"The Bad: Do older iPod users need another car charger?"
Well, I prefer more options compared to less options.
The firewire connection also allows any iPod to connect to your Mac/PC. Or you can use it with a firewire cable and an Apple AC adapter to charge the iPod while connected to your stereo.

Posted by p. fontana on March 31, 2004 at 11:06 PM (PDT) Comment 1

Ahem, replace the "any iPod" with "newer iPods". The old ones don't need this, of course.

Posted by p. fontana on March 31, 2004 at 11:14 PM (PDT) Comment 2

I never understood the Belkin design why would someone want 3 locations to modify the audio volume from:

- the Belkin amplifier
- the iPod wheel
- and your car stereo volume

The Sik design makes so much more sense with volume control only at the car stereo - where it is for every other car audio source.

Posted by Ed on April 1, 2004 at 9:19 AM (PDT) Comment 3

The volume isn't changed by the iPods "Wheel". Thats why the Belkin one has a volume control. So you really only get 2 choices of volume

Posted by Mauly on April 1, 2004 at 11:02 PM (PDT) Comment 4

As an owner of the Belkin unit, I can say that the amplifier has a nasty habit of adding line noise to the signal at anything but the lowest setting on its dial in many applications. It is nice being able to boost the output on headunits that you would normally have to turn all the way to maximum to hear the IPOD (and subsequently not being blasted out by the radio when you switch back to it after forgetting to turn it back down), but not at the expense of having a very loud and annoying "whining" noise to put up with.

Posted by Lucas on April 2, 2004 at 3:37 PM (PDT) Comment 5

I have this in my car which has a line in feature in the radio. I have to say it works great! When I need to charge the IPod, I plug in the charger, otherwise, I leave the IPod in the glove box away from prying eyes. All in all, a great solution to a very common problem.

Posted by Abster on April 2, 2004 at 4:45 PM (PDT) Comment 6

I actually switched to the Belkin, not because the Imp was bad, but rather because it was too good. The signal it sent to my head unit was so strong that there was distorsion when the song (or the recording level) got too loud. I switched to the Belkin and used the volume knob to dial it down a touch, and now the sound is amazing.

And it's not that the Belkin amplifies all that much--it actually tones down the signal at most settings. The pure signal coming from the iPod is plenty strong without amplification. I know from experience!

I would ABSOLUTELY recommend the imp for anyone, though--I think the problem I had is unique to the setup I was running (ipod directly wired to the head unit in my VW Passat with a Blitzsafe audio adapter).

Posted by Dr. Pete on April 4, 2004 at 4:50 PM (PDT) Comment 7

Excuse my ignorance, I have only just bought an iPod (20GB).

How does this "imp" play the music? Does it have a cassette adapter, an FM transmitter or something else?

Posted by simonx98 on April 7, 2004 at 5:36 AM (PDT) Comment 8

I wonder how this works in combination with the Griffin iTrip for the G3 iPods? i'm not too happy with the low volume level of the iTrip - when I switch back to my stereo or CD, I get blasted if I don't turn the volume down.

Posted by Brady Sewall on April 8, 2004 at 11:40 AM (PDT) Comment 9

I have an extra one of these, still in all the packaging... I keep wanting to put it on eBay but it doesn't look like anyone is selling them there. I am willing to make a deal, because it is just sitting in my drawer in the package still.

e-mail me: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by echostats on April 10, 2004 at 6:13 AM (PDT) Comment 10

Dr. Pete,
"(3) a male stereo cable for a device such as a cassette tape adapter or FM transmitter."

Posted by citronade on April 10, 2004 at 9:21 PM (PDT) Comment 11

In that photo above, I can see something (A FireWire plug/socket?) underneath the car adaptor bit. Can someone with an imp clarify what this is?

Posted by elemmiire on April 16, 2004 at 2:30 PM (PDT) Comment 12

This is what you've been waiting for;


Posted by Simon on April 17, 2004 at 12:55 AM (PDT) Comment 13

I posted this a few weeks ago in response to Sik's release of "din", which is basically "imp" without the car charger part.

I ordered the "din" last week, and it arrived within 60 hours of the placement of my order. I was surprised by the speed of delivery, especially since Sik ships via USPS Priority Mail, and I live in New York (the company is located in California). As for the accessory itself, I am very pleased with the product. It does exactly what you would imagine - provides a line out (great for connecting to stereos) and the flexibility of a female firewire port. I picked up a 19" firewire from Apple and plan on using this combination as a travel charger/stereo hook-up. My only complaint is that the pictures and descriptions on the Sik web page make it very unclear that the "imp" is the "din" with a removable car charger. I probably would have spent the extra $8 if I had known this, but no big deal. Thumbs up for Sik overall. The din is really a great accessory, which I use every day, especially since I have a case that does not allow me to use the Apple dock.

