Is there a radio I can hook up to Alexa or Google Home?
September 23, 2022 9:09 AM   Subscribe

I would like to listen to the actual radio on Alexa or Google Home (preferably Alexa). Is there a device I can buy that will allow me to do that? I assume i would rather have a digital tuner with some option to designate favourite stations? Bonus points for ability to voice control or to have Alexa control it (like to set some sort of sleep timer, for example).
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Technology (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When you say "actual radio" are you not wanting a webstream of your local radio station? For example we listen to our local public radio station on our Google Home. In the US at least, most larger radio stations have a stream.
posted by vunder at 9:15 AM on September 23, 2022

Response by poster: No, I don't want a webstream. I believe MLB blocks webstreams of games. So I can turn on the actual radio and hear it, but it's not on the webstream.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:17 AM on September 23, 2022

It doesn't help with the voice control but if you have a radio with an audio jack you should be able to plug it into an Alexa speaker with the right cable. But it would only play out of that one speaker.
posted by mskyle at 9:29 AM on September 23, 2022

Hae you tried just asking your device? That's what I do and it works with no specially add on device. Just say, hey Alexa, play wxrt radio station, and she should be able figure it out, presuming your radio station streams, and I think most do.
posted by j810c at 9:56 AM on September 23, 2022

Response by poster: Yes, I asked it and it plays the stream. I don't want the stream. I want the radio.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:01 AM on September 23, 2022

Some public radio stations stream their radio feed live. I like radio and have had a couple mobile phones that had a radio receiver, but no effective software to use it. It's a weird gap. I thjnk the best plan is to buy a radio. I have this one that has the weather band and maybe an emergency band, has a little solar panel, crank, flashlight, can charge a phone via USB, etc. I used it last night when I got home and the power was out. I also have one of those power bricks with a flashlight, and charged my dying phone. Useful pieces of equipment in a small emergency.

I would love an affordable home radio with good presets like in my car.
posted by theora55 at 10:18 AM on September 23, 2022

Response by poster: I really really really want a device that will pick up radio waves from the air and then bluetooth or whatever to my alexa. I am aware that there are internet radio streams. I am aware that most radio station stream their live content to the internet. I would like to pick up the radio from the air, not from the internet. I definitely want to buy a radio. I was hoping there exists a radio that can bluetooth out the sound or something, but I'm guessing now, probably because most people's needs for bluetooth sound can be met by internet devices, I guess.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:53 AM on September 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Have you searched the term "Bluetooth transmitter"?
posted by jpziller at 11:00 AM on September 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

You can get multiple radios and distribute them around your place.

You can get a home sound system such as Sonos radio that has remote speakers.
posted by JimN2TAW at 11:15 AM on September 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

I've wanted the same thing myself- eg I sometimes want to listen to a local NPR station that has unskippable ads when you start the stream. Sure, I have an FM radio, but handsfree operation would be nice.

Some cell phones (still) have FM tuners (I believe the Galaxy A line does, the Moto G7 still does). Usually, they expect to have wired headphones plugged in to the device as an antenna (and output to them) but in the misty past I did manage to get a Moto G to output the FM audio to my Bluetooth headphones.

You'd want a sacrificial pair of earbuds to act as antenna.

It's probably not really better than plugging a bluetooth transmitter into the line-out of a real FM radio and using your Echo as a glorified Bluetooth speaker, though.

It is admittedly a bit nuts that there are FM radios that are also bluetooth speakers but the product "FM radio that can connect to bluetooth speakers" does not seem to exist.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:35 PM on September 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

I bluetooth my radio/stereo tuner to speakers. In the headphone jack, I plugged in a bluetooth transmitter and then I hook that up to several (I can do two at a time) blue tooth speakers. I am pretty sure you could use your Alexa as a Bluetooth speaker.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:10 PM on September 23, 2022

Based on your other question, the MLB app will play the local radio feed over the video so you could use your phone to play the app and bluetooth it over. You would have to overcome the local blackout rules (VPN) or wait a few hours after the game starts to listen.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:12 PM on September 23, 2022

Amazon sells a device called an Echo Linkthat will take RCA input audio and feed it into Alexa speakers. You can pair this with a tuner to get radio into the system, but you will probably still have to use some non-Alexa method to tune the radio.
posted by Runes at 3:28 PM on September 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

What is your actual speaker? It appears that several Alexa devices still have aux-in, which means you just have to buy the cord and any old radio that will pick up your channel. I feel your pain on the blackouts!
posted by praemunire at 10:07 PM on September 23, 2022

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