DAB radio features explained

Lynn Wright / 19 May 2016

Looking to buy the best DAB radio? Here’s our guide to the most important DAB features to consider to ensure you pick the best DAB radio for you.



Choosing the best DAB radio can mean getting to grips with a range of DAB features – especially if you’re upgrading from an older FM radio. Modern DAB radios are packed with clever features – including the ability to listen to internet radio, connect to smartphones and even record radio programmes. Here’s our guide to the best DAB features.

For more on choosing the best DAB digital radio, see How to choose the best DAB radio.

Best DAB radio features to look for

Alarms Essential to get you out of bed in the morning, alarms cover a range of settings – including buzzer, radio, ambient sounds or, if connected to an iPhone, the ability to play stored songs instead. Some DAB radios have multiple alarms, which is ideal if you and your partner need to wake up at different times.

EPG A electronic programme guide will show you what’s coming up next or what’s currently playing.

DAB and FM Want the best of both worlds? Most DAB radios will include the ability to listen to the existing FM wavelength and FM stations, as well as their updated digital DAB counterparts.

Timers If you’re looking for a DAB radio for the kitchen, consider a model with handy timers, so you can set an alarm countdown when cooking food.

Bluetooth Enables you to wirelessly connect to a nearby Bluetooth device, including Bluetooth headphones and smartphones. This lets you listen to music without a tangle of wires, or play music from a Bluetooth smartphone using your DAB radio as a wireless speaker.

Wi-Fi DAB radios with built-in Wi-Fi can be wirelessly connected to your home network and then access the internet so you can listen to catch-up radio services, a range of internet radio stations and download podcasts.

iPhone dock Small connectors that let you plug an iPhone, iPod or iPad into your DAB radio to play music from it and charge it too. Look for a Lightning connector for modern iPhones.

Touchscreen Rare on DAB radios but some models have a touchscreen that controls audio, stations and other settings.

Snooze button Essential for a bedside DAB radio, this allows you to snooze an alarm. Typically, snooze is set for nine minutes, with increasing shorter intervals between button presses. Look for one that’s easy to use – a simple task that some of DAB radios make surprisingly difficult.

Remote control Some DAB radios come with a remote control for adjusting volume, station and basic settings.

USB A port for connecting devices such as a tablet or computer, or plug in a USB memory stick and play songs that are stored on it.

Ready to choose the perfect DAB radio for you, read our guide to the Four Best DAB radios.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.