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iPhone 3G FM Transmitter with Remote

iPhone 3G FM Transmitter with Remote

I got mine off eBay. It’s a cheap model that I was able to pick up for 14.00 which included free shipping. It comes with a USB charger as well so you can charge the phone and listen to podcasts or music while it is charging.

Skeptical at first because you always get what you pay for. Mine was no different. The first one did not work at all and I ended up returning it and was shipped another one. Downside, I had to pay to ship it back to the seller but at least I did not have to pay for shipping again to get it returned. It took 10 days to get another one after they received the defective one (delivery was tracked), not very prompt but at least the seller replaced it.

After reading reviews of other FM transmitters it seemed they all had issues of interference and poor quality sound with hissing/static/buzzing noises. This would apply to the expensive ones as well so if I lost 14.00 it was no big deal. These things will run past 60.00 depending on what you get and where you buy.

Two things were a must
1) It needed to be a USB charger that detached from the cigarette lighter adapter. If you forget to charge the phone and happened to be at a friend’s house or work you can charge it there using the USB plug.
2) The charger needs to put out enough juice to allow the phone to play your music or podcasts, answer calls while in the car and charge the phone at the same time. This charger was advertised as such. I did not do an extensive test but initial use shows this to be true.

This unit has a blue backlit LED when adjusting the frequencies and turns off after a few seconds, a nice touch and makes it easily readable during the day or night. Frequencies are adjustable by .1 increments to allow you to find an unused one.

When adjusting the car radio I found you cannot find an empty frequency without a bit of noise, just find one with the weakest signal. The transmitter is powerful enough to overcome this and I was surprised that the signal is very clear with no background noise at all.

Music or Podcasts came in very nicely. If you have ever tried to listen through the iPhone directly you will find the sound is extremely weak because the sounds from the car, road or other noises will drown it out. I found the transmitter is prone to interference from power lines when there is a lot of them grouped together, just a few is not a problem. When driving past them you will get static or crackling noises.

The charger is really flaky and substandard at best. The cigarette adapter plugs in loosely as well as the USB plug itself where it plugs into the cigarette adapter. Poor quality but hey, you get what you pay for right. The jury is out about the connection between the transmitter and power cord as well.

I have to fiddle with to get it to charge and still do sometimes. Testing and Quality Assurance is definitely not the hallmark of this manufacturer. If you move the phone around it will sometimes break the charge connection so you have to mess with it to the get the charge going again. Not exactly a good idea when driving.

The charge adapter included from Apple is heads and above in quality. Why the manufacturer couldn’t put one together like Apple is beyond me. I have another car charger from an earlier purchase and it has the same charge connection issues as well, probably the same manufacturer, sure seems like it.

The USB plug can be removed from the adapter so if you forget to charge while on the road you can always charge it later on a computer, at work or at a friend’s place.

A Remote Control is also included but not all the buttons are activated. The ones that don’t work are simply flat. You can change frequencies, volume, mute and get playback to loop. It doesn’t work by sound but infrared. You need to point it at the device. A cheap extra and I don’t find much use for it. Don’t sit on it because it would snap like a toothpick.

I use the radio or phone itself to make the adjustments and it’s a lot easier. The buttons on the remote don’t light up so it’s useless at night unless you want to take the time to remember the button layout on the remote. The buttons that do work are raised so you can try to go by feel if you are so inclined.

A final note, the transmitter will work without having to plug it into the charger. It will draw power from your phone, it’s supposed to be minimal but I haven’t tested how much of drain it is. Overall the transmitter is half-decent. Sound is clear and crisp with the occasional noise from other power sources, charger is flaky and the remote is useless.

One Response to “iPhone 3G FM Transmitter with Remote”

  1. Outdoor Kids Toys

    iPhone 3G FM Transmitter with Remote | Ray's Weblog

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