FM Modulator vs FM Transmitter: Difference and Comparison

Radio opened the doors for quick and wireless communication, which was a huge leap from the earlier wired methods of communication.


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Key Takeaways

  1. An FM modulator is a device that connects to an audio source and modulates an FM signal, allowing it to be broadcast on an FM radio frequency.
  2. An FM transmitter is a device that broadcasts an FM radio signal directly from a source such as a smartphone or MP3 player.
  3. The main difference between an FM modulator and an FM transmitter is that the former requires an external audio source, while the latter can transmit audio directly.

FM Modulator vs FM transmitter

The difference between the FM modulator and the FM transmitter is that the FM modulator modulates or modifies the FM signal that is being transmitted by the radio so that it can be correctly sent through the FM carrier wave, whereas the FM transmitter is responsible for transmitting or sending the actual wave.

FM Modulator vs FM transmitter

FM Modulator is a device that combines the FM signal wave that is being transmitted from the radio with the FM carrier wave.

FM Transmitter is the component that is responsible for transmitting or sending the actual radio signal. For broadcasting radio waves, generally, the FM carrier wave frequency is in the range of 87.5 to 108.0MHz.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFM ModulatorFM Transmitter
DefinitionFM Modulator modulates the radio wave to be carried by the carrier waveFM Transmitter generates the radio signal
OperationModulation is done by selecting the frequency of the radio station where the signals are to be transmittedTransmission is done by generating waves in the frequency range of the carrier wave
Signal TypeModulation is done on AC waves in the range 88 to 108MHzThe sound waves or digital signal is converted into AC analog waves
Factors AffectingIs affected by the static noise in the wavesIs affected by environmental conditions, antenna height, static noise, etc
UsesUsed on most radios, mobile phones, and other transmission devicesUsed in conjunction with a receiver to receive the signals

What is FM Modulator?

FM Modulator is a device that is used to modulate or modify the radio signal so that it can be carried by the carrier wave.

The waves are transmitted through a carrier wave. A carrier wave or carrier signal is a wave that is set at a particular frequency.

This wave carries other waves and radio signals so that they can be transmitted between different radio stations and channels.

To achieve this, the FM Modulator combines the radio wave and the carrier wave with the help of some modulation logic built into the device.

This resulting wave has a frequency that is in the range of the carrier wave frequency, and thus the wave can be encoded onto the carrier wave and transmitted through the carrier wave.

What is FM Transmitter?

In signal transmission devices such as radios, FM Transmitter is the component that is responsible for the actual transmission of the signals.

The signal is initially in the form of electronic data, sound signals, or digital data. This data is converted into an analog AC signal, which is a sinusoidal wave signal.

As radio waves are in the form of sin waves, these waves can then be transmitted. Before transmission, the frequency of the wave has to be modulated so that it can be encoded onto the Carrier wave.

After modulation, the wave is transmitted or broadcasted by the transmitter circuit. The strength of transmission depends upon the power of the transmitter circuit.

The signals are transmitted in the frequency range of 88 to 108MHz, but the range of transmission depends on the capabilities of the circuit.

Environmental conditions, static presence in the carrier wave, and antenna height are some of the factors that affect the range as well as the strength of the signal.

A powerful signal transmitter should be used for successful transmission under such conditions.

fm transmitter

Main Differences Between FM Modulator and FM Transmitter

  1. Static noise in the carrier wave is the factor that affects modulation the most. Transmission is affected by factors such as environmental conditions, static noise, antenna height etc.
  2. FM modulators are mostly used in personal radio devices and mobile-phone to modulate the waveform. Transmitters are used in signal broadcasting devices in conjunction with a receiver circuit.

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