iPod FM Transmitter

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by billyergs, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. billyergs macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    CT
    #1
    Hi, want to purchase one of these. Do these work well in cars? Ho w sharp is the sound? Any recommendations in terms of brands? Thank You!
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    I've got one (an iTrip) and I'm a little disappointed to be honest. The sound quality's pretty pathetic, there's substantial interference from other radio stations in cities, it drains the battery quite quickly and it makes my beautiful iPod look quite ugly. That last one's not really a problem. ;)

    I recommend going the hard wired connection if possible. If you've got a tape deck in your car, get one of those cabled tapes. They're pretty good quality.
     
  3. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Northern California
    #3
    I don't have one personally so I can't comment from personal experience, but this thread might help you.
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    I've got an iTrip too. The sound quality is OK as long as you don't expect it to sound better than normal FM. The problem I have is finding a spare frequency to use that does not change all the time. In and around London it's so bad the whole thing is basically useless.
     
  5. Jdm_rsx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    #5
    taped ones are usually better?

    sorry for diggin up an old thread but like most ppl said SEARCH!

    = )
     
  6. auxplage macrumors 6502

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    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #6
    Like most things wired is always superior to wireless at least as it stands now.
     
  7. firststrike101 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    #7
    I have the iTrip and where I live it works just fine. The sound quality is fine. Ive never had much static at all. I can see it being a problem in bigger areas where there are lots of radio stations. My crap hole city only has 3 radio stations.
     
  8. iToon macrumors newbie

    iToon

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Lichfield, UK
    #8
    My friend had one shipped from the US prior to their ready availability in the UK and was crowing about it for ages. He gave me a demo and it sounded pretty good to me. If I remember correctly, I think he had his linked up to the tape deck in the car. Reception sounded very good in the Midlands, UK and we drove around for about 2 hours without any interference.
     
  9. sherry_yar macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    #9
    I bought one 20 days ago and its okay ... one thing i really hate about iTrip is that the iPod volume has to be b/t 50-70% ... otherwise, you won't be able to hear it (<50%) or the sound would be all distorted (>70%) ... its a constant pain to keep this range and be able to get a quality sound WHILE DIRVING ... I'm gonna return mine and get a wired one.
     
  10. andysmith macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Location:
    West Mids, UK
    #10
    I also have an iTrip, and the sound quality is really good - much better than the TuneCast I used to have. I use it every day when I drive into the city (Birmingham, UK), and I never have to change frequencies.
     
  11. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #11
    I agree. I just got the iTrip mini, and it has been great when playing music. The occasional hiss in an area like DC has not been a bother. But listening to audio books has been a bit disappointing to a degree. It is like listening to Am depending on the area I am in.

    I also have a Transpodder, and with music it has been OK, much like the ITrip mini.

    I have been tempted to do the Alpine iPod solution. The read out of what I am listening to on the head unit would be nice. my hesitation is that when i do any "upgrades" to my "ride", something happens that I end up loosing on the deal.

    In the end it depends on how far you travel. Meaning how often do you have to change stations. And just how clear you want your music to be in a noisy car.
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #12
    Depending on your ears, in a word yes.

    From my previous comments, if done at the time of purchase I think a dedicated iPod solution is the best. If you are worried about the future of the vehicle, then a FM transmitter makes more sense.

    In fact I use my iTrip mini at work on the FM radio that we have.
     
  13. Jdm_rsx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    #13
    what is the alpine ipod solution?

    anyone care to explain this to me? and what is the cost?

    any websites i can find more info ....?
     
  14. Cuckoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands - Utrecht
    #14
    I bought one, which i sold after a week. Just beceause it wouldn't work in my car. It was due to the fact that my car has it's antenna in the front, right next to the licenceplate <which i didn't know until i bought the itrip>. This resulted in almost no reception in the car. And in my house, with an ordanry FM radio, the quality was something between poor and very poor.

    An other issue, when i disconnected the antenna in my car my radio searches for the strongest signal while you drive, as a result of this, it picked up the iTrip signal, but while driving the radio picked up a station now and then, which disstorted the itrip signal.

