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Retrofit DAB, can it be done???

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by Danny Fireblade, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Danny Fireblade
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    Danny Fireblade Member

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    [Dec 13, 2013]
    As the title says, if so, how much???Got the tech pack if that helps any? Lol.Cheers
    #1
  2. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 13, 2013]
    I'm in the same position as yourself, interested to know how much it would be to retrofit it! If I get some time I might pop down the stealers and ask.
    #2
  3. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    Why bother, FM radio is far superior to DAB radio in a car. DAB keeps loosing the signal whereas FM just transfers automatically to the next strongest transmitter. Several of my friends have both DAB and FM and always have theirs tuned to FM.
    #3
  4. yetirider
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    yetirider Active Member

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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    I've got DAB don't know why you would won't to bother.
    #4
  5. Fragup
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    Fragup Member

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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    Dab does sound better, But I live live a a fairly populated area in south east and dab signal is patchy at best, although is a bit hilly in places round here so not so good if you are down in a dip as that seams to make it worst for signal.I won't spend much if you get the chance to upgrade, or you might be disappointed as is not a massive improvement on FM
    #5
  6. the_lecht_rocks
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    the_lecht_rocks Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    Radio 5 live in stereo ?Bbc 6 music ?Just 2 reasons why DAB rules.
    #6
  7. Itguy
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    Itguy Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    I wouldn't be without dab now, had it in my MINI for 2.5 years and it was excellent and very rarely dropped out.

    The standard radio station selection is awful where I live on FM so having dab is essential (or use web radio).
    #7
  8. ACWKGYTO
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    ACWKGYTO Active Member

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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    yeah might be interested in this but would want both DAB and retain the Analogue
    #8
  9. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    It obviously makes a big difference where you live. I have no problems at all with FM in the car or at home. I don't have DAB in the car but my friends seem to have a lot of problems. They also say how much better FM sounds. It may well depend on the type of thing you listen to.
    #9
  10. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    #10
  11. ddscot
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    ddscot Member

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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    I have noticed certain stations here (Glasgow Area) sound better i.e. Capital and the local Clyde stations, they seem a bit louder compared to others on the national selection, so maybe the bitrate/strength can vary, I find it perfectly fine though to listen to and enjoy the larger selection of stations, haven't really experimented with using FM except when it autoswitches in car parks and stuff and I only notice because it says (fm) on the display.
    #11
  12. driver_tim
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    driver_tim Active Member

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    [Dec 15, 2013]
    The UK was an early adopter of DAB, and unfortunately that's meant we've been left with an early, less capable version of the technology. A lot of continental Europe uses DAB+ which gives much better sound quality. The bitrates of UK stations vary considerably and are almost always below HiFi quality.

    Given the above I was quite surprised to find that the same station generally sounds better in the car on DAB rather than FM. Having read up online about this it would seem FM stations generally compress their sound quite heavily, which appears to account for the difference.
    #12
    the_lecht_rocks likes this.
  13. steeve
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    steeve Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 16, 2013]
    I thought with the Tech pack you get DAB, mine has!
    #13
  14. Danny Fireblade
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    Danny Fireblade Member

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    [Dec 16, 2013]
    That was with my14 cars only unfortunately:-(Any ideas if it can be done or price? Lol.
    #14
  15. JohnnyM100
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    JohnnyM100 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 16, 2013]
    MY14 cars come with DAB.
    Audi's built-in DAB supports DAB and DAB+

    Can it be retrofitted?
    Very likely as a separate box with audio going through the AMI but would be for audio only and no text on the MMI screen or built in tuning controls.

    Retrofit integrated into MMI? Don't know but likely to be £££ / €€€€ as the system seems pretty closed.

    John.
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  16. AJB
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    AJB Member

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    [Dec 16, 2013]
    In my experience it sounds worse... I tried Radio 2 back to back, swapping between DAB and FM and back to DAB etc., and to me FM sounded a lot better. I think that DAB in the UK is so compressed that the sound quality is generally worse than FM with a decent signal...

