Off-topic chat. May contain offensive language or images.
User avatar
By James H
#505155
So, you want a DAB radio for your car?

Now it's all official we can all rejoice and go out and buy shiny new DAB radios to listen to Chris on our way in to work.

You have a multitude of options, some super-cheap and some not-so-cheap.

A good place to go to, at least for reference is dabonwheels.co.uk. They have quite a few radios in stock, and also give a star rating for the aerials that accompany the units. I will be using them in the examples below where possible.

Aerials

First off, you will (probably) need a decent aerial. You can't use your car's existing FM aerial (OK, you can technically but they're rubbish for DAB).

Aerials vary in quality (and price) and not all DAB radios can use the same aerials, some use powered aerials that get 5 volts pumped into them by the unit, some use unpowered ones so check before buying!

There's three main types of aerial:

1. Clear aerials that stick to your window
Image

2. Externally-mounted aerial that transmit through the glass
Image

3. Magnetic aerials that stick to the metal body of your car
Image

Generally, the ones that stick to your rear window aren't amazing quality - and they cost more, for best results get a one that lives outside your car - either a magnetic one sticks to the roof of your car, or one that connects through the glass (although these cost a bit more).

Best through glass option (£24.99): http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/Kinetic_DE ... erial.html - 5/6 stars

Best magnetic option (£19.99): http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/Kinetic_Ma ... erial.html - 5.5/6 stars

NB: Most stereos, and some FM/Aux DAB upgrades come with an aerial, so it's always worth seeing how good that is before investing in an aerial.

Disclaimer: Check compatibility first! http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/Which_aeri ... radio.html

...Now onto actually getting DAB in your car!

The cheapest option - FM/Aux In

If you have your manufacturer-supplied radio and don't want to faff around with fitting a brand new stereo you are either going to want on that transmits to your existing radio via FM or an Aux In cable, depending on whether your car has an aux in jack or not.

Aux in will generally have better quality than an FM transmitter as it's directly connected to your stereo.

The price and quality of these varies, you could pick up an Alpine EZi-DAB for ~£150 or go for a cheap option that plugs into your cigarette lighter for ~£30-50.

Here's a few available: http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/Quick-fit_ ... adios.html

The middle option, upgrade your existing headunit to DAB

Some manufacturers provide an extra unit that plugs in via a special cable to upgrade your aftermarket stereo to DAB, although they're becoming harder to find. One example for Alpine touch-screen units is the TUE-DAB1U - about £180.

Go all out and buy a new stereo

There's plenty of stereos to choose from nowadays, although not every stereo has DAB so it's worth checking.

It's up to you to pick personal preference but personally I have Alpine and Pioneer kit in my cars and have no complaints with either of them.

If you're swapping your original stereo it's worth noting you will probably need both a harness adapter and fascia adapter.

Also, most modern cars tend to support what's known as double-din stereos (essentially double the size of standard stereos). If your car can fit one I'd say definitely get one of those over single-DIN.

Here's some that definitely support DAB: http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/In-dash_DA ... adios.html

I might edit this later to be more in-depth but I've rambled long enough, if anyone wants any help with what to buy, or has any questions just give a shout on this thread!

James.
User avatar
By Topher
#506937
James: how easy are these for a moron like me to fit? I guess it depends on the car?
User avatar
By Topher
#507097
One like me.
User avatar
By James H
#507185
If you can get a fascia adaptor (depending on the car) and a harness adaptor they're pretty straightforward to fit. Just usually a few screws and/or clips to undo!
User avatar
By dimtimjim
#507207
After saving m'pocket money from some private jobs, I have just splashed out on new stereo equipment for the car, especially so I can listen to Mr Moyles on the drive to work - with a shiny new DAB car stereo.

Got a new Kenwood head unit (comes with 'screen type' DAB aerial) and facia panel - along with all the necessary leads to connect to car and still have use of the steering wheel controls.

not got it all installed yet, but should be in by the end of the week.

And to answer the questions aimed at James - they're not that hard to fit - but you need to have a mild knowledge on that sorta thing. should be 30 mins work if ya know what to do. Main sticking point for most of us will be getting the standard factory fit head unit out, needs a special tool - obvs designed to not just slide out as that'd be far too theft-able...

Although, just fitting a head unit shouldn't cost a bomb at ya local Halfrauds, ~£20-30.
User avatar
By James H
#507208
Sounds like a similar unit that Toph is looking at getting, although his will have Bluetooth too :)
User avatar
By dimtimjim
#507213
Yeah, mine has Bluetooth too, but I save storage space on m'phone (more room for Nic's photo collection! :lol: )and put music on USB sticks n use that instead, also less time 'pairing' whenever you start the car.
User avatar
By Topher
#507220
Cheers Timbo, which one did you go for and where did you get it? Got my eye on one of these.
User avatar
By dimtimjim
#507221
That is pretty much exactly what I have got, except that is the 'double DIN' version - I went with the 'Single DIN' version.

