In radio communications, a radio receiver (commonly also called a radio) is an electronic device that receives radio waves and converts the information carried by them to a usable form. It is used with an antenna. The antenna intercepts radio waves ( electromagnetic waves) and converts them to tiny alternating currents which are applied to the receiver, and the receiver extracts the desired information. The receiver uses electronic filters to separate the desired radio frequency signal from all the other signals picked up by the antenna, an electronic amplifier to increase the power of the signal for further processing, and finally recovers the desired information through demodulation.
The information produced by the receiver may be in the form of sound (an audio signal), images (a video signal) or digital data. A radio receiver may be a separate piece of electronic equipment, or an electronic circuit within another device. Devices that contain radio receivers include television sets, radar equipment, two-way radios, cell phones, wireless computer networks, GPS navigation devices, satellite dishes, radio telescopes, bluetooth enabled devices, garage door openers, and baby monitors.
In consumer electronics, the terms radio and radio receiver are often used specifically for receivers designed to reproduce the audio (sound) signals transmitted by radio broadcasting stations, historically the first mass-market commercial radio application.