HELP! What's the best FM transmittor for iPod mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by pb&j, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. pb&j macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #1
    ... just ordered an iPod mini. I wanted to know if anyone out there (that's actually gotten their hands on one) can tell me what the best FM transmittor for the little guy is.

    thanks
     
  2. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    I love the monster icarplay. I borrowed a friend's for a while, then he sold it on ebay. It charges your pod as you go and I got no crappy extra noise like when I tried other trasmitters. It's worth the price.
     
  3. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

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    #3
    i have the iTrip and it's the best FM transmitter i've ever used, not sure but i THINK it works with the mini too.
     
  4. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

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    #4
    I'm pretty sure anything that connects via the dock (or 9mm jack for that matter) will work with either the iPod or iPodmini. It's all the same connections after all...
     
  5. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

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    #5
    the iTrip doesn't connect via the dock connection, it connectes to the headphone jack adn the remote jack next to it.
     
  6. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    Dec 27, 2003
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    Portland, OR
    #6
    Griffin iTrip

    35 bucks, works AWESOME, and works perfectly with the iPod mini (it doesn't look as nice when attached tho).
     
  7. EK03 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    #7
    itrip is great, but it really depends on your cars radio tuner. I sold mine because i figured out to get AUX working in my SAAB. used Itrip in my Benz, sounded wonderful, tried it in the saab, couldnt even listen
     
  8. FightTheFuture macrumors 6502a

    FightTheFuture

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    Oct 19, 2003
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    that town east of ann arbor
    #8
    i'm sure griffin tech is hard at work for a mini iTrip. i would be patient and wait. the iTrip is absolutely excellent. when they bring one out, you may be able to mix and match colors too! unreal!
     
  9. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #9
    i have both iCarPlay and iTrip. one note of warning. be warned, that you will never get hifi sound quality. you will never always get clear fm sound. in tunnels, yes.
     
  10. Whotheheck macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    #10
    I agree with redapple. Hell, you can get better sound quality with one of those casette thingys that you can hook up to your iPod if you have a cassette player in your car.
     
  11. nargot macrumors regular

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    Jan 29, 2004
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    Australia
    #11
    totally agreed, griffin are making good products so their future is also good
     
  12. neonart macrumors 65816

    neonart

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    Sep 4, 2002
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    #12
    Do it the right way if you can.

    If you have an aftermarket radio in your car with AUX input, that's the best way. Run an RCA to mini jack adapter.
    If you have a factory radio, you may find that you can add an AUX adaptor. This company makes OEM converters... http://www.blitzsafe.com/blitz_catalog/blitz_catalog.html

    Download their application catalog.

    (BTW, I can actually get you one through my company if you don't have a local reseller. They're a little pricey, but work well and keep your OEM setup.)
     
  13. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    MI
    #13
    As others have said, try to hook up an aux connection. If that's not possible, try a cassette adapter. If not even that will work, go for FM transmitter.

    Macwold did an article a few months ago about FM transmitters. They said the itrip produced the best sound, but was considerably more complex to use. I use the itrip and like it a lot.

    Pros:
    Broadcast on any FM frequency (I believe the itrip is the only transmitter to do so)
    Best reception (not scientific, obviously)
    No extra wires
    Looks sweet (though not necessarily on the mini)

    Cons:
    Headphone jack mount means doubly amplified sound. You'll have to fiddle with the volume on your ipod and receiver to get good sound. Other transmitters work through the dock connection and provide an unamplified signal.
    Changing frequency requires stopping playback of what you're listening to (to change frequency, you must play a special tone through the itrip, you have to load the hundred or so frequencies into an itunes playlist).

    As has been pointed out, different stereos work differently with fm transmitters, some crystal clear, others almost unbearable. Also, reception can be affected by slight changes in position and will even vary one day to the next. FM transmission is pretty cool, but it can be very unreliable at times, so if you can use any other method, go for that instead (on the other hand, some tape players don't like cassette adapters, and between that, and broken and/or nonexistent players, I had to go FM). I may seem a little negative on FM transmission, but I'm really not. It works great most of the time and is very handy when you don't know whether any better options will be available when you need them. It just isn't my first choice.
     
