How to get the best FM radio reception

Updated July 20, 2017

Many factors can deter an FM radio from receiving a signal from nearby radio stations. Much like early television sets, your ability to receive some stations is beyond your control. However, if you can improve the strength of the signal and the quality of your antenna, as well as remove signal obstacles and interference, you will have a much better chance of picking up the radio stations you desire.

Electrical devices can generate noise over radio airwaves and distort your radio reception. If many of the following items are turned off or unplugged, it can clear a great deal of noise on the airways: DVD players, video game systems, microwaves, satellite TV boxes, cell phones and halogen lights.

Any form of radio antenna must be used to its fullest potential in order to get the best reception. If you have a telescoping antenna, fully extend it. If the antenna is the power cord, stretch the cord as straight as possible. Many different influences and obstructions can affect your reception, so adjust the antenna in a variety of ways.

If you don't have an antenna, you can attach your radio to an existing television dipole antenna. If you need to purchase an antenna, most electronic stores carry amplified antennas, which are far more likely to receive a signal than simple wire antennas.

Various obstructions such as concrete, brick and steel in your own home as well as trees, buildings and other houses make it difficult for radio waves to pass through. Try to position your radio close to a window. If you know the location of the tower from which your radio station is broadcast, try to position your antenna in the same direction.

If at all possible, switch your radio from stereo to "monaural mode" or "mono." This may decrease the quality of the audio you hear, but it will make your signal stronger and clearer.


It is not recommended to purchase antenna from electronic stores unless a full refund can be guaranteed. Sometimes even advanced receiving equipment can lack the power to pick up certain radio stations. Many local radio stations now stream their programs live over the Internet. Even if you are not within range of a radio tower, you can still listen to your favourite programs and music online.

Things You'll Need

  • FM Radio
  • Antenna
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About the Author

While in college, Dyce worked with his school newspaper and several small film and writing competitions. In the spring of 2009, he graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Although he aspires to write professionally, he remains clueless on how to go about such a task.