Yes, there are some very affordable options for antennas which can be installed outside. Read our new complete guide to outdoor DAB aerials.
If you’re disappointed with the selection of digital radio stations you receive or find that the signal breaks up frequently you may be in a poor signal area and could benefit from an external aerial.
It’s important to note first that your radio or receiver will need the appropriate connection for an external aerial. Some digital radios come with a telescopic aerial which has an F-type connector. You can undo this connector, remove the aerial and then plug in your external aerial. Many hi fi systems and separates do include the required F-plug connection.
The most popular outdoor aerial is the dipole DAB aerial. These small aerials can be mounted on a pole outside or in a loft and cost from £10 to £20. Their design means they will pick up a DAB signal from all directions enabling you to receive radio stations from different transmitters.
The other type of aerial is a directional design with 3 or 5 elements. These aerials can be beneficial in weaker signal areas, but as they are directional (and therefore pointed towards a single transmitter) are only suitable when you’re looking to receive a particular selection of stations.
If you pointed a directional DAB aerial at Pontop Pike in the North East you would receive national BBC and commercial radio stations, but may not receive local radio stations like Metro Radio which are transmitted from another location.
Installing an external aerial
Most television aerial installers should be able to install a digital radio aerial for you. We always recommend contacting an installer through the CAI finder.
Suitable aerials can be purchased in Screwfix and some hardware stores, or purchased online from CPC and other specialist websites.