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I have owned my Griffin Itrip for a couple of years now. I have found it one of the best things I have bought. Sometimes the radio just doesn't do it for you but with this all of that is solved. I have used it with both my Ipod Classic and Ipod Nano and works brilliantly.
The Itrip plugs into your car cigarette lighter socket and gets its power through that at the same time as charging your Ipod. Always a good thing, as if plan on doing a road trip it means you don't need to keep stopping at service stations to charge your Ipod up for the next part of the drive!
I have used my Itrip in the UK, USA, Spain, France, Turkey and Greece and worked great in all of these countries.
The only small point I would like to make is that I recently just bought an I touch, and it doesn't seem to work with this Itrip. Probably because this I trip was made before the Itouch/Iphone. It is slightly upsetting as I have enjoyed using this Itrip, however I have passed it onto my mum to use with her nano, and I have bought the newer version of the Itrip that is compatible with the Itouch which is fantastic yet again.
Griffin really are head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to Fm transmitters, the clarity is brilliant, the sound volume is perfect, the charging feature is a real bonus, the wire length is good and is useful whether your cigarette lighter is in the front of the middle of your car. The preset station feature is good, but i rarely used it, as I mainly had it on the same one all the time until I left the country.
All in all a great product worth the price.
The concept of the iTrip is an ingenious one - play your music through blank radio stations, no need for bulky CDs. I have owned three iTrips and only one has disappointed me. There are iTrips that are compatable with all iPods (all modern ones certainly) and play any music that is stored on there through a radio station with nothing on (playing white noise).
My first iTrip was one that was specifically designed for my 2nd generation iPod nano, which it slotted into and was supported by a back plate. It was black and extremely stylish, however this apparantly came at a cost as it only worked intermittently. I then moved onto a silver iTrip which was slim, sleek and included clear, concise buttons on the front to control it easily (as well as on the iPod display). Fortunately this one worked and I kept it until I lost it one car journey (make sure to keep it somewhere safe, such as the glove compartment, as they are small and easily misplaced). It looked best with the nano 2nd generation, as the widths were the same, but worked perfectly with my iPod nano 3rd generation and my current iPod, the iPod touch 2nd generation. Finally, just before my holidays, I decided to get a new one which was easily the best so far - a black iTrip with digital visuals and an added in car charger. I have to wireless version and it is probably the best looking one so far, and definately the most versatile. (I found my second one upon returning from my holiday, typical, and so have been able to test them against each other. It is clear that with the backlit LED screen, this is a much easier iTrip to operate).
Ease of use
All my Griffin iTrips have been amazingly simple to use. Just plug the correct adapter into your iPod, turn the radio on and either tune the iPod to the blank station or visa versa (though the former is probably easier and quicker). As long as your radio is able to be manually operated when scrolling through radio frequencies then it should work - autoskip obviously finds radio stations, exactly what you don't want (however, saying that, I have had it known to find my iPod when autoskipping, but don't rely on it). The iTrip gets power from the iPod but with this version, an in car charger can be plugged in as well to save your battery. Allowing the opportunity to play and charge at the same time is a definate improvement.
Choosing songs follows exactly the same procedure as what you would do when listening to your iPod through headphones. Just scroll through your songs, click play and voila! Your own personal radio station. I would recommend turning the 'clicker' off as it is quite irritating when amplified. Volume cannot be controlled via the iPod, only through your car stereo.
Living out in the country, it is easier to a) find a clear channel and b) get a good signal. I have noticed that these two do deteriorate slightly when going through a big city, especially London. Generally, the sound occasionally crackles - particularly if the blank station is near to an actual radio station. Otherwise, the quality is superb at a reasonable volume (sometimes it does dip admittedly when cranking it up to 11!).
I have noticed, though this may have just been the situation, but when charging the iPod through the iTrip, the radio did seem to be crackling more than usual. I haven't read many other reviews, so I don't know if this is a common problem - or even a problem - but it's something to bear in mind.
