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Our WAV is a converted van with all the sound proofing removed so we only have the basic radio in it. It doesn't have a point for playing direct from the iPod and with an eight hour drive to London for the Olympics ahead of us we needed something. Step forward this magical little device.
The version we got was all black unlike the image here. It came in a small white box with an in car charger and a very small instruction leaflet which was mainly pictures. It does look very low cost but we've had no problems with the build quality yet.
The instructions were easy to follow and all we had to do was connect it to the ipod, tune the car radio to the station shown on the transmitter screen and ........ out came our favourite music. I was delighted at how easy it was to use. The device basically takes whatever is playing on your ipod and transmits it over FM for your car radio to pick up. There is no need to connect it to your radio at all.
So we start our journey and the sound quality is on a par with the other radio stations. I had bought a sticky mat so I had the transmitter and ipod on the dashboard within easy reach. It stayed good quality till we reach Carlyle when it begins to get a bit hissy. I had been warned that when the FM signal is busy this would happen. It was exceptionally easy to retune. I just pressed the down button (there are only two, one for up and one for down) to move the signal and then pressed the retune down on the car stereo. Once again it found the signal and out came the music loud and clear.
The battery life is very good and lasted us the full eight hour journey with no loss of quality. I'm not really sure how it worked but when I switched the car stereo off, it somehow shut down the ipod and when we returned, it was at the next song on our playlist. This I think helped save the power. I did recharge it on the way back up but that was mainly to test the charger to be honest. The nice thing is that when plugged into the charger, it also charges the ipod, two for the price of one. The charger comes with a USB connection so it can be used for any device.
I would totally recommend this device. We bought it for under £10 which makes it excellent value for money. I've tried it now in a couple of cars and also lent it to some friends as it can be used in any car on any ipod.
I drive to work which means that, on the way to and from work, the majority of radio stations are filled with people talking about random stuff that I don't really care about. On the odd occasion you do get a bit of music, but for every 3 minute song there is 5 minutes of talking.
Because my car isn't fancy enough to have an ipod dock or connection, I had to do things the hard way. I first bought a Belkin radio transmitter about a year ago which needed to be plugged into the headphone jack of my iphone as well as the power socket in the car. This wasn't too much hassle but the problem was that it was rubbish! It would keep cutting out every 2 minutes and generally didn't work!
For those of you who aren't familiar with one of these, they are basically transmitters that plug into your iphone and transmit the sound over radio waves to a particular frequency of your choosing. All you need to do is find a frequency using the car radio that is not attached to a radio station (often the range of 87MHz - 90MHZ works perfectly), plug in the adapter, choose the same frequency as the radio, press play and away you go.
So, a few weeks ago I decided to have a look online and came across this marvellous creation. It works in exactly the same way as the Belkin one but actually does what it is supposed to! Instead of a lot of wires, this one is just a small transmitter which is about as wide as an iphone and about 3cm long which plugs into the phone where the charger would normally plug into. It is black in colour, has a small screen and 2 buttons that change the frequency up or down.
Within the package you also get a small charger which can be plugged into the power socket in the car and into the adapter. This will charge up your iphone if required but to be honest I have never used it. It also comes with instructions but, to be honest, these are really not required as it really is very simple.
The other great thing about the transmitter is that it works with pretty much all ipods iphones so if you have an apple product, this is likely to work with it!
There are only 2 problems I have found, which I suspect is applicable for all devices that act as a transmitter. First is that the transmitter needs to be quite close to the radio - mine is by the hand brake and works fine but if it is moved to the back of the car then the signal looses strength. The other is that as you drive though various areas of the country, your chosen frequency may actually be taken up by a radio station and you may need to retune the transmitter. Not big problems really!
Overall, I am really glad I got this. I was very dubious after my initial problems with the Belkin transmitter but would definitely recommend this one. It cost about £10 and was money very well spent.
I'm a bit of a music lover and would always rather listen to my own choice of music than anyone else's music... well wouldn't we all really in an ideal world?! I love my ipod and there's rarely a day that goes by when I don't listen to it for at least half an hour, I'm even lucky enough to have an ipod dock installed in my car which means the sound is crystal clear and I can avoid being bored to tears by all the radio adverts! It all sounds ideal doesn't it... and it was until I started lift sharing to work a couple of days a week with my mum who isn't fortunate enough to have either a good taste in music (as verified by myself of course) or an ipod dock in car. Quickly realising that I couldn't survive for very long having to listen to her choice of music or all the radio adverts I started to look for a way to allow my ipod to play in her car... I did try sitting my headphones in but her music was too loud and I did feel just a little unsociable to be honest!
No matter how I tried to explain the benefits of having an ipod dock fitted in her car she just wasn't willing to cooperate, it doesn't help that she's not the best when it comes to technology and isn't actually sure what an ipod is still! Instead I had to find an alternative way to play my music through her radio and decided to invest in an adaptor which allows it to play through a radio frequency - I had one of these years ago and it always worked really well. After browsing on a couple of sites I selected the Tech Net MT-096 FM Transmitter and purchased it via Amazon for a relatively small price of £9.79. It arrived a couple of days later in a small box with a rather brief instructions booklet accompanying it. The transmitter itself is about 3cm long and 6cm wide, it also only weighs 82g which makes it rather easy to lose I've found! It's black in colour with a white trim and a small digital display screen in the centre of the device.
The instructions recommend that you simply plug the connector on the device into the ipod in the same socket where you would place a charger. It is compatible with the Apple iphone (all models) ipod touch (all models), ipod classic (all models), ipod video (all models), ipod mini (all models and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th generation ipod nanos. Concluding from that I am presuming there are not many ipods that this transmitter with not be compatible with at all! The real beauty is that it also comes with an auxiliary power adaptor which means you can still charge your ipod or phone even when the transmitter is plugged into it, therefore just because the charging socket is in use it doesn't mean you can't charge it. It's really easy to fit to my ipod, it just clicks in and fits quite snugly - there's no need to worry about it falling out when you're on the move at all. It also looks quite compact and smart when it's in operation too.
It's really simple to actually use the transmitter as it only has two buttons on it which allow you to increase or decrease the FM frequency of the transmitter. The instructions recommend you manually search on your car's radio for a frequency which is purely static and is not in use by any radio stations, this is quite easy to do and there are a fair few to choose from in my area. Once you've done that you simply need to adjust the frequency on the transmitter using the increase and decrease silver buttons so it reflects that on the radio or the device you wish it to play through. The whole process took me about two minutes in total and once you've done that your music will play through the radio. It's incredibly easy, the instructions are quite brief but to be honest you don't really need much guidance at all when it comes to tuning the transmitter in. It transmits on FM channels from 87.6MHz to 107.9MHZ so you're sure to find a channel.
The only thing you need to remember is not to move the ipod too far from the outlet it is playing through as the transmitter does need to be fairly close or you will get a little interference and static coming through. The only other problem I've found is that if you're travelling quite a distance you may need to re-tune the transmitter in as obviously when you move through the country stations will be playing on different frequencies. The transmitter is so easy to use, it's really reliable as I've had mine now for over two months and not experience any problems and it looks really smart with its LCD display and blue background light. The £9.79 I paid seems to be quite a standard price although if you do browse around you may be able to get it cheaper, I personally couldn't find it cheaper elsewhere though. I'm really happy with this purchase as it works brilliantly... and secretly I think even my mum is as well!
Thanks for reading.