How FM Tuners are Different in the USA

I recently bought an Onkyo TX-8220 2 Channel Stereo Receiver with Bluetooth from the USA, instead of buying here in Singapore, because locally they seem to be very over-priced.

I was hoping that Onkyo would use international power supplies, but when it arrived, and I checked the unit itself, I found that it only supported 120V AC input. Luckily I already had a 240V->120V transformer, so no issue.

The big surprise came when I tried to tune the radio to Singapore radio stations. I couldn’t understand initially why it wouldn’t pick up many of the expected radio stations. After some searching online, I found the answer.

To avoid interference, FM radio stations in the USA only use odd-numbered frequencies. In Singapore, and other countries, FM radio stations can use even numbered frequencies as well. The Onkyo FM tuner could only tune to odd-numbered frequencies!

I’m not sure how easy it would be to change that, but at least I can either 1. use a radio app on my TV, or 2. stream radio from an iPhone via Bluetooth.

Next time I’ll look for a European model instead!


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