In-car digital radios and adapters need a suitable DAB signal to receive digital stations. A DAB windscreen aerial is a relatively cheap and easy to install option.
In this guide
- Choosing a DAB windscreen antenna
- Alternatives to DAB windscreen aerials
- How to install a DAB windscreen aerial
- Deals on DAB film antennas
Choosing a DAB windscreen antenna
Aerials fitted to the inside of a windscreen generally don’t work as well as magnetic or roof aerials. But they don’t need any new aerials or modifications on the exterior of a vehicle.
Fitting a windscreen or ‘film’ antenna is something which many motorists can tackle at home. Some interior trim will need to be removed but only common tools are normally required. We’ve put together a guide below.
If your car has a heated or polarised windscreen the performance of a DAB windscreen aerial could be affected. It’s worth asking the manufacturer or retailer for advice before proceeding. You may have to choose an alternative type of aerial or use a different window.
Before buying an aerial it’s worth checking whether your new DAB radio or adapter comes with one. If not, check the connector type on the radio first or ask the retailer for a compatible aerial.
The existing FM/AM aerials installed in most cars are not suitable for DAB reception. This means a new DAB aerial or splitter for an existing aerial is required.
Some windscreen aerials are ‘active’, which means they are powered by the radio or DAB adapter. Active aerials with a built-in amplifier may perform better than passive equivalents.
Alternatives to DAB windscreen aerials
In areas with a strong digital radio signal a windscreen aerial is often sufficient. If you find that stations drop out frequently you may benefit from an externally mounted aerial.
An aerial with a magnetic mount which is placed on the roof often performs better. Replacing the factory-fitted aerial often provides very good reception, but this is more expensive.