RAJAR Q1 2018 Figures - Digital radio overtakes FM and AM

RAJAR Q1 2018: UK digital radio overtakes FM and AM

The latest RAJAR figures report that digital radio listening in the UK has again seen a rise for the first quarter of 2018 – overtaking for the first time listening via FM and AM services.

According to RAJAR (the Radio Joint Audience Research), the share of all radio listening via a digital platform now stands at 50.9% – up 8% year on year.

Digital platforms account for anything from DAB radios, online (through computers, or apps on mobiles and tablets), and also through digital TV.

Does this mean a digital switchover?

Without doubt, it casts further examination on whether the decision will be made by the UK government to have a complete digital radio switchover in the coming years.

In March 2018, the BBC director of radio and music, Bob Shennan, made clear his desire that FM radio still serves a purpose, and that it was too soon to make a complete switchover.

Speaking at the Radiodays Europe conference in Vienna, Shennan said: “Great progress has been made but switchover now would be premature,”

“For now we believe audiences are best served by a mixed economy,” he went on to say, indicating a stance that all platforms still have their place for the time being.

These latest figures could put huge pressure on the UK Government, as it hits the target set out by the Digital Economy Act 2010 to seriously consider the switchover.

Norway last year became the first country in Europe to switch off their FM transmitters to go completely digital (however – there are still a handful of fiercely protected FM signals being broadcast locally).

With Brexit on the horizon, and many government departments looking to countries who maintain relationships with the EU without being full members, such as Norway, could the UK follow suit? Perhaps, but despite the increase in the RAJAR figures, not everyone can get a decent DAB reception right now.

Terrible DAB signal? What you could do

If the Government does choose to go for a digital radio switchover, additional DAB transmitters would need to commissioned to fill the gaps in DAB multiplex coverage across the country.

Local smaller-scale DAB multiplexes, which are simplified, lower-coverage could also local radio coverage in those areas not covered by a commercial local DAB multiplex.

Some stations currently are not clear enough to pick up in certain areas, but Sound Digital Limited, who run some of the lesser known commercial DAB stations are rolling out another 19 DAB transmitters by the end of the year.

I live in an area where it says I can get DAB – but it’s still rubbish?

In urban areas, when DAB signal fails it may be because of the building you live in, its construction or being in an exceedingly built up area. It’s getting better to get around these factors, but you might still struggle.

Another option then, especially if the above sounds like your situation, is to plump for an Internet radio – so long as your broadband is of a relatively decent speed.

You might be happy to have what you’re listening to via your mobile, tablet, PC or TV, however there’s more than meets the eye with Internet radio.

Want to know more about Internet radios? We’ve got the full rundown right here.

Norway To Switch Off FM Radio

Norway Becomes First Country To Switch Off FM Radio

Norway will become the first country in the world to start the process of switching off its analogue FM (Frequency Modulation) radio network to adopt the cheaper and wider covering DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), from this Thursday, 12th January 2017.

The move has attracted a lot of attention, and is splitting the opinion of many in the Scandinavian country. Over 70% of the country are now using DAB as their main source of radio listening.

DAB radio is considered to be a better alternative to FM; producing a better quality of audio and allows more channels to be available. However, in a recent poll, 66% of Norwegians felt the government is moving ahead with these plans too quickly – the two largest opponents being motorists and the elderly.

It is believed that two million cars on the road in Norway are not currently able to receive DAB radio, and a total of 15 million radios in homes, businesses and on sea vessels could be made redundant by the time the expected switch off is complete in five years.

Motorists are being advised to purchase new systems at an average cost of 4,000 Norwegian kroner ($464; £382), or adaptors at 1,500 Norwegian kroner ($174; £143).

Future Of FM In The UK

Interestingly, the UK Government has for a long time considered following the same route, with three national digital multiplexes already in operation – one for which holds BBC stations and two for commercial stations.

However, any potential decision to do this depends the listenership of DAB radio reaches 50%. Currently, that is estimated to reach this landmark in 2018, but any decision to start a switch off would more than likely be around 2020 and needs to be agreed in Parliament.

Another way of listening to radio beyond DAB is via the Internet, and many DAB radios already incorporate Internet radio, including a great range at BuyCleverStuff. It is even more reliable than DAB and provides even more choice than what is available currently on digital multiplexes.

