Archives of Acoustics, 42, 4, pp. 715–723, 2017

DAB vs DAB+ Radio Broadcasting: a Subjective Comparative Study

Przemyslaw GILSKI
Gdansk University of Technology

In the age of digital media, delivering high quality content to consumers is one of the most demanding
tasks. There exist numerous broadcasting standards, with different pros and cons, and the DAB/DAB+
(Digital Audio Broadcasting) system is one of the most popular among them. From an engineer’s perspective, efficient resource management under limited bandwidth conditions has always been a challenge. In this paper a subjective quality assessment study of the DAB and DAB+ broadcasting system is performed on a representative group of signal samples. It describes the radio link, including a fully functional transmitter designed for the purpose of this test, as well as the receiver side representing a commercially available consumer device, for a truly real-time and end-to-end quality evaluation.
Keywords: audio quality assessment; broadcasting; (DAB+) digital audio broadcasting; (QoE) quality of experience; (QoS) quality of service; radio communication
Full Text: PDF


Berg J., Bustad C., Jonsson L., Mossberg L., Nyberg D. (2013), Perceived Audio Quality of Realistic FM and DAB+ Radio Broadcasting Systems, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 61, 10, 755–777.

Błasiak K., Dobrucki A. B., Kin M. J., Ostrowski M. (2011), Sound quality evaluation of DAB+ musical programs, 14th International Symposium on Sound Engineering and Tonmeistering, Wrocław, Poland, 1–6.

Bosi M., Goldberg R. E. (2002), Introduction to Digital Audio Coding and Standards, Springer.

Brachmański S. (2015), Selected issues in assessing the quality of speech transmission [in Polish: Wybrane zagadnienia oceny jakości transmisji sygnału mowy], Oficyna Wydawnicza Politechniki Wrocławskiej.

Brachmański S., Kin M. J. (2013), Assessment of speech quality in Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB+) system, AES 134th Convention, Rome, Italy.

Brandenburg K. (1998), Perceptual Coding of High Quality Digital Audio, in: Applications of Digital Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Brandenburg K. (1999), MP3 and AAC explained, AES 17th International Conference on High Quality Audio Coding, Florence, Italy.

Breebaart J., van de Par S., Kohlrausch A., Schuijers E. (2005), Parametric Coding of Stereo Audio, EURASIP Journal on Applied Signal Processing, 9, 1305–1322.

Buracchini E. (2000), The software radio concept, IEEE Communications Magazine, 38, 9, 138–143.

Digital Radio DAB+, [Access: 2017-05-16]

Dobrucki A.B., Kin M.J. (2013), Subjective and objective evaluation of sound quality of radio programs transmitted via Digital Audio Broadcast [DAB+] System, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, 19, 1, 1–7.

EBU, [Access: 2017-05-16]

EBU Recommendation R 138 (2013), Digital Radio Distribution in Europe, Geneva, Switzerland.

EBU Tech 3253 Technical Document (2008), Sound Quality Assessment Material recordings for subjective tests (SQUAM CD), Geneva, Switzerland.

ETSI EN 300 401 European Standard (2006), Radio Broadcasting Systems; Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) to mobile, portable and fixed receivers, Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France.

ETSI TS 102 563 Technical Specification (2010), Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Transport of Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio, Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France.

European Network on Quality of Experience in Multimedia Systems and Services (COST Action IC1003) (2012), Qualinet white paper on definitions of quality of experience.

Gilski P., Stefański J. (2016), Can the Digital Surpass the Analog: DAB+ Possibilities, Limitations and User Expectations, International Journal of Electronics and Telecommunications, 62, 4, 353–361.

Gilski P., Stefański J. (2016), Digital Audio Broadcasting or Webcasting: A Network Quality Perspective, Journal of Telecommunications and Information Technology, 1, 9–15.

Gilski P., Stefański J. (2017), Subjective and Objective Comparative Study of DAB+ Broadcast System, Archives of Acoustics, 42, 1, 3–11.

Herre J., Dietz M. (2008), MPEG-4 High-Efficiency AAC Coding, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, May, 137–142.

Hoeg W., Lauterbach T. (2009), Digital Audio Broadcasting: Principles and Applications of DAB, DAB+ and DMB, 3rd Ed., John Wiley & Sons.

ITU Recommendation BS.1116-1 (1997), Methods for the subjective assessment of small impairments in audio systems including multichannel sound systems, Geneva, Switzerland.

ITU Recommendation BS.1284 (2003), General methods for the subjective assessment of sound quality, Geneva, Switzerland.

ITU Recommendation P.800 (1996), Methods for subjective determination of transmission quality, Geneva, Switzerland.

Iwacz G., Jajszczyk A., Zajączkowski M. (2008), Multimedia Broadcasting and Multicasting in Mobile Networks, John Wiley & Sons.

Kin M. J. (2013), Subjective evaluation of sound quality of musical recordings transmitted via DAB+ system, AES 134th Convention, Rome, Italy.

Kowal M., Kubal S., Piotrowski P., Zieliński R.J. (2011), A Simulation Model of the Radio Frequency MIMO-OFDM System, International Journal of Electronics and Telecommunications, 57, 3, 323–328.

Mardia K.V., Jupp P.E. (2000), Directional Statistics, John Wiley & Sons.

Mitola III J. (2000), Software Radio Architecture: Object-Oriented Approaches to Wireless Systems Engineering, John Wiley & Sons.

Möller S., Chan W.Y., Côté N., Falk T.H., Raake A., Waltermann M. (2011), Speech quality estimation: models and trends, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, 28, 18–28.

Pearl J., Glymour M., Jewell N.P. (2016), Causal Inference in Statistics, John Wiley & Sons.

Počta P., Beerends J.G. (2015), Subjective and Objective Assessment of Perceived Audio Quality of Current Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems and Web-Casting Applications, IEEE Transactions on Broadcasting, 61, 3, 407–415.

Wolters M., Kjöorling K., Homm D., Purnhagen H. (2003), A closer look into MPEG-4 High Effciency AAC, 115th Audio Engineering Society Convention, New York, USA.

Zieliński S. (2016), On Some Biases Encountered in Modern Audio Quality Listening Tests (Part 2): Selected Graphical Examples and Discussion, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 64, 1/2, 55–74.

DOI: 10.1515/aoa-2017-0074

Copyright © Polish Academy of Sciences & Institute of Fundamental Technological Research (IPPT PAN)