  14. pb&j thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 22, 2003
    #14
    more info on my situation

    Thanks for all the responses thus far. I had no idea there would be such a diverse set of comments. For those of you that are speculating on my vehicle 'setup', I drive a Jeep Wrangler with the factory radio. It does NOT have an AUX hookup nor does it have a cassette player. I checked around for possible AUX attachments, but they do not appear to exist yet for the Jeep.

    As for the 'carplay' thing that charges while plays... i thought you only want to charge the iPod when it is out, not constantly. i could swear i read on one of these forums that constant charging shortens its lifespan.

    My situation is really this-- my wife ordered my a mini because she's tired of buying CDRs and watching me burn, burn, burn. She figured all that would end if i had the pod.

    So i'm looking to listen to the baby when skating, walking the dog, hanging out in the backyard, and hopefully when i'm driving.

    the post about programming hundreds of frequencies scared the stuff out of me. i'm a Mac user for a reason... so i don't have to 'program' hundreds of anything. :)
     
  15. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    MI
    #15
    FM transmitters drain battery power fast (half battery time or worse), so a charger will be necessary if you have a very long drive. The monster icarplay actually looked pretty sweet (all in one cable, so less clutter) but I'm not sure about its quality and number of frequencies. Also, it's the most expensive at $60 or $70. I bought the itrip for $30 and a belkin charger for $20, so in my mind it's kind of a toss up between the two.

    :) It's not really as bad as it sounds. It's like changing the frequency on your radio (in fact, you do that as well). Such functionality allows you to switch to a clearer frequency when the one you're "borrowing" becomes occupied (your car moves into a stations broadcast range). The iTrip allows you to change to any frequency on the FM Band, so with a bit of searching, you should be able to find a clear channel. The reason I don't like the way griffin does it is that you have a hundred or so station "songs" cluttering itunes in library view and that you have to stop your music when you move into an interfering stations range to change frequency
     
  16. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #16
    aux is the best way to go. thats how i had it set up in my acura and now in my jeep. then when i add my alpine tv screen to the jeep ill add their new ipod thing so i can control it from the screen, it will be quite nice. nothing will sound better than a nice hardwired connection to your stereo, and they only usually cost about 70 dollars from logjam electronics. try blitzsafe, if they dont make it for your car try this company called pie auxillary.

    iJon
     
  17. neonart macrumors 65816

    neonart

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    Near a Mac since 1993.
    #17
    Now is the time to upgrade your head unit! ;)
     
  18. adamjay macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

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    Indianapolis
    #18
    i have to giggle at that. sorry.
     
  19. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    MI
    #19
    That Alpine ipod interface sounds pretty sweet, though I've never liked the radio interfaces on Alpine systems.
     
  20. ibookin' macrumors 65816

    ibookin'

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    Jul 7, 2002
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    Really? How did you do this? I want an AUX input in my car. I have a '96 Saab 900SE with the 6 disc changer.

    Anyway, wrt to FM transmitters, they all didn't really work well where I live. Your location determines a lot. I haven't tried the iCarPlay, but the iTrip and TuneCast didn't work well for me.
     
  21. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    MI
    #21
    I've heard that LA doesn't really have any free frequencies. That's one of the main drawbacks of of fm transmission, but for some, it's the best, and possibly only, solution.
     
  22. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

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    #22
    My friend sold the icarplay on ebay ($70 :eek: ) and I wound up buying my own from the online Apple store. Because it's powered, it sucks a lot of power for the transmission, making it much much much more stable than any battery powered FM transmitter I've ever used. I believe it supports eight frequencys, which in Wisconsin is about 7 more than enough. I know my sound quality isn't perfect, but I can pause the iPod and turn the car's volume all the way up and not hear any static.
     
  23. etoiles macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

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    Jun 12, 2002
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    Where the air is crisp
    #23
    I tried the iTrip in my new VW Golf around here (Orange County, Ca), and it doesn't work well at all. I am back to cassette adapter, but am going to look into one of those fancy aftermarket thingies to hook it up directly to the car stereo...
     
  24. neonart macrumors 65816

    neonart

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    #24
    It's more expensive and takes some work to install, but once you go to AUX input, you'll wonder why you even bothered with all the silly adaptors and transmitters.
     
  25. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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