As the switch off in Norway rolls out over the next five years, with national broadcasts expected to be turned off by the end of 2017 and local broadcasts urged to switch over to DAB within the final four years, the UK and other countries will be keeping a close eye on what takes place.

If you want to get ahead of the game and enjoy digital radio via DAB or Internet – take a look at our great soundmaster® Home Audio Internet Radio range:

Internet Radios

Latest RAJAR Figures Report Radio Audiences On The Rise

The latest figures for Q2 2016 have been released by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research), and it’s great news for radio lovers with over 90% of the UK tuning in to listen to music, news and sport on a weekly basis – and we know our customers are a huge part of that with our under cabinet radios and ceiling radio systems continuing to be ever-popular!

Helped in part to the introduction of brand new DAB stations on the SDL digital multiplex that was launched in March – RAJAR announced that digital radio listening is now at an all-time high of 45.3%.

Overall weekly reach of UK radio is now 90.1% (up from 89.9% year-on-year). On average, listeners are tuning in for an extra 30 minutes of live radio every week, with figures climbing from 21 hours, to 21.5 hours this quarter.

Lucy Barrett, Radiocentre’s Client Director says: “Commercial radio continues to offer an amazing range of choices for listeners and advertisers and it is brilliant to see this reflected in our sector’s reach. It is unsurprising that people turn to radio, the original broadcast medium, for reassurance in turbulent times. Commercial stations have more to offer than ever and Radiocentre will continue to support the commercial radio sector deliver for listeners.”

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “Digital listening is now over 45% and heading for 50% with nearly 32 million people listening on a digital platform every week. The record breaking growth of 5.4 percentage points in digital listening has been prompted by the expansion of consumer choice we have seen this quarter with the successful launch of 16 new digital stations on the second commercial national DAB network – Sound Digital. Other key factors in digital growth are the nearly 50% increase in digital listening in cars and the expansion of local DAB coverage which has helped increase digital listening to local stations.”

Having radio, whether it is for music, news or sport, is a fantastic and simple thing to bring into the home, and we at BuyCleverStuff have a wide variety of choice for your needs.

Digital radio listening does not need to be restricted to just DAB specific radios.

DAB stations can be streamed directly from your mobile or smartphone via Bluetooth, 27% of adults claim to listen to the radio via a mobile phone or tablet at least once per month which is up 6% year-on-year so why not listen to your favourite radio stations via Bluetooth from your device and also your own stored music whenever you want – and we have incredible Bluetooth ceiling speakers available to do just that!

If you need any more help or advice, search our previous blog posts where you can find tips on what system is best for you or if you’re ready to buy, see our full range of products through our online shop – visit by clicking on the link below.

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Figures reported from RAJAR/Ipsos MORI/RSMB – RAJAR DATA RELEASE | QUARTER 2, 2016

How To Choose Your Perfect Ceiling Audio System

UPDATED (21/07/2016): At BuyCleverStuff we have been selling Ceiling Audio Systems for the Kitchen and Bathroom for many years, so we know the best solutions for our customers’ Ceiling Audio requirements. Our main product range features a number of brands that all cater in Ceiling Audio Systems, and at BuyCleverStuff, we test every product we stock so you have the best Integrated Ceiling Speaker Systems on the market to choose from.

What is the best Ceiling Speaker System for me?

Whilst we have a number of very popular products, it is always dependant on what your own personal needs and requirements are.

The Lithe Audio Bluetooth Wireless Ceiling Speaker is a brilliant ceiling speaker solution that can be installed not just during the build process, but is easy to retro-fit as well. Simply power it, pair it, and play it. You only need your Bluetooth device such as a smartphone or tablet, works with any audio app you have, and will even allow connection to an external source such as a TV.

One popular product from our Ceiling Audio range is the KB Sound iSelect 5” DAB as it features 5” Two-Way Ceiling Speakers and Digital Radio tuner all incorporated into a module that is fitted into the ceiling above the speakers controlled via remote control.

A great feature of the KB iSelect series is the fact you can add either Bluetooth or a Wireless iPod Dock (you can unfortunately only connect one or the other) to the system allowing you to wirelessly stream music from your iPod or iPhone. Additionally the Wireless iPod Dock has a 3.5mm input located on the rear allowing you to play any audio source to the Ceiling Speakers wirelessly.

