iPod FM Transmitter

billyergs

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 16, 2005
71
0
CT
Hi, want to purchase one of these. Do these work well in cars? Ho w sharp is the sound? Any recommendations in terms of brands? Thank You!
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
I've got one (an iTrip) and I'm a little disappointed to be honest. The sound quality's pretty pathetic, there's substantial interference from other radio stations in cities, it drains the battery quite quickly and it makes my beautiful iPod look quite ugly. That last one's not really a problem. ;)

I recommend going the hard wired connection if possible. If you've got a tape deck in your car, get one of those cabled tapes. They're pretty good quality.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,480
9
London
I've got an iTrip too. The sound quality is OK as long as you don't expect it to sound better than normal FM. The problem I have is finding a spare frequency to use that does not change all the time. In and around London it's so bad the whole thing is basically useless.
 

firststrike101

macrumors member
Mar 1, 2005
76
0
Manitoba, Canada
I have the iTrip and where I live it works just fine. The sound quality is fine. Ive never had much static at all. I can see it being a problem in bigger areas where there are lots of radio stations. My crap hole city only has 3 radio stations.
 

iToon

macrumors newbie
Apr 11, 2005
18
0
Lichfield, UK
My friend had one shipped from the US prior to their ready availability in the UK and was crowing about it for ages. He gave me a demo and it sounded pretty good to me. If I remember correctly, I think he had his linked up to the tape deck in the car. Reception sounded very good in the Midlands, UK and we drove around for about 2 hours without any interference.
 

sherry_yar

macrumors newbie
Apr 13, 2005
2
0
I bought one 20 days ago and its okay ... one thing i really hate about iTrip is that the iPod volume has to be b/t 50-70% ... otherwise, you won't be able to hear it (<50%) or the sound would be all distorted (>70%) ... its a constant pain to keep this range and be able to get a quality sound WHILE DIRVING ... I'm gonna return mine and get a wired one.
 

andysmith

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2004
342
0
West Mids, UK
I also have an iTrip, and the sound quality is really good - much better than the TuneCast I used to have. I use it every day when I drive into the city (Birmingham, UK), and I never have to change frequencies.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
robbieduncan said:
I've got an iTrip too. The sound quality is OK as long as you don't expect it to sound better than normal FM. The problem I have is finding a spare frequency to use that does not change all the time. In and around London it's so bad the whole thing is basically useless.
I agree. I just got the iTrip mini, and it has been great when playing music. The occasional hiss in an area like DC has not been a bother. But listening to audio books has been a bit disappointing to a degree. It is like listening to Am depending on the area I am in.

I also have a Transpodder, and with music it has been OK, much like the ITrip mini.

I have been tempted to do the Alpine iPod solution. The read out of what I am listening to on the head unit would be nice. my hesitation is that when i do any "upgrades" to my "ride", something happens that I end up loosing on the deal.

In the end it depends on how far you travel. Meaning how often do you have to change stations. And just how clear you want your music to be in a noisy car.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Jdm_rsx said:
taped ones are usually better?

sorry for diggin up an old thread but like most ppl said SEARCH!

= )
Depending on your ears, in a word yes.

From my previous comments, if done at the time of purchase I think a dedicated iPod solution is the best. If you are worried about the future of the vehicle, then a FM transmitter makes more sense.

In fact I use my iTrip mini at work on the FM radio that we have.
 

Cuckoo

macrumors 6502
May 2, 2003
368
0
The Netherlands - Utrecht
I bought one, which i sold after a week. Just beceause it wouldn't work in my car. It was due to the fact that my car has it's antenna in the front, right next to the licenceplate <which i didn't know until i bought the itrip>. This resulted in almost no reception in the car. And in my house, with an ordanry FM radio, the quality was something between poor and very poor.

An other issue, when i disconnected the antenna in my car my radio searches for the strongest signal while you drive, as a result of this, it picked up the iTrip signal, but while driving the radio picked up a station now and then, which disstorted the itrip signal.

All in all i thought it was a pretty poorly gizmo -for the things i wanted to do with it- being listening to music in my car.
 

slipper

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2003
1,539
29
if you have a cassette player, use a cassette adapter. if you only have a CD player then i recommend the Monster Cable iCar Play Plus. Its by far the best, but one of the more expensive units. The other FM transmitters take signal from the mini stereo jack whereas the iCar Play Plus takes the signal from the dock connector so its a lot less prone to distortion.
 