Posted by Peter on April 17, 2004 at 8:04 PM (PDT) Comment 14

I bought an imp recently, to use my ipod with my stereo seperates....big mistake!!
Whilst the imp is a nice bit of kit, it's not the best if you want it just for a line the line out attachment has a female end, meaning youll need a male to male adapter. If your looking for just a line out, save yourself $18 and get a 3.5 jack -> left and right audio plugs from Maplins(radio shack).
oh course, it could be that i just didnt read up enough on what the imp does:(((
hey ho, happy ipoding ipoders:)

Posted by mark bennett on April 20, 2004 at 8:04 AM (PDT) Comment 15

I just bought the imp. It is so great I cannot use it. The moment I use it I get distortion from my car radio, which is where I listen to my iPod most of the time. I had to go back to the old cassette adapter in the headphone jack.

Posted by Darrell on April 28, 2004 at 7:46 AM (PDT) Comment 16

Darell, Can you just plug the casette adapter into the imp jack? I keep hearing that the line level is too loud and was wondering if I can still use this with my casette adapter or take advantage of an AUX plug which I hope is on the back of my stereo (Dodge - don't know). Thanks, -todd

Posted by todd on May 26, 2004 at 9:12 AM (PDT) Comment 17

I will like to use my ipod mainly in my car. But I do not have a cassette player or an udio adapter in my stereo, what will you recomend?

Posted by maria banet on June 10, 2004 at 6:52 AM (PDT) Comment 18

I will like to use my ipod mainly in my car. But I do not have a cassette player(only cd) or an audio adapter in my stereo, what will you recomend?

Posted by maria banet on June 10, 2004 at 6:53 AM (PDT) Comment 19

I currently have the belkin wich i dont love because of the amplified signal. I have a sony head unit with rca inputs in the back and the head unit allows me to adjust input preamp levels eliminating the need for the belkin. I plan to switch to Sik imp hard wire and install a swith on the charger, hide all wires under carpet, and run dock connector through rear of my bench seat (pickup truck).

Posted by bssmith on June 17, 2004 at 7:28 PM (PDT) Comment 20

maria banet, your only option is a fm radio transmitter.

Posted by superoog on June 26, 2004 at 5:28 AM (PDT) Comment 21

I just got the imp, plugged it in to my cassette adapter and factory deck and had line distortion due to the output being to high. Now I recently ordered and have yet to receive a new Eclipse head unit with an Aux input all so that I could listen to the iPod in my car in its full glory.
Anyone with experience as to whether aux inputs work better than cassette adapters? Any way to tone down the imp without buying a belkin or Monster?

Posted by Tinman on July 14, 2004 at 7:33 PM (PDT) Comment 22

Yeah, the aux inputs work great. Cassette adapters don't get very good sound because it's emulating a tape cassette and as such, is limited by the medium. I've got an Aux imput that I routed to the center console box on my Integra and the ipod sounds great, another bonus is that I can attach anything with a standard audio input jack as well. Now I just need a charging unit like the sik or belkin. I'm concerned about the feedback everyone talks about with the sik and the distortion on the belkin. Anyone know if the distortion/feedback is a problem with an AUX input?

Posted by midknight on July 18, 2004 at 5:01 PM (PDT) Comment 23

I like the look of the imp but all this talk about the high line level out from the ipod is making me think twice. Does anyone know what exactly is the line level output for the ipod? This will help greatly in evaluating the gain level to the head unit. Thanks.

Posted by KS on July 28, 2004 at 5:37 AM (PDT) Comment 24

This reviewer obviosly does not do many profesional car audio installations.
A amplifier on a "Line" output is the last last thing you want for sound quality. It adds more noise and distortion to the music, especially if you don't know how to "line level match." U really want to use a straight line level source and let the AUX input of your head unit do the amplification. And if its not loud enough (not likely) use a good "line driver" thats fully adjustable.
So stating that there are not enough places to adjust the volume is foolish. Too many places to adjust will just cause distortion and clipping all the way down the line.
A good way to see if its distorting is to take a "good" pair of headphones in the car w/ you and compare what u hear in the headphones to the speaker output.

Posted by Hadji D Man on August 11, 2004 at 10:40 AM (PDT) Comment 25
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