My small Roberts radio picks up all stations but my Denon tuner does not, even with an outdoor aerial. The name of the stations are displayed, but no sound — even a small pocket radio picks up the missing stations.
When a DAB radio station has no sound, but is listed on a digital radio, it could indicate that the particular radio station is being broadcast in DAB+.
DAB+ is a newer version of DAB. Several stations in the UK are now broadcasting in DAB+ instead of the original DAB. We have more information in our ‘What is DAB+?‘ answer.
Most digital radios manufactured in the last few years by brands like Roberts and Denon do receive DAB and DAB+ stations. If you purchased your Denon tuner a few years ago it might not be able to receive DAB+ stations. Your Roberts personal radio, although being smaller with the headphones acting as an aerial, may support DAB+ stations.
Denon don’t currently offer a standalone consumer DAB tuner on their website. The Denon TU-1800DAB was a popular model in the mid-2000s, but its manual doesn’t mention DAB+. Denon offers a professional grade DAB+/FM tuner but this may not be suitable for your setup. Onkyo and Yamaha do currently offer DAB+/FM tuners.
The way in which radios which are not compatible with DAB+ handle these stations varies between devices. Some radios simply ignore the stations and don’t list them, like a Tesco radio we reviewed in 2017. Others, like a Panasonic hi-fi we’ve tested do list the stations and they can be tuned into – but there is no sound.
Many listeners have radios which don’t receive DAB+ stations. Several shops still sell radios which don’t receive DAB+ too. When buying a new or used radio or tuner it’s worth checking that it will receive DAB+ stations. If the radio carries the digital radio tick mark it will receive DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations.
Should you purchase a new tuner the existing outdoor aerial should continue to work.
If a radio station is unavailable, either due to a weak signal or because the station has ceased broadcasting, you will normally see an error. A message might be displayed on the screen indicating ‘No Service’ or ‘No Signal’.