Quick Guide To Digital Radio in Australia

Digital radios: what are they, what can they do and why should you get one? I put my Technology Journalist hat on to update listeners of ABC Radio in Sydney, NSW and Canberra about what’s happening in the area of Broadcast and Internet streaming radio.

Listen to my 07/03/2012 discussion on ABC Radio NSW and ACT Evenings with Dominic Knight re Digital Radio. MP3 recording courtesy of ABC Radio.

Australian Digital radio was launched in mid-late 2009 by all commercial and public service broadcasters in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Low power digital radio signals were switched on in Canberra and Darwin in mid-2010, despite being called temporary “trials” they have continued for over 1.5 years with no end in sight. Many Community Radio stations also joined the digital radio world in May 2011.

For more details read: Australian Digital Radio DAB+ : State of Play and New Features.

Australian digital radio stations slideshow

Digital radio does suffer from one issue which is that you either get a perfect signal or none at all. If you’re in an area with a weak digital radio signal I’d suggest trying the OXX Digital Vantage DAB+ Portable which I use in my apartment because it manages to pickup the digital radio signal without the antenna even being extended. With every other digital radio I’ve tried at my place radio playback can be glitchy even with the antenna fully extended.

Digital Radio Reviews

When it first started in Australia the prices for digital radios were very expensive indeed compared to traditional AM/FM radios. Thankfully the prices for those radios are now 10-50% less then they were when I first reviewed them and quite a few are available for less than $100.

Whether you like Podcasts, AM/FM, digital broadcast or streaming radio, we’ve come a long way since this old 5 Valve set from 1925.

5 Valve Mantel Radio from 1925 - manufactured by Australian Wireless Co - ABC Ultimo corridor

Which Digital Radio Should You Buy?


I’ve reviewed quite a few digital radios and suggest the following:

Portable In PocketOXX Digital Pocket Digital Radio with a-JAYS One Earphones (Review)
OXX Digital Pocket Digital Radio

Portable/Budget/Poor Signal in Your AreaOXX Digital Vantage DAB+ Portable Digital Radio With Retro Styling (Review)
OXX Digital Vantage DAB+ Portable Digital Radio With Retro Styling (Review)

Budget with EPG and Recording – Grundig Replay which can record digital radio to a camera card – video review by me.

Budget All in OneKOGAN Deluxe (Wi-Fi DAB+ Digital Internet Radio With iPhone Dock)

Premium High EndGrundig Trio as reviewed by my Home Theatre Journalist friend Jez Ford.

grundig trio digital radio with slideshow

Digital Radio Review: PURE EVOKE-2S and PURE AVANTI Flow
PURE Evoke 2-S
PURE Avanti Flow

Other Digital Radio’s I’ve reviewed

Innovative Digital Radios: PURE Sensia and BUSH Walker
pure sensia digital radio
bush walker digital radio

OXX Digital Classic DAB+ Digital Radio with WiFi Radio and LAN port
OXX Classic DAB+ Digital Radio with Wifi Radio and LAN port

2 thoughts on “Quick Guide To Digital Radio in Australia”

  1. It seems digital radio has stalled with nothing happening in regional areas. As much of our listening is in cars, why bother? FM is much better which brings me to the question – why does ABC radio in the capital cities still transmit on noisy AM? Friends in New Zealand broadcasting industry say no plans there to go digital. Most public and commercial stations are on FM and there’s much wider choice than Australia. That brings me to second question. How valid are our ratings surveys? Do AM stations really have more listeners than FM? I’m in my early 30s and none of my friends listen to AM, neither do any have a digital radio.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.