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The SOUNDOT Af1 FM Headset Gives The iPhone FM Radio

Updated on March 1, 2019

The iPhone Doesn't Do FM

There’s no argument against the iPhone being a quality smartphone. Many thing (perhaps rightly) that it reinvigorated the cellphone industry when Steve Jobs first presented it. Others point to the many innovations put out by Apple in conjunction with the phone as being part of the reason for its success. Whether one agrees or not, there’s no question that the iPhone is being used by millions of people worldwide. And that as a result of this, every manufacturer of smartphone accessories wants to get into the act and have users buy their products. This is true of headsets and especially of in-ear headphones (i.e., earbuds). It is a huge market and the iPhone owner can find dozens of different in-line headphones available. And in every type of speaker configuration and color and style you could ask for. Of course at their core they all do the same thing: they let you hear phone calls, music, whatever is coming out of the iPhone, with some adding a microphone so you can make calls and some adding an embedded microphone so you can talk back and a remote to activate Siri and let you play your music being stored on the phone. But you can look hard and long to find a headset that adds a feature that every iPhone still lacks. Until you pick up the SOUNDOT AF1 FM Headset and discover that traditional FM radio is now available.

Getting FM Radio On The iPhone

FM radio is not active on iPhones — we’re not talking about streaming but about free over-the-air listening. The way the AF1 makes this available is being going a totally different route. Instead of an active FM chip in the iPhone, the FM chip is embedded in the headset (note: the audio is not being compressed in any form). Now it’s true that an app must be used initially, but once the setup is done, you’re done too. Unless you want to access the 11 music settings (dance, jazz, classical, pop, etc.), the 6-band equalizer, change the bass and treble frequencies or use the simulated 3D surround effect. Oh, and regarding FM, there does has to be an antenna to pull in the FM signal but that’s where the headset’s cable comes in. The cable itself is the antenna, so there’s another reason why this wired headset can be a good thing.

How The AF1 Works

Now the AF1 plugs into the lighting port so those few still with headphone jacks need not apply. The headset uses a 32-bit audio codec with 24-bit digital sound processing. As impressive as that sounds, more so is the fact that there is also a better, digital connection as opposed to the old analog that a headphone jack would be supplying. The speakers themselves are encased in a metallic frame (better than plastic) and the cable also serves another purpose: by having to enable both volume control and Play/Pause. And of course you can use it to activate the Siri voice assistant. For speaking back, there’s also an embedded omnidirectional microphone in that multi-purpose cable.

So what about the speakers — sure they can’t be huge because what’s going into each ear for stereo isn’t, but how is sound reproduction enacted? Not just through a single speaker but a dual set: there’s a 15mm woofer and a 7mm tweeter being housed. This provides a more robust sound, where low and high frequencies can be heard — or to simplify, this makes for better bass and mid-high range representations. It doesn’t sound tinny or raspy and certainly voices come through recognizable (as in vocals being heard amidst the instruments and not being buried by them).

FM Radio Now Playing

Being able to listen to FM radio without having to rely on the iPhone streaming also means a couple of positive things: no data is being used (so there’s no cost); there’s no strain on the iPhone’s battery; any emergency information during a crisis can be had (a shut down/dead iPhone not being an issue). Combine all this with speakers that are providing a quality listening experience and any complaints about having a wired connection just fade away. Neither is the price as the SOUNDOT AF1 FM Headset onerous because it retails for under $70.00.


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