The government is committed to the future of DAB in the UK and to help to address the ‘in-car problem’ Halfords are launching its own in-car DAB radio solutions.
Before a national switchover from analogue to digital radio takes place, 50% of radio listening must be on a digital platform. With around a fifth of radio listening currently happening in cars, a new in-car DAB range from Halfords, which includes an in-car adaptor and a DAB digital radio option, will be music to the ears of DAB radio-loving drivers and DAB radio advocates alike.
For more information on DAB digital radio and the proposed analogue to digital radio switchover see our digital radios frequently asked questions.
In-car DAB radio options
For those not wanting to replace their current in-car radio, Halfords has the Sonichi S1000 in-car digital radio adaptor priced at £89.99 including installation. According to Halfords it works with your existing analogue radio and includes an external antenna which should help to improve DAB reception. The S1000 also has 36 DAB and 4 FM station presets.
The Sonichi SB50-DAB radio – priced at £129.99, plus £19.99 for installation – is slated to have a USB input and memory card slots so you can use it to play music direct from your MP3 player. It will also have Bluetooth so you can connect a Bluetooth compatible kit wirelessly and use it to make hands-free calls.
The new range of Sonichi in-car DAB radios will be available in over 460 Halfords superstores and online from 8th November.
In-car DAB converters
This is by no means Halfords’ first move in the in-car DAB market. Back in July, Halfords stores offered to fit Pure’s Highway – one of the UK’s first in-car DAB converters – for £100 including the price of the unit.
Anyone eager to switch to DAB in-car right now should be aware of the current limitations.
Which? digital radio expert Katie Waller says: ‘Receiving DAB radio in your car isn’t just about fitting the right equipment – if there’s no DAB signal on the routes you’re travelling, you’ll lose the sound.
‘There are government plans to build out DAB reception on roads as well as for homes, but for now drivers should be aware that DAB reception isn’t perfect – you may want to switch over to AM or FM if there’s a DAB hiatus on your route. We’ll be trying out the new Halfords DAB radios ourselves when they become available.’
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