How to use the FM Radio on BlackBerry 10

By DJ Reyes on 5 Feb 2014 01:22 pm EST
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The much awaited BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 began to rollout globally on January 28th, 2014. With it came a lot of new features, like Pinch to Zoom in the Hub, lock screen notifications, battery percentage and direct installation of APK files.

Another feature is the addition of an FM Radio for the BlackBerry Z30, Q10 and Q5. Unfortunately, the BlackBerry Z10 does not have the hardware to be able to get the FM Radio though. Great for those who want to listen to the radio on the commute or even at home, you don’t need to consume any of your data. Let’s go through using the the FM Radio BlackBerry 10.

How to use the FM Radio on BlackBerry 10

  • Open up the Music app on your BlackBerry device
  • Tap the Radio tab along the bottom bar
  • Insert a pair of wired headphones (they act as antenna)
  • On initial startup it will scan for radio stations
  • Tap the radio station you want to listen or find one by tuning
  • Enjoy your favorite radio station

Once you insert a pair of headphones it will search for local stations and load them up grid style. Just tap one to start playing the radio station. You do have the ability to ‘Tune to’ a specific radio station of choosing too. Or to just fine tune the station.

You can mark a station as favorite star and they will appear in the Favorites tab. In the overflow menu (three dots on the bottom right), you’ll find options for ‘Now Playing’ and ‘Scan’. When you’re in the Now Playing section, you have options to ‘Tune to’ again (for fine tuning), Previous, Pause and Next. Previous and Next will go through the list of found stations. There is also an overflow menu you again have Preview, Pause and Next but also Seek down and Seek up. There is also audio option which allows you to choose between the sound coming through the headphones or speakers. Even when using speakers the headphones still need to be plugged in as they act as the radio antenna.

I find myself the FM Radio a lot since its addition and even left it running (by accident) all night on my Z30. When I woke up, I thought my battery would have drained and much to my surprise, it was hardly dented it. 

It is a bit inconvenient that you have to have a pair of headphones plugged in to use it but that’s the price to pay if you don’t want to use up data to listen to your favorite radio station. It would also be nice to show song details. Perhaps in a future update.

Reader comments

How to use the FM Radio on BlackBerry 10

127 Comments

I doesn't have the white balance screen setting on os10.2.1...z10....why...and there is no face detection in the camera too ...those two futures should be available in os10.2.1...... strange!!!!

Posted via CB10

Great feature I've used it several times on my z30. I didn't know I could have put the audio on the speakers though. Thanks for the tip.

Posted via CB10

It would also be nice if you could direct the output to a bluetooth speaker even if you had to leave the headphones plugged in.

I was coming here to say this. Blue tooth is the one feature is missing. I'm sure it will come in a later update though.

He posted from his sleek Z30.

I would never use the FM Radio option anyway so it doesn't bother me because I use Nobex to stream music. But it should be available on the Z10 for people that would use it. Especially since it's available on every other BlackBerry 10 device.

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

Stl100-1 has the hardware for FM as well as ability to use mircast but what bothers me the most is the white balance feature being left out for stl100-1 while other z10 model gets it.This is unjust to Stl100-1 owner as other model enjoy the white balance feature due to harware support but Stl100-1 being left out of Fm and mircast despite the hardware support

The advantage is that Nobex eats data while this radio doesn't - FM signal through the air which is why the antenna is not internal but the headphone wires. If you have a good data plan or stay connected to wifi then Nobex or Tunein Radio are great.

Yeah but Nobex offers radio stations from all around the world while FM is just local. I have plenty of data so it doesn't effect me at all. But the hardware should be available on Z10 for people that don't have a lot of data available on their plan.

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

Now you can listen to sports games without wasting data/waiting for data/buying the 15 dollar mlb at bat app!

Posted via CB10

I will be purchasing the MLB extra innings package from my cable provider so I can watch all the games. Spring training is right around the corner!! GO YANKEES!!!

It would be also great if you could listen to your favorite station through the built in speakers (while having connected the earphones). This way your friends can also enjoy your music!

Posted via CB10

Yes DJ stated that unless I mis-read. What about an auxilery cable, would that act as an antenna?

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

Yes it works with a line out. I noticed I didn't get as many stations as with the stock ear buds.

