Digital Radio

The Digital Radio Tick Mark and DAB logos

There are many DAB digital radios on sale today. Digital radios can vary in their ability to receive all of the digital and FM stations which are available in your area. To help consumers choose a digital radio which is ‘future ready’, a digital radio tick mark has been developed.

Why a Digital Radio Tick Mark?

The green tick logo indicates that a device, such as a DAB radio or in-car adapter, can receive DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations.

Digital Radio Tick Mark

The Digital Radio Tick Mark on an approved product

Only products which have been tested and approved can display the digital radio tick mark.

Reception of DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations is more important than ever. In the last few years a number of new radio stations have launched using DAB+. Some stations that previously broadcast in DAB have switched over to DAB+. The newer version of DAB+ requires a suitable radio.

Not all digital radios can receive DAB+ stations. This makes the distinction an important one, as buying a radio which doesn’t receive DAB+ means you could be missing out on more than a dozen stations.

Reception of FM is important too. There are some radio stations which don’t broadcast on digital radio yet, such as community and student radio stations. In the past digital radios have been available which don’t receive FM stations.

Ensuring reception of DAB, DAB+ and FM stations means that a radio will work well in to the future.

The tick mark appears on radios from Pure, Sony, Panasonic, Philips and Roberts. It’s also used on DAB adapters from brands like Nextbase and Majority. You’ll also find it on car stereos from Pioneer and Kenwood.

The Digital Radio Tick Mark, below the DAB logos, on a Sony radio

The Digital Radio Tick Mark, below the DAB logos, on a Sony radio

If you’re thinking of buying a DAB radio in the UK, this is the logo to look for.

DAB+ Logo

Another logo you’ll see is the DAB+ logo. The colourful logo is relatively new and is starting to appear alongside the digital radio tick mark. While the digital radio tick mark is only used on approved products, the DAB+ logo is described as a marketing logo. Over time the new logo may replace the original black and white one.

DAB+ Logo on Pure radios

DAB+ Logo on Pure radios

The DAB+ logo was introduced to provide a more consistent brand for DAB, as some countries had used their own logos.

‘Digital Radio’ Logos

A 'digital radio' logo on a DAB product

A ‘digital radio’ logo on a DAB product

There are some logos which use the words digital radio, but don’t indicate whether the radio can receive DAB+ stations. Before buying a radio without the tick mark or the DAB+ logo you should check if it will receive DAB+ stations.

Although these radios are often quite cheap, you would be missing out on stations like Heart 80s, Gold and many others. There are now some very affordable radios with the tick mark, so it’s worth shopping around online.

Older DAB Logos

The original DAB logo has been used since the 90s and has appeared on many radios. A DAB+ version of the logo has been used more recently. This logo was managed by electronics manufacturer Philips.

Sonichi S100 DAB Adapter

The Sonichi S100-DAB in-car adapter with the original DAB logo

Another common sight was the DAB Digital Radio logo. This often appeared on radios and packaging in the early and mid-2000s. You might have also seen it in shops and on leaflets. The logo was launched in the UK by Digital One – the operator of the first national multiplex of digital radio stations.

A DAB Digital Radio Booklet from the mid-2000s

A DAB Digital Radio Booklet from the mid-2000s

According to Digital One it was used by 4 of the 5 top selling DAB brands. However, it hasn’t been used on new radios for a few years now.

Radios without digital or DAB logos

Roberts SportsDAB5

The Roberts SportsDAB5 doesn’t carry any digital radio logos

There are radios which don’t carry any DAB logos at all. The Roberts personal radio we reviewed is still very good, and a cheap Tesco radio we looked at is still going strong – although it does not receive DAB+ stations.

If you’re happy with the radio stations you can receive now there’s no need to upgrade to a DAB+ model. If you do need to buy a new radio, or would like to enjoy stations like Heart 70s, do look for a model with the digital radio tick mark.