Choosing the right DAB+ aerial

Having the optional DAB+ adaptor can greatly increase the usefulness of your android headunit but they often come with an inferior stick on glass aerial.It may not even be worth the effort in fitting the stick on window DAB antenna because they have such poor reviews over the country complaining of poor signal and station coverage. Go straight for the upgrade for DAB+ quality.

Poor signal –> Better aerial

The quality of the received DAB+ signal can be greatly increased by fitting a better quality aerial and where possible, site it on the roof. Roof mounting an upgraded aerial is easier when an existing FM aerial is present as this becomes an easier swap.

Traps to avoid

Pitfalls in picking a replacement DAB aerial is finding one with a lead that is too short. Measure roughly what is needed and remember to include extra for routing around the trim. The important factor is that excess cable can be hidden but extending the cable can be difficult.

Trap two to avoid is picking the wrong connector. Not all DAB USB adaptors have the same connector, and they are often overlooked until they don’t fit.

A quick check can save the frustration, so look for one with the correct connector. SMA connectors have a thread and the plug and socket of SMA screw together. Whereas the SMB style connectors have a snap-together join, with not turning required to make the connection.

If you have found yourself with the wrong connector fitted, don’t worry. There are kits of adaptors here that will give you every common universal fitting assistance for SMA male/female to SMB male/female.

Other connectors

Other connectors could be MCX or MMCX. Both MCX and its smaller sibling the MMCX are push fit ‘snap together’ connectors but are smaller in size than the SMB system. If you find you have no thread, but SMB is too big, consider it could be MCX and use this adaptor kit.

Twigs and Sharks

When it comes to the type of aerial upgrade for DAB they often include an FM antenna integrated but there are also options for GPS in the same unit. Many of them are amplified and each extra feature comes with its own cable to install and hide.


Twigs are the stick type antenna DAB aerial and are suitable for most vehicles with the exception of some high tops or vans that are near their maximum height.

A shark fin DAB antenna can be useful here as they are much shorter but still give a good DAB+ signal. The sharks are often chosen because they match OEM fitting or just look better.

Other connectors

You may have blue or white square connectors, these are fakra not usually found on the universals, but quite common on OEM. Just specify fakra if you need that for either DAB, FM or both,

It can be a prudent move to connect all the cables before installing the aerial on the roof, but if you didn’t and the plugs don’t fit, don’t worry. There is an adaptor available, it is just a case of working out which one you need.

Marshmallow
Marshmallow
An android-headunits.com staff blogger. I am a multi-skilled dogs-body and I also make the coffee ☕

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