For customers looking to fit a Ceiling Radio into smaller rooms like a bathroom for example, then KB Sound offer a 2.5” version of the iSelect, all functions are the same on the iSelect 2.5″ but the speakers are smaller in size.

Building from the iSelect range is the Select BT – which removes the need for a remote control and is also expandable in a dual-zone set-up, meaning your audio can be played in two rooms should you wish.

For customers looking for a simple FM Radio without DAB Radio Tuner or iPod Dock functions then KB Sound have a couple of options, the first is the KB Sound Basic, which as the name suggests is an entry level product. The KB Sound Basic Ceiling Radio features a slimline magnetic remote control, pair of 2” White Ceiling Speakers together with an Integrated FM Radio Tuner, this system is perfect for smaller room no larger than 2 metres by 3 metres.

If you would like a remote control with an LCD display to tell you information such as the radio station playing, audio setting, etc. and choice of speaker colours then the KB Sound Plus would be the next Ceiling Speaker System with integrated FM Radio we offer, the KB Plus also has a higher wattage output than the KB Basic.

Bedroom En Suite Bathroom situations are again well equipped to utilise the KB Select BT as discussed previously, or we have the KB Sound Premium which is available in either FM or FM / DAB Radio Tuner versions, the KB Premium is the only unit from the KB Sound range that features a fascia panel to be placed on the wall which is around the same size as a double plug socket. The KB Sound Premium features as well as the integrated radio tuner a built-in alarm clock and LCD display, which is why it’s perfect as an En Suite Ceiling Audio Solution. Of course the KB Sound Premium could be used in many other rooms, however as the fascia panel is not waterproof it is not recommended for fitting within the bathroom.

Moving forward with in-wall panels are the fantastic E Series products from Systemline – the E50 and E100.

The Systemline E50 is a simple keypad with built-in Bluetooth and auxiliary inputs, both front and rear. Whilst it does not feature radio, you can always use radio apps found on your smartphone or tablet, and TV audio can be played through the system as well. The stunningly beautiful in-wall keypad finished in gloss black is touch controlled and also hand gesture controlled, meaning everything to play your audio just as you want it is all at your fingertips.

Its predecessor, the Systemline E100, as well as Bluetooth, it has FM and DAB radio included, and also features as OLED screen, but lacks having the touch-matrix to control, however a small remote control comes with the system.

All these units come bundled with Q Install Ceiling Speakers from the award-winning supplier, Q Acoustics, ensuring you get an incredible audio experience in your home.

What size of Ceiling Speaker do I need?

The size of speaker is sometimes a personal choice as you might not want to have large Ceiling Speakers within your room, however for smaller rooms around 2 metres by 3 metres we would suggest Ceiling Speakers no bigger than 2.5” as you might struggle to fit bigger Ceiling Speakers onto the ceiling without looking cluttered.

For customers with bigger rooms then really larger Ceiling Speaker should be considered like the ones found within the KB Sound iSelect 5” range, for rooms that are larger than 4 metres by 6 metres additional speakers should be added to get the best from your Ceiling Audio System, contact our experts to advise the best solutions for your needs.

What is a Two-Way Ceiling Speaker?

You many have read that some of our speakers are Two-Way Ceiling Speakers, but you might not understand what that means. The simply way to explain would be to say they have a separate Sub Woofer, just like many surround sound systems feature, to go into more detail a Two-Way Ceiling Speaker simply has two separate speaker drivers within each speaker, each of these speakers performs a different role in creating the music you hear.

One of these speaker drivers is for low frequencies (bass) to give you a rich warm sound, and then the speaker has another driver for the mid – high frequencies (treble) to ensure that you hear all the detail within the music you are listening too.

If you are looking at one our Integrated Ceiling Speaker Systems that does not have the Two-Way Ceiling Speakers they have a single speaker driver which does all frequencies, normally a Two-Way Ceiling Speakers would give you a richer sound with better separation of the sound. Contact our experts if you would like to know more about this.

Do I need an extra antenna with my Ceiling Radio System?

Although all our systems come with short wire antennas, we would recommend if you are in a poor reception area the purchase of an additional antenna to ensure the best quality reception. For DAB Ceiling Radios we always recommend the DAB Antenna Kit and we offer a bundle on these accessories, see product details for further information.

I have heard that FM Radio will be switched off, so is it worth buying a FM Radio?

