Sony Finally Gets Something Right
By James Grahame
Sony's new DAB+ radio is exactly the kind of retro-styled receiver I'd like to have kicking around the house. The XDR-S16DBP is encased in an attractive wood cabinet and offers DAB/DAB+/FM reception, 0.8W + 0.8W stereo speakers and a two line LCD display. It weighs 1.7 kg and measures approx. 270 mm × 140 mm × 112 mm. My only gripe is that it offers only 10 DAB and 10 FM presets -- why so stingy, Sony?
DAB+ is an updated version of the DAB digital standard that has been on the air since 1995. The new format makes use of the AAC+ codec, allowing twice as efficient compression as the original. It should alleviate quality complaints and improve reception in fringe areas thanks to more robust Reed-Solomon error correction.
Available in Europe, Australia and other advanced nations with free-to-air DAB service. Here in North America, we'll continue to pluck banjos on the front porch while cleaning our shotguns.