Jdm_rsx

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2004
363
0
Honolulu, Hawaii
slipper said:
if you have a cassette player, use a cassette adapter. if you only have a CD player then i recommend the Monster Cable iCar Play Plus. Its by far the best, but one of the more expensive units. The other FM transmitters take signal from the mini stereo jack whereas the iCar Play Plus takes the signal from the dock connector so its a lot less prone to distortion.
any idea where i can buy one of this and cost?

thanks!
 

mocman

macrumors regular
May 8, 2004
215
0
I also have been looking at the fm trans route. I have it narrowed down to the Icarplay plus until I found the PodFreq. Now I have to make up my mind between these. I am leaning toward the PodFreq after I downloaded a in car test on the PodFreq.
 

Jdm_rsx

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2004
363
0
Honolulu, Hawaii
i think im going to settle w/ wires instead of wireless..

someone please help me out with

whats icarplay? cost? where i can get it?

i need specific details!

the cd player in my is300 is driving me NUTS!
 

ewinemiller

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2001
445
0
west of Philly
I have an iTrip, it's okay, but not great. In North Orlando it took a while to find a good spot on the dial for it (95.9). Sound quality is like you're tuned into the local college radio station. It sounds like an FM station, just not a powerful one. When the weather is freaky, I get more static. You'll need to pick a equalizer setting or else the sound is dull, rock seems to make it sound more like a normal station.

If you've got the option for a cassette adapter or an aux input on your head unit they are a much better choice. We use a cassette adapter in the wife's van and it sounds much better.

I haven't really noticed a large battery drain with it attached, but I seldom use it where I don't have a cigarette lighter adaptor plugged in for juice.

It also is like a nice remote for the home stereo system. It sounds better than it does in the car and I can keep it close to me and change the song from about 20' away.
 

Sol

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2003
1,564
6
Australia
DLO Transpod

If a tape adaptor or line-in is not an option, I would recommend using the iPod with the DLO TransPod. Unline the iTrip, the Transpod connects to the iPod with the dock connector and therefore takes a line-out signal from it. It gets powered by the 12 V cigarette lighter port of the car so it recharges the iPod while you drive. You can select any FM frequency with it and it also has presets. Reception varies depending on where you live, where your antena is positioned, how cloudy it is, etc.

Ultimately FM transmitters are not the best sounding solutions but they are the most practical. Car CD players do not feature line-in so the radio is the easiest option.

By the way, aren't FM transmitters illegal in England?
 

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,253
17
Orlando
The Monster iCarPlay for iPod is definitely the best. We sell it at RadioShack (where I work), and there are two models. The best one is $79 (like they said before, pricey) and is a one piece FM transmitter and charger for iPods with a dock connecter, the other one is $59 and is just the FM transmitter, so it plugs in via a headphone jack instead of the dock connecter. Either one would sound far better than most FM transmitters, but I like the idea of charging it at the same time. Unfortunately it's more than I can pay right now. I have a line in on my new stereo though, so once I get it installed that should be the best connection possible.

jW
 

shortyman

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2005
39
0
Somerset, UK
Sol said:
By the way, aren't FM transmitters illegal in England?
I believe so, yes. You certainly can't buy them from stores based in the UK. I think its because they could interfere with the emergency services frequency, although that's probably not the actual reason. I'm sure someone else will know the real reason though.

:)
 

andysmith

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2004
342
0
West Mids, UK
shortyman said:
I believe so, yes. You certainly can't buy them from stores based in the UK. I think its because they could interfere with the emergency services frequency, although that's probably not the actual reason. I'm sure someone else will know the real reason though.

:)
It's covered under the Wireless and Telegraphy Act, 1949 - so it's more a technicality than fear it'll interfere with emergency services.
 

sinisterdesign

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2003
421
2
atlanta
FM not ideal

if you have EITHER a tape deck OR a CD changer input (preferable if you don't have a CD changer already b/c you wouldn't be able to use it any more) they would be a better solution to a FM transmitter.

i had an early FM trans, so i'm sure they've improved, but at BEST you're getting FM sound quality and it just can't pump out enough volume w/o introducing distortion. i have a convertible, so it just wasn't loud enough. i now have mine wired through the CD changer input as a AUX input. MUCH better.

good luck.