Best FM transmitter for car?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by cdhfootball, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. cdhfootball macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    im looking for a fm transmitter with the best signal and strength. anyone have opinions?
  2. Hovey macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2009
    Mixed reviews

    This has gotten mixed reviews, but it has worked really well for me. Don't use the clear scan...doesn't work. Take your time and find two good channels and program them into your preset on the transmitter and your radio. I rarely have to find a new channel except on my 7 hour drives..I might go through 3 or 4 the whole trip. Semi trucks seem to interfere. But I've tried about 4 others and this worked the best.
  3. subtleknife macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2008
    I haven't had a chance to test out the phone call portion of this device, but the FM transmitter portion is pretty good. I've tried other FM transmitters in the past and the sound quality on this beats them easily, with no discernible static (as far as I can tell), which seemed to plague the other devices. Setup is extremely easy and there are no cables involved because it uses Bluetooth. But check out the description and read all the other reviews.
  4. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2006
    I had a couple different models and returned them. I finally went with the Griffin iTrip AutoPilot and used it for several months before getting an installed adapter straight into my head unit. The Griffin model gave pretty decent results. Where the FM antenna is located on your car makes a huge difference. Mine was all the way on the back trunk where my wife's is located on the front hood. In my car I'd have to hunt for channels to use where in her car since the antenna was closer it was much easier to over-power more radio stations and get a better signal.

    There's an easter egg for the unit where you can press a combination of buttons and get it to show more usable channels. Google and you can find it. That was useful in my Acura since the very lowest channels in the radio weren't available by default in the Griffin. The 'feature' was unlocked by a couple key presses and is undocumented. The same unit is for US/Europe/Asia and they restrict the channels by default, but you can still get at them.
  5. Raegor macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2010
  6. itsjustmeee macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2008
    I would avoid going the fm transmitter route at all costs. The bottom line is a few years ago, the FCC really clamped down on the signal strength they could put out which basically made them useless. I have an older one that I bought for my first ipod about 5 years ago and it is like night and day as far as static, ability to pull in alternate stations and competing with other frequencies being used, etc, but it's not compatible with any iphones. I bought a new Griffin and didn't have any luck with it. As a matter of fact, the guy at Best Buy told me that they get a ton of returns on these types of products for that very reason.

    If you don't have an aux input or a newer car with bluetooth, just go the wired cassette into the headphone jack of your iphone. I know it doesn't look as cool or charge your iphone, but believe me, you'll save yourself lot of aggravation.
  7. asturias macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2010
    Belkin FM Transmitter for using Iphone in my car

    Belkin - FM Transmitter to use with your Iphone
    Hello my friends. I want to give you the best advice here... Please don't even think about buying a Belkin FM transmitter to use with your iphone or Ipod... I made the big mistake to buy one and it costed me about 110 dollars. The first time I plugged it in... It didn't work... After a few minutes it finally worked... Only with the radio stations that it was finding automatically... and it only works with the stations that have very bad sound... So I tried several days trying to find the best sound quality with that product... At the end I decided I had to sell it to someone else for a cheaper price... (I could not return it because I brought it from Canada)... so anyway, the worst part of this story is that the sound quality was very poor... I know my iphone has great sound quality as I use it with some speakers and with my headphones... but with the Belkin transmitter the sound that really bad... meaning that... even my cd player or fm radio had much greater sound... so at the end I just broke that stupid product and through it to the trash can. I will try to find a better way to use my iphone in my car...
    Take my very honest advice... don't buy that pieace of trash...
  8. ItsJustafnPhone macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2010
    they all suck, audio quality is terrible

    try to get an AUX in to your dash, or buy a new radio that supports AUX in or bluetooth
  9. parker770 macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2010
    I bought a $20 cable on eBay that has RCA line level outputs and power/ground connections for charging.

    I got behind the HU and intercepted the wiring for the factory CD changer(haven't used it in years) and cut the RCA plugs from the cable and wired it directly to the CD changer inputs(that go to the factory amp).

    I tapped into the cigarette lighter circuit for power/ground since it was close.

    The difference in sound quality compared to an FM mod. or tape adapter is staggering. Full bass and zero static/interference. And it supports 5V charging for the iP4 as well.

    This is absolutely the best solution, IMO, and a very affordable solution compared to all of those $100+ FM modulators that based on this thread, don't work worth a damn.

    If anyone has a factory CD changer in their car, they should be able to do this easily.
  10. gnychis macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    power output is too low in most FM transmitters. If they'd put out higher power they might actually be decent.
  11. JM2 macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2010
    South Florida
    Just to echo what others have said: all FM transmitters are junk in comparison to a direct connection. If you want to keep your factory radio check out Crutchfield's website, they can help determine which adapter is right for you.

    If your going aftermarket I've had success with Pioneer and Alpine units.
  12. mrwinky macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2010
    So are you saying I can hard wire my iPhone into my factory deck? Where can I get more info on that?

    I've got an 06 hyundai Santa fe and I really don't want to go through the hassle of replacing the factory deck on it!

    I'm just not sure what I'm looking for

  13. baslotto macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2007
    they all suck. The cassette is better if you don't have an aux input
    ... and if u have a tape player, off course....
  14. elywaldoya macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2010
    I'm looking for a device that allows me to play the songs from my ipod library through my car speakers.I have heard about the FM transmitters, and finding a correct station to match with your car radio, but I'm wondering what that has to do with anything and why that's significant to listening to music through the stereo.In simpler terms, how does the FM transmitter/car adapter work if I want to use it in my car?
  15. JM2 macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2010
    South Florida
    Winky - check out follow the steps by answering the questions and see if they make an adapter for you vehicle. From what I've gathered vehicles with factory satellite or CD changers options have the best chances of working with various adapters.

    elywaldoya - FM transmitters basically take the iPod's audio output and route it thru a small, hidden "black" box. This box then acts like a tiny radio broadcast facility. Then you can tune your radio to the FM transmitters channel/frequency just like any other FM radio station... and presto you've got the iPod songs playing over your speakers.

    The drawbacks are 1) you have to directly control over the iPhone so you need some kind of mount, 2) you have to find a "free" station, basically a place on the dial that is not already broadcasting on that frequency and lastly 3) your limited to the FM bandwidth which is sadly much LESS then the iPod's built in digital signal, in other words - it doesn't sound very good. Plus like any FM signal you sometimes get static or interference. For some people (like me) the sound trade off is not worth it, but for others (like my wife) its perfectly acceptable.

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