The Power of Radio 3


Here at EJJ HQ, we’re big fans of Radio 3, the BBC’s classical music station. The station has an enviable reputation for quality broadcasting which goes back seven decades, with many notable innovations in both drama and music.

In that time, the station has also been at the forefront of audio developments. These include the introduction of stereo broadcasting in 1962, experimental quadraphonics in 1974, and more recently, binaural and 4-speaker surround sound from recent BBC Proms. In addition to broadcasting on FM and DAB, evening concerts are available in ‘HD’ quality via the Radio 3 website. This is a 320 kbps AAC stream that – in terms of audio quality – BBC recording engineers say matches the direct output from the concert hall mixing desk. If you follow the BBC Research Blog you’ll discover more interesting ideas under investigation, including object-based sound and surround sound with height (via Ambisonics).

This year, Radio 3 celebrates 70 years of broadcasting, from its beginnings on 29 September 1946 as The Third Programme. As part of the celebration, historian David Hendry gathered 70 memorable moments from the station’s archives and these have been spread across the schedule over the last four months.

Now you can now find these gems gathered together in one place on the BBC Radio 3 website. They’re well worth exploring – click here to view the selection.

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