Bluetooth + FM Radio with Moto G

  DavidDenison 15:17 21 Apr 2014

Hi I'm very happy with my Moto G. I want to buy a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Seemed the ideal solution till I realised that the built-in FM radio, which I use a lot, needs a headphone cable as its antenna. Any way round this? For example, would a modest length of cable plugged into the phone's headphone socket (but with nothing at the other end) serve as antenna - and without cutting off the Bluetooth output? Thanks. David

  alanrwood 19:32 21 Apr 2014

Can't see any reason why it should be a problem in terms of connecting the items together. It is true that the FM antenna uses the headphone cables sometimes but just try it and see.

  DavidDenison 05:33 22 Apr 2014

Thanks for reply, but buying decent Bluetooth headphones is an expensive experiment. FM radio doesn't play without something plugged into headphone socket of phone. Plugging in cuts off speaker, so how to tell if radio works OK with just a length of wire plugged in, since I can't hear speaker and don't have Bluetooth speakers or headphones for test? Or am I missing something obvious? D

  Menzie 14:00 22 Apr 2014

I don't have that particular handset but on my old HTC Wildfire when you operate the radio with headphones plugged in the output options allow either the phone speaker or Bluetooth speakers to be used.

I can't vouch for the Moto G, your best bet will be to find a local store with Bluetooth speakers (or a friend that has one) and test it with their setup.

Hopefully someone that has the handset comes along and can give a concrete answer on that.

  alanrwood 19:29 22 Apr 2014

I based my suggestion on the fact that on my Moto G if I play a music track and insert a dummy headphone plug into the socket it does not cut off the sound. Sorry but I don't have any Bluetooth speakers to try it out with. As I said try it out to see if inserting a headphone socket does cut it off on yours.

  DavidDenison 20:38 22 Apr 2014

Hello again, Alan. Inserting a jackplug in the headphone socket of my Moto G will cut off the built-in speaker. That's true whether it's one prong of an adaptor from airline dual socket to 3.5mm stereo female socket, or a microphone, or wired headphones. The speaker cuts out both with the Play Music app and with Podcast Addict. I haven't succeeded in finding any menu on the Moto G which would allow the built-in speaker to continue working when there's a plug in the headphone socket, though I don't think it's a mechanical switch, as there's a short delay before the sound stops.

As for the built-in radio, I can cancel the error message which demands that you "Please plug in your headphones" by inserting something in the socket, so it's probable that the radio would work and send the audio out to headphones via Bluetooth, just so long as plug plus length of wire served as a good enough aerial. I don't know enough about impedances, wavelengths, etc. to know what's needed to make a decent FM antenna.


  alanrwood 13:02 23 Apr 2014

Before posting my reply I could play a music track in a player and it came through the speakers. If I insert a dummy jack plug the sound continues as before. Cutting speaker sound is normally achieved by the headphone plug activating a switch in the socket to disconnect the speaker live connection and connect it to the headphones. When I insert the dummy plug I can feel what seems to be a switch.


I have just tried it with a pair of headphones and it does mute the sound which is very strange if it is mechanical switch. I guess then that there is some means of sensing and that mutes the sound to the speakers electronically.

There is no problem with designing an antenna. It isn't that critical so piece of wire will not do any harm. Try it if you can find someone with a Bluetooth speaker. Maybe a phone hands free earpiece might work.

  alanrwood 18:36 24 Apr 2014

Had another thought. If the phone detects that the headphones are connected due to some flow of electric current then connecting a piece of wire to jusy the centre pin of a plug and inserting it into the headphone socket would not give rise to any current flow so might not cut off the speakers.

  DavidDenison 15:42 25 Apr 2014

Thanks for the helpful tips. I tried linking to a Bluetooth speaker in a branch of Maplins and playing the Moto G's radio with just a dummy plug in the headphone socket (but no length of wire). No sound. I wondered whether the radio simply wasn't locking onto any station inside the shop and with no antenna. According to the assistant, though, the speaker wasn't picking up anything at all, not even hiss, as if the plug in the socket had cut off not just the internal speaker but the Bluetooth output as well, but there was no time to experiment further. Who knows? I feel it might be safer to buy Bluetooth headphones with built-in FM radio. D

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