Tash Flowers reviews the AutoDAB Go digital radio add-on
Recently, I was lucky enough to win a prize draw on Twitter for the AutoDAB Go.
The AutoDAB Go is a stand alone unit allowing any vehicle to receive digital radio, this has distinct advantages over the old RDS system in terms of clarity and auto-tuning stations to listen to.
It's a very small box with its own suction cup mounting so you can mount it on the windscreen or on an existing sat nav mounting pad as i've done. It only requires 2 things; power, for which there is a USB/cigarette lighter adapter, and a digital aerial, this sticks onto the windscreen in the top left hand corner, but requires an additional earth - but you'll be happy to know no paint removal is required and it's all very simple to tuck the cabling away under the A-pillar trim panel.
Once you have sorted the cabling (about 10 minutes work), plug the cables into the AutoDAB Go and press the power button, the unit will then automatically scan for stations. I found this very quick.
There are two ways to listen to the AutoDAB Go - either by tuning your car radio into the frequency the unit broadcasts or, as I did, a direct link from AUX out on the unit to AUX in on my car stereo, the same way as you listen to most MP3 players through your car stereo.
I found the unit to be very clear with no interferance, and it seemlessly follows the selected radio stations with no hesitations whatsoever, so as a digital radio its brilliant.
The unit is also Bluetooth enabled, so this allows you to use the unit to stream music from your mobile phone or tablet. I found this worked OK, as well as any other i've used, but not perfect, and of course Bluetooth eats your phone's battery.
It also allows you to use the Bluetooth connectivity as "Hands Free" for your mobile. I tried this and the pairing is quick, the call quality is good, with auto-muting for the radio, but I found the call output through the cars speakers to be abit "shouty". However I'm guessing with a bit more fiddling about with settings this could be overcome.
Overall I found the AutoDAB Go a very cool and capable unit which does exactly what is says on the box and after you've spent 1/2 hour installing it and setting it up it worked very well. The only thing I didn't like was the buttons each side of the main rotary control knob. They're a bit small and fiddly but with more use these will probably become alot more intuitive, after all I've only had it a few days.
My score: 9 1/2 out of 10 and I would recommend the AutoDAB Go as an easy, cost effective way to get digital radio in an older car which only has an RDS radio, adding to this the hands free and streaming ability and it's a great piece of kit.