Today, using the Internet to access a wide range of content, including music and radio, is quite common. However, what happens when we are in an area without connectivity or want to save mobile data? Here we present everything you need to know about how to listen to the radio on your cellular telephone without the need for an Internet connection.

How to listen to radio without internet on your mobile phone

Eric Nopanen / Unsplash

Today it is possible to listen to the radio on a mobile device without the need to connect to the Internet. This is achieved by using the device’s built-in FM radio tuner and a dedicated application to access local radio stations. This method allows you to enjoy the radio in real time, regardless of your mobile network or Wi-Fi connection.

What do you need to listen to FM radio on your phone offline?

  • Phone with built-in FM radio chip: Your phone must have an FM radio feature and it must be activated. This requires the manufacturer to enable the feature and the operator to accept the feature.
  • Headphones or wired headphones: FM radio only works with an antenna. When you listen to FM radio on your phone, use the headphone cables as an antenna.
  • FM Radio Application: Even if your phone has an FM radio chip, you’ll need an app that can access the chip, such as NextRadio.

How to listen to FM radio without the Internet on NextRadio


NextRadio is an ad-supported radio app that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. It has the same features as other radio apps that stream radio stations over the Internet, but it’s also able to take advantage of your phone’s FM radio chip.

If you have Wi-Fi or mobile data activated, you can listen to streaming radio stations or local FM broadcasts. But if you lose your data connection, you can activate FM only mode.

When FM only mode is enabled, NextRadio defaults to using the built-in FM receiver chip instead of streaming local stations over the Internet. If your local data service goes down or you lose cellular signal, this mode will still let you listen to any FM station within range.

To activate FM only modeFollow these steps:

Step 1: launch the NextRadio application.

Step 2: play menu icon (three horizontal lines).

Step 3: Choose Parameter.

Step 4: touch the switch FM only mode for it to be activated.

Now, if the FM chip is not activated on your phone, the FM Only mode option will not be available.

It’s important to note that this app is not compatible with all devices. To check your mobile phone’s compatibility, simply visit the NextRadio page on the Google Play Store. From there, you can check if you can download the app on your device. If NextRadio can be downloaded and work properly on your mobile phone, it confirms that your mobile phone has a built-in FM radio chip. So you can enjoy FM radio without needing an internet connection.

How do you know if your phone has an FM radio chip?

Old cell phone with radio and headphones.

To determine if your phone has an FM radio chip, there are several ways to check. First of all, find the radio app on your device. In many cases, this application comes pre-installed and can be easily found in the application menu. For example, on Samsung devices, the radio app is usually located in the Samsung folder.

If you find a radio app on your phone, chances are it has a built-in FM radio chip. However, if you can’t find the app, don’t worry. There are still other ways to check if your phone has this feature.

A common way to check for an FM radio chip in an Android phone is to use the diagnostic feature, which allows you to access various components of the device. This diagnostic menu is usually hidden on most mobile devices, but you can access it by dialing a specific code in the Phone app.

Below are some codes you can try, depending on your phone manufacturer:

  • Samsung: *#0*#
  • Xiaomi: *#*#64844#*#* (you can also enter through the CIT menu).
  • HTC: *#*#3424#*#*
  • Huawei: *#*#2846579#*#*
  • Sony: *#*#7378423#*#*

It is important to note that during hardware testing, FM radio chip information may not always be displayed on all devices. For example, on Samsung devices, although you can test things like the camera, you may not find chip data despite having a radio app on the Samsung phone.

On the other hand, on Xiaomi devices, you can easily check the presence of an FM radio chip by going to the CIT menu. This method provides a direct way to check if your Xiaomi phone has an FM radio chip.

Can wireless headphones receive FM radio signals on mobile devices?

A woman with a mobile phone and wired headphones smiles.
ArtPhoto_studio / Freepik

On most smartphones and similar devices, FM radio requires headphones to be physically connected to the device using a 3.5mm cable in order for them to act as an antenna and receive FM radio signals. Wired headphones allow the cable to act as an antenna, providing clear reception of local radio stations.

On the other hand, wireless headphones or USB-C headphones generally do not work as an antenna for FM radio on smartphones. Without being physically connected to the device, Bluetooth headphones cannot perform this antenna function and therefore cannot be used to listen to FM radio in most cases.

However, some devices may have special features that allow you to use USB-C headphones for FM radio, but this depends on the phone manufacturer and model. It is recommended to check the phone’s specifications or refer to the user manual to ensure whether it supports FM radio and how wireless headphones can be used in this context.

What if your phone doesn’t have FM radio or a headphone port?

The use of an FM radio tuner built into cell phones has been commonplace for many years. Manufacturers began including FM radio chips in mobile phones in the early 2000s. However, the availability of this feature has varied over time and depending on the phone model.

These days, most modern smartphones no longer come with a factory FM tuner or a 3.5mm headphone port. Therefore, in recent years phones there is no option to listen to radio without internet connection unless you already have an older cell phone such as Samsung Galaxy A01, A21, J2 Core and M21.

If you are unable to access FM radio on your mobile phone, the only option is to listen to the radio through an internet-connected app. Additionally, in the event of an emergency such as a hurricane, it is recommended that you purchase a battery-powered or emergency radio to access important information.

Source: Digital Trends

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