Is there a good FM transmitter for iPhone3G?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by christianp, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. christianp macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    My car doesn't have a user accessible AUX port, so I'm stuck going the FM transmitter route. Complicating matters, I live in Silicon Valley where the spectrum is jam-packed. I tried the Belkin tunebase, but it was so weak and "static-y" as to be non-functional. I've read here that Belkin tunecast is suspect as well.

    Anyone have any recommendations for a GOOD FM transmitter for the 3G.
  2. shadowquatch macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2008
    Avoid the newer monster icarplay 250 like the plague:

    -Static on all channels, no matter if tuned with auto scanning selection or manual

    -Even in the somewhat clear spots any lows in songs reveal a level of background static

    -Offers up the airplane mode confirmation when plugged in

    On the plus side it does charge the 3g nicely although with my capsule rebel installed the connector is no longer flush but is tilted to the one side.

    I realize this isn't what you are looking for but I figured I'd give you my experience from the one I tried. Anyone have great audio from a cassette adapter?
  3. schubes macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2008
    British Columbia
    Wish my new car had a casette deck. I found the casette adaptor was the easiest and most effective simple solution until now
  4. thor79 macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Belkin Tunebase FM Model F8Z183 (the newest model) works perfectly with my iPhone 3G. That's the one I recommend. It does everything perfectly and does not cause an error to is compatible with the iPhone 3G. The model before it (F8Z176 or something) was not designed to work with the iPhone 3G and will likely damage your phone if you try to use it. I don't even think that model says it was designed for the original iPhone.

    As for the FM reception...I have no issues...but I wouldn't say the spectrum is jam packed it my area (Western Burbs of Chicago). I have two frequencies programmed so if one is a little staticy (never have I gotten to the point of it being "non-functional") I move to the other which is usually fine. It's possible an FM transmitter just won't work well in your area. If there are too many signals it has to fight with it just may not be able to overcome them no matter what FM transmitter you use. You might have to go about replacing the head unit in your stereo to be able to hook up your phone directly or at least hook it up via an aux port or cassette adapter.

    On other thing...if you are expecting crystal clear are expecting too much...there will always be a small amount of hiss or something in the background...FM transmitters work by overriding any audio signals your antenna may receive. This is a brute force method and is prone to interference. The best you will get is regular over the air radio quality.
  5. christianp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    Thanks for the suggestion Thor. I'm not expecting some sort of audiophile sound, just to be able to listen to music at radio quality. With the tunebase, it was so static-y as to overwhelm the music (like listening to Sacramento radio stations in the Bay Area). I have two friends that have FM transmitters for the ipod (one is a griffin, one is something else) and they both work, more or less, flawlessly.

    Unfortunately, replacing the head unit is impossible as I have a 2001 Mercedes E55, and the stereo is integrated into the center console navigation unit. I've read there is an aftermarket $1000 fix - unplugging the cd changer from the aux port which allows the ipod/iphone to be plugged in, but because my car is a little older, I have CD based navigation, so I'd be without a CD player if I chose that route.

    I'd still appreciate any other suggestions.
  6. Switz213 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2008
    Go to any Car Radio store and they can usually put an audio jack in. I had one put in on my car. Works perfectly
  7. lindsayanng macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2008
    East Haven, CT
    CD BASED NAVIGATION?? call me nieve, i dont even know what that really means!

    but it should NOT be that much money, even on a mercedes, to add a headphone jack to an existing stero! Its actually EXTREMELY easy to do (we did it in my husbands truck) but i can see where it MIGHT get pricey because you want it to integrate nicely with style of the car.. but $1000?!?! thats crazy.

    did you go to a regular car audio place? I know its not the dealship, but the car is older anyways.. why not see what their price is.
  8. applehappy macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2007
  9. buckgee macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2008
    Avoid FM transmitters

    Try aux adapter at, i have an older BMW without AUX. Installed one of their adapter, works perfectly. Installation is can be tricky.
  10. schubes macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2008
    British Columbia
    Are the grom products similar to this?
  11. davetx macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2008
    I just ordered this from Crutchfield.


    It connects directly to the antennae, so it should have a lot stronger signal than the wireless offerings that plug into the cigarette lighter. I will let you know how it works out when I receive it.

    I plan on joining it with the Kensington LiquidAUX to get the audio from my Iphone to the the FM modulator.

Share This Page