UK Digital Radio Bitrates

This page was last updated on: June 5 2018
BBC Radio 2 Wi-Fi Radio
This is a list of BBC and commercial radio stations in the UK, comparing audio bitrates for online streams, including BBC iPlayer, DAB, Freeview and satellite (Sky and Freesat).
Please contact the site with any corrections or additions to this list.

Joint Stereo – Audio mode in which two channels forming a stereo pair (left and right) are encoded within one bit stream and for which stereophonic irrelevance or redundancy is exploited for further bit reduction.
Mono LSF (Low Sampling Frequency) – Low bitrate encoding with halved sampling rate.
HE-AAC (High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding) – More efficient high-quality multichannel and stereo audio codec used with DAB+.

Audio codec: MPEG 1 Layer II
BBC World Service on Wi-Fi RadioBetter than FM quality requires 192-256 kbps
Similar to FM quality requires 160-192 kbps
Acceptable, worse than FM 128-160 kbps
(Based on stereo services)

Audio codec: aacPlus v2
Better than FM quality requires 56-96 kbps
Similar to FM quality requires 40-64 kbps
Acceptable, worse than FM 24-48 kbps
(Based on stereo services)


 

BBC Digital Radio Bitrates

This list of BBC digital radio bitrates is provided in good faith, 100% accuracy can not be guaranteed, as changes periodically occur on the various platforms used by the BBC.
Below are audio bitrate comparisons for the BBC’s national digital radio stations, the nations and BBC London local radio on BBC iPlayer, DAB, Freeview and satellite (Freesat and Sky).
Please email any corrections or additional information and have them included.

BBC Digital Radio Bitrates
Platform BBC iPlayer DAB Freeview Satellite
Station Bitrate (UK) Audio Bitrate Audio Bitrate Audio Bitrate Audio
BBC Radio 1 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 192 kbps Joint Stereo 192 kbps  Joint Stereo
BBC 1 Xtra 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 160 kbps Joint Stereo 160 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio 2 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 192 kbps Joint Stereo 192 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio 3 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 160-192 kbps Joint Stereo 192 kbps Joint Stereo 192 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio 4 FM 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 80-128 kbps Joint Stereo 192 kbps Joint Stereo 192 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio 4 LW 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo N/A N/A N/A N/A 96 kbps Mono
BBC Radio 5 Live 320 kbps HLS AAC Mono 64-80 kbps Mono 96 kbps Mono 96 kbps Mono
BBC Radio 5 SX 320 kbps HLS AAC Mono 64 kbps Mono 96 kbps Mono  96 kbps Mono
BBC 6 Music 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 160 kbps Joint Stereo 160 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio 4 Extra 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 80 kbps Mono 160 kbps Joint Stereo 160 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Asian Network 320 kbps HLS AAC Mono 64 kbps Mono 128 kbps Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC World Service * 320 kbps HLS AAC Mono 64 kbps Mono 96 kbps Mono  96 kbps Mono
BBC Local Radio 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 96 kbps Mono N/A  N/A
BBC Radio Scotland 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo  128 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio N Gàidheal  320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo  128 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio Wales 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo  128 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio Cymru 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo  128 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio Cymru 2 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo Not known Not known    128 kbps  Joint Stereo
BBC Radio Ulster 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo  128 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio Foyle 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo
BBC Radio London 320 kbps HLS AAC Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 96 kbps Mono 128 kbps Joint Stereo
.                
BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer streams are available at 320 kbps HLS AAC for UK listeners.
BBC iPlayer streams are available at 96 kbps HLS AAC for international listeners.
BBC Radio on Freeview
Please note that the following BBC radio stations are not available nationally on Freeview:
BBC Radio Scorland (Scotland)
BBC Radio N Gàidheal (Scotland)
BBC Radio Wales (Wales)
BBC Radio Cymru (Wales)
BBC Radio Cymru 2 (Wales)
BBC Radio Ulster (Northern Ireland)
BBC Radio Foyle (Northern Ireland)
BBC Radio London (London)
All BBC Local Radio stations on Freeview are in Mono using a bitrate of 96 kbps.
BBC Radio on satellite (Astra 2 at 28.2° East)
Codec: MPEG Audio layer 1/2 (mpga)
Sample rate: 48000 Hz
Bitrates vary from 96 kbps Mono – 192 kbps Joint Stereo.
BBC World Service in Europe *
The BBC World Service is also available on the following satellites:
Astra 1 at 19.2° East
BBC World Service Europe (96 kpbs Mono)
Eutelsat Hotbird 13° East
BBC World Service Europe (192 kbps Joint Stereo)
BBC World Service Middle East (192 kbps Joint Stereo).

