Review: An Introduction to FM Radio Receivers
Other than superior battery technology, the most common request of iPod owners up until recently was an FM radio receiver - a way to listen to terrestrial radio through your iPod’s earbuds, wherever you go. Apple repeatedly declined to integrate the feature into iPods, but third-parties accomplished FM radio tuning through $40 to $70 add-ons, and in early 2006 Apple released its own iPod Radio Remote and firmware to support tuning on the iPod’s screen. None of these devices includes an AM tuner, but combined FM/AM receivers are now found in several iPod speaker systems.
All of the portable options tested through early 2006 offer an additional feature beyond radio tuning - wired remote controls, iPod volume enhancement, and/or FM transmission. Audio quality is better than we’d initially expected, and tuning is generally easy, though none of the options is as convenient (or portable) as having a tuner integrated into the iPod. Our reviews of these FM receivers can be read here.