Improve FM radio reception- these 7 life hacks help

Your favorite song has just been announced by the radio host and you can look forward to a few lively minutes. But as soon as the song starts, that stupid noise starts again that has always bothered you. And the other station, which also plays your style of music often, apparently does not receive your radio at all. But don’t let your head hang down – there are some tips and tricks on how you can significantly improve your radio reception and in future access all the stations that are available in the frequency list.

If you do not receive all the stations on the radio or hear strong noise, simple life hacks can help to improve your radio reception. We show which are.

Improve FM radio reception with these hacks:

Make settings on the radio

In order to improve the reception of your radio, you do not have to run wildly around the room with the device and hold the antenna in all conceivable directions if you are reluctant to change the location of your radio. The settings on the device itself can help.

  • If your radio has a choice between mono and stereo reception, set the switch or button to mono. Less data has to be received for mono signals, which can often noticeably improve the quality of the transmitter. In any case, you can only experience the stereo sound experience with a mobile radio in the immediate vicinity of the device.
  • If your radio is set to automatically search for stations, try the manual station search as an alternative. Because the actual radio frequency of the transmitter can always deviate a little from the specified frequency range.
  • If your radio is powered by batteries, these could soon be empty and thus have a negative impact on reception. So insert new batteries or freshly charged batteries and compare the reception.
  • Before turning to the antenna, as the penultimate point, check possible sources of interference that are in the immediate vicinity of the radio. Cheap power supplies in lamps can generate interference frequencies. There are also a few wireless cameras available in Germany that use radio service frequencies for flight navigation. These disrupt the radio reception massively. In general, you should remove all electrical devices from the immediate vicinity of your radio to test whether reception improves in this way.
  • If none of this helps, change the location of your radio. Since walls absorb radio signals, radio reception at the window is often better.

Amplify the FM signal with a long radio antenna

Alternatively, the antenna can also be extended. To do this, remove the insulation on the last centimeter of the antenna cable and connect it with a thin wire. This should be about as thick as the antenna and must also be stripped at the contact point.
  1. Obtain an insulated wire that is about as thick as your radio’s wire antenna.
  2. Remove the insulation from the last inch of the antenna cable and from the beginning of your wire.
  3. Now connect the antenna to the bare part of your wire. You can either twist the two cables together or solder them together.
Extend the FM antenna

Extend the FM antenna

Relocate the location of the radio – better reception at the window

Since walls absorb radio signals, radio reception at the window is normally better. If possible, move your FM radio closer to the window or move the antenna there.

Depending on the type of radio, a short antenna or an external antenna may already be installed on your device, or there may be a connection for an external antenna that you can purchase from the electronics store.

  • You should first swivel a fixed, short antenna in all possible directions to optimize reception. If this measure does not bring the desired success, you can simply extend the antenna with a copper wire that has been wound together. Even simple aluminum foil could bring the desired success. However, it is important that the wire comes into contact with the antenna over a large area.
  • If there is only a short antenna on your radio, you can also retrofit your device if the necessary connections are available. If in doubt, take a look at the operating instructions. Make sure that a telescopic antenna measures no less than 35 centimeters if possible. A reasonable wire antenna – that’s a thin insulated wire – should be at least 1.5 meters long.
  • An extendable telescopic antenna should always be fully extended to ensure the best possible sound. Even minimal changes in the alignment can then do a lot.
  • A wire antenna should not simply disappear into the tangle of cables behind the device, but should preferably be mounted vertically on the wall using adhesive tape.

Change the location of your FM radio

Connect the FM radio to the house radio antenna

If you have a house radio antenna, you can try to connect the antenna cable to the middle pin of the antenna socket. In order to avoid loss of quality, it is advisable to ensure a firm connection, for example by soldering.
Connect the radio to the house antenna

Connect the radio to the house antenna

FM amplifier improves reception

FM amplifiers are available in different versions. For example, you can set up an indoor antenna. This is placed at the point of reception with the strongest reception in the room and connected to your radio. Another, somewhat more complex option would be an outdoor antenna. Cheap amplifiers are available on Amazon from just 30 euros .
  • With an  you can also improve your radio reception.
  • These are small boxes that are plugged into a socket and connected to the radio antenna. In this way, noise can be effectively eliminated.

There are all sorts of accessories in specialist shops with which you can improve the reception of your radio.

  • Use an FM amplifier to optimize the radio signal. These palm-sized devices are usually plugged into an outlet and connected to the radio antenna.
  • The purchase of a so-called indoor antenna can also bring the desired success. This is screwed onto the radio and set up where the signal is strongest – usually near a window. These antennas usually have an amplifier built in and can be controlled separately.
  • If you have a house radio antenna, you can also connect the antenna cable to the middle pin of the antenna socket.
FM amplifier improves reception

FM amplifier improves reception

2. Aluminum foil & wire as an antenna extension

  • Especially if your antenna is broken or kinked, you can try wrapping some aluminum foil in an elongated form around the antenna to artificially lengthen it.
  • Alternatively, try to tie a wire to the antenna tip instead of the aluminum foil. The insulation of the wire must be removed at the connection point to the antenna. You should also remove the insulation from the end of the wire that acts as the antenna tip.

3. Manual instead of automatic station search

  • If you have a radio that automatically searches for the right stations, sometimes it helps to search manually. Depending on your location, the radio frequency of the transmitter deviates somewhat from the specified frequency range.

4. More antenna, more reception

  • Screw an external telescopic antenna with a length of at least 35 centimeters to the radio, if you have a connection for it.
  • With a coax connection, you take a wire antenna with a length of 1.5 meters  .

Alternative: radio with LAN connection

If all of these measures do not improve, it is recommended to purchase an Internet radio. With this, you can listen to radio stations from all over the world without any noise – provided you have an appropriate internet connection.
Internet radios do not require FM reception
A radio with a LAN connection receives the stations over the Internet. Such a device is registered like a computer in a network and connected to the network router via network cable or wireless radio connection. Not only can you enjoy music without noise, but you can also listen to a wide variety of stations from around the world.
You get even better sound quality with a digital radio. This means that you can receive your previous radio programs and others free of charge via antenna using the digital transmission standards DAB and DAB +. With such a device, the sound appears more spatial and less compressed. However, these differences can be perceived much more clearly with headphones than with the mostly small speakers on the radios.

Conclusion

Even if you still listen to FM radio in the traditional way, you can usually deal with poor reception using simple means. Either noise can be prevented by simple settings or improvements can be made to the antenna easily. Or you can buy a digital radio or an internet radio – then the noise on the radio is a thing of the past.

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