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How does FM Radio Works on Smartphones? Why does it need Headphones?

Ever wondered how FM radio works on your handsets? Let's explore in this article

Our smartphones are incredible devices that provide us with numerous features to use but we seldom use all of its features, one feature that we probably never use is the FM radio. FM radio works on smartphones without any internet, all you have to do is plug in your headphones and you’re good to go. But have you ever wondered How does FM Radio Works on Smartphones? Why does it need Headphones?

This small function of your smartphone, when activated, will allow you to tune in to your favorite radio stations wherever you are and listen to music—all for free. Let’s delve deeper into the discussion to see how FM Radio works on smartphones and why listening to it requires headphones.

How does FM Radio work on smartphones?

The act of delivering energy from one location to another without the use of a direct wired link is referred to as radio. Radio waves flow wirelessly from one piece of equipment called the transmitter to another piece of equipment called the receiver. Your smartphone has an FM receiver chip that allows you to listen to FM radio.

How does FM radio works on Smartphones

The smartphone receives FM signals through this chip, analyses them, and then sends the music to the wired headphones connected to the device. However, simply inserting an FM chip into the phone will not function until the FM chip manufacturer has worked out the technicalities with FM radio stations in your area.

FM receivers are fairly prevalent in phones these days, owing to the Qualcomm chipset that most handsets today share. Your phone, presuming it was made within the last few years, should be able to connect to FM signals and provide broadcasts directly to your ears without consuming any data. This method also uses far less battery than streaming via mobile data. Because the FM receiver uses the wires as an antenna, the only requirement is a wired headset or earbuds.

Why does FM radio needs headphones

This is what it goes like: Sound energy is captured from a recording or a voice, and then converted into electrical energy. This energy is then directed into a big antenna, which amplifies the electric energy. Depending on how far you want the signal to go from the antenna, you can regulate the boosting process.

An antenna is required for FM radio to work on smartphones. Mobile phones don’t have an antenna for the FM radio built in, relying instead on the wires inside your earphone cable to pick up the signal. This is also why, if you try to run the FM radio app on a phone without headphones plugged in, it will refuse to play the audio. A longer antenna equates to a longer wavelength. Headphones, you see, are the ideal antenna! Headphones are made out of insulated metal wires with a coil encircling a magnet on one end and a thick metal jack on the other. It is worth mentioning that FM radio will not work with wireless earphones, as a wire is necessary for it’s working.

It functions as an antenna by capturing the energy contained in a radio wave and delivering it to a tuner and allows you to enjoy your favorite music!!

How can you tell if your phone has an active FM radio?

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 maker will have created an app for the radio. This app will be referred to as “FM Radio”. You may load it and tune it just like a traditional radio if you have this app.

Furthermore, this radio software plays music without using any cellular data. However FM radio is one such app where we can enjoy our favorite music without having a concern to spend money. There’s a good probability that the FM receiver chipset in your phone is already installed. However, many of the smartphone brands, including Apple don not include a FM receiver anymore. For instance, the latest models of the iPhone do not have any FM radio functionalities. In this case you may have to install a third-party software to listen to and tune into your favorite radio stations.

Even if your phone has an active FM receiver, your carrier may restrict access to the chip in your phone; nevertheless, this is largely dependent on the carrier with which your smartphone is associated.

Other options if you don’t have a FM radio on your phone

FM radio works on smartphones of all the major brands, however some smartphones don’t have this feature. Don’t be disheartened if your smartphone does not support FM radio. There are a number of other options that can enable it for you:

  1. There are dozens of radio apps available on the Google Play Store that don’t require a built-in FM chipset to listen to your favorite radio stations.
  2. You may buy FM radio headphones that have an FM chip built in and operate as a transmitter, allowing you to receive whatever you choose.
  3. You can also try an FM radio Bluetooth adapter, which you can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. There are several models available on the market to pick from.

Final words

FM radio works on smartphones very easily. You may tune in to your favorite radio stations anywhere you go by utilising an FM radio app on your smartphone that works with your phone’s built-in radio receiver. Enjoy the local stations while also receiving regular news and weather updates, all without worrying about data overages or a lack of Wi-Fi connection.  Whatever your reason for wanting to listen to FM radio, you may do it not just in a variety of methods but also with your Smartphone.

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