How to stop interference on a DAB radio: DAB interference

DAB Radio Not Picking Up Stations

If you want to know how to stop interference on a DAB radio, this guide from Radio Fidelity is here to help. We’re going to cover the most common reasons for DAB radio interference, and more. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started!

When you upgrade to a digital radio system, the last thing you expect is to be having trouble with signal quality. Unfortunately, while DAB is less prone to interference than FM/AM radio, there are still issues which might cause your DAB connection to come across as spotty and disjointed.

Fortunately, even if your DAB signal does have a few issues, you’re not totally out of luck.

Sometimes, there are steps you can take to troubleshoot a DAB interference issue. 

Let’s look at some of the best ways to overcome DAB radio interference…

Is there a problem with my DAB radio?

First, we need to establish what the problem really is with your DAB radio. 

Some people don’t realise they’re having a DAB interference issue, because they assume there’s something wrong with their device instead. DAB technology was intended to eliminate the connection issues often associated with AM and FM radio, so most of us don’t expect to hear interference. 

To determine whether your DAB has an interference issue, simply look at the signal strength on your DAB radio screen. If you don’t have a screen, try playing the same radio channel in a different place.

In some cases, the problem could be your home or wherever you are right now is in a DAB blackspot. Similar to regular FM radio, transmitters are responsible for sending DAB signals out around the UK. If you live in a rural part of the country, you may be less connected to DAB. 

A reception problem generally means you need a signal booster or antenna to help strengthen your connection to the radio signals. However, even with a booster, you may be limited in the DAB performance you can get. 

DAB Radio Not Picking Up Stations

How can I improve my DAB radio signal?

Before you look for solutions to a DAB radio interference problem, check your signal and reception is definitely up-to-scratch. You can use an online guide for help troubleshooting cracking signal frequencies. 

However, usually, you can tell a problem is linked to your reception when the sound of your radio seems to be coming form underwater. 

Check whether it’s a specific radio station you’re having issues with. If you switch through to different channels and notice no DAB interference, then you know it’s either the reception, or the radio transmission itself at fault. 

If all stations in one specific “multiplex” are behaving the same way, try switching the radio off and on again to refresh the service. 

Another option is to use the autotune function usually included with a DAB radio. This is a good idea if you’re looking for tips on how to stop interference on a DAB radio, because it allows you to refresh the existing connections you have to any radio waves. 

Another thing to try if you’re having problems with your DAB radio, is to check whether your other devices area also having problems. Switch on your FM radio and find out whether it’s having an interference issue too. 

If all of your devices are suffering from the same kind of problem, you know it’s not a specific signal, but something to do with interference. 

How do you stop DAB radio interference?

If you determine the signal and reception on your DAB radio are both working as intended, then you can begin to troubleshoot DAB interference issues. 

Thick walls and distance aren’t the only things causing problems for radio signals. Depending on where you’ve placed your unit, there may be other electrical devices causing your issue. 

Look at your radio, is it close to any:

  • Laptops
  • Mobile phones
  • Touch lamps
  • LCD TVs
  • Routers or Wi-Fi connections
  • Computers

The most common source of interference for DAB radios is actually caused by LED lighting. This is quite a complicated problem in the DAB radio world, as most people have begun switching to LED lights as a way of preserving crucial energy. 

If the lights in your home use transformers, rather than running directly on the mains, the transformers could be causing your interference.

If your DAB radio is positioned close to another electric device, move it to somewhere new and find out whether the problem persists. 

You may need to retune your radio after you change its position, to give the device another chance of refreshing and finding better signals than the ones it had before. 

Finding the best position in your home for your DAB radio can take a little time. Ideally, you’ll want to stay away from underground locations, like the basement, or areas where you’re surrounded by a lot of thick walls. 

Try walking around with your radio in your home to see where the signal picks up.

DAB Radio Not Picking Up Stations

How to stop interference on a DAB radio

The easiest way to eliminate interference on your DAB radio is to simply move the device to an area where other electrical devices won’t get in the way. Notably, though, you’re more likely to have a DAB interference issue on channels where you don’t have the best connection to begin with. 

If you’re constantly struggling with crackling channels, you may need a signal booster

If your radio is always cracking, try installing a new antenna to give it some extra strength. Although most DAB radios are already fitted with their own antenna, many of these devices could benefit from a stronger external alternative. 

A new antenna could be particularly crucial for you if you’re listening to a DAB radio in a rural area, or in a home with thick walls.

In some cases, the issues you have with DAB interference might be nothing to do with you or your home. If the problem seems to happen consistently with one channel, but no others – there may be an issue with that channel’s signal. 

Consider checking the website for the platform to see if there are any updates about interference. 

Another possibility is an issue with your radio. DAB radios, like any radio device, can suffer from problems over time – particularly as their components begin to age. If you’ve had your device for a while, it may be struggling to perform as well as it once did. 

In some situations, you may be able to send the device back to the manufacturer for a repair (if it’s under warranty). If not, you might need to consider purchasing a new radio. 

Dealing with the headache of DAB radio interference

Typically, a problem with DAB radio interference can be solved with a few simple steps. Something as easy as changing the channel, resetting the radio, or adding an antenna for better signal access could be enough to make a huge difference. 

As DAB devices become increasingly advanced, the chances are newer devices will have fewer risks associated with dropped signals and poor connections. However, if you live in a rural place, it’s more likely you’ll notice issues.

Although DAB radios use more reliable digital connections to ensure you can listen to your favorite channels – these aren’t without their faults. 

Just like any signal, a digital signal can be influenced by everything from the LED lights in your house, to the Bluetooth connections and Wi-Fi around your radio system. Sometimes, something as simple as a thick wall can get in the way of sound quality. 

If you try everything mentioned above, from turning the radio off and on again, to moving to a different room or adding an antenna, and nothing works you may be out of luck. 

If possible, before you purchase a new DAB radio with a better signal connection, you might want to check someone else’s radio from your home. This will give you a good insight into whether it’s your home that’s causing the signal issue, or the old radio. 

On the plus side, if you do get a new DAB radio, you can always look for an internet radio to connect directly to your smartphone and Wi-Fi connection. This means if you can’t get a standard digital signal, you can still listen to your favorite channels if they have an online version available. 

Radio Fidelity: For the love of radio.