Classic FM to switch to DAB+ on digital radio

National radio station Classic FM will switch from DAB to DAB+ in January 2024.

A page on the classical music station’s website says that the station is upgrading to DAB+ and that listeners should check their radio is DAB+ ready before the end of the year.

Classic FM will continue to be available on 100 – 102 FM across the UK.

The change will leave some listeners unable to hear Classic FM on their DAB digital radios. This is because many older DAB radios don’t understand the newer DAB+ standard.

While some listeners will be able to switch to the FM mode on their radio, owners of older digital radios that only receive DAB radio stations will no longer receive the station. This includes owners of the Classic FM special edition version of the Pure Evoke-1 radio.

Advice for Classic FM listeners

  • Many digital radios can receive DAB+ radio stations. If you can hear Capital XTRA or UCB 1 on your radio you’ll be able to receive Classic FM after January 2024.
  • Radios which don’t receive DAB+ stations may have an FM mode, and Classic FM is available on 100 – 102 FM.
  • Some radios made by Pure can be upgraded to receive DAB+ stations.
  • Classic FM is also available on digital TV, in apps for phones and tablets and on smart speakers.
  • When buying a digital radio look for the Digital Radio Tick Mark or an explicit mention of DAB+. Many second-hand and even some new radios do not receive DAB+ stations.

Many digital radio stations have already switched from DAB to DAB+. Earlier in 2023 stations like Absolute 80s and Planet Rock switched to DAB+, while talkRADIO and talkSPORT 2 switched in 2020. In 2019 Radio X became a DAB+ station, as did Heart 80s and Capital XTRA.

Classic FM is one of the most-listened to stations to switch to DAB+. Heart and Capital broadcast using DAB+ nationally but are available in many parts of the UK on DAB and FM.

The station has been available on DAB digital radio since 1999, along with the other two Independent National Radio stations: Absolute Radio and talkSPORT. Absolute Radio left medium wave this year while talkSPORT is still available on medium wave.

What is DAB+ and how is it different to DAB?

The page on the station’s website includes contact details for listeners with questions about the switch to DAB+.

Classic FM is also available on Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media and Freeview, as well as smart speakers, the Classic FM website and apps for phones and tablets.