Changes to Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute Radio 00s

We’re making some changes to how we broadcast Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute Radio 00s so we can bring you two brand new radio stations, Absolute Radio 60s – the home of the Beatles, Stones and Motown and Absolute Radio 70s – the UK’s Only 70s Radio Station.

We’ll still be broadcasting Absolute Classic Rock in all the towns and cities we currently do on DAB Digital Radio, at a reduced bit-rate of 64k from midnight tonight. And we’ll still be broadcasting Absolute Radio 00s in London on DAB Digital Radio, at a reduced bit-rate of 64k from midnight on the 28th of November.

What is a bit rate we hear you cry? Simply put – DAB Digital Radio broadcasts as data which is decoded by your radio. You shouldn’t notice too much difference as the majority of DAB radios are the mono, one-speaker ‘kitchen’ type and we’re now using equipment for better sound quality with lower bitrates.

We want to provide services to as many listeners as possible but have to consider economic realities and the cost of bandwidth. For the same reason, we won’t be broadcasting Absolute Radio Classic Rock on Freesat Digital TV anymore from midnight on the 7th of December, but you can catch us on Virgin Media and Sky.

We will also continue to broadcast at 192k online at  and  to bring you the best in classic rock and noughties music through our High Quality player. You can find more information about how to listen to Absolute Classic Rock on DAB Digital Radio here:

Don’t forget about our mobile listen apps, Apple iPad listen apps and online Radioplayer here:

More information about how to listen to Absolute Radio 00s on DAB Digital Radio and our mobile listen apps, Apple iPad listen apps and online Radioplayer here:


Comments (19)

  1. Gordon S Valentine @ November 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    What is the point of a music station in mono? I hope they never turn FM off. Since DAB sounds like LW radio now.

    And I don’t see how broadcasting on Freesat costs you money for bandwidth, when if uses the same bandwidth has SKY does, you just pay to be on the EPG. Funny you are coming off the UK’s fastest growing digital TV provider.

    So I guess you will never add 90s to Freesat then?

  2. andrew campbell @ November 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    looking foreward to absolute 60s-having to listen on an internet radio.a great shame this has not been put on the yorkshire regional mxr as this area of north yorkshire(malton and ryedale) is crying out for an oldies station particualy the 60s.we are covered with virtualy every other types of wishes andrew campbell.

  3. Martin Phillp @ November 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for choice, but what’s the point of continuing the Classic Rock station which is in a saturated market with Planet Rock and Real XS providing a similar product?

  4. Tumshie @ November 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi all, thanks for your feedback on this so far. We understand your concerns about the changes but we’ve had to make them to provide a choice of services to as many listeners as possible while considering the economic impact. We hope you like our two new stations, Absolute Radio 60s launches tomorrow so give it a whirl and see what you think!

  5. Stephen Brown @ November 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I think Classic rock is great, i listen to it through Virgin TV. I would be happy to have this and Absolute 60s in Reading on DAB even if it is in mono. I listen to Absolute 90s on DAB in mono and I think the quality is listenable. I would rather have stations that I like in mono than not have them! This is coming from someone who listens through earplugs and on a twin speaker DAB radio. So please can we have Classic Rock and 60s in Reading on DAB?

  6. Lewis @ November 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Shame. I thought A00s was sounding great and I listened to it a fair bit (apart from COC) – but this news will ruin the station for me. Since I listen in the car and not a crappy mono radio in my home; I’m not deaf either!

    I’m sure it’ll be great to tune in to COC with a choice of 64k mono all the way up to an ear tingling 112k joint stereo on my radio.

    Well done OGS, you’ve over saturated your bandwidth to such a terrible degree, it’s almost pointless listening any more, it just hurts my ears.

    Good job T-Mobile have decent 3G coverage around here.

  7. Gerry1 @ November 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Like most people I have two ears and I regard it as a retrograde step that even more DAB services are being dumbed down to lo-fi mono. Mono sounds particularly miserable in the car and I simply won’t bother with this ’405-line radio’. Even more absurd is to simulcast the breakfast show across most of them.

    If you really must have so many stations, go the whole hog and squash them down to 48kb/s mono, but use the vacated space to provide all your services in high quality stereo DAB+. Too bad if Ofcom don’t like it, tell them you’ll pull the plug altogether if they stop you !

