Sound Digital

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

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


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
Absolute Radio 80s C8D8 80 kbit/s Mono 80s music 29 February 2016
Absolute Radio 90s CAC2 80 kbit/s Mono 90s music 29 January 2018
Fix Radio CDDA 64 kbit/s Mono LSF Station for the building trade 3 May 2022
Mellow Magic C5D8 80 kbit/s Mono Relaxing and melodic music 15 March 2016
Planet Rock C7D8 80 kbit/s Mono Classic rock radio 1 March 2016
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
Scala Radio CDE6 112 kbit/s Joint Stereo Classical 4 March 2019
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
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 Xtra Reloaded CCE9 40 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Non-stop old skool 24 October 2022
Fun Kids CFD8 24 kbit/s Mono HE-AAC v1 National children’s radio station 29 February 2016
Jazz FM CAD7 32 kbit/s Stereo HE-AAC v2 Jazz music 29 February 2016
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

Former services

Services previously carried on the multiplex include:

  • Awesome Radio - never fully launched, promo barker ran from launch of SDL until removal in Aug 2017
  • Heat Radio - removed Feb 2019
  • JACK Radio - replaced by Union JACK Dance in December 2020
  • Kisstory - moved to Digital One in Feb 2019
  • Love Sport - removed late 2020
  • Magic Chilled - moved to local tier DAB in Feb 2019
  • 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. "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.
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