Radio program doesn't sound quite as good as it should? This guide explains how to manage interference, static and tuning problems wreaking havoc with your radio signal - work through the advice below to get a better, sharper reception.

The Knowhow

You can tune your DAB or Analogue radio as follows:

Analogue radio

  • Position the radio as high up and close to a window as possible. You will receive better reception upstairs than downstairs.
  • Make sure the aerial is fully extended. "Aim" it until you receive the best possible reception.
  • Keep your radio away from other electrical devices and metal objects to avoid interference.
  • Try switching to mono mode if stereo reception is poor - this can improve the reception of weak signals.
  • If reception is consistently poor, you may be able to purchase a separate aerial that will boost signal strength. Not all radios are able to use these so, if in doubt, take it to your local electrical or repair centre and the staff member will be able to advise you.
  • If using a personal radio on a train, sitting next to the window will improve reception although metal in the train itself may still affect your listening experience.
  • Certain electronic equipment can cause radio interference even when in another room or, occasionally, another house. If you can, turn the device off or move the radio to a location further away from it.

DAB radio

Digital radio is taking over the airwaves. With many exciting new stations only available digitally there's never been a better time to tune in and listen. As the signal is digital, the audio quality is so much better than analogue and there's no need to retune because of weak signals. But occasionally you might notice a strange digital bubbly burbling noise - not quite music to the ears! Don't worry though - you'll be happy to hear there's a very simple solution.

Although digital radio tends to provide much clearer audio than analogue, it can still suffer from poor reception. The good news is that DAB is able to deliver a great listening experience even from a very weak signal.

  • Make sure the aerial is extended vertically. The digital signal isn't directional, so you don't need to "aim" the aerial as you sometimes do with analogue.
  • DAB aerials don't need to be extended as far as analogue. Raise or lower the aerial's height until it's between 40 - 45cm long.

This will improve the majority of digital signals, but if you're still having problems, it is likely that the station you've connected to is out of your radio's range. An online DAB station finder will give you more information about radio station catchment zones and signal strengths in your area:

Should signal strength still prove to be a problem, an external DAB aerial can be purchased and installed to enhance the signal reception.

Updated On:

Aug 17, 2012

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