Forget medium or short waves. Use DAB
If you don’t want to stream your own content from a phone or flash drive, the radio obviously has the best sound. These days, Europe’s FM signal coverage ensures robust reception with enough alternative frequencies for quality stereo listening while driving. “But the outlook for analogue broadcasting, at least in Europe, is bleak: you can no longer tune in to FM stations in Norway and soon you won’t be able to in Switzerland. It’s even worse with AM, which is on the way out throughout Europe,” Navrátil explains.
In Europe especially, more and more drivers are using DAB/DAB + technology to tune into the radio.
By contrast, DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), which was made mandatory in new cars by the EU two years ago, is becoming the dominant player in electromagnetic radio transmission. It offers recipients a clean, noise-free listening experience in digital quality. And we shouldn’t forget the accompanying data, such as images for individual songs (known as slide shows) and up to 128 characters of text (DLS). This data is transmitted together with the audio. This function can be used to show a track’s title and author.
Needless to say, modern ŠKODA infotainment systems can receive both AM/FM and DAB/DAB+ with all of the aforesaid features. Another amazing function is seamless linking capability, whereby the unit is able to switch silently to the appropriate FM alternative if the DAB signal drops out, so the listener doesn’t even notice, and then switch back to DAB when the signal is restored.