There are a confusing number of options when it comes to installing DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasts) tuners to cars. Which is the right choice for you?
When thinking about in car DAB the first question should be “Do you want to change the radio head unit?” This may be the easiest solution however many modern cars have integrated audio systems that make it very difficult to change the head unit in which case you need some sort of DAB converter but again which is best?
I will try to list the options and point you in the right direction…
- New Head units with FM / DAB tuners are the simplest to operate (no remote controls) and can be integrated with the steering wheel controls of the car. New offerings from Alpine can also give Bluetooth connectivity and stream music from your smart-phone as well as charge its battery. So definitely the best way to go if you can exchange the radio system in your car.
- This option only works if your existing head unit has an Audio/Visual AV input, This is likely if you have already upgraded the radio in your vehicle to a Navigation type with a screen or if your car has a factory fitted screen in the dash it may be possible to obtain an auxiliary AV input adaptor if it is not already equipped with this. C-KO make the DAB2011 In Car DAB Hideaway Tuner and Connects2 make the Universal DAB plug-in tuner via radio AV input CTDAB-1 Both of these solutions give a menu system on the screen with all the available station information as well as song/artist playing etc. The down side is you need to operate them with an infra red remote control.
- This is a cool option if you don’t want to fit a new radio and you don’t have a screen in the dash. If you like your standard factory sound system but want In Car DAB that is fairly seamless and works with your existing steering controls you need the Connects2 AutoDAB This is another hideaway black box with vehicle specific wiring adaptors to suit nearly 95% of vehicles on the road today. Its fully integrated plug and play installation displays: radio text song, artist information on your Original Equipment Manufacturer head unit.
- Companies like Pure and Beat have been producing cheap stick on glass FM modulator add on DAB tuners for some time and the results can be very patchy since the limitations on aerial and FM cross channel interference plagues these devises. The very latest Alpine Ezi-DAB resolves this by using a quality on glass antenna and can be hard wired to the head unit aerial connection or AV input. It looks very stylish with multi colour illumination to match your vehicle dash and can stream music and charge your iPod/iPhone. This is an inexpensive and easy solution if you don’t mind having a small extra device sitting on your dash.
If you are still confused please give our friendly team a call on 0845 166 7104 (local rate) and we will be happy to guide you to the right DAB solution for you.