http://m.getsatisfaction.com/topics/7335090/replies/18609500http://m.getsatisfaction.com/topics/733509018609500Milo Austin responded to "I just bought the ION Explorer Outback and was wondering if anyone else's has trouble tuning in radio stations seems like a bad antenna?"2017-04-25T03:38:25Z2017-04-25T03:38:25ZMilo Austinhttp://m.getsatisfaction.com/people/9059651https://d2r1vs3d9006ap.cloudfront.net/public/uploaded_images/11058685/1781910_1387743008183999_8104402506827897240_n_medium.jpgmilo_austin
It seems obvious to me that the Outback (probably as well as all other similar speakers) was designed primarily as a portable powered speaker and NOT as a useful radio receiver. With no external antenna for FM and not even a connection for external antenna (they could have at least provided that), there was no concern for FM reception. It's nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
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I just sent an inquiry to tech support to see if they would provide special information for electronics technicians like myself, to add an external antenna. I kind of doubt they will, even with the caveat of voiding the warranty. If I don't hear from them shortly, I plan on opening the case to see if I can identify a connection point for an FM antenna. If I am successful, I will try to remember to revisit this site and report. I notice in the product line that there are other Ion speaker/radios that do have an external antenna. But being stubbies, they probably do not fare any better. The designer's emphasis was on portability and sound reproduction, not FM reception. I guess the vast majority of use will be with Bluetooth or Aux input. Presently, the only way I can listen to the FM station I want to, is to connect a separate FM receiver to the Aux input. Works well in my shop, but not conducive to portability except to be set up in a fixed location. At least the sound is phenomenal. I used it outside all day yesterday with an MP3 player and the bass is still great outdoors. Not something that can be said of many portable radios or speakers. So I'm keeping it, but very disappointed in the radio reception, albeit a common plague with just about all radios of this genre, such as construction jobsite radios.