FM transmitter for iPhone - what are my options?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Steven Jackson, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Steven Jackson macrumors 6502

    Dec 8, 2006
    Lincoln, U.K.

    I currently drive for an hour or so each day using my iPhone and earbuds. Someone just told me that this is illegal, however, and I'll get points on my licence if I get caught...

    So what are my options? An FM transmitter seems to be the only way as my car (Toyota Yaris) has no audio input (why, oh why?) and the radio/cd system is not removable (it's part of the dashboard).

    Is there a decent FM transmitter for the iPhone (UK)? What do you recommend?


  2. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    I've got a BELKIN...

    FM transmitter that plays all my movies and music while I'm driving. It also charges my iPhone while plugged into the cigarette lighter. It basically eliminates the need for earbuds or headphones, but you can still get a ticket for watching movies on the iPhone as well. (of course, I would never do that!).

  3. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    I have that some one. Its great! I bought it about 2 weeks ago.
  4. flickaup macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    Does the iPhone cause any interference to the FM transmitter?

    I get an incredible amount of static with my old fashioned cassette adapter to the point in which it's unusable with the iPhone. I never had that problem with my Blackberry and iPod connected to the cassette player in the car. The only way around it has been to flip the iPhone to airplane mode which defeats the phone part.
  5. Kaspers macrumors regular


    Oct 7, 2007
    the Netherlands
  6. ms2kj macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2008
  7. sal macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    the belkin one is unusable with the iphone. You get interference, unless you set the iphone to airplane mode.
  8. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    This looks like an iPod transmitter
  9. carfac macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    belkin is a POS. Not only is it not strong enough (too much static ), but it is Mono. Oh... And it sounds like caca- sucks the fidelity out of the music.

  10. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    I use the iTrip Auto. They also have a newer iTrip with some resistence to the GSM noise, but if you have the auto check turned off on your mail, it will be no problem.

    The advantage with iTrip Auto is that is works and charges all Dock connecting iPods, unlike many others that use USB power.

  11. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    I take it you have never used it. It is not mono, yes there is a mono mode if you so desire to use that. But by default it isn't. And it works great i have no problems with static.
  12. 0B1 macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2006
    Kensington RDS FM transmitter

    For music I use my old kensington rds fm transmitter. Operates as with ipod - charges and displays track info if your radio has an rds display. Occasionally get interference, haven't tried to take or make calls while plugged in tho or use in airplane mode.
  13. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    According to Crutchfield you can install an aftermarket (Pioneer, Alpine, etc.) head unit. My guess is that the dash has to come out first to get to the factory unit though. Getting a head unit that has an iPod dock cable is your best option if you have the money since they sound 10 times better than any other option. Most 2008 models either come with them or have it optionally for ~£15.
  14. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    it all depends on which Belkin and how strong the FM transmitters are in your area. If there are a ton of strong radio stations you'll have a hard time finding a clear enough channel for picking up the FM transmitter over the radio. I also imagine the type of car you have can play a part since if the FM transmitter is inside the car, and the antenna is outside or on one of the back windows far away from the transmitter it's possible that the low powered transmitter is not getting picked up by the antenna well enough. For external antennas some cars have windshields with a metallic coating that can interfere with RF devices that might be causing interference/signal degradation as well.

    I've been using one for years and have very few complaints, but I found a radio station that works for me and audio quality is not my biggest concern since I have a Jeep Wrangler soft top and the noise of driving masks poor quality audio pretty well.
  15. sal macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    I got pretty good reception with the belkin as well, on my video ipod.

    On the iphone however, it is unusable. I get cellphone interference every 30 seconds or so. When plugging the iphone, it asks me if I'd like to enable airplane mode. If I do, I don't get interference.

    Anyways, since experiencing this, I went out and bought a pioneer car stereo and link it directly. Goodbye fm transmitters. Should have done that a long time ago.
  16. Chris29 macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2007
    hardwire to any radio

    you can install a PIE interface behind most all factory radios to give you a "line in" that you can connect your iphone, pod, satelite radio, etc to. they are a god compromise if you do not want to replace your factory radio. you can find them at the link below, crutchfield, ebay, etc. i had a sirius branded one (typically not advertised - a installer only product) that was used in my company car where i cannot take out the radio. took it over to circuit city to get installed in 45 minutes. i have a 1/8" mini cable coming out the back of my console that i can plug whatever into. you have your radio on, and once anything on that line powers on, it activates on its own. here's the main manufacturer...

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