FM radio has stood the test of time. Despite streaming services and digital broadcasts, millions still rely on good old analog FM radio each day. The familiar hiss and crackle when you tune the dial takes you back. FM radio continues to have benefits that some newer technologies lack:
FM is free and accessible. You don’t need an internet connection, data plan, or paid subscription. As long as you have a radio and are within range of a station, you can listen for free. This makes FM radio ideal for many different situations.
It provides hyper-local content. FM stations broadcast regional, community focused shows and segments you can’t find elsewhere. This local connection keeps loyal listeners tuning in daily.
Emergency alerts come over FM. When disasters and crises occur, emergency information is broadcast over FM radio waves. This is a vital public safety function.
You don’t need WiFi or cellular service. FM radio works anywhere, unlike streaming which requires an internet connection. This means FM radio can be enjoyed without the aid of technology.
With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder FM radio tuners are still popular consumer devices. But what if your trusty old FM radio could do even more? Enter the era of FM tuners with Bluetooth connectivity.
Bluetooth FM radios add wireless audio streaming to traditional radio listening. Now you can take calls through the FM speaker and play podcasts, audiobooks, and music from your smartphone or tablet. Bluetooth connectivity makes a great feature for FM radios used in the home, office, car, and outdoors.
In this guide, we’ll highlight the top five FM radio models with Bluetooth based on reception, features, portability, and overall value. Let’s explore what to look for in an FM Bluetooth radio and the benefits this combo adds:
Benefits of FM Radio
For those needing a refresher, FM radio is the analog radio transmitted by local stations broadcasting programs, music, news, and more. It was invented in 1933 and became widespread by the 1950s.
FM radio remains popular worldwide. In the US, 93% of the population listens to FM radio each week. Other countries like Germany, Ireland, and Poland have even higher FM listenership rates.
Here are some of the reasons FM radio is still going strong in the digital era:
- Local content – FM radio provides community focused, hyper-local information not found on national broadcasts or streaming stations. Local DJs provide news, weather, traffic, and interviews for city residents.
- Emergency alerts – FM radio has a key role in public safety, broadcasting vital weather and emergency alerts. When disasters strike, FM keeps listeners informed.
- Free access – No subscription, wifi, cell service, or data plan is required. You just need an FM radio nearby a station. This free access is universal.
- Portability – FM radios are portable and work anywhere. You can easily listen on a commute, at the beach, while camping, or around the house.
- No technology needed – It’s accessible technology. Turn on an FM radio and listen – no fancy equipment required. This simplicity appeals to many users.
FM radio clearly still fills an important role. Now let’s look at how adding Bluetooth takes FM listening to the next level.
Bluetooth Radio Benefits
Bluetooth wireless technology has transformed the way we listen to audio on-the-go. It allows your devices to connect without messy cables. Through Bluetooth, you can wirelessly play music, take calls, listen to podcasts, and more.
Bluetooth connectivity has become a standard feature we expect in cars, headphones, speakers, and other audio gear. It’s also found a natural match in FM radios.
Bluetooth capability means your FM radio doubles as a wireless speaker system. Any audio from a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, or computer can be streamed to the FM radio. Bluetooth FM radios fill your living space with high-quality sound.
Here are some specific benefits Bluetooth connectivity adds to FM radios:
- Play wireless audio – Stream music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc from any app on your phone or tablet.
- Make hands-free calls – Answer calls through the FM speaker and use the built-in mic to talk hands-free.
- Use voice assistants – Access Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa with the touch of a button.
- Portable speaker – When not in radio mode, it functions as a wireless Bluetooth speaker.
- Multi-pairing – Connect and switch between multiple devices with the radio.
This versatility makes a Bluetooth FM radio useful anywhere – at home, in the office, camping, tailgating, and more. You get an all-in-one device for entertainment and information.
Key Features of Bluetooth FM Radios
With all models on the market, how do you determine the best Bluetooth FM radio? Here are the most important features and specs to evaluate:
- FM radio reception – Most importantly, it must capably receive both strong and weak FM signals. Sensitivity and lack of interference is key.
