Last month, I bought my wife a 3rd generation iPod Nano for her birthday and since she wanted to play songs in the car, she also asked me to find an FM transmitter for it. What we needed was a simple FM transmitter that doubles as a car charger and of course one that has good sound quality and transmission. I browsed through Amazon and decided to get the Griffin iTrip Auto FM Transmitter and Auto Charger.
- Width: 0.49″ (12.5 mm)
- Length: 2.84″ (72 mm)
- Total length: 33.47″ (85 cm)
- Weight: 0.6 oz
- Antenna: Built-in
- Power: Provided by cigarette lighter or 12 volt power outlet (no batteries required)
- Modulation: FM Stereo
- Frequencies: US (88.1 -107.9 MHz)
- Oscillator: High stability crystal oscillator, phase-lock loop control
- Frequency response: 50 Hz to 15 kHz
- Operating range: 10-30 ft
- FCC Compliance: PAV9501
Since I have an Amazon Prime account, I got 2-day shipping for free and got the package 3 days after I placed the order.
The moment it arrived, I tried it right away to see if it works or not. Since the Griffin iTrip Auto FM Transmitter is also a car charger, you need to plug it into the cigarette lighter power adapter. This thing works right off the box. Just plug it into the cigarette lighter power adapter, turn on your car radio, choose the frequency, turn on your iPod and you’re good to go!
Most people who buy the Griffin iTrip Auto FM Transmitter and Auto Charger, don’t know that they can set the frequency to 87.9 and are stuck on the lowest default frequency which is 88.1. To be able to get the 87.9 frequency (still a legal frequency in the US), you’ll need to set the unit to International mode. To do that, just press on the PRESET button for about 10-15 seconds. The first option you’ll see is switching LX to DX, continue pressing until you see the US/INTL mode. If you see the US mode blinking, just click on the +/- button to switch to INTL (vice versa). After that, it will just go back to the main screen. Now your Griffin Technology iTrip Auto FM Transmitter can transmit at 87.9 frequency.
- Works out of the box.
- Plugs directly to the dock connector and has a constant line-out volume level and is not affected by the iPod’s volume dial setting.
- Starts instantly when the car is started and the iPod is auto-paused when the car is stopped. Doesn’t require warming up unlike other previous Griffin FM transmitters.
- You can tune to 87.9 FM, turn off your car or unplug iTrip, turn it back on and resume use of the channel immediately.
- Since it also works as a car charger, this unit charges the iPod while you’re using it. You don’t have to get a separate iPod car charger and you don’t have to worry about your iPod losing power.
- The FM transmitter power is quite weak.
- Volume transmitted is a little bit soft so you’ll have to increase your car radio’s volume.
- The LCD unit is wired to the connector and located in between the cigarette lighter plug and the dock connector. It can be an issue if you use your cigarette lighter power adapter for something else like a GPS unit.
- Static can be strong and annoying depending on your location.
Bottom line, if your car doesn’t have a tape deck, Bluetooth or an in-line jack and are looking for a simple and affordable way to an iPod on your car, then the Griffin iTrip Auto FM Transmitter and Auto Charger is something you would consider buying. The overall quality is not as good as listening with headphones, using a cassette deck adapter, Bluetooth, or in-line jack but the sound is good enough. What I needed was a simple FM transmitter that worked so I got what I needed and for the price, I can’t really complain about it because I got it for less than $30.