Back in 2004, most cell phones came with radio functionality. You can easily tune in to your favorite local radio station whether if they are on FM (Frequency Modulation) or AM (Amplitude modulation). Unfortunately, the radio app, that some of us surely enjoyed with our phone back then, were just experimental marketing. It turns out that manufacturers and brands concluded most consumers, if not all, will not use the radio function of their phones.
With that in mind, aren’t you wondering why your Android smartphone doesn’t have a radio app or an FM transmitter app at least? Well, that’s because mobile phone providers disabled it. They claim that consumers prefer to customize and stream news or music online instead of listening to the radio. Furthermore, this is also an opportunity for them to earn money by selling data to their customers.
We beg to differ here on JoyofAndroid. We prefer to have the radio function enabled for all smartphones. This is for the best interest of every end-consumers since, in times of calamity, the internet and online services are not so reliable.
3 Best FM Transmitter App for Android Smartphones
So with that in mind, we listed down 3 of the best FM transmitter apps for Android. If you’re looking for a way to listen to the radio using your smartphone then this article is for you. We listed down 3 of the best apps that you can use to either listen to FM or AM.
The selected apps are capable of making your smartphone play and listen to your local radio stations. It’s like having an FM radio app or TuneIn app.
So without further ado, let’s unlock the hidden FM Tuner in your Android phone:
- Please do note that not all smartphones are capable of receiving an FM signal. Some can while others cannot.
- There’s really no specific way to determine if your smartphone is capable or not other than trying the first app in this list.
NextRadio – The Best App for Listening to Terrestrial FM Radio
If there’s an app specifically developed to make use of a phones modem with an activated FM receiver chip, it’s NextRadio app. The app basically lets you listen to your local radio station like how traditional radio devices work.
The app works by receiving a signal from the FM terrestrial radio signal. By doing so, you will be able to listen to any of your local radio stations without data connection or internet.
Unfortunately, if the FM receiver chip of your smartphone is not activated, then you won’t be able to use this app. Furthermore, you pretty much can’t do anything about it. Your only choice is to listen to online radios.
If this app works for you, do keep note that the app requires the use of a wired headphone as its medium for receiving radio signals. Your wired earphone acts as an antenna.
Refer here for a complete list of supported devices.
Note: If you are unable to find this app on your Google Play store app, chances are, your smartphone doesn’t have an activated FM receiver chip. If that’s the case, ultimately, you’re done. You can’t do anything about it.
Spirit2 – The Best Over-the-Air FM Radio App for Rooted/AOSP ROM’d Android Phones
If your smartphone is included in the list of supported devices for the NextRadio app but unable to use or install the actual app, then you might want to try the Spirit2 app. The Sprit2 app is an app that’s quite similar to the first app in this list. The only difference between this app and the first one is that this app requires a rooted Android device. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use this app.
The app basically utilizes the FM receiver chip to allow your phone to listen to your a local radio station. It does, however, requires an earphone/headphone as an antenna.
If you want to use this app, make sure to know how to root an Android smartphone. You can learn more about Android rooting by reading our “How to Root Android” guide.
It is also worth noting that this app was developed by a single developer named Mike Reid. He started developing this app in early 2012 and his journey in developing this app has ended around 2015. You can check out his history of developing this app of XDA-Forums.
- The JoyofAndroid team would like to remind our readers that we are not affiliated to any of the download links/sources for this app.
- joyofandroid.com and its staff will not be responsible for the following:
- any possible damages that may occur from downloading the app from mentioned sources.
- any damages caused by rooting your Android device.
- The requirements for this app to work must be done at your own risk.
List of Supported Devices:
Phones running “Compatible AOSP”** ROMs:
- Samsung GS3 GT-I9300
- Samsung GS2 GT-I9100
- Samsung GS1 GT-I9000
- Samsung Note2 GT-N7100
- Samsung Note1 GT-N7000
- HTC One (GPE requires BT off)
- HTC OneXL LTE, OneS, Evo 4G LTE (2013 CM11 only. 2014 kernels broke FM)
- LG G2 D802 International
- Sprint LS980
- Motorola Moto G
- Xperia T
Lastly, phones with Qualcomm WCN3660 or compatible FM/BT/WiFi chips as well as Qualcomm WDC9310.
Radio FM – The Best Online Internet Radio App for Android
If all else fails, that could only mean that your smartphone has its FM receiver chip fully disabled. Rendering your phone the inability to listen to your local radio stations without a data connection or the internet, over-the-air. If this is the case, then the next best thing that we can recommend is the Radio FM app. The best app for streaming online internet radio all around the globe.
Radio FM is the only app in the Play store that’s offering the true Radio Experience with best tuned featured for FREE, meaning it doesn’t have any in-app ads. There are a lot of things you can do with this app and you can learn all of them by visiting the developer’s website.
The best thing about this app other than its features is that its compatibility with Android Auto, Google Chromecast, and works well with Android Wearable devices. Cool right?
Those are the 3 best FM transmitter apps for Android in every possible case. However, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of having any of the listed apps, then we highly recommend getting an FM Modulator Adapter for your smartphone instead.
Doosl Wireless FM Transmitter Modulator Adapter for Smartphones – $12.95
The Doosl Universal FM Transmitter Adapter is a portable FM Receiver device that works on most mobile devices, including Android phones, with 3.5mm audio jack. It can also be used on most devices with 3.5mm audio jack such as cars, stereos, TVs, and more! It has an internal 300mAh rechargeable battery that’s rated to last for 10 hours continuous play. It also supports hands-free phone conversation through the car stereo for safe driving.
Related Questions People Ask About
How to Use FM Radio on Your Android?
Most Android smartphones nowadays are unable to receive FM radio signals which ultimately prevents them from using FM Radio. To use FM Radio on your Android, download the app called NextRadio on the Google Play store. If the app is available on for download on your phones Google Play app, then you will be able to use the FM Radio of your Android through the app. Otherwise, your Android doesn’t support FM Radio functionality.
How to unlock the hidden FM Tuner in your Android phone?
To unlock the hidden FM Tuner in your Android phone, go to the Google Play store through the Google Play app. Search for the app called NextRadio. If the app is available for download, then you can use the hidden FM tuner of your Android phone through the app. Otherwise, it means that your phone has no FM Tuner at all.
How to Activate an FM Chip on Android
To activate the FM Receiver Chip on Android, ensure that the chip is activated by default by installing the app called NextRadio from the Google Play store. If this app is not available for your phone, it means that the FM Receiver chip of your Android phone has been fully disabled by the manufacturer. You can, however, try the Spirit2 app if the NextRadio app is not working for you. Learn more about the Spirit2 app here.
Why You Can’t Listen to Radio On Your Smartphone
Most handset smartphone models nowadays don’t support the use of Radio. It has been like this since around 2008. It is an undeniable fact that the Radio functionality for phones is dying out. As manufacturers and brands move to a more profitable solution by means of data connectivity and online radio streaming. However, there are still a lot of phones that still have this functionality. Samsung’s 2019 Flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S10+, still has FM Radio functionality available which is great.
For a complete list of Android smartphones that features FM Radio functionality, refer to this list.
We hope that this article guide was helpful to you. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, do let us know in the comment section below!