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How Does Phone FM Radio Work?

how does phone fm radio work

FM radio was very famous before the mass insurgence in technology with new devices like phones and tablets that rendered it obsolete. The question is: Can you get FM radio on your phone as you do in your car? YES, you can!

Many phones have built-in chipsets that support a wide range of wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM radio.

Technology companies disabled the feature until a few years ago, typically at the request of wireless carriers who wanted users to stream music and podcasts and consume more bandwidth. A consumer-activated system like FM radio could provide a free alternative.

Let’s look at the technology that powers this functionality and see how FM radio works on a cell phone.

How Does FM Radio Work on a Cell Phone?

Your device must have an FM chip installed to play an FM signal. This chip can process incoming FM radio waves. Some Android phones currently available on the market have these chips, allowing them to receive FM radio.

Suppose your phone has an inbuilt chipset and the circuitry to link that chip to an FM antenna. In that case, you can quickly turn it into an FM radio.

All you will need is an application like TuneIn Radio or Next Radio to tune in to the signal and an antenna. Headphones or a non-wireless speaker system can also act as an antenna for the FM radio.

Is There an FM Radio Application on My Phone?

Checking the apps that came with your phone is the easiest way to see if it includes FM radio. As part of the process of getting the FM chip functional, the phone’s manufacturer may have built an application for the radio. This application is usually named FM Radio on your phone by the manufacturers.

You can load it and tune the app like a traditional radio if you have it.

Besides that, this radio application plays music without using any cellular data. As a result, the FM radio app is an excellent way to listen to music without spending money. Extremely convincing, isn’t it?!

What is the best way to listen to music without using data on a phone? Consider all the radios that have been installed in automobiles for years, long before cellular data was a thing, and you have your answer!

Some Phones Don’t Have an FM Radio

If you can’t get FM radio on your phone, it is probably because of one of these issues.

I. There is no FM chip in the phone.

You may recall that we stated before that many Android phones include an FM chip. It is due to the fact that not every tech giant includes it. Apple, for instance, has never had the option of FM radio on its phones.

II. The Phone isn’t set up to receive FM radio signals.

Even if a phone has an FM radio chip, it may still be unable to function. It might be because the phone companies failed to set up the necessary link or because the carriers refused to allow the feature to function on our phone.

Companies have been criticized for this due to the fact that radio signals for phones are a useful function. It’s thought that companies do this because it forces individuals to use cellular data, forcing them to pay for music, podcasts, and even internet radio.

Why Do I Need Headphones To Listen to FM Radio on My Phone?

It is possible that when you listen to FM radio on your phone, it will prompt you to plug in headphones. However, this isn’t a choice; if no headphones are detected, the phone will not play the radio.

Why can’t the phone simply play the FM radio through its speakers?

The lack of an antenna on the phone’s FM chip compels the use of wired headphones. As a result, it requires an additional antenna to pick up radio signals.

Your wired headphones, it turns out, can actually take up radio signals mainly because your phone must take up the signal through the cables in your headphones. It must be connected via a cable. Your Bluetooth or TWS earphones will not work with it.

What Devices Are Capable of Receiving FM Radio?

FM radios have been enabled in the chipsets of many tech giant manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, and Motorola.
Next Radio, an FM radio app, has provided a list of devices and carriers that are compatible with its software, which you can download from here.

The software is capable of detecting the FM chip once you have downloaded it to your phone.


Numerous new technologies have emerged in recent years. Radios with built-in antenna are now available, as well as radio channels that may be streamed over the Internet (internet radio is a very old technology, but only recently has the idea of internet radio achieved mass-market penetration).

Surprisingly, the technology required to create and transmit radio waves is relatively inexpensive. Radio transmission technology is an excellent example of cost-effectiveness. As such, while fewer and fewer phones utilize FM radio in modern times, that doesn’t mean that it’s going anywhere.

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