AM/FM Radio Still High Among Consumers' List Of Car Features

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Though one can now connect their smartphones and iPods to their vehicle’s infotainment systems, consumers still go gaga for AM/FM radio.

Forbes reports the demand for radio is as strong as ever, serving as one of the main drivers for a consumer looking for a new vehicle. A poll by market research firm IPSOS found that while features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, touchscreens and apps are desirable, a majority of the 1,000 polled want radio at the center of it all, ranging from 91 percent when asked about radio versus apps, to 80 percent preferring radio over CDs.

As for why radio still holds a strong following in the United States, reasons range from wanting to listen to music and sporting events, to keeping up with the world via local news and traffic/weather reports. Advertisers, too, love radio listeners, mainly due to the size of the audience: 60 percent of Americans listen to the radio daily, while 85 percent listen at least once a week.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Mx5ta Mx5ta on Apr 09, 2015

    On a somewhat related subject: I have a SONY cd/radio from my old, junked car. Always thought it a shame not to put it to use, and recently figured out how. I power it with the power supply from my previous PC, which, though it runs its fan, is relatively silent. There are good videos on youTube about how to do this, in case you want to give it a try; I had to watch a half-dozen of them before I got it figured out. Pretty simple, though, once you've done it once. It puts out some good big sound, powering my old, rebuilt Jensen bookshelf speakers. BTW, something I learned is that a computer power supply converts AC to DC, and the power output is about what your auto devices run on. This is more like 13.? volts, and not the 12 volts you might think a car battery charges to. Multimeter readings on my cars' batteries show this higher readings, too, when fully charged. They can go as low as 10.? volts, as on my Miata when it sits in the garage too long.

    • Vulpine Vulpine on Apr 10, 2015

      Remember the old cabinets you could buy to install an automotive tape deck in your home? Made a really neat way to get good AM/FM/Tape audio when you couldn't afford a fancy home audio system. I'm tempted even today to rig something similar for some of these nice new head units. Either make it a bookshelf system with built-in speakers or rig it for detachable speakers which sound a lot nicer than they did 40 years ago.

  • Mx5ta Mx5ta on Apr 09, 2015

    Again, apologies for getting slightly off subject, but someone above commented about buying garage sale amp/receivers and speakers for next to nothing, but there was no reply button, so will comment here: I bought a more modern amp/receiver for my system, but found there is no Phono input for it (cuz who plays records anymore, right?). What I learned is that the Phono input on my older amp had a built-in pre-amp, which was necessary because the input from a turntable is too low to much hear, even at maximum volume. My solution was a tiny, inexpensive, standalone pre-amp from Parts Express. Just throwing this out there, in case anyone else is puzzled why their olde-tyme turntable doesn't sound right on a new amp.

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    • EManual EManual on Apr 10, 2015

      You need a pre-amp for RIAA equalization even more than the low sensitivity of modern receivers, otherwise your phonograph disks won’t sound right! See:

  • Cameron Aubernon Cameron Aubernon on Apr 09, 2015

    I may not have a car, but I'd want my radio. My mom's idea of helping me go to sleep at night when I was little was the Top 40 station. Considering it was the time of acts like Madonna, Depeche Mode, Poison, INXS, Eddie Grant et al, I have her to thank for bringing music into my life. I eventually strayed over to talk radio in middle school, where I heard the likes of Don Imus, G. Gordon Liddy, Art Bell & Co., Don & Mike... no Howard Stern, though; no affiliate near my Kansas hometown aired his show. These days, it's KIRO-FM and ESPN 710 for me -- especially for Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders coverage -- followed by KOMO 1000 and NPR et al (the latter when I'm outside Seattle). I also interned at my local NPR affiliate in Louisville, so we have that. My music needs, meanwhile, are handled by Google Play and YouTube.

  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Apr 10, 2015

    The one thing I did appreciate about Sirius when I had it (10 years ago) was being introduced to new music and genres of music. This was before streaming. I'd get bored with the playlist on one station and switch to a new one. I discovered Outlaw Country on Sirius and developed even more of an appreciation for different types and styles of music. It's still good for that, but it's not the product it was when they were separate brands.