- Bluetooth version – Aim for the latest Bluetooth 5.0 or above. This enables faster pairing and audio streaming.
- Presets – Allows you to save favorite stations for quick one-button access. The more presets the better.
- Alarm clock – Wake up to either a buzzer or the radio. Some models have dual alarms.
- Sleep timer – Shuts the radio off automatically after a set time, great for listening while drifting off.
- Battery life – Rechargeable batteries that provide at least 6 hours of continuous play per charge. Some offer up to 12+ hours.
- Portability – Compact and lightweight models are ideal for use outdoors and on-the-go.
- Antenna – An external antenna improves FM reception compared to small internal antennas.
- Audio – Strong sound quality and volume from built-in speakers or a headphone jack.
- Display – An LCD screen allows viewing of info like stations, volume, and clock.
These features separate the best Bluetooth FM radios from the lower performing models. Keep them in mind as we review the top five picks.
The Top 5 Bluetooth FM Radios
After extensive research comparing dozens of models, these five rise above the rest. They earn high marks for reception, audio quality, feature sets, portability, and ease of use.
1. Sangean PR-D7W
Sangean is a top brand in radio technology, and this model tops our list. The PR-D7W offers excellent FM reception from its large telescopic antenna. It can save 60 presets for quick tuning all your favorite stations. Bluetooth pairs easily with phones and tablets for wireless audio streaming.
- Excellent FM sensitivity with large antenna
- 60 station presets
- RDS shows station data
- 7-day programmable alarm
- Auxiliary input and headphone jack
- Rechargeable battery provides hours of listening
Pros: Superb FM reception, ample presets, convenient RDS data, alarms, aux-in
Cons: Display is basic monochrome LCD
For superior reception and broadcast sound quality, the Sangean PR-D7W is hard to beat. It’s ideal for both radio enthusiasts and casual listeners alike.
2. Tyler TSR-105
The Tyler TSR-105 is packed with features including a whopping 400 station presets. It receives both FM and AM with its antenna. The radio alarm can wake you to either a buzzer or radio. There is a sleep timer, headphone jack, and aux input as well. Note this model does not have RDS capability.
- Excellent sensitivity
- 400 presets
- Alarm with sleep timer
- Headphone jack and aux input
- Runs on batteries or AC adapter
Pros: Huge station memory, versatile alarm, great price
Cons: Lacks RDS for station data
With great reception and an amazing 400 presets, the Tyler TSR-105 lets you save all your favorite stations. Strong radio performance for the money.
3. Retekess V115
The Retekess V115 is an extremely affordable FM Bluetooth radio. It still manages excellent FM reception from its antenna. Pairing Bluetooth devices is quick and easy. The compact design is portable and travels anywhere. It runs on 3 AA batteries or USB power.
- Sensitive FM radio with antenna
- Pairs fast via Bluetooth
- 20 preset stations
- Rechargeable battery for portable use
- Headphone output
Pros: Inexpensive, good reception, portable size
Cons: Average speaker sound quality
This little radio punches above its weight in features and performance. For shoppers on a budget, the Retekess V115 is a top choice.
4. Serene Innovations FM-819R
Don’t let the compact size fool you – the Serene Innovations FM-819R can achieve impressive FM reception. It offers helpful voice prompts during setup and mode changes. Bluetooth pairing works well for streaming your own music library. The radio takes AAA batteries.
- Sensitive FM radio in small package
- Bluetooth with NFC pairing
- Voice guide for modes
- 20 presets
- Runs on AAA batteries
Pros: Voice prompts, good reception, ultra-portable
Cons: Fewer features than pricier models
The petite Serene Innovations FM-819R proves you don’t need a huge antenna for quality FM listening. It nails the basics in a travel-ready design.
5. RUNMUS K8
The RUNMUS K8 combines an FM radio with a Bluetooth speaker for stellar audio. The built-in battery provides up to 18 hours of continuous play. There’s an LED flashlight and it can even charge your devices via USB. It includes a carabiner to clip onto backpacks while hiking or camping.
