Best FM Transmitter?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by neoelectronaut, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. neoelectronaut macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    My iTrip died on me, so while waiting for it to come back I was going to try something else. I work at CompUSA, so I was wondering what's another good FM transmitter to try other than the iTrip. Thanks.
  2. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2005
    iRiver makes a really good one, although it's kinda bulky and it retails at about 50 bucks. Anyway, I used it when I didn't have a 6-disk CD changer in my car...the sound quality of the CDs is always higher (plus, it's immensely louder!)
  3. Bubbasteve macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2004
    Charleston, IL
    I'm a fan of the DLO Transpod... true it's a bit pricey ($100) but it's the clearest FM transmitter I've used. It's worth a look at least
  4. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    I have the Griffin iTrip. It works great when I'm in Delaware at school. When I'm home (right out side of Philadelphia) it sucks. I don't expect any FM transmitter to work in or right outside of a major city. There is too many other FM frequencies overpowering a little transmitter.
  5. Josh396 macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2004
    Peoria/Chicago, IL
    I'll second that one. I'm very impressed with mine.
  6. Snide macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2005
    I drive a cab in San Francisco, and I have used three different FM transmitter devices,
    while averaging 130 miles all over the city. This is indeed real-world testing!

    The first one I used was the iRoc. This was long before the iTrip came out.
    It took 2 AAA batteries and had 88.1, 88.3, 88.5 and 88.7 via a small switch.
    It got lots of interference, and sucked batteries like no tommorow.
    We're talking new alkalines every two days (!). Then one of the
    strereo channels started failing. Needless to say, I didn't get another one.
    My next transmitter device was a no-name analog model from Best Buy;
    this one was nice because it offered the entire FM range via a rotary tuner,
    and it was easy to find matching stations. Another great feature was that
    it was powered by the cigarette lighter, and also had a plug to power my
    CD walkman. It got much less interference than the iRock, and cost
    $10 less, at $20. Over all, a great buy and the lack of batteries was awesome.

    When I finally bought my first iPod (23 days before the 5th gen came out, of course),
    Comp USA was offering a free car device with purchase, made by iConcepts.
    It is a cradle that plugs into the lighter socket and nicely displays the iPod.
    The width of the cradle can be adjusted to fit a mini as well. It also has a swivel with adjustable tension.
    It has the standard proprietary plug to power the iPod, and has a 4-channel
    switch to choose frequencies. This unit is much cleaner sounding over all
    than the others, and only very rarely gets interference. This is over virtually
    all 49 square miles of SF (!).

    While I have not owned an iTrip, it seems there are a lot of people who
    complain about iTrip interference––at least once a night while I'm working.
    However, the price is right. I guess you get what you pay for?

    Given a choice, I would still use a cassete adapter over any of the FM transmitter devices;
    the sound is much cleaner, with much less (if any) of the usual background noise.
    Better yet, a faceplate with a mini-plug input would be ideal.
  7. min6characters macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2006
    I have to agree with that statement; I tried a transmitter - the Griffin RoadTrip - and also compared the sound to my friend's cassette adaptor; I thought the cassette adaptor was far superior to the transmitter (which had clear sound, but just a weak signal).

    What I DO like about the RoadTrip is the charger/cradle capabilities; ideally, I would keep the iPod set in the cradle while it charges, and use a cassette adaptor instead of the FM transmitter. The use of the cradle seems preferable to having the iPod laying on the floor with an additional wire coming out of it. However, the cost of the RoadTrip ($90) seems like a lot for just a charger and cradle... unfortunately, I couldn't find a product similar to the RoadTrip sans transmitter at their website.

    Does anyone know of a charger/cradle combination with an extension arm similar to the Griffin's?
  8. interlaced macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2005
    I quite like the Belkin TuneBase. I had it for my Mini when I first got it. Now they make one general one with adapters for whatever iPod you have. Good signal in my area with little interference. Plus it charges at the same time. Also a bit pricey at around $70-90.
  9. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    From Canada, living in Seoul
    I use the Kensington Digital FM Transmitter. Its awesome because it uses the car's power to power the transmitter, as well as charge your iPod while youre using it.

    While I dont have as many real-world testing hours with it as the cab guy does (impressive!), I have used it for several months now and I love it. Check out the details here. Yes its a bit pricey, but if you have an educational reseller around you might be able to get it cheaper, or try Amazon or eBay.

    Good luck with your final decision.
  10. Sammis89 macrumors regular

    May 30, 2005
    I use a 16 dollar sony cassette adaptor, and it works really well, as long as your car still has a cassette deck. If it doesn't, I would go for something that includes a charger, because running an iTrip can really kill your battery.

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