Generally, the formula for solid home FM reception is to purchase a quality FM tuner, install a large FM antenna as high as possible, and run heavy, thick coax from the FM reception antenna to the FM tuner. While this almost always results in fantastic FM reception, there are settings where this isn’t possible or isn’t going to work or, these days, our budget doesn’t allow. Approaching FM reception in the home a bit different can provide improvements, often dramatic, when conventional wisdom doesn’t apply.
FM radio stations usually have a studio and then a transmitter located a long way from the studio and a short run of coax to the transmitter. Most of us listen to one station generally. If we are among those that listen to just one station, then we have an opportunity to place our stereo in an optimum location for FM reception. If we have a separate FM tuner from our amplifier, we can place the FM tuner much closer to the antenna installation. This will allow a shorter run of coax and less loss there plus it can mean we get our tuner away from potential electrical interference from nearby televisions, computers, microwaves or the myriad of sources of interference we have in our homes these days. So for instance, if you live in a two-story home you can put your FM tuner on the second floor near an outer wall and then install your FM antenna as high as possible on the outer wall for best reception, particularly if you can get it higher on the wall, that generally is the best spot for reception though it isn’t always the case as you may want to try a couple of different places along the wall before securing the antenna. If you are using one of the wire “T” dipole FM antennas that often come with FM stereos, try it vertical (sideways) over the way we normally install it and run the feedline at least 10″ perpendicular from the FM antenna before you run it down to the FM tuner. When vertical, the FM dipole antenna becomes fully omnidirectional and is much more like your car FM antenna and often provides excellent results. For a small investment, you could get one of the simple tunable indoor dipole FM antennas from FM DX Antenna Co and tune the FM antenna exactly to the station you are attempting to receive and greatly increase your chance of a solid signal.
Now to get the signal from your FM tuner to the amplifier. You can run a long audio cable as they have zero loss, unlike the FM coax cable, and are not expensive. You would want to be sure to get a good shielded audio cable to prevent interference from being introduce. There are also wireless ways to feed your audio to the amp. You can use a small FM transmitter on a different frequency but there are devices made to feed audio signals wirelessly as well.
If you needed to make changes away from the FM tuner, and it has remote control, there are remote control extenders as well.
You can apply the above to place either the FM antenna and/or the FM tuner in the attic, or in a room away from interference, or however you can apply it to your unique FM reception challenge.
The FM Reception Guide has more tips on receiving FM signals.