First Looks Special: Griffin iTripLCD
For years, Griffin’s original iTrip portable FM transmitter designs for iPods and iPod minis reigned supreme, with smart aesthetic design touches that appealed strongly to early iPod adopters. Users chose an FM station through the iPod’s screen, using a special playlist full of different channels. Once the station was selected, the iPod’s music played through nearby car and home stereos without any need for wires.
In January, accessory maker XtremeMac threw down a gauntlet, and marketed its newer AirPlay as an iTrip killer. AirPlay featured a smaller-than-iTrip (if not as attractive) profile that fit neatly on top of any iPod or iPod mini, and an integrated, backlit LCD screen of its own that made it even easier to tune channels.
Now Griffin is coming out swinging with a replacement for the iTrip that’s designed to leapfrog the AirPlay. With the same attractive, compact profile of the company’s prior all-white tube design, there’s now a large backlit LCD screen on the front left, and a ratcheting chrome dial on the right. Our pre-production preview unit is missing only one visual element - the iTripLCD name will appear on its front between the screen and dial.
iTripLCD’s dial feels good in your hand, turning decisively from channel to channel because of its ratcheting design. It can also be pressed inwards to serve as a button. One press selects a channel you’ve found, and holding the button down activates two hidden features. When held down for two seconds, the button toggles between LX and DX broadcasting modes, one monaural with a promised noise level even lower than cassette tape adapters, and one stereo with a promised noise level comparable to cassette tape adapters.
Held down for five seconds, the button toggles between US and INTL (international) tuning modes, offering an expanded range of FM frequencies to tune with. Between the two modes, iTripLCD is capable of tuning all the way down to 76.0FM in .1 increments.
Our prototype unit’s LCD screen is clear, well backlit, and very impressive overall. We’re going to hold off on judging its FM performance until we receive a final, reviewable unit, but will say that under the right circumstances, the prototype does in fact compare favorably to a cassette adapter in overall sound quality. However, we’re going to have to wait to see whether those circumstances will be practically achievable under typical use and testing conditions.
There’s one other interesting feature built-in, too. Turn the volume all the way up and the iTripLCD will automatically lower it to an optimal level for low-distortion FM broadcasting - a nice touch. Griffin says that the new iTrip is due out in August, 2005 at a price around $40. We’re looking forward to testing a final, reviewable unit.
- 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.
- Notes from Apple’s Q1 2015 earnings call
- Cook: Apple Watch shipping in April
- Apple Q1 2015: Record $74.6B revenue, 74.5M iPhones, 24.4M iPads
- Apple Pay support coming to more vending machines, kiosks, parking meters
- Apple releases iOS 8.1.3
- Apple TV adds 120 Sports channel
- Report: Bank verification methods leave Apple Pay vulnerable to fraud
- Apple filing reveals executive compensation plans, earnings
- Report: Apple Watch battery life expected to be about 19 hours
- Apple outlines limited HomeKit support for non-HomeKit accessories
- Odoyo Power+Shell EX Rechargeable Battery Case for iPhone 6
- Patriot Memory Fuel iON Magnetic Charging Case with Charging Pad for iPhone 6
- Lenmar Maven Battery Case for iPhone 6
- STM Studio for iPad Air 2
- VSN Mobil V.360 Camera
- Booq Booqpad for iPad Air 2
- Incipio offGRID Express for iPhone 6
- Incipio Tuxen for iPad Air 2
- Incipio Trestle for iPhone 6 Plus
- Urban Armor Gear Folio Case for iPad Air 2
- How do I get a phone number on iMessage?
- Can I share in-app subscriptions among family members?
- Can I cancel or ‘unsend’ sent iMessages?
- Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Apple’s HomeKit
- Reorganizing files in the iTunes Media Folder
- Exchange text messages between two iPhones with no cellular data plan
- The Booths of the iProducts Marketplace at CES 2015
- Hands-on with CarPlay at CES 2015
- iLounge announces its CES 2015 Best of Show Awards
- Five Things to Watch for at CES 2015