If you are an ardent listener of radio shows, you may want to learn more about the current options in the market.

Watch our video on digital radio

Watch our video about how digital radios can be made more usable for people with sight loss.

Digital radio (DAB)

Digital radio (DAB) offers a wider choice of programming with more radio stations: national, local and regional catering for all kinds of interests and groups of people. It also gives hiss-free sound and many DAB radios also have features including information about the channel or the ability to pause and rewind live radio.

To check that you can receive DAB stations, visit the BBC DAB postcode checker website.

A copy of the checklist of what features to look for when purchasing a digital radio is available to download in PDF or word.

Ricability tested 15 DAB radios available on the high street, assessing how easy to use they were for blind and partially sighted people and people with limited dexterity.

Full results are available from Ricability: DAB Radios or call 020 7427 2460 for a copy of the ‘Choosing a DAB radio’ consumer report.

For further information on DAB radio or the research project, email broadcasting@rnib.org.uk or contact 0303 123 9999.

Internet radio

Internet radio (also known as web radio) is an audio service transmitted over the Internet. It presents listeners with a continuous stream of audio over the internet that cannot be paused or stopped, much like traditional broadcast media.

Internet radio can be enjoyed on dedicated internet radio devices via apps or via your computer.

The biggest advantage of internet radio is that you can tune into any radio station from across the world as long as there is an online feed. For example a listener sitting in the UK can not only listen to a UK based internet radio station but a station based in the US, Brazil, India, Australia, or any other country from around the world that has internet radio stations.

Another advantage of listening to internet radio is that you can tune into specialist radio stations that play music from specific genres. You can tune into whatever you are in the mood for provided it is available over the internet.

However, a few networks such as the US-based Clear Channel and CBS Radio, and UK-based Chrysalis are only allowing people from within the respective countries to listen to the stations because of music licensing concerns.

To date RNIB has not reviewed the accessibility of internet radio players but are interested in hearing from you if you have been using the service and would like to share your opinions with other readers.

Catch-up radio

Similar to catch-up television services such as the ITV player and 4oD, now catch-up radio services can be used to listen to radio shows online for a fixed period after the original broadcast.

In the UK, catch-up service for radio is called the Radioplayer.

This gives audiences a chance to experience listening to an audio show online.

The player has been developed in partnership between the BBC and UK Commercial Radio. It allows the user to listen to live and on demand radio shows from Ofcom licensed UK radio stations.

The Radioplayer is very similar in appearance to the previous BBC interface with some new features such as the ability to search for live and on demand radio content from stations across the UK.

When you click to listen live or on demand, the actual player will open in a new link to play the selected audio.

Read a review of the Radioplayer in our product reviews section.

Insight Radio

Insight radio is RNIB's radio station. Broadcasting 24 hours a day, the Sony Award winning station communicates the needs, interests and aspirations of blind and partially sighted people throughout the UK.

You can listen to Insight radio:

  • Online
  • Via Sky Channel 0188
  • In Glasgow on 101FM
  • On freesat channel 777.

Insight Radio

Insight Radio is RNIB's radio station. The Sony award-winning station communicates the needs, interests and aspirations of blind and partially sighted people throughout the UK.

Listen to Insight Radio online now