  8. Ceejay @ November 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Please can you stop the claim ‘better sound quality with lower bitrates’. What you mean is that the new CODECs may be slightly better sounding than a 64kbps mono station would have sounded in the past. But let’s be clear – as has been demonstrated with Absolute Radio 90s, the sound quality even on a Mono kitchen radio is degraded from that presently enjoyed at 128kbps Joint Stereo because the top end frequency response above 12kHz is lost.

    I have a great sounding DAB Stereo in my car – pity that the only high quality stereo stations will soon be the BBC ones (and possibly Classic FM)…….

  9. David, Northern Ireland @ November 21, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Just bloody great as none of the Absolute Stations are available on DAB in Northern Ireland! I got freesat so I could listen to ACR and now you’re going to stop broadcasting on Freesat??? I don’t see why I should have to move my computer about the house so that I can listen to ACR! As for reducing the bit rate…… it will seem like ACR is broadcasting on 1215AM!!! Cable is not available in my rural area.

  10. Marcus @ November 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    “What is a bit rate we hear you cry?” — It’s a bit rate that will make music fans cry! This is a very sad decision which I am certain will prove highly unpopular among your listeners. Led Zeppelin and the Stones in mono — a mash of sound frequencies, the brilliancy of rock legends reduced to unbearable noise.

  11. Bollard @ November 21, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m far from fussy when it comes to quality and am happy with 80s at 112k stereo, but 90s sounds atrocious in comparison. Let’s face it, 80s wouldn’t have so many listeners if it sounded that bad. Choice over quality is never going to be a winner.

  12. Andy Street @ November 22, 2011 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    I can’t help but think that you’ve overlooked the rather obvious solution to the DAB bitrate issue. According to Wikipedia you have 352kb of capacity on Digital One and 8 stations in the Absolute brand so why not put all 8 stations on Digital One at 32kb? I think this would be an improvement for the following reasons:

    1) It would improve the coverage for those of us who are not lucky enough to be served by one of the regional muxes.

    2) The slots on the regional muxes could then be disposed of saving money on expensive bandwidth.

    3) Now that you’ve got new encoders which make 64kb sound like 128kb running Absolute Radio and Absolute 80s at 112kb is just squandering bandwidth.

    4) As you point out, most people will be listening on inexpensive kitchen radios or battling with background noise in cars, busy offices or building sites. Therefore the average listener wouldn’t notice the difference between 64kb and 32kb and it would only affect audiophiles like Gordon S Valentine who claim they can tell the difference between 64kb and 112kb.

  13. Martin @ November 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s great to know that I can listen to Absolute Classic Rock in good quality on the Internet, but how do I get the Internet into my car? I used to enjoy Classic Rock, now it hurts my ears. And none of your new stations sound any better. Really disappointing.

  14. Marty from new yawk @ November 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Absolute Radio 60s now playing in new yawk! Never mind!

  15. PurpleRain @ November 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion the biggest problem is that we don’t get real high quality sound even via the Internet. Although the bitrate of the streams is high (e.g. 192 kbps or even 1 mbps) the sound itself is kind of noisy (basically all of your streams is concerned, unfortunately). To be honest, I’m not a technical expert name this phenomenon, but I think my ears are OK, while the sound is ABSOLUTEly not. It has been the case for several months. If you don’t believe me, let me know. I can demonstrate what I’m talking about with the help of recordings. I hope you can bring back the “good old” sound quality that was perfect and I can become an Absolute Radio listener again.

  16. PurpleRain @ November 24, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    To be more specific, the noisiness mentioned is fortunately not true for 60s and 90s, but very very annoying when listening to any of the streams of the main station (Absolute Radio), or 80s or 00s. Please please do something about it. Thank you very much in advance.

  17. Simon Barneyy @ February 27, 2012 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Please please please fix the feed to my iphone! I’m in Australia and I love to record ACR to my iphone and then stream to my car stereo. All too often there are problems and it doesnt work – all your competitors do though!

    Please fix it! (ta luvs)

  18. Martin Cohen @ April 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    While I see a reason that early ’60s music might be reasonably broadcast in mono as that is how the majority of it was produced, from the late 60s onward stereo was a fundamental creative tool of music production and its summing to mono dull and pointless in the extreme. The idea that the most modern of broadcast technologies resorts to a retrograde step like this is beyond idiotic. As a professional musician I will not be listening to any of your broadcasts.

  19. One Golden Square @ April 25, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Hi Martin – thanks for your feedback. Our policy is to provide services to as many listeners as possible, but to make this financially viable during tough economic times, we had to make changes to our bandwidth last year. You can listen in high quality via our mobile apps and radioplayer, or maybe try some of the other great stations in our network? Details here

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