 

UK Commercial Digital Radio Bitrates

This list of UK digital radio bitrates is provided in good faith, 100% accuracy can not be guaranteed, as changes periodically occur on the various platforms used.
Below are audio bitrate comparisons for commercial digital radio stations, Online streams, DAB, Freeview and satellite (Freesat and Sky).
Please email any corrections or additional information and have them included.

Commercial Digital Radio Bitrates
Platform Online DAB Freeview Satellite
Station Bitrate MP3 Bitrate AAC Audio Bitrate Audio Bitrate Audio Bitrate Audio
Absolute Radio  Various see below Various see below Stereo  80 kbps Mono 128 kbps Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo
Absolute 70s  Various see below Various see below Stereo 64 kbps (L) Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A
Absolute 80s Various see below Various see below Stereo 80 kbps Mono N/A N/A 128 kbps Joint Stereo
Absolute 90s  Various see below Various see below Stereo 80 kbps (L) Mono N/A N/A 128 kbps Joint Stereo
(Absolute) Classic Rock  Various see below Various see below Stereo N/A N/A N/A N/A 128 kbps Joint Stereo
Absolute Radio Extra  Various see below Various see below Stereo 64-112 kbps Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ahomka Radio 128 kbps N/A Stereo 64 kbps (L) N/A N/A N/A  N/A N/A
Awesome Radio 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 64 kbps Mono LSF N/A N/A N/A N/A
BFBS Radio 64 kbps N/A Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A  128 kbps Joint Stereo
Capital FM 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 128 kbps (L) Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 160 kbps  Joint Stereo
Capital Xtra 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo  112 kbps Joint Stereo N/A N/A 160 kbps Joint Stereo
Classic FM 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 128 kbps  Joint Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo 192 kbps Joint Stereo
Desi Radio N/A 48 kbps Stereo N/A N/A N/A N/A 96 kbps Mono
EWTN 128 kbps 42 kbps, 64 kbps Stereo N/A N/A N/A N/A 128 kbps Joint Stereo
Fun Kids 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 32 kbps Stereo (DAB+) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gold 48 Kbps, 128 Kbps 48 Kbps Stereo 128 kbps (L) Joint Stereo N/A N/A 128 kbps Joint Stereo
Heart 128 kbps  48 kbps Stereo 128 kbps (L) Joint Stereo 128 kbps N/A 160 kbps Joint Stereo
Heart extra 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 80 kbps Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A
Heart 80 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 80 kbps Mono N/A N/A 160 kbps Joint Stereo
heat 112 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 80 kbps Mono 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A
Jazz FM 128 kbps  24 kbps, 128 kbps Stereo 32 kbps Stereo (DAB+) N/A N/A 128 kbps Joint Stereo
Kerrang! (UK only) 112 kbps 48 kbps Stereo N/A N/A 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A
Kiss (UK only) 112 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 80 kbp/s Mono 64 kbps Mono 80 kbps Mono
KISS FRESH (UK only)  112 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 64 kbps (L) Mono 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A
KISSTORY (UK only) 112 kbps 48 kbps Stereo  64 kbps (L) Mono 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A
Kanshi Radio N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 128 kbps Mono
Khushkhabri 48 kbps N/A Stereo N/A N/A N/A N/A 96 kbps Mono
LBC 48 kbps (Mono)  48 kbps Stereo 64 kbps Mono 64 kbps Mono 128 kbps Joint Stereo
