|The Lexus GS now comes standard with digital radio, known as DAB+.|
By Toby Hagon
Still rare and relatively new to cars, digital radio is not perfect, but is a big step forward in sound quality.
Digital radio has been marketed for home use for a couple of years now, but it's only just making its way into cars sold in Australia.
As with mobile phones – all of which are now digital – the promise is of clearer reception and better sound quality. Digital radio also allows users to record snippets of programs to allow it to be rewound, much the same as modern TV tuners allow recording of programs. It's also handy if your favourite song comes on as your phone rings or one of your passengers decides to divert your ears.
Depending on your location there are also up to 22 additional, digital-only stations, many of which are themed, such as '80s or chill. Some established stations are also using it to effectively rebrand themselves to different target markets.
But digital radio is currently only available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, with Canberra and Darwin also running trials.
Digital radio has a fight on its hands, though. Streaming of radio stations from anywhere in the world is increasingly popular thanks to easy-to-use smartphone apps and new digital audio players, such as Sonos.
(Source : The Sydney Morning Herald)