    This is the main advantage of DAB - more stations, and better versions of AM stations. Plus the threat that one day they may switch off FM. I'm glad I got DAB (2014MY), but I'm also glad I didn't have to pay extra for it as I almost never use it.
    #16
  17. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 16, 2013]
    DaB is a far better sound quality than FM . No doubts on that one, have had DaB in Audis since Sept. 2008 and when in range it is superb also when not in range it switches to FM channel of the same station, well it does with Heart. Not 100% sure about other channels
    #17
  18. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 16, 2013]
    I live about 20 miles from the large FM transmitter in Peterborough which is probably why we get superb FM sound quality. Not aware of the difference in the car as I only have FM but in the house I have a DAB/FM tuner linked to my Hi-Fi and the quality of the FM is much better especially when listening to classical music. Mind you I do have a 3m FM aerial in the loft and my house roof runs N-S and the transmitter is due North of the house. It will be interested to see what happens if and when I get a car with DAB and FM.

    I am having an A3 2.0TDI-184 quattro s-tronic demonstrator for the day tomorrow. I will have to remember to tune the radio to DAB at some stage. Most of the A3s and Golfs I tried so far in this area have all been tuned to FM.
    #18
  19. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 16, 2013]
    Come digital switchover (only a few years away), you'll think differently!
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  20. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 18, 2013]
    The government has now decided that the digital switchover will be delayed indefinitely because so few listen using a digital radio.
    #20
  21. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 18, 2013]
    I don't think 'indefinitely', just a few years. Given it was originally supposed to be 2015, that's not all that far away really! It happened with TV relatively quickly, I'm sure it won't be long. I imagine with it at least looming in the future it's going to affect the resale value of the car not having it regardless of whether the switchover has actually happened by then or not.
    #21
  22. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 18, 2013]
    There's an interesting article here:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...logue-radio-to-disappear-by-2018-8859731.html

    Seems industry and government can't quite agree where to draw the line for the switch off. Industry are guessing 2018, but no one is committing to any dates yet. When I ordered mine last year I was of the opinion that DAB just wasn't worth the £300 that Audi wanted for it, so I'm quite happy that I avoided paying £300 for an option I didn't want (you now have no choice).

    If Audi ever released a retrofit kit for less than £150 then yes, I would be interested as I think that's a fair price.
    #22
  23. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 18, 2013]
    It's amazing it isn't standard on most cars by now to be honest. Same as bluetooth, I'd be stunned by any new car that didn't come with that as standard. I'm stating to think the same way about USB or SD card support for music now too.
    #23
  24. Dylock
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    Dylock Active Member

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    [Dec 18, 2013]
    I agree that dab should be standard in all new cars, even budget cars. If they did the switchover now there would be a huge problem cause the percentage of cars with dab must be very small.

    Bluetooth I'm not sure is essential bot more of a luxury. Even though there was talks a couple of weeks back about hands free being banned as well.
    #24
  25. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 18, 2013]
    Audi were very slow on the DAB uptake as certain manufacturers have had it fitted to their small family cars for over two years...
    #25
  26. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 18, 2013]
    Audi are one of the first to have it still as standard - there are still manufacturers out there who don't even offer it as an option!
    #26
  27. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 18, 2013]
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
    #27
  28. Vorshprungdork
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    Vorshprungdork Active Member

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    [Dec 18, 2013]
    Isn't it a shame that you have to pay extra for DAB just because DJs never quite got round to telling us what they were playing.
    #28
  29. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    [Dec 19, 2013]
    Nothing on the Retrofit scene at the moment...
    Some main dealers will offer you a system called Pure DAB Highway or a version of AutoDAB (That uses a remote instead of MFSW). Both fitted by them look horrific.

    If there were to be a fully MMI Integrated retrofit I'm hazarding a guess that it's going to be just shy of £500 fitted. Original parts when they come available will likely be around the £800.

    My best advice is if you are think whether to get it or not just spec it. DAB is getting stronger all the time and for the small fee you have to pay it's worth it as in the long run it's gonna be more expensive to retro.
    #29
  30. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 19, 2013]
    I suspect that retrofitting could mean a new aerial (perhaps), and maybe even a new MMI unit. I don't think it'll be cheap at all!
    #30

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