There has been a lot of information publicised and articles about FM Radio reception getting switched off, most of this information is incorrect and we have separate information on the FM and DAB switch over, which can be read here: DAB Radio and the “switch-over” – some questions clarified.

Compare: KB Sound – iSelect versus Select BT

KB Sound strives to deliver the best audio systems available, and their latest Ceiling Speaker System is the next evolution in Bluetooth audio; the Select BT.

Despite being a very similar product to the iSelect (with Bluetooth), the Select BT stands out mainly for being app-controlled.

Both have their place, but it’s still tough to decide which system is best for you. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of the two KB Sound products – available to buy now at BuyCleverStuff.

iSelect

First, a brief history of the KB Sound iSelect.

It actually follows from its predecessor the KB Sound Select. That also featured a Radio Tuner with Amplifier and White Remote Control (with Keypad and LCD Screen).

In its current guise though, the KB Sound iSelect is a Ceiling Speaker Amplifier with built in radio tuner, which can be either FM Radio only, or dual FM and DAB Radio.

In addition, the iSelect will allow for either a Wireless 30 Pin Apple iPhone / iPod Dock or a Bluetooth Receiver. The latter is most popular nowadays due to the development of Apple’s Lightning connector which makes the dock more difficult to use.

The iSelect is available with 2.5” Ceiling Speakers or 5” Ceiling Speakers, powers either one pair or two pairs of Ceiling Speakers from its amplifier positioned in the ceiling void.

This hidden in-ceiling radio amplifier leaves all your cables in the ceiling void, taking away the need to run cables down walls.

With the optional Wireless iPhone Dock or Bluetooth Receiver, the product then allows you to play music from your own devices to the Ceiling Speakers. The included remote control you can pause, play, skip music from the connected device.

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Select BT

Whilst similar in name with the discontinued KB Sound Select, the KB Sound Select BT is an all new product.

Utilising for the first time the KB Sound App, you have full App Control meaning no need for a remote control – just your smartphone or tablet (iOS and Android download).

This means that for the like-for-like iSelect product with FM Radio and Bluetooth Receiver, the Select BT is a fantastic lower cost and integrates your current mobile technology even further.

The Select BT is currently only available with FM Radio Tuner and Bluetooth Receiver built in, it currently does not have a DAB Radio option and will not allow for Wireless Apple iPhone / iPod Dock connectivity.

However, put your Bluetooth to good use (alongside your mobile data or Wi-Fi connection) it can work alongside internet radio and music streaming apps meaning almost as much audio as you like!

As per the KB Sound iSelect, the KB Sound Select BT is available in standard kit form with 2.5” Ceiling Speakers or 5” Ceiling Speakers, but it goes even further with 6″ Ceiling Speakers also available.

Not only that, but there is another little trick up its sleeve – it’s dual zone audio amplifier configuration.

This dual zone option is controlled via the KB Sound App, to work in conjunction with the Select BT amplifier. The addition of EIS Ceiling Speakers as a secondary slave audio output, you can now have more than two pairs of Ceiling Speakers. This allows you to expand into a second room should wish, and turn them on and off independently.

We currently only offer 6” Ceiling Speakers for the dual zone option on the Select BT. These 6” speakers, as a pair, each contain an active speaker (with their own audio amplifier) and a passive speaker. That means up to four pairs of speakers to be connected, power remains constant and it is not limited to two pairs of speakers as with the KB Sound iSelect.

The other benefit with the Select BT is that it also has a higher power output than the iSelect model. Therefore, the unit is able to provide higher volume levels and maintain greater clarity when playing richer sounding music. If selecting the 6” Ceiling Speakers Select BT bundles, you will find this even more enhanced. That’s due to these speakers being a higher quality than the 2.5” or 5” speakers found in the standard KB Sound bundles.

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Select BT vs iSelect
KB Sound – Comparing iSelect against Select BT

Hopefully now you have more understanding about the development, similarities, and differences of the KB Sound iSelect and Select BT.

In summary:

  • iSelect is ideal for consumers looking to have a remote control with optional DAB radio, and without Bluetooth as standard.
  • Select BT does have Bluetooth but only FM Radio, is App controlled, perfect for those streaming music predominantly via Bluetooth.
  • Looking to run more than two pairs of Ceiling Speakers or wishing to play the same music across two rooms? The Select BT with 6” Ceiling Speakers is an ideal product for that environment due to the dual zone feature.

