How does FM radio work

Android: This is how you can listen to FM radio on your smartphone

Listening to music on the go is part of everyday life for you? Sure, because your music collection is almost inexhaustible via streaming providers such as Deezer, Spotify and iTunes. But what if you can't find your favorite station on the internet and just want to listen to classic FM radio again? Some Android smartphones have a built-in FM tuner and the associated app is preinstalled.

You can do so much with your smartphone: make calls, surf, navigate and so on. But what about the good old radio reception? The portable radio can even stay at home on the remote quarry pond - especially with somewhat older Android smartphones, an FM radio is already built-in and the associated app is included.

How to activate the FM radio on Android

To find out whether your smartphone has an FM module installed, first go through the list of preinstalled apps. If there is an “FM radio” or “radio” underneath, you know that your smartphone supports reception. Now connect a headset or headphones to ensure reception. The headphone cable doubles as an antenna. If the app is not available, you will unfortunately not be able to listen to the FM radio on your smartphone.

Record stations, save favorites and RDS

If the app is available, you first carry out a channel search. You will then receive a list of all the stations available in your area and can select them. If the settings of your app allow it, activate RDS (Radio Data System) to display additional information such as the current track and other information. You can then usually add your favorite channels as favorites and put them in a quick start list. In addition, some apps offer the option of recording programs. If possible, you should choose your SD card as the storage location. Otherwise the device memory may soon be full.

After you have carried out these steps, nothing stands in the way of listening to the radio. However, there are also disadvantages to the classic radio variant:

These are the pros and cons of FM tuning

Classic VHF reception has been around for more than 100 years. Accordingly, the technology is not only largely mature, but also often works behind thick concrete walls, in tunnels or on remote lakes. In addition, the following applies:

  • Sometimes you can receive local stations via FM that have no internet offer.
  • The radio reception costs you little or no data volume.
  • Your processor and thus your battery are stressed significantly less.
  • FM radio can still work in remote areas with no cellular service.

But there are also disadvantages:

  • The VHF reception is prone to interference and is not exactly a pleasure, especially in the car or when traveling by train.
  • The sound quality is often better with Internet broadcasters.
  • Many Android smartphones do not have a built-in FM chip or radio app installed.
  • The reception of digital radio (DAB +) is not possible with the FM app.

Do you use your FM radio on your smartphone? Or do you prefer to listen to internet radio stations? Let us know your opinion using the comment function.