Other than superior battery technology, iPod owners have repeatedly asked for an FM radio receiver – a way to listen to terrestrial radio through your iPod’s earbuds, wherever you go. Apple has declined to integrate the feature into iPods, but third-parties have now accomplished this through $40 to $70 FM tuning add-ons. Though none of them includes an AM tuner, there are also FM/AM receivers built into several iPod speaker systems now or soon to be available.
All of the portable options tested through 2005 offer an additional feature beyond radio tuning – two serve as wired remote controls, one as an iPod volume enhancer. 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.