Just so you know Toph, although my car has a double DIN stereo as standard, it was WAY cheaper to buy a facia panel (off of eBay) to fill the double DIN hole and leave space for a standard single DIN head unit.

I'd suggest you can try the same yourself (dunno what car you own!). But, it was £180 for the double DIN, or £90 for the same stereo in a single DIN, + £9 for the fascia.... So, £100 V's £180, for the same thing. Hence why I went for the single DIN, £80 spare to spend on crack/hookers/baby stuff.

All in, including all necessary leads to connect AND maintain steering wheel controls, was £135 - could have saved £30 of that though, had I wanted to do away with the S-wheel controls.

Food for though, my friend.

Happy to advise further, should you require.
User avatar
By Topher
#507222
Hmm, okay thanks - James suggests going double, what are the benefits of that? What's the model number of yours? (I've got a 58 plate Vectra).
User avatar
By dimtimjim
#507226
Benefits of going Double DIN...? Umm... more screen to look at!

Other than that, nowt..! All other features and performance are identical.

Yeah, he prob suggested as you have Double DIN as standard, but you don't have to go that route...

Could I counter suggest...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vauxhall-Vectra-C-2005-2008-Car-Stereo-Radio-Fascia-Complete-Fitting-Kit-Black-/171367075288?hash=item27e6460dd8

This'll fill your Double DIN hole, leaving space to fit a Single DIN stereo (£80 cheaper) AND give you an extra little cubby hole to store things in.

I went with a Kenwood DAB-34U

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kenwood-KDC-DAB34U-Car-CD-DAB-Digital-Radio-MP3-Player-USB-iPhone-iPod-Aerial-/351493227193?hash=item51d6a102b9

Exactly same specs as one you had in mind, but way cheaper.
User avatar
By dimtimjim
#507228
Sorry Toph, you want the KDC-BT38 or BT39 or BT48... ~£120.

Still cheaper than the Double DIN one you sent me...
User avatar
By dimtimjim
#507229
Although Toph, I must say - the Double DIN ones are better in every way. :?

:lol:
User avatar
By neilt0
#507235
dimtimjim wrote:Benefits of going Double DIN...? Umm... more screen to look at!

Other than that, nowt..! All other features and performance are identical.

Yeah, he prob suggested as you have Double DIN as standard, but you don't have to go that route...

Could I counter suggest...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vauxhall-Vectra-C-2005-2008-Car-Stereo-Radio-Fascia-Complete-Fitting-Kit-Black-/171367075288?hash=item27e6460dd8


Unless there was another vendor, I'd have a real problem with buying from this seller, as not only are the spellung errars hard to look at it, this paragraph is breaking ze LAW!

PLEASE NOTE THAT PRIOR TO ORDERING ANY PRODUCT FROM CAR AUDIO WAREHOUSE WE DO NOT OFFER A PREPAID RETURN SERVICE OR OFFER REFUNDS FOR ANY POSTAGE COSTS INCOURED DUE TO UNWANTED OR FAULTY RODUCTS, YOU THE CUSTOMER WILL BE RESPONSABLE FOR THE RETURN OF THE GOODS AND THE ASSOCIATED COSTS
PLEASE DO NOT CLICK THE “Buy it now” BUTTON IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE TRANSACTION AND RECIEVE THE ITEM(S)
User avatar
By dimtimjim
#507257
:lol:

I only apply that rule to private sellers, dicks in shops I let slide...
User avatar
By Sidders
#507374
You could just ditch your car and buy a modern one that has DAB as standard...



On how I've missed making these mundane replys...
User avatar
By Topher
#507381
Spoken like a Tory there Sidders. Bit of a "let them eat cake" moment...
User avatar
By Topher
#507383
Massive thanks to James H today for turning up all the way from Kent in Milton Keynes on his way to an event he was already late for to help me do the finishing bit on fitting my stereo (and also for confirming that on this occasion I wasn't being a total moron).
User avatar
By Yudster
#507385
Topher wrote:Massive thanks to James H today for turning up all the way from Kent in Milton Keynes


See that makes it seem as though they have moved Kent.
User avatar
By James H
#507387
Haha, I assure you Kent is still buried away in the bottom right hand corner of the British Isles.

You're welcome Topher, was nice to meet you and glad everything is sorted now hopefully! :)
User avatar
By Topher
#507389
To. To Milton Keynes. Oops.
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