7 Best Radio Apps To Listen To Local AM/FM Radio Without Data For iPhone XS

One thing that you might not be aware about the new iPhone XS is that, much like other smartphones, it has an FM Receiver in it. The benefit to this is that it allows Local Radio Apps to listen to AM/FM radio without using data.

The downside to it is that most wireless carriers in the United States keep the FM Receiver chip disabled by default to keep you locked into using the data plan; however, there are a few smartphones on the market that have that chip enabled, which an app can take advantage of to grab those AM and FM frequencies.

Unfortunately, the FM Receiver chip in the iPhone XS is turned off, so unless you can get your carrier to turn it on, you might be stuck with using AM/FM with your data plan, though you might still have a couple of options available to you. Follow along below and we’ll show you the apps that you have available to you.

Best Radio Apps To Listen To Local AM/FM Radio

Local Radio Apps to listen to

1. TuneIn Radio

First up on our list of Local Radio Apps to listen to is called TuneIn Radio. This is probably one of the most popular options for picking up AM/FM radio signals, as they serve over 50 million listeners per month. They actually have over 100,000 radio stations that you can access worldwide. That said, you shouldn’t have a problem picking up any of your local radio stations, including things like WYCD, Nash FM, and plenty more. In addition to being able to pick up radio stations, you can easily pick up on-demand programs as well, and even some podcasts. The service is fairly seamless as well, so you can easily listen to TuneIn Radio on your iPhone XS, and then you can seamlessly move over to a tablet or a computer.

TuneIn Radio has some awesome hands-free capabilities as well. It connects up to your digital assistant really well, allowing you to simply say something like “Hey Siri, listen to Nash FM” or “Hey Siri, listen to WYCD.” This is nice for when you’re on a run or jog and cannot reach for your smartphone.

Download it now: here

Local Radio Apps to listen to

2. iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio is next up on our list, and they actually have a lot of choice as far as the type of content you can listen to goes. iHeartRadio will allow you to tune into your typical radio stations, such as WYCD, Nash FM, ESPN Radio, etc. In addition to that, you can easily listen to things like radio talk shows and radio personalities — with iHeartRadio you’ll be able to access favorites like Dave Ramsey, Ken Coleman, Joe Rogan, and more.

Now, iHeartRadio takes use your data plan to stream these stations and talk shows, as FM Receiver chips generally aren’t enabled in smartphones. However, at least they still give you that ability to listen to your local stations over your data plan.

If you want to expand the versatility of iHeartRadio, you can subscribe to one of their plans, which will allow you access to hundreds of thousands of songs, essentially any song that you’re in the mood for. The subscription will even give you unlimited skips and the ability to download songs for offline use.

Download it now: here

Local Radio Apps to listen to

3. Spotify Stations

Spotify Stations takes data to stream, but that’s just because FM chips just aren’t enabled in smartphones in 2024 and beyond. You may have not heard of this one before, but it’s essentially a way to create stations for all the music you love, and without additional cost.

Currently, Stations by Spotify is just an experiment, but they’re working on making it better as time goes on. The more you use Spotify Stations, the more it learns about what you like. After that, it creates stations packed with the music you love!

Download it now: here

Local Radio Apps to listen to

4. Simple Radio

Next up, we’re looking at Simple Radio. Simple Radio steams live AM and FM radio, but it does it over a data connection. With over 45,000 stations available at your fingertips, you’ll be able to listen to everything from comedy, talk radio, music, and more. It’s a great way for catching up on your favorite shows, but it’s also one of the best ways for discovering new music, too.

Naturally, you’ll be able to do things like listen to Live Sports as well — NFL games, NHL games, MLB, and so much more, right at your fingertips.

Download it now: here

Local Radio Apps to listen to

5. LiveXLive (Slacker Radio)

Slacker Radio is an extremely popular choice today, actually providing you with a method for generating your own playlists, all based on an artist, song, or album. You can listen to millions of different songs and audio tracks, but one of the cool things about this is that you can watch live performances as well. No need to find tickets for an already crowded concert!

LiveXLive has support for offline data-free listening, so long as you have a subscription. So while the app requires data for the most part, you can take your songs offline, too.

Download it now: here

Local Radio Apps to listen to

6. Pandora

Pandora is another popular one, and another one where you can generate your own playlists based on an artist, song, or album. And while they have an endless amount of music that you can listen to, Pandora is multi-functional, actually allowing you to listen to over 12,000 podcasts, too.

Most of Pandora requires an Internet connection, but the app will allow you to download music and the like for offline-listening, but does require that initial data connection.

Download it now: here

7. NextRadio

NextRadio is last up on our list, but it’s one of the few radio apps that have the ability to take advantage of your phone’s FM Receiver, again, if it’s enabled. With it enabled, NextRadio will allow you to tune into all of your favorite local radio stations. Hook up your headphones to your smartphone, and the app will use it as an antennae for that AM/FM signal.

But, if NextRadio sees that your FM Receiver chip isn’t enabled, NextRadio will still allow you to tune into local AM/FM stations, but instead, it’ll use your data plan to stream that content. But, one of the benefits to NextRadio is that it’s extremely efficient on your data plan — a few straight hours of streaming won’t have a big affect on your data allotment at all.

It’s also worth noting that this will actually only work with select FM-enabled Android phones, since iOS is a little more locked down than Android.

Update: This app has been removed from iTunes

Best Radio Apps To Listen To Verdict

As you can see, it’s quite difficult to listen to your favorite local radio stations over an AM or FM frequency without the FM Receiver chip being enabled inside your iPhone XS. If you ask, your wireless carrier might be willing to enable it, but for most customers, that just isn’t going to happen, unfortunately. But, at least many of these apps give you a way to listen your favorite local radio stations with a cellular data connection.

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