Value for money
As of 31st August 2009, Amazon are offering it for £16.38 with free delivery and there do seem to be some cheaper deal on play.com. For this sort of price, it does seem a little steep as some in car chargers can be bought for less than a fiver, However this little, but extremely reliable gadget, saves a lot of space and allows the opportunity to play thousands of songs, audiobooks - whatever audio on your iPod generally through the car radio. It is this that I think makes the Griffin very good value for money. Of course there are other brands, that are enevitably cheaper, but in this case I think that you get what you pay for.
I love this little gadget, and have found uses for it other than through the car radio (such as through mobile phones and in the house) and is a really good, economical alternative to having expensive electronics installed in your car. My current iTrip has lasted me for 2 years and shows no sign of slowing down - a very capable product.
This has been the ideal solution for my husband in his car. He does not have a direct socket to plug his I-pod into and so unless we went to the expense of having one fitted in his car this was the best (and cheapest solution)
We purchased one of the old style i-trips many years ago when we had an i pod mini and I think they weren't that legal at the time but now you don't have to worry. The old style version used the speaker jack to transmit the sound, but this newer version is much simpler as it just plugs in the bottom socket. It also has the advantage that it charges to i-pod up at the same time - so you don't need to worry about having an in car charger - as long as you have spare lighter/12v socket.
The frequency is preset ( but you can change it if you need to) and you set your radio the the frequency shown. This should then pick up the signal being transmitted from the i-trip and play it on the car stereo. The quality of the sound is obviously limited to the quality of the car stereo, but we have had no significant quality issues. Sometimes on long journeys we have ocassionally experienced interference from a radio station that must broadcast on the particular frequency we have chosen - but generally we do not see the need to re-tune the frequency.
This is a great economic way to quickly play your i-pod in the car and is portable so if you have more than one car to play your ipod in its ideal.
Following the disasters and poor quality of my previous in-car I-Pod solution, the Belkin casette adaptor, I thought it was time to spend a bit more money and get something which is more reliable and produces a better sound.
I had read reviews and heard stories of various FM transmitters on the market but all of these had a major flaw in that they required batteries to work. There were also doubts over the legality of them due to ridiculous UK laws under the Radio Telegraphy Act that requires a license. Whilst there was very little chance the user getting caught and fined it was a grey area none the less.
Despite the law I decided that unless I was prepared to shell out a lot of money and get a fully installed solution the FM transmitter was the only way to go.
****Griffin iTrip Auto****
The Griffin iTrip Auto is one of many FM transmitters available for I-Pods. It works by taking the output from an I-Pod and transmits the tunes over a free selected FM frequency to your car radio, which is then tuned to pick it up like any other radio station.
Previous iTrip's relied on battery power but this one has a 12 volt lead to plug up to the cars cigarette lighter. This is great because it not only powers the itrip but it also charges the I-Pod allowing you to use it on the move in the knowledge that the battery won't suddenly die.
The power cord connects to the main iTrip Auto unit and this is available in either black or white. The unit has an LCD screen so you can see the frequency the transmission is set to and a pair of tuning buttons.
Once the iTrip has been tuned to the specific frequency it will automatically tune to it the next time the unit is turned on, which is good since there is no function to pre-set several different frequencies.
The previous iTrip plugged in to the bottom of the I-Pod resulting in a 'combined' unit.
This is a plug and play solution and is very, very easy to set up. There is no need to get the help of a specialist since anyone can do it, and it takes under three minutes. Once a clear frequency has been found then you can hear the I-Pod's tunes through the car stereo.
The sound quality will depend upon the radio unit and the speaker system in your car, although that said, the best you can expect will be that found on established FM stations.
At moderate volumes (i.e. loud but not ear drum busting) the quality is good and the signal is strong and clear. Try to have it too loud and the signal seems to diminish and there is a noticeable lack of quality.