LBC News 48 kbps (Mono) 24 kbps Stereo 64 kbps (L) Mono N/A N/A 160 kbps Joint Stereo
Liberty 128 kbps N/A Stereo N/A N/A N/A N/A 128 kbits Joint Stereo
Magic (UK only) 112 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 80 kbps Mono 64 kbps Mono 80 kbps Mono
Magic Chilled (UK only) 112 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 32 kbps Stereo (DAB+) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Magic Mellow (UK only) 112 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 80 kbps Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A
Panjab Radio 128 kbps N/A Stereo 56 kbps Mono LSF N/A N/A 128 kbps Joint Stereo
Planet Rock 112 kbps 24 kbps, 48 kbps Stereo 80 kbps Mono N/A N/A 160 kbps Joint Stereo
Premier Radio N/A 128 kbps Stereo 64 kbps Mono 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A
Radio X 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 80 kbps Mono N/A N/A 160 kbps Joint Stereo
Rainbow 96 kbps N/A Stereo N/A N/A N/A N/A 64 kbps Mono
RNIB Connect 128 kbps N/A Stereo N/A N/A 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A
Share Radio 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A
Solar Radio 128 kbps N/A Stereo  N/A  N/A N/A N/A 128 kbps Joint Stereo
Smooth Radio 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 128 kbps Joint Stereo  64 kbps Mono 160 kbps Joint Stereo
Smooth Extra 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 80 kbp/s Mono N/A N/A 160 kbps  Joint Stereo
Sukh Sagar 48 kbps N/A Stereo N/A N/A N/A N/A 96 kbps Mono
Sunrise Radio 32 kbps (WMP) NA Stereo 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A
talkRADIO N/A 48 kbps Mono 64 kbps Mono LSF N/A N/A N/A N/A
talkSPORT 32 kbps N/A Mono 64 kbps Mono 64 kbps Mono 64 kbps Mono
talkSPORT 2 N/A 48 kbps Mono 64 kbps Mono LSF N/A N/A N/A  N/A
The Hits 112 kbps 48 kbps Stereo N/A N/A 64 kbps Mono 128 kbps Joint Stereo
TWR 96 kbps N/A Stereo N/A N/A 64 kbps Mono 96 kbps Mono
UCB1 UK 128 kbps 48 kbps  Stereo 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A
UCB 2 UK 128 kbps 48 kbps Stereo 64 kbps Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A
Union JACK 128 kbps 24, 64, 320 kbps Stereo 24 kbps Stereo (DAB+) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Virgin Radio N/A 96 kbps Mono 80 kbps Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A
WRN Europe 64 kbps N/A Mono N/A N/A N/A N/A 64 kbps Mono
.                  
Radio Streams
Many radio stations also have lower bitrate streams available, some stations are restricted to the UK.
For live UK radio stream links see:
www.radiofeeds.co.uk
www.listenlive.eu/uk.html
Stream Formats:
Windows Media requires Windows Media Player
MP3 requires a streaming MP3 player such as Winamp, iTunes, Foobar2000 or VLC Media player
Ogg Vorbis requires an Ogg Vorbis compatible player such as Winamp, Foobar2000 or VLC Media player
aacPlus requires an aacPlus player such as Winamp 5.08+, Foobar2000 or VLC Media player
Software
Foobar2000
iTunes
VLC Player
Winamp
Radio on DAB
All DAB radio stations are on National DAB multiplexes Digital One & Sound Digital, unless otherwise specified.
(L) London DAB multiplex, check to see if the station is available in your area at: http://www.wohnort.org/DAB/ukloc.html
Absolute Radio Stations
Absolute Radio stations broadcast in a variety of formats:
AAC+ 64k, AAC+ 128k, MP3 32k, MP3 128k, Ogg Vorbis 16k, Ogg Vorbis 160k, Ogg FLAC 1Mb
For more information see: http://absoluteradio.co.uk/listen/links/
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