First Looks Special: DLO mini fm FM Radio & Headphone Amplifier
Weren’t expecting this one, were you? Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) has just unveiled “mini fm,” which its packaging describes as an “FM Radio and Headphone Amplifier for the iPod mini.” Built in silver as a way to generically complement the various body colors of all iPod mini models, mini fm is a highly professional-looking attachment with five buttons on its top and a pass-through headphone port. A bright blue backlit screen displays the current station.
It’s also substantially smaller than Griffin’s iFM and BTI’s TuneStir FM radio attachments, and does not dangle from a cord, either. Instead, its body fits right on top of the iPod mini, adding less than an inch of extra height while incorporating a nice blue FM tuning screen.
Where’s the battery? There is none; it draws off of the iPod mini’s battery, and flashes its letters when power is low. What about the antenna? Your headphone wires. The unit won’t reliably tune stations without them.
A “mode” button on the left turns the unit on, and switches between FM radio and iPod listening modes. If held down for two seconds, it will turn both itself and the attached iPod mini off. Pressing it again will turn both units back on. Volume is tuned with the plus and minus buttons on mini fm’s top, while tuning is accomplished with the left and right buttons. mini FM tunes from 87.5FM to 108, and our prototype unit actually tunes in super-sensitive .05 increments, something we assume will change in the final production version. It also can do a channel scan to save on button presses.
The “headphone amplifier” feature is accessed by putting the mini fm in iPod mode and then using both the iPod’s and mini FM’s volume controls at the same time. It’s a nice bonus feature - the sort of thing we haven’t wanted to pay extra for, but don’t mind seeing tossed in with a device like this one.
A protective headphone plug cover will be included with mini fm for travel purposes. Otherwise, you’ll leave the bottom extended headphone plug exposed, or keep the unit plugged into your iPod mini on the go.
How does it sound? Our initial testing suggests that it’s roughly comparable to Griffin’s iFM in tuning power, and therefore but we’ll need to run a bunch more tests (and see a final production unit) before we can say anything decisive on this. Though lacking iFM’s recording and remote features, there’s no doubt that mini FM will present an attractive alternative upon its release. Final pricing and availability information have yet to be announced, but mini fm is expected to retail for under $50 and release before year’s end.
- Apple Computer iTV / Apple TV First Look
- First Looks: PocketParty V2, Aural Earbuds, Cases for Apple Remote, nano, 5G
- First Looks: Kensington Dock 500/Radio Duo, Icuiti DV920, Belkin TuneBase FM & More
- First Looks Special: Motorola SLVR L7 iTunes Phone (photos inside)
- First Looks: Altec iM3c, SmartShare, OtterBox 5G, Commuter & Mork Mount
- First Looks: Applesauce, Blinkit, EyeTV 2, iM11, iRhythms & More
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.
- iLounge Weekly coming Monday, subscribe now
- Cook: Apple Watch ‘designed to be able to replace car keys’
- Apple again under fire as Ericsson escalates legal action
- Apple announces ‘Spring Forward’ event for March 9
- Brikk unveils opulent Apple Watch line priced up to $75,000
- Apple Maps adds new third-party data providers
- Apple ordered to pay $532.9m in iTunes patent infringement case
- Apple reportedly streamlining Genius Bar experience
- Report: Apple acquires Camel Audio
- VISA ‘tokenization’ may speed Apple Pay EU deployment
- Mobile Home Siri remote
- Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 Lens, Telephoto + CPL Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- ExoLens Professional Photography System for iPhone 6
- Incipio offGRID Shine for iPhone 6
- Seidio Obex for iPhone 6
- RooCase GlacialTough for iPhone 6 Plus, VersaTough for iPhone 6 + 6 Plus
- CM4 Q Card Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- iWalk Extreme Trio 10,000 Universal Battery
- NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Incipio Clarion and Faraday for iPad Air 2
- How do I quickly erase all of the contacts on my old iPhone?
- How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage?
- How do I stop Siri from randomly waking up?
- How do I cancel a print job on iOS?
- How do I make my camera LED flash when my iPhone rings?
- How do I re-sync contacts to my vehicle after switching to a new iPhone?
- How do I move away from a shared Apple ID for iMessage?
- How do I consolidate iTunes purchases into a single account?
- How can I more easily Handoff a web page from my Mac to my iPhone?
- What can I actually share with Family Sharing in iOS 8?