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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sound Digital
Licensed areaUnited Kingdom
Frequency11A (216.928 MHz)[1]
Air date29 February 2016 (2016-02-29)[2]

Sound Digital is a semi-national commercial digital radio multiplex in the United Kingdom, owned by Arqiva, Bauer Media Group and News Broadcasting. The multiplex covers 73% of the population from a total of 45 transmitters.[3]

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Following the collapse of the winning 4 Digital Group bid for the second national ensemble in 2008, the capacity was re-advertised in 2014.[4] Two bids were received, Sound Digital and Listen2Digital, a consortium run by Orion Media and Babcock International Group.[5] On 27 March 2015, Sound Digital were selected as the winner.[6]

Between award and launch, Premier Praise and Panjab Radio, a Listen2Digital station, joined the line up along with DAB+ stations Fun Kids and Magic Chilled.[7] Also, BMR and UCB Inspirational were rebranded Awesome Radio and UCB2 respectively and TalkBusiness was replaced by Listen2Digital station Share Radio.[8]

Test transmission commenced in February 2016, which consisted of Sound Waves and Sound Waves+ for DAB and DAB+ respectively.[9] An official launch took place on 29 February, with the majority of stations launching on this date and the remainder following over the next month.

On 15 May 2018, Sound Digital announced the planned introduction of additional 19 transmitters – to improve coverage in the South West, East Anglia, Wales and North of Scotland – increasing the multiplex's coverage to 83%, adding nearly 4 million new listeners in more than 1.6m new households.[10]

Stations carried


Service Service ID Bit rate Audio channels Description DAB launch date
Fix Radio CDDA 64 kbit/s Mono LSF Station for the building trade 3 May 2022
Premier Christian Radio CCD8 64 kbit/s Mono LSF Christian music and speech 27 March 2016
Premier Praise! CDD8 64 kbit/s Mono LSF Sister station to Premier Christian Radio 27 March 2016
Sunrise Radio C9D8 56 kbit/s Mono Asian music and speech programmes 29 February 2016
Times Radio C0D8 64 kbit/s Mono News and culture 29 June 2020
Virgin Radio UK C3D8 80 kbit/s Mono Rock/pop music 30 March 2016


Service Service ID Bit rate Audio channels Description DAB+ launch date
Absolute Radio 80s C8D8 40 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 80s music 16 October 2023
Absolute Radio 90s CAC2 40 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 90s music 16 October 2023
Absolute Radio Classic Rock C7C9 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Classic rock music 16 October 2023
Absolute Radio Country CCE7 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Country music 16 October 2023
Boom Radio UK C5EF 24 kbit/s Mono HE-AAC v1 Pop music 13 March 2021
BFBS UK  C5E0 24 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Armed forces radio 24 January 2018
Capital Chill[11] C4F6 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Chilled beats 13 February 2023
Capital Xtra Reloaded CCE9 40 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Non-stop old skool 24 October 2022
Heat Radio CDCE 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Adult contemporary pop 16 October 2023
Jazz FM CAD7 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Jazz music 29 February 2016
Kerrang! Radio C6CF 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Rock music 16 October 2023
Magic at the Musicals CAEA 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Showtunes and soundtracks 16 October 2023
Magic Chilled CEE6 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 "Laid-back" pop and R&B from 90s to now 16 October 2023
Magic Soul C3D9 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Soul, funk and disco 16 October 2023
Mellow Magic C5D8 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Relaxing and melodic music 16 October 2023
Planet Rock C7D8 40 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Classic rock radio 16 October 2023
Radio X Classic Rock[12] C5F6 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Classic Rock music 16 February 2023
Scala Radio CDE6 40 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Classical 16 October 2023
Talkradio CAEB 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 News and current affairs 9 June 2020
TalkSport 2 C1D8 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Specialist shows, documentaries, and live sport commentary 9 June 2020
Virgin Anthems C7E6 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Classic Rock/Pop Music 22 December 2018
Virgin Chilled C8E6 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Chilled Pop Music 22 December 2018

In September 2023 Bauer announced that Mellow Magic, Planet Rock, Scala Radio, Absolute 80s and Absolute 90s would transition to DAB+ from that October, freeing up capacity for the addition of Absolute Radio Country, Absolute Classic Rock, Magic Chilled, Magic Soul, Magic at the Musicals, Heat Radio and Kerrang! Radio to the Sound Digital lineup.[13]

Former services

Services previously carried on the multiplex include:

  • Awesome Radio - never fully launched, promo barker ran from launch of SDL until removal in August 2017
  • Fun Kids - removed 31 August 2023. However the station continues to broadcast on local DAB multiplexes in selected areas of the UK.
  • Heat Radio - removed February 2019
  • JACK Radio - replaced by Union JACK Dance in December 2020
  • Kisstory - moved to Digital One in February 2019
  • Love Sport - removed late 2020
  • Panjab Radio - moved to local DAB in December 2019
  • Share Radio - moved to online-only service May 2017
  • UCB2 - moved to Digital One as a DAB+ service in March 2022
  • Union JACK - launched on 9 September 2016, removed on 24 February 2022
  • Union JACK Dance - launched on 10 December 2020, removed on 24 February 2022
  • Union JACK Rock - launched on 10 December 2020, removed on 24 February 2022

See also


  1. ^ "SDL National". Ofcom. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  2. ^ "A Dozen Stations Launched On New DAB Multiplex". Radio Today. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b "More digital radio stations on their way to UK listeners". Ofcom. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Two horse race for Digital 2 DAB multiplex". a516digital. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  5. ^ Martin, Roy (29 January 2015). "Orion Media partners with Babcock for D2 bid". Radio Today. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  6. ^ Martin, Roy (27 March 2015). "Sound Digital wins national DAB multiplex". Radio Today. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  7. ^ Martin, Roy (3 February 2016). "Fun Kids to go national as DAB+ radio service". Radio Today. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Sound Digital: full station list announced". a516digital. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Sound Digital tests: See how hi-tech your digital radio is". a516digital. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  10. ^ Martin, Roy (15 May 2018). "SDL to extend coverage of national DAB mux". Radio Today. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Global launches Capital Chill radio station on national DAB". RadioToday. 13 February 2023. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  12. ^ "Global launches brand-new station Radio X Classic Rock". RadioToday. 16 February 2023. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  13. ^ Bauer Media, 2023-09-26
This page was last edited on 26 May 2024, at 21:40
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