iPhone FM Transmitters ... how is the quality?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mgpg89, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. mgpg89 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2008
    Because my car stereo doesn't have an auxiliary channel where I can plug in my iPod, I'm looking for an alternative ...

    I found quite a few nice FM transmitters, but I'm wondering - in general - how's the sound quality of these things?

    Can you compare it to listening to the actual radio?
    Or can anyone give me a bitrate to relate to?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
  3. chox99 macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2008
    It depends on 2 things. Transmitter quality and how crappy your stereo receiver is. You need a powerful FM transmitter with wide range of frequencies. And really crappy radio so it doesn't pick up signals well. It sounds strange but it makes perfect sense since you transmitter is like a radio station and you don't want your stereo to pick up any other signal. It works horribly on my late model honda but it work flawlessly on my 10year old toyota with sh*tty radio:D
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    You're not going to get perfect CD quality because FM is not.

    I had one of the Belkin transmitters years back that worked pretty well. You MUST get one that allows you to choose about every FM frequency out there. Every place has different empty frequencies, so you need more control than the cheaper unit that only gives you 4 preset frequencies.

    If you do that, it should be pretty much like listening to FM music. It's not going to be the same as a direct connection, but it should be pretty good.
  5. mgpg89 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2008
  6. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Collins Colorado
    Yes there is allot of difference in sound. We took one of the Belkin ones with us on a roadtrip last year and it worked ok but we had to turn the volume way up and then remember to turn it down when playing a CD or radio. The Belkin one had two presets to set any channel that was clear on the FM dial and usually they worked from city to city. Sometimes in the middle of nowhere, a station would come suddenly booming in and we would have to rush to turn the volume down.

    Anything can and will interfere such as static from power lines and traffic lights.
  7. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    The only one I've used and had a good experience with is this one.

    CNet had a review for one that they said was one of the first ones that's worked for them in San Francisco, here.

    Neither of them are iPod-specific, so they won't charge your device. The iRiver, at least, sounds worlds better than any of the iPod-dedicated units I've used, though.
  8. STEVESKI07 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Washington, DC
    I use the Griffin iTrip and have had very good results with it right outside of DC where there is plenty of FM interference. I try to broadcast with my SIRIUS radio too and it does a horrible job, basically unusable. This thing is way better. Barely never get any interference at all and it finds the open channels for you.
  9. billchase2 macrumors 68000


    Feb 28, 2006
    Ann Arbor
    Has anyone found a good iPhone 3GS cigarette adapter dock with FM transmitting? I had one for my old 2G, but the 3GS doesn't fit (plus, I get a warning screen that won't allow it to charge/transmit anyway).
  10. joro macrumors 68020


    Jun 11, 2009
    I never had good experience with FM transmitters on the 3G (I used 3 different ones) though admittedly I haven’t tried them with the 3GS. I think it depends a lot on your location and whether there are a lot of open FM channels.

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