Radios

Sonichi S100-DAB

Price (RRP) £45.00

The Sonichi S100-DAB is a DAB digital radio adapter for cars and vans. It’s been on sale for a few years now and is available from Halfords. As a DAB adapter it receives DAB and DAB+ stations and transmits a FM signal to the existing car radio. If a car has an aux-in socket this can be used instead.

Unlike some other DAB adapters this Sonichi model does not come with an aerial. It’s compatible with windscreen and magnetic aerials from Autoleads. Once the unit and a suitable aerial are purchased it’s still one of the cheapest ways to add digital radio to a car.

S100-DAB Features

Once installed the unit receives DAB/DAB+ stations and transmits them to the existing car radio. This means that the original radio can be left in place. If a car has an aux-in socket the aux-out socket on the device can be used. This will often provide interference-free listening compared to the FM option. A suitable 3.5mm audio cable can be purchased separately.

In FM mode the unit will look for the best frequency to use and re-tune automatically. The current frequency can be displayed by pushing the FM button.

The Sonichi S100 does not have Bluetooth, unlike some DAB adapters which provide the connectivity for music streaming and handsfree calls. There is an aux-in socket on the side, which would allow audio from a smartphone to be played through the built-in FM transmitter.

The current station and scrolling text, such as the song currently playing, is shown on the two line display. This illuminates at night and is quite easy to read. The display can also show the signal strength and other information about the current station.

Stations are selected with the left and right buttons. The displayed station will be selected automatically after a second or two. It can take a while to browse for stations, but 36 DAB presets can be used.

Sonichi S100-DAB Installation

A separate aerial needs to be installed to use with the Sonichi S100-DAB. The adapter is compatible with windscreen and magnetic aerials. This step is likely to take longer than installing the adapter itself.

The Sonichi S100-DAB comes with a 12V adapter, windscreen mount and instruction booklet. The Halfords website mentions that the device comes with a 3.5mm audio cable, but the new unit we purchased did not come with one.

Our full Sonichi S100-DAB review contains more information about installing the DAB adappter.

Sonichi S100 In-car DAB Adapter
Sonichi S100-DAB In-car DAB Adapter

Verdict: The Sonichi in-car adapter is easy to use and relatively inexpensive, but buyers need to add the cost of an aerial. It doesn't have Bluetooth for music streaming - something found on other DAB adapters.

Features

  • Power Adapter
  • Aux Input
  • Stereo
  • 36 Presets
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