1 Bluetooth range is entirely dependant on surrounding wall and ceiling construction, this and together with other interference real work range maybe less.
2 On the iSelect it is possible via an on-wall speaker switch to enable and disable a pair of speakers on the system, this, however, is not controlled via Remote or App.
3 It is recommend not running more than four pairs of speakers on the slave side.
4 Please note that wattage figures given are RMS values and not to be confused with some manufacturers higher peak wattage figures (PMPO) – click here to read more about this. In addition, all of EIS Ceiling Speakers are very sensitive and therefore do not require high amplifier wattages to power them.
5 When using Active / Passive EIS 6” Ceiling Speakers with built in amplifier.

Vinyl Popularity Growing Thanks To Music Streaming Boost

Have you streamed music recently through sites such as Spotify, SoundCloud or even YouTube? According to a recent survey by ICM Unlimited, the chances are that you’ve then gone and bought it on vinyl, as sales of the format look set to increase for the tenth year in a row.

According to the survey, shared with the BBC, almost half of people who have bought vinyl copies of songs and albums have done so after having listened to it online via streaming.

There seems to be a number of varied reasons as to why vinyl sales are on the up, with music fans wanting to have something physical to hold, the belief that they are helping support artists better financially compared to the deals hammered out with streaming sites, and also strangely pure from an aesthetic basis to have on shelves at home.

In recent weeks, Sainsbury’s has introduced sales of vinyl in their supermarkets for shoppers to put in their trolleys, and with the upcoming Record Store Day this weekend, vinyl is booming again.

However, you may find it might not necessarily be booming in homes – out of all those who buy vinyl, 41% have a turntable yet never use it and an incredible 7% do not even own a turntable to play it on!

At BuyCleverStuff we’re here to help solve that problem with our range of home audio solutions that combine both past and present to give you the perfect way to play your music.

Our SoundMaster range includes vinyl record players (some even with cassette players – for those who may still have recordings of the Top 40 on C60 somewhere in that bottom drawer), simple FM / DAB radio receivers that can be fitted around the home, whether it is lounge, kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, and also products that allow for Bluetooth connectivity or direct internet radio – giving you every option when it comes to listening to audio.

With BuyCleverStuff being the exclusive UK distributor of these fantastic high quality German manufactured audio products, we want you to experience great sound quality throughout the home and until Tuesday 31st May 2016, we’re offering the brilliant BT550 Bluetooth Bathroom Shower Speaker at half price with any SoundMaster purchase.

 

Compare: What Differences Between E100 and E200?

With the arrival of the new Systemline E100 DAB+ / FM / Bluetooth music system, where does that now leave its predecessor the E200?

On the face of it there seems to be little real difference, but to make it easier for you to understand just what one and the other do and what stands them apart, here’s a simple venn diagram to illustrate:

Systemline E100 and Systemline E200

 

Main Standout E100 Features

  • Helpful, colour-coded speaker cable to aid with installation

Two seven metre lengths of speaker cable come inclusive of the pack, one green and one blue, which are highlighted within the instruction manuals to help with connecting and wiring ceiling speakers.

  • Larger OLED Screen

With the E100, the in wall panel features a clearer and more defined OLED screen compared to the matrix style screen of the E200 together with a larger screen.

  • IP54 Rated

It has been cleared to be fitted within a bathroom, outside of Zone 2, and with condition of silicone sealant around the unit. If fitted correctly, it can be a welcome addition to any bathroom.

  • Inclusive remote control

Another development with the E100 compared to the E200 is the inclusive remote control to switch between preset radio stations, volume up and down, mute and of course turning the system on and off.

  • DAB+ Radio

DAB+ Radio differs from standard DAB in that it support AAC+ audio codec and provides higher quality audio than just standard DAB.Reception is also more robust through DAB+ transmitters. It also allows for installation internationally if DAB+ is the standard digital radio frequency used, which it commonly is, meaning it is great for holiday homes or properties if planning to move abroad.

  • Self-contained into one UK double gang back box

Needing to run network cable elsewhere to the E200’s amplifier hub, and RCA cable to the separate Bluetooth Receiver could be problematic at times, however now this has been overcome with the E100 by bringing together those components for one simple in-wall solution. You will require a double gang back box that is slightly deeper than normal.

