Why does only one of three radios pick up all DAB stations?

I have three radios and only one picks up all station that I want to listen to. I had moved them in different positions but this does not help. Could it be the radio?
– Paul

It is sometimes the case that different digital radios will pick up different radio stations. This is often due to differences between the radios.

One of the most obvious differences is between radios which can and cannot receive DAB+ radio stations. These are still digital radio stations and are broadcast from the same transmitters as DAB stations. Many older radios and even some digital radios which are on sale today do not receive radio stations using the newer DAB+ format.

If you can receive all of the UK’s national DAB radio stations this could mean a difference of 20 radio stations. It’s worth checking your radios to see if they all receive Absolute Radio, KISSTORY, Planet Rock and talkRADIO. If one of your radios also receives Heart 70s and Union JACK, but the other two do not, this would explain the difference.

See our question and answer about DAB+ to find out more.

Other differences between DAB radios

Newer radios can sometimes receive more stations than older models. We have tested an older Pure radio in exactly the same location as a new Panasonic radio and find that the Panasonic radio receives more stations. It could be the case that one of your radios is more sensitive or is better able to find stations.

Another issue can be the number of stations that a radio can receive. We have seen a DAB digital radio used in London that can receive a maximum of 100 radio stations. There are more than 100 stations available in the area, but it appears the older radio cannot store them in the station list. A newer model in the same location is able to find and store all of the available stations.

This scenario can sometimes occur with analogue radios too, where differences in the internal technology or antenna will affect how many stations can be received.


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