Belkin TuneCast FM/Direct F8Z441/F8Z442

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by tanster, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. tanster macrumors regular

    tanster

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #1
    Anyone have thoughts on the new Belkin TuneCast car solution? -- they were released just recently (June/July 2009)

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    There are two models: FM (F8Z441) and Direct (F8Z442).

    Summary: "Belkin's new TuneBase FM and TuneBase Direct allow you to pick up a call on your iPhone while in the car, hands-free. The thoughtful design of these two products lets you use them without removing your iPhone or iPod from its case. The TuneBase cradle easily repositions your iPhone horizontally to view turn-by-turn directions and videos. Newer cars include an auxiliary input jack to connect different audio sources to the car's stereo. Using a 3.5mm cable, TuneBase Direct connects to your car stereo through the auxiliary input, so you can play the music from your iPhone or iPod while in the car. TuneBase Direct also charges your iPod so the battery doesn't run out while you're on the road."

    More information in Belkin's press release.

    I am interested in this product because 1) it's an all-in-1 solution, and 2) it works with the iPhone in a case!

    Does anyone have this? Would appreciate a review. Thanks! :)
     
  2. Engteach macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #2
    I recently picked up a Belkin fm transmitter (90 dollars at Best Buy), kept it for a week, and returned it. I'm convinced that no matter how much money you spend on a fm transmitter and no matter what bells and whistles the companies attach to them it's always going to be an fm transmitter. Griffin is about to release one that uses the iphone's gps functuality to locate the best channel (perhaps one of those you're looking at does this), but still it's an fm transmitter. In my opinion, fm transmitters are not worth the money they cost nor the frustration they cause. At the end of the day, I think it's probably worth the effort to install a hardwired solution.
     
  3. thor79 macrumors 6502

    thor79

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    This is my assesment. I used the predecessor to this...the TuneBase FM...when they had a specific model that worked for the 3G...it was a short lived model though. When I could find a station that I could transmit clearly on...the sound was crappy at best. I ended up replacing my stereo head unit with a Pioneer head unit that has an aux port on the front...then used the TuneBase FM's aux port on the bottom to connect to it. Unfortunately there was no way to disable the FM transmitter...and I believe that's now interfering with my 3GS now (GPS and Compass doesn't work right in my truck...still going to do some testing though). A hard wired solution is the way to go...much better quality. Half the time I couldn't even find a clear channel to broadcast on...airwaves around Chicago are crowded.

    Reviews of this say that if you're looking to use this for handsfree...look elsewhere...or get a bluetooth headset...which is what I use.

    I've been thinking about replacing my TuneBase FM with the FM-less version, the Direct as it looks like it is just what I need. The dock connector is apparently only a charging connection...you have to plugin to the headphone port for audio...but I haven't found an equivalent solution. Considering I've been happy with my TuneBase FM for almost a year now with my iPhone 3G...I bet I'll be happy with the direct when I get it. I might go pick one up this weekend at the Apple store (I'll call first to confirm they have it though).
     
  4. tanster thread starter macrumors regular

    tanster

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #4
    Thanks for the feedback! I've never had an FM transmitter before, I think maybe I'll pass on this one. :)

    I know that the Satechi FM transmitter has received positive reviews from people here and at Amazon, but I was hoping for a transmitter that could also display the iPhone without removing its case.

    thor79, I've already seen the FM version in my local Apple store (Stanford Shopping Center) and since the Direct version was released first, I bet it's out, too, now.
     
  5. SWISSHAT macrumors member

    SWISSHAT

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #5
    FM X is good....

    I bought this 3 days ago, tuned it to a free frequency manually (not sure if clear-scan is any good), using the Pro2 setting, the music is loud and clear. Really.

    I don't understand the complaints here. If you want hi fi clarity, why are you using mp3 or even iPhone (ipod)? Use some real kick-ass auto-hifi. Clarion, etc.

    The handsfree work too, but only with tunebase tuned. Also the microphone is a little weak, meaning listening-in party will not hear you too clearly unless you speak loudly.
     

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