Mercedes DAB Digital Radio Information.

Mercedes still do not fit DAB (Digital radio) as standard to most of their vehicles in most of their markets. However, countries are beginning to turn of FM radio and switch to DAB Digital radio, and this site will help you chose which DAB radio solution is best for your vehicle.

You have two basic technology choices, an Integrated DAB Radio solution where the DAB radio is controlled from the existing car's stereo controles - either because the car stereo understands DAB or where the Integrated DAB tuner pretends to be a CD changer and the car stereo does not understand DAB but does support an optional CD changer.

For most Mercedes Benz owners having an integrated DAB solution is far preferable to the alternatives (which can be significantly less costly) - the alternative DAB solutions include "FM repeater" where DAB is re-broadcast as FM, or just using the stereo's AUX input.

Integrated DAB solutions:

Mercedes vehicles have had a number of different technology head units, and within each technology there is a range of units: -

  1. Audio-20.   The basic system, in newer cars this can have an integrated CD changer
  2. Audio-50.   This is the basic (but relatively rare in the UK) navigation system, on early vehicles this system was not a full colour system and has a small screen
  3. COMAND.   This is the premium system with full colour mapping, and some generations of the technology have an integrated DVD changer.

Head Unit Generations (from about 2002 onward)

  1. NTG1.  This was the first systems that used the MOST (digital fibre) network between the various optional control units.  It appeared in the W211 E class in 2002 and in derivatives such as the W219 CLS, also in the R230 SL (from mid 2004) and the W220 S and W215 CL (from mid 2003) and the R171 SLK.  It was phased out completely in mid 2008.  This system does not understand DAB tuners but does understand CDC and so a CDC emulating integrated DAB tuner such as the in2digi D-MB-1 is ideal. This D-MB-1 DAB tuner uses a windscreen stick-on antenna.  All NTG1 systems can support the in2digi D-MB-1.
  2. NTG2.  This was the cost reduced NTG1 system fitted across the standard model range (A, B, C, CLK, ML, GL, R) from mid 2004 until approx mid 2009 (or until the vehicle production stopped). Again thses cars do not understand DAB radio and thus the in2digi D-MB-1 device which emulates a CD changer must be used. Sadly, the Audio-20 and the Audio-50 do not support CD-Text, and thus the in2digi D-MB-1 is only useful if the vehicle has COMAND.
  3. NTG2.5.   This was the enhanced Stereo fitted from approx mid 2008 across the main model range (A, B, C, E, CLS, CLS, ML, GL, R, SL, SLK). NTG2.5 does understand the concept of DAB, and thus the tuner is fully integrated in that it is used through various specific DAB menus which appear alongside the FM/AM/LW/SW menu system.  Sadly however, it is only COMAND that can support this and not Audio-20 and for these vehicles with COMAND the ideal retrofit DAB tuner is the in2digi D-MB-2.
  4. NTG3.   NTG3 was fitted to the W221 S Class and the W216 CL class from initial production until mid 2008
  5. NTG3.5 This was fitted to the W221 S Class and the W216 CL class from mid 2008 (i.e the Model Year 2009) facelift.  The in2digi D-MB-2 should work on this vehicle, but it has not yet been tested.
  6. NTG4 (W204 C).   This was fitted from start of production in 2007 until the early 2011 facelift. Only the COMAND (colour screen satnav) system supports integrated DAB, and in this case the in2digi D-MB-2 DAB Tuner is the correct tuner for this vehicle. COMAND NTG4 can be identified easily because the screen opens up electrically when the unit is turned on.
  7. NTG4 (W212/W207 E).  Again, the in2digi D-MB-2 is the correct integrated DAB tuner for this vehicle.  On the W207/W212, as-well as COMAND, the Audio-50 and the Audio-20-with-CD-changer have the necessary fibre optic connection and support for integrated DAB. The basic Audio-20 with single CD does not have the MOST fibre optic connection to support integrated DAB, although of course switching from an Audio-20 single CD to an Audio-20-CDC or Audio-50 is just a case of changing the stereo unit, and these are commonly available used.
  8. NTG4.5.   NTG4.5 appeared on most vehicles between 2011/2012 and 2015. It was introduced on the W204 C class and rolled across the range (except for the S class and CL class) as cars were facelifted or introduced (such as the A and B class)
  9. NTG5 -  NTG5 is the latest system that appeared first with the launch of the W222 S class (in the form of NTG5*2) and in the W205 C class, and then as a cost reduced version (NTG5*1) in the rest of the range including the W212 E class, W176 A, W246 B, etc.  The new E class (W213) has NTG5.5.  There are no aftermarket retrofit solutions for these vehicles, but the factory DAB system can be retrofitted in many cases. For further details on this, please contact Comand.co.uk and ensure you give them your vehicles' VIN (chassis) number.

Considerations when using the in2digi D-MB-1 and the in2digi D-MB-2.

The D-MB-1 has a 5 volt feed for antenna, so there is a limited set of antenna that work well, and this needs attaching to the front windscreen. It is therefore supplied with an antenna.

The D-MB-2 has a 7.8V phantom feed, so works with many more aftermarket antenna, and the retailers of the product can supply an antenna known to work very well.  Notably, this voltage is the same as the factory antenna amplifiers, so it is possible to retrofit this using the factory antenna that appear in many Mercedes Benz vehicles as standard. This will however require a Mercedes Benz antenna amp suitable for the vehicle it is being installed in and a suitable extension lead fro the antenna. We suggest mounting the DAB tuner device near the antenna (and thus keeping the antenna short) and using a longer pair of fibres to connect the DAB tuner to the stereo as that will improve the DAB signal.

Installers:

In the UK we recommend Comand.co.uk for installation of in2digi products and for retrofitting the original factory systems, they are the experts on Mercedes Benz retrofits and own this website.

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