Posted via CB10 with a Z30

I chopped off the earbuds leaving just a wire and the 3.5mm jack to see if that would work and it still prompts for the earphone cable. I guess the next thing is to complete the circuit at the cut off end but I would like to know more about how the headphone circuitry is used before shorting out the ends.

"Right on, blackmoe"... let us know if you come up with anything else inserted that "works"... how about a hanger?

Keep on truckin' and inventing...

Instead of just shorting out the end I believe I just have to figure out the impedance of the earbuds and see if a small resister can emulate it. I did find a 3.5mm jack antenna online but it was 90 bucks.

I get artist name, song name, and album namme when I use my radio on my Q10. Maybe it depends on the station?

Posted from my awesome Q10 viaa CB app

I have a Z30 in the US thru Verizon Wireless and there is no such selection on my music application. Had any one else had this problem?

Posted via CB10

@David Kube; you probably didn't get the O/S update yet; I don't believe the US carriers have released it yet. Patience, grasshopper, patience.

Verizon here in the USA hasn't released the updated OS for the Z30 yet. Supposed to be available on the 10 of February.

Forget patience... go get the 10.2.1.1925 leak... it's worth the hassle to sideload it... forums for how to.

Good idea for a post.

Having it located in the music app is an elegant solution, but more difficult to find if you aren't aware of it.

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Why does it say on qualcomm own site that they support Fm which stl 234 uses the exact same chip

Stl 1 has already been confirmed to have the hardware but users have said they still can't use Fm radio?

Posted via CB10

Do you remember rock and roll radio? For all the youngsters on this site; radio was a very early means of communication for the dissemination of information and news and entertainment. Not all change is good and radio is now a mere shadow of its' former self.

Endless commercials, and the weird 2guys and 1gal yapping format go a long way in wrecking today's FM experience.

CDN BB

Lmao so true Online but there's some stations that advertise a certain amount of commercials per hour. I know Houston has a country station that plays quite a bit of music.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

I connect the Z30 to any standalone speaker via normal connector to the headphone jack to listen to FM radio, and it is crystal clear. Better than headset. Best phone I have ever had. No more jealous of friends and families with their iphones and androids. It took a few years to make BB this hot, but keep berrying....

Agreed, a very small price to pay in using the headphones and not consuming data!
I can once again listen to wamu 88.5 Cspan and NPR again without burning data.
TuneIn was deleted a while ago, now it's permanently deleted.

Posted via CB10

That's so weak, the people who supported BlackBerry 10 since day 1 get the short end of the stick...

C00270EBC check out my Tattoo channel! Brought to you by Laughing Buddha Tattoo and Body Piercing

These people also got to enjoy BB10 right from the start. I had to wait for my Q10, and got the Z10 later, when it was cheap.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Ya the whole "doesn't work on Z10" really sucks. Mehh at least I don't have an iPhone!

Posted using the best phone ever, the white Z10!

Wow! I had no idea how to use the radio AT ALL! I searched 'radio' and came up with nothing and assumed it was not included in my leak

THANKS CRACKBERRY

Posted via CB10

I can't wait to try this feature out! Come on Verizon, what are you guys waiting for?

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

I still can't believe they skipped the FM antenna in the Z10, which a year ago was their flagship device, despite them being able to squeeze it into the "budget" Q5 and previous to that the 9320. My daughter had FM reception in her $149 Curve in 2012.

Just tested it out. Fantastic. Tried using just the head phone wire. Works to pick out stations, but of course you cannot direct sound to external speaker in the phone. Perhaps BlackBerry will allow in future, or blue tooth out. It would most likely work plugged into an audio source with an audio cable.

Posted via CB10

This is actually better than using a streaming app such as Nobex or TuneIn for one very important reason: Streaming apps delay the signal by many seconds and the built-in FM radio does not. This might not seem important but try calling in to a radio station during a contest while using an app.....you're always 30 seconds behind everyone else.

Cheers. :)

What the hell? Why does Z10 not have radio? I was wanted radio app a few days ago then found out I can get radio for 10.2.1 then I find out I can't use it.
What the hell!!

Posted via CB10

If one wants to use Radio but not have headphones around, is there another antenna option? Something smaller, less dangly :)

Q10

Wish I could listen via speakers and not ear buds. Maybe an over ride to allow that even with headphones plugged in???

