Best ways to listen to ATC

Let’s just clear this up first. It is in spotting as in my opinion the best time to listen to ATC is when your spotting.

I have listened to live ATC before but I only had a small choice of frequencies. I am wanting to be able to get a larger selection and I have heard of this method of modifying a old FM radio to listen to higher frequencies. I have linked a video of this here Has anyone tried this and does anyone know if it works and how effective it it. That s the first thing I’m considering trying. I am also thinking about buying a dongle yes thats it name don’t flag me and using an app on my android phone called SDRTouch with it. This method would probably cost more but will be more likely to work and would give a higher number of frequencies to choose from. I am just not sure what kind of dongle I would need to buy. If you could give me info on what one that would be greatly appreciated.
I also want to know if there any laws against any of this. Not just in Scotland but across the world as I would probably bring it with me when I go to other places and listen to it in airports around the world. As well as in the car. Basically like music to a “normal” person. I also want to study it as I am currently considering perusing a path in ATC before advancing to become a pilot.
Any help is much appreciated and I am sure that many of the 55,000 I think users on this fourm know about radio frequencies.

Thank you


No sir, we have 55,000+ users. 😂 I’m not sure who uses radios here when spotting, maybe the pros, however one will come in handy for unexpected specials.


Download the LiveATC App, which gives you tons of frequencies to stream via your mobile/tablet.

It’s great, it covers American frequencies only however which upon checking you location is absolutely zero help to you haha

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A dongle is a great idea, if you don’t want to buy an ATC Radio. I would get a dongle from (Amazon also sells the same dongle on their website). I would then recommend testing it on a PC with SDR#, a program that will work with many SDR receivers, or as you said on your phone.

However, it might be easier to buy an ATC radio (what I use when spotting). They’re a bit more expensive, but it will be a bit more durable in my opinion.

Feel free to PM me if you need any help at all!

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I use my phone and hook it up to my aux cord and use an ATC website, not as complex as you think ;)


I use this website:
it’s live ATC for mobile, and it works in both the US and Canada (don’t know about other countries) It also plays in the background so you can check FR24 while listening.

Live ATC on your phone, with headphones in. This is good when you cant see the runway and the planes only depart over your head. If you can see the runway/arrivals and departures then no need to ATC in my opinion.

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