****Price and availability****
I paid £26.99 for my iTrip Auto from Currys. The original iTrip costs £18.99, and whilst a neater solution in that there are no wires, it is not so good as it requires batteries (which will end up costing you as you use the iTrip) it does not charge your I-Pod.
For my daily trip to the park and ride I found that the iTrip worked perfectly with no problems. However, I sometimes found that when I went further a field there would be some interference and static, resulting in a hissing noise. Whilst this is a problem that is easily sorted by changing the frequency to clear one (usually involving a tiny adjustment up or down) on both the iTrip unit and the radio it is quite annoying and is a distraction whilst driving which, if not careful could end up being dangerous.
One annoying thing is that the iTrip does not come with a cradle or holder for the I-Pod so this is an additional expense. You don't need a cradle, and I did not have one for a few weeks, but I found that my I-Pod and the iTrip unit was rolling around all over the place.
The Griffin iTrip Auto is a good solution, however, it is worth noting that the quality deteriorates as the volume is increased and the signal can be a bit hit or miss and it is likely to need to be changed during longer distance journeys.
It is not the same quality as the fully integrated solutions but then it is a lot cheaper to buy and does not require a specialist to get it up and running.
The Griffin iTrip represents great value for money and should be considered amongst other FM transmitters.
Griffin iTrip Auto FM Transmitter for iPod
After I passed my driving test I ordered this straight away as a reward. There isn't a great deal to say about it.
~~~What is it and how does it work?~~~
Well basically it's a gadget which allows you to connect your ipod to the car and play it out loud through the car stereo which is safer than listening to your ipod in your headphones.
~~~What does it look like?~~~
It comes in a box which is silver and orange measuring 18cm x 13.5cm x 3.5cm. You can see the iTrip through the front which is black. All around the box there is writing which tells you what it is in six different languages, fortunately one is English. When you take it out the box you realize there is no need for it to be in a box this large. It has two connection points (one for the car and one for the ipod) and an LCD screen in the middle which mesasures about 2cm x 5cm. One thing comes with it, a quick start guide which is in English and one a one sided piece of card.
~~~What do I do with it?~~~
When I took mine in the car I did not take my quick start guide with me so I guessed how to do it and after reading the guide there are two ways of doing it. You need to plug one end into the bottom of your ipod (where the charger plugs in) and the other end into the cigarette lighter in the car. On the LCD screen a number will come up which is a radio frequency on FM. Mine was 88.1, and the way I did it was I tuned my radio (using the radio controls) to get to that station and then pressed play. This resulted in my song being played through the car stereo. The other way is almost the same. You choose a frequency by pressing the plus or minus button next to the LCD screen to choose a frequency which has not got a radio station on. Then leave it for two seconds, the iTrip will automatically save that frequency as the default one and then like before you tune your radio to it and it plays. I have never needed to do that however because the frequency it choose for me is always suitable.
Its almost exactly the same as how you usually use your ipod. You choose a song press play and it plays, press pause it pauses etc. You can access the menu and everything like normal. The only difference is the volume. Turning the volume up or down on the ipod has no affect on the car stereo and so it could be on zero. To alter the volume you change the volume on the car stereo, which in my opinion is actually better as it is easier.
Whilst the ipod is plugged in to the cigarette socket it will charge your ipod even when it is playing or when the radio is off. I find this very useful for when I am going somewhere because I can just leave it charging in the car.
~~~Cost and Recommendation~~~
Mine cost £24.93 on amazon with free delivery however you can now get it for £23.05 which is a good deal. It can be bought online from a variety of places. The ipod shops also sell it but at an inflated price. I think this product is worthwhile getting as often the radio stations do not play music you want to listen to. Also sometimes its nice just to listen to your song. The iTrip offers you to listen from the ipod which can store thousands of songs (depending on what ipod you have) and so does not limit you like a CD does. Even saving songs in MP3 format on a CD only allows for about hundred songs. So this provides the best way available at the moment to listen the most number of songs in a safe way. So if you have an ipod and can drive this is a must have!