    All in all i thought it was a pretty poorly gizmo -for the things i wanted to do with it- being listening to music in my car.
     
  15. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #15
    if you have a cassette player, use a cassette adapter. if you only have a CD player then i recommend the Monster Cable iCar Play Plus. Its by far the best, but one of the more expensive units. The other FM transmitters take signal from the mini stereo jack whereas the iCar Play Plus takes the signal from the dock connector so its a lot less prone to distortion.
     
  16. Jdm_rsx macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    #16
    any idea where i can buy one of this and cost?

    thanks!
     
  17. mocman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    #17
    I also have been looking at the fm trans route. I have it narrowed down to the Icarplay plus until I found the PodFreq. Now I have to make up my mind between these. I am leaning toward the PodFreq after I downloaded a in car test on the PodFreq.
     
  18. Jdm_rsx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    #18
    i think im going to settle w/ wires instead of wireless..

    someone please help me out with

    whats icarplay? cost? where i can get it?

    i need specific details!

    the cd player in my is300 is driving me NUTS!
     
  19. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Location:
    west of Philly
    #19
    I have an iTrip, it's okay, but not great. In North Orlando it took a while to find a good spot on the dial for it (95.9). Sound quality is like you're tuned into the local college radio station. It sounds like an FM station, just not a powerful one. When the weather is freaky, I get more static. You'll need to pick a equalizer setting or else the sound is dull, rock seems to make it sound more like a normal station.

    If you've got the option for a cassette adapter or an aux input on your head unit they are a much better choice. We use a cassette adapter in the wife's van and it sounds much better.

    I haven't really noticed a large battery drain with it attached, but I seldom use it where I don't have a cigarette lighter adaptor plugged in for juice.

    It also is like a nice remote for the home stereo system. It sounds better than it does in the car and I can keep it close to me and change the song from about 20' away.
     
  20. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #20
  21. Sol macrumors 68000

    Sol

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #21
    DLO Transpod

    If a tape adaptor or line-in is not an option, I would recommend using the iPod with the DLO TransPod. Unline the iTrip, the Transpod connects to the iPod with the dock connector and therefore takes a line-out signal from it. It gets powered by the 12 V cigarette lighter port of the car so it recharges the iPod while you drive. You can select any FM frequency with it and it also has presets. Reception varies depending on where you live, where your antena is positioned, how cloudy it is, etc.

    Ultimately FM transmitters are not the best sounding solutions but they are the most practical. Car CD players do not feature line-in so the radio is the easiest option.

    By the way, aren't FM transmitters illegal in England?
     
  22. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #22
    The Monster iCarPlay for iPod is definitely the best. We sell it at RadioShack (where I work), and there are two models. The best one is $79 (like they said before, pricey) and is a one piece FM transmitter and charger for iPods with a dock connecter, the other one is $59 and is just the FM transmitter, so it plugs in via a headphone jack instead of the dock connecter. Either one would sound far better than most FM transmitters, but I like the idea of charging it at the same time. Unfortunately it's more than I can pay right now. I have a line in on my new stereo though, so once I get it installed that should be the best connection possible.

    jW
     
  23. shortyman macrumors member

    shortyman

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    #23
    I believe so, yes. You certainly can't buy them from stores based in the UK. I think its because they could interfere with the emergency services frequency, although that's probably not the actual reason. I'm sure someone else will know the real reason though.

    :)
     
  24. andysmith macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Location:
    West Mids, UK
    #24
    It's covered under the Wireless and Telegraphy Act, 1949 - so it's more a technicality than fear it'll interfere with emergency services.
     
  25. sinisterdesign macrumors 6502

    sinisterdesign

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    atlanta
    #25
    FM not ideal

    if you have EITHER a tape deck OR a CD changer input (preferable if you don't have a CD changer already b/c you wouldn't be able to use it any more) they would be a better solution to a FM transmitter.

    i had an early FM trans, so i'm sure they've improved, but at BEST you're getting FM sound quality and it just can't pump out enough volume w/o introducing distortion. i have a convertible, so it just wasn't loud enough. i now have mine wired through the CD changer input as a AUX input. MUCH better.

    good luck.
     

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