Posted via CB10

Oops. Just re-read article. Guess it can be done. I just haven't figured it out yet. Is great option. Thanks BlackBerry :)

One tec review I read only mentioned the FM radio as being in the latest update. Then the reviewer said does anyone still use a radio? Does anyone still a BlackBerry? I guess old obsolete tec goes together. I use blue tooth head phones so I couldn't use it even if my Z had it.

Posted via CB10

Well I'm happy for every one else that they have the FM option. We paid for the latest greatest thing too since slice bread. Oh well. .....I don't get the troll thing?¿?¿?¿. I would pay a Troll for free local radio. Unlimited data $$$$ here. But some plans are getting better all the time

Posted via CB10

It's too bad that BlackBerry made the Z30 with shitty quality screen. The graphic icons etc are more jagged than the Z10 because of the power dots per inch the Z30 has otherwise I would gladly upgrade to the Z30.

So no FM radio in your $2000 BlackBerry then either I guess, Kevin? That and a set of stereo speakers would have been nice for the Z10. It's a comfortable size and shape.

Magnificently composed using CB10 on my BB Z10!

It works well and you can choose to have the audio play through the device's speaker. The headphones still have to be plugged in as they are the antenna.

Nice option, nonetheless.

Posted via CB10

Wishes I had it. I would actually use it while mowing on the golf course. Plus it's free listening.

Posted via CB10

I learned something, something that BlackBerry should make clearer. A friend and I tried it a while ago, but were under the impression you could only play it through the headphones, rendering it a little useless if you want to play it with friends.

But I can see now the overflow menu allows for play through the speakers which is key. Great feature!

Must be nice for my fellow Q10 users that received the update. As for those of us with Verizon...well maybe next time.

Posted via CB10

Why would u not make the z10 with the capability to have FM radio. Phones in the late 90's and early 00's had them and you ate reeling me the hardware in a 2013 device does not have the capabilities. Dont wonder why Black berry's name is being slandered, they give the people something bad to talk about...

BB-Z10. OS 10.2.1.

I have to wonder what BlackBerry was thinking excluding one device. Then again I find myself often wondering what BlackBerry is thinking.

Post via BlackBerry ZedAche 10.2.1.537 (1925)

It would be awesome if it could receive digital FM (sub-stations) as well.

Is the UI pretty basic? It would be nice if they had a tuning knob (making use of the touch screen) and a signal strength meter, etc.

Looking forward to 10.2.1 on my Q10!

Super basic.

Great idea though, I would love a "classic" look option. complete with tune knob and the red stick to move back and forth!

We need an "app" for more FM function beyond the basic baked in.

CDN BB

RDS support would be cool, but the hardware may not support it.

Posted via CB10 via the BlackBerry Q10!

I am curious. I attend conferences that also use FM for broadcasting, and I am able to record the sessions for future listening. Can anyone tell me if that is a feature available. Running a Z10 but looking to upgrade to Z30.

Is this a sign that my Loyalty to the 10 nation should come to an end. From being the very first happy owner of the10 in my circle of friends. Now im starting to feel as tho my favorite brand is neglecting me. Yours sincerely z10 fan...

Posted via CB10

Hardware specs were available before you purchased.

If you wanted a phone with FM, buying a Z10 was a poor choice.

CDN BB

Would have been nice. But I can't remember the last time I listen to the radio anyway.

BBZ10 STL-100-3| 10.2.1.537/1925| T-Mobile

:p got an unlimited data plan, so no FM radio really doesn't bother. Would like miracast though :( - does anyone know if wifidirect works without miracast??

Posted via CB10

Just upgraded my Z10 to Q10 and I tried this. Love it!
It's very appropriate for #TBT #FBF #TBS haha
The FM radio requiring headphones is a lot like in the old days with those Sony Ericsson Walkman (owned one right before my first BlackBerry) and Nokia phones (owned that before my Walkman phone haha).

Posted from my BlackBerry Q10 on AT&T

That's really hard on us Z10 users. Sort it out tech guys. Its expensive to stream radio. This is a serious flaw with the Z10.

Posted via CB10

This is definitely unfair no... Radio for z10 cs of hardware missing. a plan must be implemented by BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Hello, does the Z 10 or the Q 10 display the FM radio station name and eventually the song or the show name ?
I have it for years on my androphones FM radios and would like to know about the new BB models. Thank you.