The Best Offline No-WiFi Radio Apps for your Phone [August 2020]

If you own an Android phone, there’s a good chance you might be missing out on one of the coolest features around—a built-in portable FM radio. Although not every Android phone includes an FM radio by default, many do, both in the US and around the world. FM radios are typically included in case of emergency, but it also allows customers to stream music without using data. At first glance, you would think that listening to radio without a network connection on your phone wasn’t possible. After all, if you don’t have data, you don’t have streaming. Thankfully, many phones—primarily Android phones, since Apple no longer includes FM radios in their devices, and even older phones didn’t allow you to use them—are capable of reaching out to FM stations near you.

The downside of trying to listen to radio without data is that not all networks enable the FM chip within their phones. There’s no good way to see if your phone supports FM radio transmissions without just testing an app, but thankfully, our top pick lets you do just that. Here’s our favorite radio apps that, some of which, unfortunately, do require WiFi to use.

Everyone else

TuneIn Radio mixes both streaming and FM radio station broadcasts to give you a very wide breadth of content. As with Radio FM, you’re going to be streamign over the web, not OTA, but that helps to give you full access to stations you wouldn’t be able to receive otherwise. TuneIn also allows you to manage how much data the app uses over time within the settings of the app, so you don’t have to worry about draining your battery and running your phone bill up.

It’s unfortunate that so many apps on Android advertise themselves as able to play FM radio only to turn around and force you to stream online, but if you’re going to have to go online anyway, it’s impossible to beat just how good Tune In is. Trusted by millions of users around the world, TuneIn lets you listen to your favorite stations from around the world, regardless of your location. It’s a great app, and one of the most popular on the planet, but you’ll need WiFi to use it.

While TuneIn is one of the most popular FM receivers online today, Simple Radio might be an even better pick—especially if you’re looking for an app with a better design than what we’ve seen from NextRadio. Simple Radio is another app that lets you listen to FM radio streams. The app is simple to use and offers access to almost 50,000 radio stations across the world, but our favorite feature is the clean interface, which really helps you to find your favorite music in the app.

The interface is simple and easy to navigate and works well. Stations are easy to find and will populate depending on your location. Then just select and begin listening. The Simple Radio is free and ad supported and has in-app purchases but they aren’t intrusive.

iHeartRadio has to be one of the largest radio stations in the world and its good news indeed that they still remember FM broadcasts as well as offer streaming. The app is clear and simple to use and has FM options as well as internet radio stations. There are hundreds to choose from depending on where you live and quality is very good.

The app isn’t without its bugs though so be aware. It can crash, lose stations and stutter but is otherwise a solid option.

4 thoughts on “The Best Offline No-WiFi Radio Apps for your Phone [August 2020]”

Avatar Kevin Mottershead says:
Stupid article. Only one actual FM tuner app, Nextradio, which is now defunct. And Android 11 has restricted access so now Nextradio doesn’t work anymore. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but the lockout of the FM tuner on Android is strange.
Avatar Nicolo says:
Perfectly said Jason
Avatar Hubert says:
The information on this site is all but useless. Finding a streaming app is a easy, the net is loaded with them. Next Radio allows for offline radio through an antenna. In 2017, during hurricane Irma, the power was out for more than a week. All that I had was a means to charge my LG Phone, and a radio app that used earphones as an antenna to pick up offline broadcasts. Data would’ve been too expensive.
Avatar Jason says:
This list is useless because only the first choice, Next Radio, ACTUALLY ALLOWS no Wi-Fi offline FM radio, which was the actually title of your article. ALL of these services require you to use data which makes them USELESS in an emergency situation.

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