  • Integrated Bluetooth

Following on from the point that this in wall panel is self-contained, it must be stressed about not having to rely upon the QED uPlay Plus Bluetooth Receiver as is found with the E200. If installing multiple E100 systems in the home, you can rename the Bluetooth receiver to identify which particular system you are pairing up with, such as “Lounge”, “Kitchen”, “Bathroom etc. – an extremely useful feature.

  • 18W Per Channel

20% more power per channel compared to that of the E200’s amplifier, meaning more sound to fill your space.

Systemline E100 Bluetooth FM / DAB+ Radio System & 6.5″ Qi65CB Ceiling Speakers
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Main Standout E200 Features

  • DAB Radio

It is the generic standard of Digital Audio Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, and the E200 is designed to receive DAB transmissions only – not DAB+. DAB Radios are not forward compatible with DAB+, and whilst DAB+ stations and transmissions may one day be more prevalent in the UK, it is not at this moment thought to be rolled out as standard owing to the cost of new transmitters and sheer number of current DAB radios that would be made redundant.

  • Separate Bluetooth Receiver & Hub

As the in wall panel is not integrated with Bluetooth receiver or amplifier hub, it does mean they need to be sited away from the panel in the wall. The QED uPlay Plus Bluetooth Receiver is also preferred to be installed within the room in order to perform the required pairing procedure outlined in its instructions.

  • CAT5 Network Cable Required

CAT5 Network Cable is required to connect the in wall panel to the amplifier hub. It is able to run at a standard wiring of 5m, of which is included within the basic pack, or the ability to run a length of 10m non-standard wired CAT5 network cable is possible. Whilst there is directives as to how to wire a non-standard cable, it can be quite difficult and not to mention expensive, which is why at BuyCleverStuff we are able to provide this non-standard 10m Cat5 Network Cable ready-made to make your installation easier.

  • Line Out: Perfect For Sub Zone Setup

This is the main consideration for selecting the E200 over the E100. With line out featured on the amplifier hub, you can effectively set up sub zones for other areas of your home by connecting to another system via line in. To be able to control Bluetooth across two rooms via the E200 gives the ability to do more with the system compared to that of the E100 which is without this line out.

  • 15W Per Channel

17% less power per channel compared to that of the E100’s amplifier, however, you will still have a significant amount of audio filling your room at this rating, and it must be taking into account that creating sub zones with the E200 means it can do more as a system going forward should you which

Systemline E200 Bluetooth FM / DAB Radio System & 6.5″ Qi65CB Ceiling Speakers

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Main Standout Features of Both Systems

  • FM Radio

The ability to receive FM Radio comes as standard with both systems.

  • Two lengths of seven metre speaker cable

Whilst it is standard with both the E100 and E200, the only varying difference is that with the E100 system it is colour-coded to help with installation.

  • Audio line in

Useful if needing to connect any other external source you may want to link up.

The Systemline E200 can also be used with an external iDock which can be fitted alongside the in-wall panel and connected via CAT5 instead of choosing the Bluetooth option. However, it must be noted that use of any Apple device within the iDock must feature a 30-pin connection. As 30-pin connections by Apple are now not produced, we do not recommend this route, considering Bluetooth is the cheaper, and simpler, route to follow. If you do require any more information, see our related post on 30-pin connections.

Should you require any further help, or have any more questions about these systems, how to go further with the E200 as a sub zone option, or any other query surrounding our available Systemline E Series systems email: Expert@BuyCleverStuff.co.uk

Ceiling Kitchen Radio: What To Think About

When it comes to audio for your kitchen, there is a wide range of options at BuyCleverStuff, and we like to ensure that we find the right system for your kitchen.

In ceiling speakers are a very popular option, linked either between an in-wall panel control or a separate remote control. Both unit designs are simple and subtle, and straightforward to use once installed.

Determining exactly what audio you wish to fill your kitchen with can be a tricky decision, but we hope in our blog to break down everything to guide you to the best solution for you.

  • Purpose

If you are thinking of installing a Kitchen Ceiling Radio, there may be the need to think about whether you want your system to provide audio on a personal level or whether it is going to be used for entertaining a larger number of guests. Some of our systems can only work with their bundled speakers, so consider what it is you are wanting to do with your Kitchen Ceiling Radio.

  • Size of room / speakers

Our previous point leads us nicely on to this aspect – how to define your required speaker size.

