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.
- New apps aim to fix iOS 7 wallpaper issues
- iLounge Weekly coming Monday, new giveaway
- Apple quietly releases 74% iOS 7 adoption estimate
- Razer iOS controller leaked
- U.S. Apple Stores now using iBeacon
- Apps: Assassin’s Creed Pirates, Doctor Who: Legacy, Double Dragon Trilogy + Foursquare 7.0
- Apple patent reveals ‘smart dock’ for Siri use
- Bluetooth 4.1 announced as free update for 4.0 devices
- Apple and China Mobile make iPhone deal?
- Startup uses iBeacon to allow Newsstand publication access
- The Joy Factory aXtion Bold for iPad Air
- OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPad Air + iPad mini with Retina display
- Tabu Lumen TL800 App Enabled LED Color Smart Bulb
- Wren V5BT Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
- Incipio offGRID Pro Battery Case for iPhone 5
- Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
- STM Studio for iPad Air
- Urban Armor Gear Composite Case for iPad Air
- Belkin LEGO Builder Case for iPad mini
- Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air
- iMessages come in from email address instead of phone number
- Passcode entry field not appearing on iPhone
- Custom ringtones assignments don’t sync to iCloud
- Resuming incomplete iCloud backups
- Adding multiple photos to a Shared Photo Stream
- Quality of videos sent via Messages
- Text messages being delivered to wrong iPhone
- Problems logging in to iTunes Store
- Receiving FaceTime calls on multiple devices
- iOS 7: Incorrect display of Company-only contacts