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Thoughts On Dab In Car Radio? New Headunit?


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#1 dt7

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:35 PM

Having had my car now for about a month I am finding the standard headunit is a real let down. I struggle to get a reception even for the major FM radio stations and the general sound quality is poor. MW stations are just not worth bothering with.

I am now considering buying a new headunit that comes with DAB radio, but would like to know if anyone has any experience of DAB headunits, and whether or not it is worth it at the moment.

I have seen the DAB units that tune into the existing FM frequencies but am not convinced this is the way to go due to poor quality reception and the added bulk in and around the dashboard.

I have narrowed my search down to this headunit :-

http://www.halfords....tegoryId_265865

Seems like it has lots of features and comes with an internal windscreen ariel for the DAB that can be fitted quickly and easily.

I think I would also need a new facia. Am I right in thinking this would fit? (Ford Focus Zetec S - mark 2.5)

http://www.dynamicso...nel-p-9968.html

Finally, am I right in thinking I would also need a wiring harness to connect new headunit into car? If so, would this do?

http://www.dynamicso...ess-p-9175.html


Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions that you are able to give.

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#2 Brigante

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:09 PM

Yup I believe you would be correct. I'm not sure if that is the right wiring harness though. You need a sony to ford specific iso lead.

The same seller is on ebay. I've recently contacted them myself regarding my new head unit. Your best bet is sending them a message and asking them if they do a fitting kit for a Sony CDX-DAB700U to go in a ford focus. If they do, they'll link you to a complete kit including the fascia, iso lead, aerial adapter and stalk control adapter.

It's what they did with me.

Also, shopping around, they undercut what I thought was the cheapest fitting kit provided by a different seller by 10quid so they are good price wise too.

#3 gumpy321

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

If you're struggling with FM, what makes you think DAB in your area is going to be any better?

For the record, I have the Ford Sony DAB unit in my car with an FM/DAB splitter, and it has worked flawlessly with the original aerial.

From the sounds of things, I would be getting your aerial checked out.

#4 jimrex

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:20 AM

DAB comes as standard in the MK3 Zetec. It works flawlessly around where I live, and my usual commute to work along the A14 and through town - but you take it anywhere remotely built up and the signal drops constantly... it's useless in Milton Keynes for example!

As said above, if you're struggling with FM reception, DAB may not be your best option as it's very sensitive.

#5 Stoney871

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:27 AM

For a few years now the DAB signal has been kept at about half strength due to the signals causing interference with terrestrial tv signals.
Now that the whole UK is digital the DAB signal should improve as the interference is less likely.
I personally still don't rate DAB as the channel availability is very random.
I prefer internet radio so I can choose from any station from the whole UK.

#6 NorthSussex

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

For a few years now the DAB signal has been kept at about half strength due to the signals causing interference with terrestrial tv signals.
Now that the whole UK is digital the DAB signal should improve as the interference is less likely.
I personally still don't rate DAB as the channel availability is very random.
I prefer internet radio so I can choose from any station from the whole UK.


+1. DAB sucks compared to FM for quality, DAB can have more stations in good reception areas but they are rare, when DAB keeps cutting out it's more annoying than the fading signal on FM.

Check the aerial out to improve your existing FM radio first, then think about replacing the radio.

#7 leftathome

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

I`ve had 3 Focus`s ( or is it Foci ? ) and each of them have had to have the aerial cable changed to enable me to get a proper MW signal. Water seems to ingress after a period of time.

#8 Preee

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:45 PM

I have DAB in my Mk3 , great while it works ,and there's the hint "while it works".I'm not in a built up area so i can only imagine what it would be like in a city.
You can get 12v boosters now for radio aerials just like you can for you TV , might be worth trying one of those first.

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