At BuyCleverStuff, Ceiling Kitchen Radio systems are bundled with varying speaker sizes, but as a rough guide 2-2.5 inch speakers are adequate for a 4m2 room and 5 inch speakers for around a 10m2 room.

With larger kitchen and dining rooms beyond these sizes, the need for an extra pair of ceiling speakers may be required in order to better fill a room with sound, as with small, less powerful speakers in a large room, audio will tend to be lost.

This is only meant to be a rough estimation in terms of speaker sizes and room size, and at BuyCleverStuff we are hoping to bring in the future a standardised guide relating to the decibel output for all of our speakers that we currently stock on our website.

  • Functions

As standard FM radio is featured on all our Kitchen Ceiling Radios, but many of our systems also include DAB radio. If you have a good DAB reception, you will receive crisp clear sound, and also receive stations not found on FM frequencies.

Personal audio devices, more so mobile phones and tablets, play a huge role in our day-to-day lives. Built-in Bluetooth receivers with many of our Kitchen Ceiling Radios mean that beyond FM and DAB radio you can connect devices in order to also play your own personal music, or even music streaming services such as Spotify, Napster, Deezer and many more, through our systems.

  • Appearance

There are two elements to think about with your Kitchen Ceiling Radio before you purchase, the style of the controlling unit, and also the look of the in ceiling speakers.

We have a number of in-wall panels that fit into single or double gang back boxes (dependent on the product chosen) and can sit neatly and discreetly away should you want that in your room.

Remote control systems are not only stylish and unobtrusive, but they are extremely useful, especially when connecting any Bluetooth devices. It means your Bluetooth device such as a smartphone or tablet will be safe and out of the way and allows you to work in your kitchen space with little worry.

The second aspect to think about your in ceiling speakers. Designed in white to be as unobtrusive as possible, there are some slight differences between styles of speakers, however these are very minimal, so if you are concerned why not take a look at our main website with the entire range on show.

Once purpose, size when installing, function and appearance have been thought out, you may have more of an idea of which Kitchen Ceiling Radio system you require, and in which case you may want to see our full offering over at our main BuyCleverStuff website.

Shop Now for Ceiling Kitchen Radio

However, if you are looking possibly to extend from just a kitchen and dining area to a whole ground floor audio system or even throughout the whole home with multi-room audio, then look out for our further articles coming up which will give you more advice on what you may require and what suitable systems are available.

Bathroom Radio Mirror: What To Think About

Bathroom Radio Mirrors are a perfect solution when the ability to install a complete music system becomes a difficult or sometimes impossible task.

Taking a regular bathroom accessory and combining it to create a simple, effective, yet extremely clever answer to allow great audio to be played whenever you use your bathroom, whether it is getting ready before work or school in the morning, relaxing and unwinding at night, or looking good and starting your night out in the right way.

  • Purpose

Bathroom Radio Mirrors are a fantastic multi-purpose product allowing great audio to be brought into a bathroom, shower room or washroom that may be preventative of a full ceiling radio system being installed.

  • Size of room / speakers

Our Bathroom Radio Mirrors have stereo speakers built into their chassis.

It is possible to expand and use external speakers with the Tenor Illuminated Bluetooth FM / DAB Bathroom Radio Mirror in order to fill your room better with audio.

If you feel that your room can accommodate more speakers, we have a range of ceiling speaker systems that can suit to your bathroom size, and preference to look and style.

  • Functions        

FM and DAB tuners are as standard within our Bathroom Radio Mirrors. If you are unsure, it is always recommended that you check your DAB reception for your area to find out what stations you are likely to receive prior to installing.

There is the option with Roper Rhodes’ Audio Image Illuminated Bathroom Radio Mirror to expand your audio sources with MP3 playback via SD card or USB port and also with MIER’s Tenor mirror, the option of Bluetooth connectivity.

Heated demister pads are built-in, so you can use your product without worrying about any steam in the room preventing you from using your mirror as a standalone mirror.

Illuminating strips down the sides of the mirror allow extra lighting to your room and helps give you a clearer view when using the mirror for your daily use.

Touch sensitive controls mean you can quickly and easily change stations and songs to your liking. Infrared sensors allow you to control these mirror functions with just a swipe of a hand underneath. The MIER Tenor mirror also comes complete with separate remote control (needed if product if recessed fully within a wall).

