Why do I have poor reception with a Sony car stereo and a windscreen antenna?

I’ve recently installed a Sony XAV-AX3005DB and a DAB A1 DAB GLASS WINDSCREEN MOUNT ANTENNA WITH SMB PUSH-FIT CONNECTION. This aerial was recommended by the seller. When it eventually tunes into a station, the reception is terrible, it crackles. Even when stationary. The aerial only has one wire. Can you please recommended how I can overcome this issue?
– Roger

You provided your postcode which shows you should have good reception of all national and local DAB radio stations.

There are some checks you can do with the aerial. The grounding strip should be securely attached to the car’s metal A-pillar. Also check that the cable connection is secure on the back of the radio. You could try tuning into stations while the radio is not fitted in the dashboard so you can see the connection.

The photo for the aerial you mention shows that it comes in two parts. If this is the case it’s worth double checking that the film part of the antenna is connected to the antenna block with the wire.

You can also check the stereo’s setting for antenna power. This option tells the radio whether to supply power to the DAB antenna input terminal. On the Sony unit you can check this in the DAB mode by pressing the three dots icon and going to ‘Antenna Power’. If the windscreen aerial expects power it may receive some strong stations without power but will need to be supplied with power to work correctly.

There could be another factor affecting the aerial. If the windscreen is polarised this could affect reception. Dash-cams and satellite navigation devices are also known to affect DAB radios. If you have any of these devices you could try unplugging them and any 12V adapters to see if this makes a difference.

Finally the antenna could be faulty and you may need to return it for a refund or replacement.

Sonichi S100 antenna power option
The antenna power option on a Sonichi S100-DAB adapter

You mentioned watching our YouTube video about installing a DAB antenna. In the video we used an Autoleads DAB-AA1 antenna and experienced very good results with antenna power switched on with a Sony DAB stereo. We’ve also used the aerial with a Sonichi S100-DAB adapter and an AutoDAB interface. With the DAB interface we recently had to connect the power wire to a 12V source and found that reception was exceptional.

If you decide to choose a replacement antenna we would look at the Autoleads aerial. It might be worth buying this in Halfords to ensure it is a genuine item which should come with fitting instructions.