DAB adaptor not working in USA or Canada

Getting digital radio on your Android headunit requires 3 key parts. Without all of these key parts, you won’t be able to enjoy their DAB digital radio.

Digital Radio in the form of Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB+) is free to use and takes no data from your cellular plan. The radio is sent over the air, just like FM and AM radio are, but in a digital format.

DAB Requirements

To receive the free DAB+ radio broadcasts on your Android Headunot you need these 3 things:

  • DAB+ Adaptor with correctly fitted aerial. Typically the DAB+ adaptor is a UBS Dongle occupying free USB ports.
  • A DAB+ App installed on the headunit, typically DAB-Z is found to be the best to use, but there are others to try.
  • DAB+ Broadcasts in the area you wish to receive them.

From this list, it is easy to see the first two prerequisites are just a bit of hardware and some software but the last item on the list can be the most bothersome. If you don’t live in a country that has DAB broadcasts, you won’t be able to receive them in that country. Unlike streaming over the internet which requires a cellular connection, the DAB needs a Digital Radio Broadcast signal to work.

Notable countries without DAB Radio

Unfortunately, DAB and DAB+ Radio have not been adopted worldwide, leaving huge blackspots of coverage over the world map.

DAB+ Worldwide Map

Countries where DAB won't work

Countries in grey have no DAB coverage and therefore no DAB+ radio broadcasts. Yes, you have seen that the USA, Canada, South America, Large parts of Africa, and even Finland are in grey. This means there is no DAB transmission in the Grey areas, no DAB signal can be found by the adaptor, no matter how good the aerial is.

Light Blue is for ‘Countries with interest’ in DAB, which could be trials of the service or sales of the radio spectrum to make space for the new prospective digital radio service.

Green on the map is for countries with a regular and working DAB+ service for the general public. You need to live in one of these countries to guarantee the possibility of a DAB signal to ear the DAB radio stations for that country.

DAB signal Countries

From the https://www.worlddab.org/countries list, this is the countries that DO have DAB or DAB+


DAB is not yet a worldwide service. There are currently no DAB broadcasts for the general public in the USA or Canada. These two countries would benefit greatly from a free digital broadcast radio service but the grey area on the map above expands the DAB no-service to many countries.

Android guy who loves his android head units as much as he loves his cherry pie.

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