DAB RADIO ISSUES need your Help for POLL

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.


Jan 24, 2014
Guys im trying to find out how widespread this DAB radio issue is with MB
I have the NEW A45 and the standard CD20, on long journeys down the motorway I find that DAB is rubbish drops in and out, switchs to FM backup mode, really dire. I sent the car to MB of leeds but due to them not seeing the issue, they cant log a call, I complained and MB responded that there is a a new AMP upgrade to command but not CD20, the AMP is indeed a DAB AMP upgrade. The same journey in my wifes Vauxhall is perfect.

I don't know how to do a POLL on this forum so either comment inline or headover to

DAB Radio Issues POLL - Mercedes A-Class Forum - Page 2

and click and reply, I need to know if your command or CD20 and if its rubbish or not

thanks all

Any model MB will do as long as its CD20 or command with DAB

Can't comment on MB radios , but I can say that the uptake of DAB radio in general has been low because of poor coverage . Hence the planned 2014 switch off of FM was shelved .

It is also fair to say that broadcast quality on DAB is , being polite , variable , depending on data rates being used by different channels and , in some cases , it is the poor relation of even AM radio .

VHF/FM remains a very good broadcast standard and is a robust transmission medium with good reception possible up to 100 miles from the transmitter ( further under optimum conditions , especially using a decent quality tuner with multi element aerial at home ) .

I still have a couple of the excellent Sony XRC900RDS head units with dual diversity tuners and these allow me to reliably pick up , for example , Radio Forth from Edinburgh on the West coast of Scotland and to hold onto other local stations when travelling similar distances away from their transmitters .

I really have no interest in DAB , having tried a couple of DAB tuners at home , and will stick with FM as long as it lasts .
I have DAB in my toys , sl 350 and ml 350 both through command I live in Shropshire , I have terrible trouble with getting DAB reception ,
I have 3 dab radios in the house FM I think is better as DAB seems to loose its signal some times. I only use the dab for BBC radio 5 as it is not on FM I had a DAB radio in my MGF and that also had issues but never had a problem if tuned to absolute radio so that was the only dab station I listened to in the end
The hire car I've got at the moment (Vauxhall Mokka which had 9 miles on the clock) has DAB. It has dropped out a number of times resulting in me going back to FM, the majority of the driving has been around the Swindon area.
Hi Rob, mine has been fine. Hardly ever drops out and if so it's like fade in fade out. Hope you get it resolved.
I have a 2015 c coupe with ntg4.5 and fuba dab signal amp. Its a known issue... uk uses dab band 3 frequencies. The signal amps we have are band L. The wrong part of the spectrum is being amplified. I am trying to contact delphi fuba and see what they know...
Dab works when stationary for most stations. Cuts in and out on the move, as tuner constantly trying to rescan.
The government haven't really thought this one through, have they?

When they decided to switch from UHF to Digital for television broadcasts, we had issues with signal degradation which were resolved with the additional transmitters that were built to cover weak spots. Also, 99% of television watchers tend to watch a stationary TV, not one that is moving at 70mph down the motorway.

The government obviously thought that they could also do the same with radio broadcasts, so adopted doing away with FM and AM transmissions (yes, you can still pick up stations on the MW and LW bands. Not sure about Short Wave though.) in favour of a digital radio carrier. Now the logistics of transmitting this signal is somewhat different, as a greater volume of radios are mobile, causing drop outs.

To be honest, the best radio set up would be one that streams from the internet, as network coverage tends to be better than DAB coverage, but then you'd have to consider data allowances and have a phone with network access.

If the government were to switch off FM now, there would be a lot of unhappy motorists out there. My DAB receiver came with the car, but how would someone feel if they spent in excess of £100 on a DAB radio for their car only to find that reception is rubbish? Surely the government has to delay FM switch off until all issues have been dealt with, or would they do it anyway, to be bloody minded, like they are with other issues.

On a side note, someone mentioned Absolute Radio, which is the most stable signal DAB radios pick up. Unfortunately, the Absolute Radio tag line is, 'We don't play the same song twice during your working day', which is true, but what they don't tell you is that they play the same play list every day, day in, day out, week in, week, out.

In fact, I've been listening to Absolute Radio since 2010, on and off, and the songs they played in 2010, such as Biffy Clyro's 'Many of Horror', has been repeated daily. I like variety in the music I listen to, and being stuck with a rigid play list that might vary by a few tracks each day is NOT entertaining.

(I had no choice in listening to Absolute Radio, as the boss insisted we all listen to that station. I got my break in 2013 when I moved in to another building and decided to listen to Radio One and Two, leaving my colleagues to carry on listening to Absolute Radio.)
I've just had the lease end on C-Class coupe and the DAB would cut out every 5-10 seconds - basically it didn't work! While my colleagues who've got an E-Class coupe and E63 of similar age both have DAB working perfectly. My new car is the C350e and the DAB so far (fingers crossed!) has been good as gold. You cant get much better than listening to 6Music for quality and variety IMO.

Supposedly the issue with my old car was the position of the aerial on the car (on the roof) and that it was geared towards the European DAD instead of the U.K. The C350e has the aerial on the edge of the windscreen.
The DAB in my car is 100%
DAB was rubbish in my Audi too, not just an MB thing
DAB in my cls is rubbish same as in my Nissan it may be just the area I live in, fm is far superior
DAB no issues 2012 C Class Coupe and 2014 VW Golf - West/Central Scotland.
2015 SLK - DAB is OK, but can be sporadic with some days fading in and out and others perfect! I find Smooth very good as well as Chill... :)
In my experience DAB is worse than useless.

I live 2 miles from the M25 so am hardly located in the sticks. I have 2 issues:

1. The signal strength on some ensembles is just terrible. For example MAGIC on 222 MHz (I'm doing this from memory so apologies if I have mis-remembered) and other stations on that particular ensemble just drops in and out. Mostly out. But MAGIC on another ensemble transmitting at 227 is fine in my area. But out of area I have to switch back to 222.
2. The MB unit (Audio 20) is meant to track stations either automatically or revert to FM. On my car it consistently fails to do this.

I just wish that MB radios on the W205 were capable of just being tuned to FM only and use that frequency exclusively. But MB in their infinite wisdom don't allow that.

Perhaps they are seduced by DAB elsewhere in europe where DAB has been implemented properly and think that situation also applies to the UK?
My DAB is ok.

My antenna is embedded in the front windscreen running vertically left and right by the A pillars. Do people still have issues with this configuration?

I didn't notice this on any other cars in the showroom including an AMG GT

There is a service bulletin affecting many models with this dab issue.

Part of the issue is related to a limit on stations stored. An mb firmware update will fix this.

The other issue is related to cutting in and out.
My wife also has a vauxhall with no dab issues.

Mb milton keynes tech support are fully aware. There is a replacement dab signal amp available to swap under warranty. Big job as buried in c pillar. Believe the older signal amps were dab band L. Uk stations use DAB Band 3.
Aerials could also be part of the issue.
The new amp does not have diversity... means to automatically switch between 2 aerials for best signal. Vauxhall dab has had this since c2009.

Not all engineers know about the issue and service bulletin. They soon will if digital switchover starts in next year or so. Hope this helps?
Last edited:
My Dab is more in and out than the goings on on Love Island

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom