Radio Guide - Analogue, DAB and Internet explained

With terms like DAB Digital radio, Wi-Fi radios and analogue radios we understand that it isn't easy for you - our customer - to know which radio best suits your needs. In order to help you make a better buying decision we thought we'd clarify this radio jargon for you.


Analogue radio (FM/AM) has been around for many decades and remains the most commonly listened to type of radio broadcasting. To listen to an analogue radio broadcast you require an analogue radio such as a Roberts Revival 250 radio receiver.


Digital (DAB):

DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting and is a relatively new technology but with many superior features and benefits to traditional analogue radio broadcasting. In order to hear digital audio broadcasts and take advantage of these features and benefits you require a digital radio such as a PURE or Roberts digital radio.

Digital DAB Radio - Features & Benefits:

  • Greater choice - DAB radio technology has allowed broadcasters to transmit many more stations. With a Digital Radio you can listen to all the major stations in your area in addition to many new national and local stations that are unavailable on FM or AM. Depending on your location the average DAB Radio listener will have double the choice of stations compared to listening via Analogue Radios.
  • Reception - DAB is received in much the same way as FM or AM via radio waves. However unlike analogue radio DAB reception is not hindered by adverse weather or electrical interference. DAB Digital Radios give you a pure, clear reception which is crackle and hiss free.
  • Ease of Use - DAB Digital Radios are tuned by scrolling through a list of radio station names which appear on the data display and can be set at the touch of a button. Thus there are no confusing frequencies to remember or fine tuning to get a good reception.
  • Data Display: All DAB Digital Radios feature a small screen which displays information about the programme you're listening to. This may be the track and artist for the song being played, up to the minute news and sports results, competition details and email addresses, or even plot summaries for broadcasted plays.


Internet or Wi-Fi radios:

The Internet is an increasingly popular platform for radio listening, because of the advantages compared to analogue and DAB;

  • Higher audio quality than on DAB
  • Availbility of on-demand programmes
  • There are thousands of internet radio stations from around the world, covering a very wide range of genres
  • Podcasts can be downloaded or listened to
  • There are even personalised radio stations
  • Easy to use – all internet radios have a screen to enable you to navigate easily and quickly to what you want – some even have a full colour screen that can be used to access other websites like Facebook (if this sounds like something that interests you check out the Sensia range from PURE).

Internet radios use Wi-Fi technology just like a laptop would, to connect to the internet wirelessly. Through this connection it is possible to access stations, pod casts and listen-again shows that you cannot access through normal analogue or DAB radio, which is great if you like traditional folk music from Peru.

Here at Go-Electrical we stock both PURE and Roberts ranges, and both make Wi-Fi enabled radios. PURE have even created ‘The Lounge’ which can be accessed from any PURE ‘Flow’ enabled radio, and means that you can purchase songs you hear on the radio and access a world of radio you wouldn’t even believe exists.

We hope that this information has helped to clarify the difference between DAB, analogue and internet radios and will enable you to make an informed buying decision.