Smartphone FM Radio Chip

This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Alfredo_T 1 week, 5 days ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #40364

    Scott Young
    Participant

    I installed the NextRadio app in my Galaxy J3 and my daughter’s Galaxy S7. Using the same headset the S3 is deaf as a post and the S7 is hot as a pistol. Anyone have any ideas why that might be?

    #40367

    Chico
    Participant

    Scott-

    Try, if you haven’t already, Settings > Sound and Vibration > Volume > Media. I have your daughter’s model, but it may look a little different on yours. Fiddle a bit, and you should get the settings to something acceptable.

    Apps have their own volume controls, but this is the “master” output for all media.

    #40369

    Scott Young
    Participant

    Thanks Chico, I didn’t realize there were level settings other than the usual volume control on the phone.

    I was referring to receiver sensitivity as opposed to volume output. I assume all the phones use the same FM radio chip, but maybe that isn’t a safe assumption.

    #40372

    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    Without opening the phones, it isn’t possible to know with certainty. However, the two scenarios outlined below are most likely.

    The S3 uses an internal antenna for FM reception, whereas the S7 uses the headphone cord. The design engineers might have gone with an internal antenna on the older design so that the FM receiver function could work, even without a headset plugged in. They later switched to a more conventional approach (the headphone cord) because their earlier approach worked poorly. Years ago, I read an article about internal antenna design for phones, and the conclusion was that all of the designs evaluated were poor performers.

    The S3 and S7 use different receiver ICs. From what I have been reading in other forums, radio tuner ICs vary significantly in sensitivity; some are quite bad. It is possible that the design engineers switched receiver IC vendors because the receiver in the S3 performed poorly.

    #40373

    Scott Young
    Participant

    The two phones I’m comparing are the Samsung J3 and S7. The J3 replaces an S3 which didn’t support FM radio in the U.S. I figured Samsung would use the same IC in all of their recent phones. So far I haven’t been able to get the J3 to play stereo at all, even though I have full quieting reception on everything except the LPFMs.

    #40376

    radiogeek
    Participant

    As near as I can tell, the Next Radio app is a joke. Correct me here, but it appears to be an internet based accumulator of online stations and has nothing to do with being an actual FM radio receiver.

    However, regarding the different volume from device to device, as an audio guy that’s obvious. Different model cell phones from different makers and years have their gain in the sound chip differently set. This I believe is because some folks complained that using earbuds (a relatively new thing) damage could be done to the eardrums. The earlier phones were designed to drive headphones, not earbuds.

    This makes for lots of fun in professional live sound events. Folks think their cell phones are appropriate ways to provide audio sources (yuck) and I always have to ask people to jack the volume to 100% to get enough signal for any professional board to pick up. Of course that makes for distortion somewhere, but as no one today cares about audio quality ….

    But can we stop pretending that cell phones can pick up FM radio? Only a few models do, at the very highest price point. I’d love for Congress to tell the FCC that the radios should be unlocked but well, try getting Congress or the FCC to do anything useful today.

    #40377

    Scott Young
    Participant

    No, the NextRadio app is not a joke. If the phone in which it’s installed has an FM radio IC in it, you can listen to FM stations over the air. For phones without an FM chip it’s streaming only. But it does work, and quite well on some phones. On my daughter’s Galaxy S7 I can listen to 95.1 KISN’s 2 watts from Mt. Scott with Mt. Tabor smack in the way. I can’t do that with anything else but a car radio at this location.

    #40378

    lastday
    Participant

    List of devices containing FM receiver chips that are claimed to be supported by NextRadio:

    http://nextradioapp.com/es/supported-devices/

    #40379

    radiogeek
    Participant

    Ah, that’s what happened when I tried the app. It must have recognized my phone isn’t listed and then decided to accumulate online stations for me. I deleted the app.

    Still wish all cell phones could pickup FM.

    My observations about inconsistent output gain in consumer devices might still be helpful for the original question.

    I remember seeing this before https://www.opb.org/about/connect/mobilefm/

    When I’m traveling I pack the cell phone and a 15 year old mp3 player that has an FM radio built in.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  radiogeek.
    #40388

    semoochie
    Participant

    Scott, is there any truth to the rumor that Mt. Scott was named after you? 🙂

    #40389

    Bob Berry
    Participant

    would love for Congress to tell the F¢¢ to stop kissing the NAB’s arse, try getting Congress or the F¢¢ to do anything useful today.

    #40392

    Master of Disaster
    Participant

    Another answer I can add is the Samsung “S” series is the flagship model, the “J” series is a budget model with lower specifications.

    S7: https://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=5081
    Current version of the J3: https://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=5756

    #40400

    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I erroneously thought that “J” was a typo in regards to the Samsung smartphone product line. I didn’t realize that Samsung did introduce a J series that is different from the S series.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.