- Great FM reception
- Loud stereo speakers with deep sound
- LED flashlight and power bank
- Carabiner for easy transport
Pros: Excellent audio quality, long battery life
Cons: Only 20 presets
Take your radio listening outdoors with the RUNMUS K8 – perfect for the beach, camping, tailgating, and more.
Other Shopping Considerations
Keep these additional tips in mind while comparing Bluetooth FM radios:
- Look at battery type and play time. Lithium batteries last longer per charge. Some come with a USB cable for charging via computer or AC adapter.
- Models with a digital LCD display are easier to program and view data than basic knob tuning. But simple controls work fine too.
- Consider physical size – portable palm-sized units are convenient but may lack stereo speakers. Check audio output.
- Does it have RDS capability? This displays station data like song titles and artist names. Helpful but not essential.
- An external antenna gives the best reception, but small internal antennas work OK too.
- Added features like multiple alarms, sleep timer, and aux-in extend functionality.
- Make sure your device has the latest Bluetooth 5.0 rather than older versions. This ensures quick pairing.
Now let’s look at some frequently asked questions about Bluetooth FM radios.
Bluetooth FM Radio FAQs
How do I pair my smartphone or tablet to the Bluetooth FM radio?
- Turn on your FM radio and put it in Bluetooth mode per the instructions.
- Open Bluetooth settings on your phone or tablet.
- Select or scan for your radio which should show up in the list of available devices.
- Your phone will connect to the radio once successfully paired.
Any tips for improving FM radio reception?
- Extend the antenna fully for best reception. Rotate or angle the antenna to reduce any static or interference.
- Place the radio near a window which helps pull in more signal.
- Avoid sources of electrical interference like microwaves, TVs, or fluorescent lights.
- FM works best on the middle frequencies like 87-108 MHz rather than very low or high channels.
- Add an optional external antenna for boosted range, if the radio supports it.
What power sources can I use for Bluetooth FM radios?
- Many contain built-in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that last 6-12+ hours per charge.
- Some include an AC power adapter or have USB ports to charge from a computer.
- You can use standard replaceable batteries like AA, AAA, or C cell. Alkaline work but rechargeable last much longer.
- A portable solar panel can charge a battery-powered radio outdoors.
How do I program my favorite stations as presets?
- Tune the radio to the desired station.
- Press and hold the preset button to save – for 2-3 seconds on most models.
- Repeat for all stations you want saved as presets.
- Short press the preset number anytime to instantly access that saved station.
How long is the warranty and what kind of support is provided?
- Many Bluetooth FM radios come with a 1 year limited warranty covering defects.
- Premium brands may offer warranties of 2-5 years as a sign of confidence.
- Check details as some components like batteries may have shorter coverage.
- Support varies – some provide US-based tech support by phone/chat and others email only.
Bluetooth FM Radio Recommendations
We’ve covered a lot of ground discussing the merits of Bluetooth FM radios. Let’s recap the key takeaways:
- FM radio remains popular worldwide thanks to accessibility, emergency broadcasts, local content and portability.
- Bluetooth connectivity adds wireless audio streaming and speakerphone capabilities.
- Look for excellent FM reception, Bluetooth 5.0, lots of presets, long battery life and portability.
- Quality FM hardware combined with Bluetooth make these radios versatile entertainers.
- Leading models like the Sangean PR-D7W provide superb reception with useful features.
- Compare display, alarms, warranty coverage, and audio quality when shopping.
- Programming your favorite stations as presets makes tuning a breeze.
For many, the nostalgia and simplicity of FM radio calls. But with modern Bluetooth functionality, you don’t have to sacrifice streaming abilities.
Finding the right blend of strong radio performance, wireless audio, and useful features leads to the ideal listening experience. We hope our top picks and buying advice help you discover your perfect Bluetooth FM companion!
Let us know if you have any other questions. Happy listening!