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Advantages and Disadvantages of AM and FM | AM,FM

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of AM and FM. AM stands for Amplitude modulation and FM stands for Frequency Modulation. The other advantages and disadvantages are also mentioned.

AM is the short form of Amplitude Modulation. Here amplitude of RF carrier is varied in accordance with amplitude of modulating signal input. FM is the short form of Frequency Modulation. Here frequency of RF carrier is varied in accordance with frequency of modulating signal input. AM and FM both are used as analog modulation techniques.


The figure-1 depicts modulated output for AM, FM and PM modulation types. Refer AM vs FM vs PM operational aspects. The figure-2 depicts AM propagation and FM propagation. As shown AM propagation happens due to reflection from ionospheric layer. FM propagation relies on Line of Sight communication path.

AM propagation vs FM propagation

Advantages of AM-Amplitude modulation

Following are the advantages of AM(Amplitude modulation):
➨AM signala are reflected back to earth from ionosphere layer. Due to this fact, AM signals can reach far places which are thousands of miles from source. Hence AM radio has coverage wider compare to FM radio.

Disadvantages of AM

Following are the disadvantages of AM:
➨The most natural as well as man made radio noise are of AM type. The AM receivers do not have any means to reject this kind of noise.
➨Weak AM signals have low magnitude compare to strong signals. This requires AM receiver to have circuitry to compensate for signal level difference.

Advantages of FM-Frequency modulation

Following are the advantages of FM(Frequency modulation):
➨In FM, recovered voice depends on frequency and not amplitude. Hence the effects of noise are minimized in FM.
➨FM bandwidth covers all the frequency range which humans can hear. Hence FM radio has better quality of sound in comparison with AM radio.

Disadvantages of FM

Following are the disadvantages of FM:
➨At higher frequency, FM modulated signals pass through the ionosphere and do not get reflected. Hence FM has lesser coverage compare to AM signal.


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