Riddle me this:
What BlackBerry 10 feature is not available on most phones, provides high quality free music and news for emergencies, is not dependent on wifi, bluetooth, or cell service and does not use your data bandwidth?
If you guessed the native FM radio of BlackBerry 10, you are correct.
One thing I love about this old school radio is that it is fully analog, meaning no quality loss due to digital compression and no pausing and data buffering.
While Android and iPhone users are campaigning to manufacturers and carriers to enable the FM radio capability of their smartphones, BlackBerry 10 has had this as a native feature since day one.
Here is how you find it.
Bring up the BlackBerry 10 native music app. Press the “pancake stack” menu button in the lower left of your display to bring up this menu – there you will find the ‘Radio’ selection:
Press it and if you do not have anything plugged into the headphone jack, you will see this:
Do not be dismayed, you can still play through a speaker (internal or external) , but you will need to plug in headphones an audio cord or some kind of antenna. An old pair of earbuds will work, as is or snip off the buds.
If it is headphones, the radio will detect them and differentiate between headphones or a line output (for external speakers, or just an antenna. Once an antenna is sensed, you will get a display of preset FM stations. If you have not previously preset them or wish to change the presets, you can do so by pressing the three dot menu in the lower right corner, tune or scan to the station, then ‘add to favorites’.
To direct the audio output to internal or external speakers, once you have selected a station, you can press the three dot menu to find the ‘audio’ selection:
You will then get a menu depending on what output options are currently available.
If you have headphones or earbuds plugged in you will see a choice of speaker or headset:
If you only have an antenna or audio cable plugged in you will get these options:
Unfortunately, I have not been able to get a Bluetooth output as is available from the audio player as shown here (if someone knows how this can be done please post in the comments or our forum):
Regardless it is possible to output directly to most bluetooth speakers or audio systems if they have an auxiliary input, by using a 3.5mm audio cable. I am a fan of the Bose Soundlink speakers, which sound amaaaazing for their size and portability – great bass response and crystal clear undistorted highs.
Be sure to press the ‘aux’ button to select the auxiliary input:
Unfortunately, these speakers do not have a switch to select left or right channel in order to use two for stereo, as some bluetooth speakers do. So I have improvised this capability by using a Y adaptor which converts the stereo cable to two monaural cables by splitting the signal into two separate channels as shown below ( I am sure the good Reverend Grim will forgive me) :
Here is the stereo speaker setup for your FM radio:
I hope this helps you to enjoy your BlackBerry 10 device as much as I do!