Yesterday, I bought a new radio.
It has a touch screen. It is really portable. Yet it won’t work inside the house.
Luckily, it’s in the new car, so hopefully it won’t ever work in the house. But its features were certainly an influencer in my purchasing decision.
I’m not a car snob – just need something that is fairly cheap to run, has a good load space and is comfortable. I’ve ended up with a new Peugeot 2008. To be honest, it could have been a Vauxhall Meriva or a Nissan Juke (too ugly) or even a Ford BMax (the kids loved the sliding doors). But I’ve had a 206 and 206 SW in the past so Peugeot won out in the end.
These cars all have DAB radio as standard, but this version has a pretty easy to use touch screen system which seemingly makes using digital radio easy. And whilst it looks a little functional and dated, it works really well (unlike other touch screen radios I’ve used).
You can tune between station simply by using forward and backward arrows, and yes, it’s still a bit clunky but it’s fairly painless – getting local, regional then national stations one after the other.
What I really like is the way that when you save stations as favourites, it allows you to save both DAB, FM, and even AM stations if you wanted to on the same list. Now, looking at the photo I too, it looks like you can also have a list of Music and Speech stations too which will be useful. But what I love is the fact that to tune between them, all I do is push the station name and it tunes to the relevant medium – DAB, FM or AM. Now it won’t allow me to add streaming stations to that list (and knowing the costs often discussed recently, I can understand why I wouldn’t necessarily want this option), but this sort of useability makes the DAB listening experience far more pleasant. The added bonus with this radio is that it will seek out the FM equivalent version of stations who broadcast across digital and FM so that if you loose the DAB signal, you can carry on listening. Now this doesn’t solve anything of the DAB vs FM debate, but at least it gives options. And as well as using the radio, I can plug in a USB stick and play any downloaded audio too. And display photos (though why you’d want to is beyond me..)
What did strike me, when I was going through the process of test driving, is how little information there is available about makes and models of cars with DAB options. It may be available from people like a Digital Radio UK, but at point of sale in dealerships, there’s very little messaging getting through (in my limited research).
So whilst you may not like my car choice, I’d recommend giving this system a look – it may improve your in car listening experience.