapping over.
The main problem there is The Mrs hates Alexa with a vengeance and getting her to remember the command and to play "In Kitchen" and what to do if it doesn't start for any reason will be a nightmare.

Could be a good excuse for an upgrade in that room though :D

EDIT: May have found my own answer by googling the differences betwenn FM and DAB, may look at re-tuning it tomorrow as that may resolve a lot of the issues.
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
DAB has never had a good rep at home, as I think it’s compressed or something which makes it less appealing in a Hifi. For table radios, and especially in the car I find DAB brilliant. Only the remotest valleys lack coverage.
 

Witterings

Well-known member
DAB has never had a good rep at home, as I think it’s compressed or something which makes it less appealing in a Hifi. For table radios, and especially in the car I find DAB brilliant. Only the remotest valleys lack coverage.

That's useful to know .... 90% of the time it's just for background listening in a kitchen / living area so for that / the wife is absolutely fine,
If I'm aware of it I can then use Alexa whenever I want better quality either for that room or for multiroom so cheers for the heads up :)
 
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daveh75

Well-known member
DAB has never had a good rep at home, as I think it’s compressed or something which makes it less appealing in a Hifi.

Because it uses MP2 compression at low bitrates.

However there are now around 25 national stations broadcasting on DAB+ and over a 100 local/community stations.

DAB+ uses HE-AAC which is more efficient and better quality.
 
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DCarmi

Well-known member
Is DAB+ compatible with older devices, or does one need a newish device to decode it?
Check your manual.

If your display can show the stream details and you see a station which says AAC then you have DAB+. Anything saying MP2 is broadcasting DAB.

If you can find e.g Capital Xtra then you have DAB+. Also Heart Xmas only broadcasts on DAB+ (not that it is one of the stations I go to!).
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Check your manual.

If your display can show the stream details and you see a station which says AAC then you have DAB+. Anything saying MP2 is broadcasting DAB.

If you can find e.g Capital Xtra then you have DAB+. Also Heart Xmas only broadcasts on DAB+ (not that it is one of the stations I go to!).
I didn’t explain my interest fully. I don’t knowingly have a device with DAB+, except possibly the BMW car radio, in a 2022 model, which I can investigate. We just have a couple of older Pure table radios, plus a John Lewis one from about 5 years ago in the sale.

But I think you’ve answered in a way, as in principle it seems one needs a newer device, it isn’t backward compatible. I’ll look for Capital Xtra!
 
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DCarmi

Well-known member
I'd be surprised is there were many devices sold in the past 5 years which were not DAB+ compliant. There again, it is not something I've investigated. The only DAB device I have is a Denon DM41 which is DAB+ compliant.

You are right , older devices are not backwards compatible unless the manufacturer has released a firmware update.
 
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Witterings

Well-known member
Just thought I'd give an update and in case anyone googles in the future as well.

I tuned in the DAB and it's been working brilliantly / not cutting out so a happy bunny for now!

Just as a matter of interest, does anyone happen to know what quality any of the apps such as TuneIn or RadioPlayer stream at and if any of them are better than the others?

I'm not overly concerned as radio is always backgroud listening for me but just be interested to know.
 
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DCarmi

Well-known member
Quality of signal varies from station to station. The same applies to DAB stations.

You should find internet broadcasts are better than DAB but if you only use radio in the background...
 

jonathanbruce@me

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Apr 16, 2010
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I’m not even sure whether my M-CR610 is DAB+, although to be honest I tend to just use it for the sound off my LG 43” TV. My listening habits have changed recently and tend to use my NR1200 for radio in a different room.
 

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