FM radio

FM, which stands for frequency modulation, is also known as VHF (very high frequency). The FM broadcasting band extends from 87.5 MHz to 108 MHz. This includes Radio 1-4 but does not include Radio 6 Music, Radio 4extra, Asian Network, Radio 1Xtra and Radio 5 live Sports Extra which is only available on DAB. 

radio one to four image

Though FM has the potential to deliver excellent quality, most reception problems on FM radio are caused either by a weak signal or by some kind of interference.

 The reception you get can be influenced by a number of factors:

  • Reception can vary within a localised area, and some remote areas of the UK are without usable FM signals.
  • Under certain weather conditions, interference can occur between transmitters using the same frequencies. This is more likely in warmer weather, and is most prevalent along the coast.
  • Pirate radio interference can be a frequent nuisance, particularly in urban areas.
  • The precise position of your FM radio can affect reception significantly. It can even vary between stations.
  • Pull-out or ribbon aerials used inside the room are prone to picking up interference from household equipment of all kinds.
  • Reception problems

    Reception problems

    FM reception, while normally quite reliable, can be disrupted due to a number of factors. It can be quite sensitive to location, and some remote areas of the UK are without usable FM signals.

  • Installation


    Getting the best signal is key to good radio reception. A faulty radio aerial can cause hissing and distortion on FM.

  • FM local radio

    FM local radio

    Information about BBC FM local radio.

  • FM Radio on the move

    FM Radio on the move

    A number of things can interfere with your Radio reception while on the move.