Roberts enters the digital car radio adaptor market

Audio manufacturer Roberts has revealed that it is entering the automotive market for the first time with the launch of its digital radio car adaptor.

Roberts made the announcement yesterday at the Drive to Digital 2017 conference at the British Museum in London, alongside automotive technology manufacturer Nextbase, which unveiled two new digital radio adaptors, and Halfords Autocentres, which announced a new fitting service for in-car radio adaptors.

Owen Watters (pictured), chief executive of Roberts Radio, said: “Roberts is well-established as a market leader in digital radios in the UK with a reputation for quality and innovation. Given the increased consumer demand across Europe to receive DAB digital radio in-car, we are bringing all the Roberts expertise and know-how into the car adaptor market. We are confident that the Roberts digital car adaptor will be recognised as best-in-class with the outstanding level of reliability and performance associated with any Roberts product.”

The digital radio car adaptor market has been significantly boosted across Europe by the switchover in Norway, which is the first in the world and is due to be completed by the end of the year.

There is also a planned switchover in Switzerland scheduled for 2020, and the UK’s ongoing digital radio progress.

However, there are still 25 million cars on the road in the UK that do not have digital radios, meaning drivers are unable to access the extra stations available on DAB.

In major markets, such as Greater London, where there are up to 100 stations available, drivers without digital radio are missing out on 70 per cent of available stations. Upgrading their cars to digital would give millions of UK drivers access to the popular digital stations, such as BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC Radio 5live sports extra, Absolute 80s, Kisstory, Heart 80s, Virgin Radio, LBC, Kiss and Magic.

Laurence Harrison, market development director at Digital Radio UK, said: “It’s clear that drivers and passengers want to listen to the full range of digital stations in their cars, so we welcome the launch of a wider range of adaptors from leading technology brands, as well as a more convenient way to have a digital radio adapter fitted. These initiatives and the industry investment in car conversion can establish car adapters as an important automotive category alongside satnavs and dashcams.”