Magnetic DAB digital radio aerials are a great choice for cars and vans. They’re fairly easy to install and generally perform better than internal windscreen antennas. A magnetic DAB aerial also has the benefit of being installed in a high position, such as on the roof of a car or van.
In this guide
- Choosing a DAB windscreen antenna
- Other options for DAB aerials
- How to install a DAB windscreen aerial
- Deals on magnetic DAB antennas
Choosing a magnetic DAB aerial
Like a DAB windscreen aerial, magnetic aerials don’t need any new holes in the bodywork. The cable will need to go through a door or boot-lid opening though. A magnetic aerial is also a good choice when you don’t want to remove a part of the car’s interior, as is required for a windscreen aerial. The magnets are strong and the instructions should specify the maximum speed at which the car can be driven with the aerial. The aerials we have seen can be used up to 80mph or higher.
A magnetic aerial can be removed from the car quite easily too. This is useful if you don’t want to make an installation permanent or frequently change your car. Although the mast can be unscrewed from the base it’s just as easy to remove the whole aerial and put it inside the car for car washes and garages.
Before buying the aerial check if your radio comes with one in the box. Many DAB adapters, like the Pure Highway models, include a specific aerial for the device. Some DAB adapters and many car stereos don’t come with one, so you’ll need to choose an aerial.
If you’ve already bought the radio or adapter check which type of aerial connector it has. Common types are SMA, which is a threaded connector, and SMB, which is a push-on connector. In the installation example below we use an Autoleads Magnetic Mount DAB Antenna and a Sonichi S100-DAB adapter. These both have SMB connectors. You can buy an adapter to switch from SMA to SMB and vice-versa if required.
Most people can tackle the installation of a magnetic DAB aerial at home. Be careful when bringing the cable into the car as choosing the wrong location could damage the cable or allow water into the vehicle.
Other options for DAB aerials
There are other options when choosing a type of DAB aerial. A DAB windscreen aerial is also easy to install and often the cheapest to buy. Once installed the aerial can’t be transferred to another vehicle.
Replacing the existing aerial is a good option on some cars, particularly when the aerial is at the rear of the car. But, replacing an aerial is the most expensive and time-consuming option. On older cars you could use a splitter, but these convertors are not compatible with some aerials.