Questions

Can a VW car radio be upgraded to receive DAB+ stations?

I have a VW RCD-310 DAB radio. Can it be updated to receive DAB+ stations?
– Tony

It’s unclear from information online whether the RCD-310 fitted in Volkswagen cars can receive DAB+ stations.

Photos do appear to show “DAB+” on the sticker on the radio and DAB+ stations on the display. It’s not clear though whether all RCD-310 stereos receive DAB+ stations.

It would be worth verifying if you should be able to receive DAB+ radio stations. If you can tune into KISSTORY (a national DAB radio station), but not Heart 70s (a national DAB+ radio station the same transmitters), this should confirm whether the radio can find an ensemble with DAB+ radio stations.

We’ve not been able to find a manual for the radio or any downloads on the Volkswagen website to see if the radio can be updated with new firmware. It may be worth speaking to a Volkswagen dealer or independent specialist to see what options are available. They may also be able to tell you whether it is possible to buy a second hand Volkswagen stereo with DAB+ and fit this in the car.

Other options for upgrading to DAB+

There are some other options which you could explore to add DAB+ reception to your Volkswagen car.

The easiest to install and cheapest to buy is a DAB adapter, such as a Pure Highway from around £100. These devices receive DAB/DAB+ radio stations and either send a signal over FM or plug in to the aux-in audio input. To listen to digital radio stations you would select the FM preset or aux-in input and select the radio station on the adapter.

These can be installed at home and come with a windscreen aerial. Entry level DAB adapters receive digital radio stations, but models with Bluetooth are also available. This could be useful if you would like to add music streaming from your phone or hands-free calling to your vehicle.

If you would prefer to keep the existing radio you could consider a DAB interface adapter. You would choose stations with your steering wheel controls. This is more complex to install but other than a windscreen aerial will keep the factory look of the car.

The final option would be to replace the existing car stereo. This is the most expensive option and you’ll need to choose a suitable radio, fascia (a plastic surround for the new radio) and wiring harness.

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