  • Appearance

The speakers on the unit can be found at the sides of the chassis so sound is dispersed around the room to its fullest (unless using an external speaker), and LCD screens display a range of information such as source, time, station and song being played.

With all the components featured within these products, expect to look toward one mirror taking up 80cm x 60cm (height x width). You are able to slightly recess the Audio Image from Roper Rhodes, but the Tenor from MIER can be fully recessed (if connected to an external ceiling speaker).

Lighting on Bathroom Radio Mirrors can be turned on and off with a simple swipe beneath the mirror with infrared switch.

Now that you have gone through the main aspects when it comes to deciding upon purchasing a Bathroom Radio Mirror, take a look over to the BuyCleverStuff website to see the range of Bathroom Radio Mirrors that we have on offer.

DAB Radio & The “Switch-over” – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the FM / DAB Radio “Switch-over” all about?

So far, there have been 12 million DAB Radios bought since the official “launch” of DAB Radio in the United Kingdom. The Digital Radio United Kingdom organisation (DRUK) estimated that by the end of 2013, that number would have risen to 20 million.

DAB radio will eventually take over from FM radio, in the sense that major stations will be found only on digital platforms – but FM will continue to be around – however only lesser known stations will be on there. This will mean that you will have access to many more radio stations at once, with some that are familiar and many that will be new to you.

Many people are choosing to adopt a DAB radio over an FM version now so that they are ready for the “switch-over” that is yet to be officially announced. This is when the FM stations will all migrate to DAB platforms and no longer be available on FM.

There is no rush to do this however, as is explained below. The important thing to consider at this moment in time is that it is down to your personal preference if you buy a DAB Radio over an FM Radio. There is no urgency to rid yourself of all FM radios.

When is the FM / DAB Radio “Switch-over” going to happen?

There were numerous reports that current FM frequency stations would cease broadcasting in 2015 – something which as we headed into 2015 dawned on people that would never happen. Many people in the industry, including the head of audio marketing at Sony, have publicly said that “…the future of radio is DAB. But the conversion to DAB is an evolution that will take time… and we are extremely far away from that right now”

There are literally tens of millions of FM radios in homes, offices and cars across the United Kingdom and for all of these to be replaced with DAB radios by 2015 was always a highly unlikely possibility.

However, in order for DAB Switch-over to happen, an increase in DAB radios does need to happen, hence why so many are on the market now.

Currently there is only one model of car, the Ford C-MAX, that has a DAB Radio option available, which costs extra. DAB is now fitted as standard in most cars, and has been since around 2013.

There is currently no set date for the Digital Switch-over.

Why are we having this FM / DAB Radio “Switch-over”?

There are numerous reasons why the UK Government wants to bring in a Switch-over to DAB Radio. Some of the benefits DAB Radio offers include:

  • Many stations are available in more places – you can listen to your local stations when away from your home area.
  • Pause and Rewind* – You will be able to listen to missed bulletins and your favourite songs again with this feature.
  • Record* – Select shows to record to listen to when it’s convenient to you. *Not on all DAB Radios.
  • Easy Tuning – Select stations by their name and genre, not their frequencies.
  • Scrolling Text – You’ll be able to see information such as phone numbers, song information and news pieces on your DABs display.
  • You won’t need to change the frequency to stay with the same station no matter where you drive in the country.

Once the switch-over is complete you should have a lot more options when it comes to stations and genres of music than on FM.

You can find out what digital radio stations are available in your area by using the Postcode Checker here: DAB Postcode Search

So what about me?

If you’re considering buying a DAB radio from us, it is worth checking to see if there is an FM only version of the product too.

If you live in an area that does not cater well for DAB stations, it may be a better decision to opt for the FM version of a product. This is because until you receive good quality DAB signal the DAB ability will be wasted and you will be using the FM ability as quality will be significantly higher. FM Only versions of our products are usually considerably cheaper too.

However – if you’re in an area that has been given good quality DAB coverage it may well be worth taking advantage of the availability and getting yourself a DAB Radio. If this is the case, you will then be able to enjoy the extended variety of stations and you will be ready for when the switch-over does eventually happen. Most DAB radios also work on FM frequencies too – so if you where to need it, it’s there as a back up.

So in conclusion; it’s very much down to your personal preference and how good the DAB coverage is where you live.

Either way – if you have any questions please give us a call and we will be happy to advise you.