Best iPod Car Solution...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by branharrison6, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. branharrison6 macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2007
    There seem to be so many different solutions to transmitting your ipod to your car stereo or radio. I want to know if there is one that sticks out above the rest. Money is not a big issue, but I would like to hear of the best as well as cheapest way of getting my iPod to play in my car. Any advice, experiences, or owned product history would be nice to hear from.

  2. xyian macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2004
    Well, since I rarely ever listen to the radio now that I have an iPod, I decided to buy an amp and some better speakers and hard wire the iPod to the amp, using it as the dedicated "head unit" so to speak. That way I can download podcasts I want to hear and I have my music available. I just got that installed and used an RCA splitter to headphone jack. Pretty cheap way of doing it. Well, other than the cost of the amp.:eek:
  3. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    I just recently bought a JVC receiver from Crutchfield that came with an iPod cable, for $159 I think. Works perfectly for me, I keep my iPod in the glove box.

    My wife's car has a somewhat similar setup only the cable in the glove box is a standard stereo minijack, which is not a solution in my opinion.
  4. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    I'm very happy with my adaptor from Dension, Renault has put his name on it but I get good sound, and I can control my iPod with the car stereo. RDS is also working. I had an iTrip before it came available and I was not happy with it.

  5. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    This is my personal favorite, though currently in my BMW I'm using a custom solution...

    ...tape adaptor. :eek: ;) :p
  6. eyebeaz macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2006
    Whatever you end up doing I recommend staying away from FM transmitters if you live in a big city. They don't work very well, and even when they do you loose a little sound quality.
  7. ascender macrumors 68020

    Dec 8, 2005
    I recently picked up an Alpine head unit which has a cable you run to your glovebox. Plug in your iPod and you can control it from the head unit. Neat, tidy and works well.
  8. yzp macrumors regular


    Mar 16, 2007
    i checked the dension's site and its not written if the dock are compatible with a honda element. However, it does work w/ a CRV! so it might be the same radio component and stuff....... anyone can confirm that?

  9. grafikat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2003
    As my car stereo is just about dead, I'm probably going to get the Alpine unit with ipod adapter (and Sirius compatible, too)
  10. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    I have a Panasonic radio with an iPod cable so I can play and access my iPods music through the radio controls. While it works well the interface is slow and clunky so I recomend anyone considering that route try a demo model first.
  11. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Kensington or Monster.

    I have a Monster iCarPlay Wireless Plus that I think is excellent, but have been eyeing the unwieldy-named Kensington RDS FM Transmitter/Car Charger for iPod. The latter can send the song and artist name to your radio, if it is RDS-equipped. (Most reasonably modern car radios that have an alpha-numeric capable screen are.)

    Of course, if your car stereo supports a direct iPod connection, that is the best. Second best would be a line-in or minijack-in; third would be a tape adapter. Only resort to an FM transmitter if you're not willing to pay for (or can't get) the direct iPod adapter, and have no other choice. (For example, my car doesn't have any line-in, or a tape deck, and the direct iPod link for it is over $200.)
  12. kymac macrumors 6502a


    Nov 4, 2006
    my father and i both own and love the kensignton fm transmitter. i was skeptical purchasing an fm transmitter, because inthe past i had owned an itrip and wasn't to fond of the difficult setup, and unclear sound. However through my research the Kensington had amazing reviews and was the best rated fm transmitter on the market. It's just plug and go, and when you find the right station, you get cd quality sound. its amazing. if you buy one, get it from amazon. i picked mine up from there for 39 bucks, and they had a ten dollar mail in rebate on top of that. good luck!
  13. Jimmery macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2005

    I'm using the iPod2car Gen2 system for my factory stereo (Ford Focus), with my iPod sitting in the armrest, connected to the dock connector of the iPod2car. I'm very happy with this setup. The radio display gives song titles and allows me to search artists, playlists, etc.. I use the audio controls on the left side of the steering column to control the iPod too.
  14. alwaysaangel macrumors regular

    May 14, 2007
    Any advice on finding a good station? I bought my bf this for Christmas and we have a hell of a time finding an empty station. If we drive more than 20 miles we're always scrambling to find a new empty station because the one we were on has a station on it and its making the transmition fuzzy.
  15. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    The thing I hated more about FM transmitters is that (at least here) I always ended up next to someone on the same station listening to some real lousy music.

    Now I have an aux jack, though I still use a Belkin Auto Kit with pre-amp instead of the headphone jack.

  16. kymac macrumors 6502a


    Nov 4, 2006
    well I have just been using the default station it came with, i live about twenty minutes from the city, and get perfect clearity, even though when the fm transmitter is off theres a little reception on the station. but i do travel downtown everyday, and it starts to get sketchy, theres several preset buttons, so maybe find one that works where you dont get great sound, and preset one for there, and then maybe another for somewhere else. not sure if this will help in your location but good luck.
  17. nichos macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2004
    Jacksonville, Fl
    Just another vote for getting a deck with ipod support built in. Not only is the sound quality going to be better than an FM transmitter, you can use the buttons on the deck to control it, thus making it safer to drive;)
  18. *Spitfire* macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2007
    Harmon-Kardon Drive+Play

    If the functionality justifies the cost for you, I'd suggest investigating the Harmon-Kardon Drive+Play. I've had it for more than a year now, and I'm very pleased with its performance.

    You'll appreciate it more if your car's geometry accommodates it well. In an Acura RL there is a little alcove above what I think is a coin receptacle that houses the screen perfectly, shading it from glare. The actuator that emulates the control pad of an iPod is affixed to the console, and it just happens that the colors match the interior of the car. The iPod itself resides in the glovebox where it connects to its cable that supplies power as well as the connection.

    The sound quality is excellent since you are hard-wired into your car's stereo system, eliminating the clutter and interference issues presented by FM transmitters (as others have pointed out, especially in cities) and by the multiple contacts of tape players, even if your car has one.

    With professional installation it isn't the most inexpensive alternative, but it may be what your looking for.
  19. yzp macrumors regular


    Mar 16, 2007

    yeah, a nstive iPod integration would be sick.....

    any suggestion on models??

  20. vintagetobes macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2007
    The trouble with the systems that go directly from the ipod dock connector to the head unit is that you lose control via the ipod. When it is connected all track changes must be done on the head unit. Its great if you set up a play list before you leave because it allows you to flick through tracks, but its not feasable to find individual tracks or albums through the head unit. This makes it safe to use but its frustrating if you are driving with a passenger who would like to change songs. The ipod needs to be removed to select a track directly on it. It can then be plugged back in to play it. All this means is there is a gap between songs.
    I started with a regular cable going to the back of my head unit and then bought the ipod kit (kenwood system). After fitting the ipod kit i didnt like it as much as the jack connection but couldn't be bothered to change it back.

    Hope this helps.
  21. rdp5008 macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2006
    I previously used an FM transmitter and I do not recommend it if you have other options.

    You can purchase units that allow you to attach an iPod directly to your stock radio (for certain cars).

    I recently purchased a Pioneer DEH-P6900UB that has a USB port (no adapter required) that accepts iPod and other MP3 devices (including jump drives!). It works great! I love it.

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