I prefer the low-profile of my iTrip--fits nicely on my iPod (Photo) even in my pocket, and the rounded iTrip doesn't feel at risk of breaking off when I do that. And dare I say the lack of screen is a nice look? smile In actual practice I almost never need to change my iTrip away from 87.7 anyway. It broadcasts clearly in every vehicle and home I've used it in--IF you set the volume on the iPod to 2/3 like you're supposed to (true of any transmitter probably).

BUT if I DID need to change stations a lot, I'd jump on the AirPlay! Looks like a great addition to our options.

And like the iTrip... cable free and battery-free! I wish more iPod accessories were like that.

Posted by Nagromme on January 31, 2005 at 1:23 PM (PDT) Comment 1

Anyone know whether the AirPlay works with silicon cases like the iSkin? I've always found the iTrip to "work," but despite what iSkin claims, not really lock onto the iPod so it's very easy jiggle the iTrip loose.

Posted by TeeteringSilence on January 31, 2005 at 1:44 PM (PDT) Comment 2

Great review, thanks!
I'm really glad you guys liked this thing. i just ordered it as a replacement for my iTrip. Living in Southern California, I found myself changing stations often. Of course, this was hard with the iTrip, and I had to interrupt songs most of the time. I look forward to being able to change the station easily. My only problem with the Airplay is its shape, though. It really it quite a bit less sleek, even if it is smaller.

Posted by Joshdude on January 31, 2005 at 4:05 PM (PDT) Comment 3

Like joshdude I also live in socal and and had little luck w/ the itrip. Please let us know if the airplay is indeed better than the itrip

Posted by marley2778 on January 31, 2005 at 7:17 PM (PDT) Comment 4

I got to play with an Airplay this weekend. I use a cassette adapter in my car and usually rent cars with casette players so I can bring my Mini with me as I travel. A friend of mine had been given this at some electronics show and told me to try it out. I was very impressed with the sound, no where near as good as cassette adapter but much better then any other transmitter I had tried.
It's small size and button navigation make this a very well made product. I've already placed my order and this will be going into my laptop case from now on.

Posted by King Ding a Ling on January 31, 2005 at 9:26 PM (PDT) Comment 5

I've never used my holdswitch, but having it uncovered is a nice thing about the Airplay.

Posted by Nagromme on February 1, 2005 at 5:54 AM (PDT) Comment 6

I live in LA too, and I got the PodFreq because the iTrip was too much of a bother. It was impossible to change stations while I was driving, and it drove me nuts that it covered up the hold switch. There was also a constant hiss and times when the tuning wasn't solid.

I'm glad I got the PodFreq, because sound quality is important to me (it does sound as good as a cassette adapter), but I'll be definitely recommending this one to friends who can't afford the PodFreq instead of the iTrip.

See ya

Posted by Stephen Worth on February 1, 2005 at 11:50 AM (PDT) Comment 7

I think the size difference is made up for by the iTrip being so much 'sleeker'. I leave my iTrip on 87.9 and it works good most of the time except a few areas in Boston. The radio in my work truck is not the greatest so sound quality is not that big a deal.

If you change stations a lot or want access to the hold switch the airplay definatly has a big advantage.

And of course performance is the biggest factor and it looks like the airplay has the advantage there.

Posted by Anachronism on February 1, 2005 at 2:51 PM (PDT) Comment 8

My main complaint about this FM Tuner is that it only covers 88.1 to 107.9 MHz.
It states on the site that " across the full FM frequency band.."
This is not correct. I use the iTrip on 87.9 and therefore this may not work for people like me who use this frequency (not by choice).
I questioned XtremeMac about this and they told me that their legal staff and the FCC said that below 88.1 is not legal (???) I guess nobody told Giffin this!


Posted by AusPod on February 1, 2005 at 6:33 PM (PDT) Comment 9

I trip way better

Posted by CG on February 1, 2005 at 7:04 PM (PDT) Comment 10

FM frequencies towards the middle of the band sound a lot better than on the edges.

See ya

Posted by Stephen Worth on February 1, 2005 at 8:10 PM (PDT) Comment 11

Does anyone know if it will fit on the ipod armor (once you remove the plastic part on the top, which is really easy, by removing the screws)

Posted by jqc78 on February 2, 2005 at 7:30 PM (PDT) Comment 12

One of the key reasons why Apple and the iPods are so successful is that the designers and engineers placed equal importance on the form and the function. It is my belief that iPod accessories should follow this same principle. I refuse to purchase accessories that take away from the beautiful design of my Pod, and I feel that the AirPlay does just that.

I'm sticking to my sleek iTrip.

Posted by DesignerChic on February 3, 2005 at 10:34 AM (PDT) Comment 13

Interesting, I felt the exact same way towards the two iTrips I had to return because of their less than adequate sound quality and reception.

Posted by Kloan on February 3, 2005 at 9:31 PM (PDT) Comment 14

I have both the iTrip and Airplay. I just received the Airplay today and am online to see about returning the device. I'm very disappointed. I thought it was a great concept and based on this sites review, thought it was a can't miss product. Its poor sound quality inspired me to register and write this review to help prevent fellow iPod owners from going through the trouble of returning the device.

Pros- Ability to tune without stopping music. Small size.

Cons-Horrible sound quality, absolutely no bass. High pitched whistle in background that is not present with iTrip. Yes, the signal strength is better, but I can't put up with the whistle and treble boosted sound.

Summary- Better signal strength, at the expense of poor sound quality and annoying whistle background sound. If you own iTrip you will be disapointed in this product.

Posted by paunchy1975 on February 5, 2005 at 7:22 AM (PDT) Comment 15

Have the iTrip, horrible in LA area. A Spanish station came on every 20 miles. Hissing was a big problem. Had to leave the iPod on the dash to get best reception. In a hard turn, it slid across the dash, not very good for driving safety let me tell you.

At the end, I went with the cassette tape. So many wires everywhere, but at least it sounds good. And that my friend is the whole point, no?

Posted by drjaycs on February 5, 2005 at 9:40 AM (PDT) Comment 16

I got my AirPlay today and it is HORRIBLE. The sound quality is like that of a really old cassette. I cannot get it to work to an acceptable quality on any source. I was thinking a received a defective item but, I don’t think so. It just I am currently trying to return it.

Posted by airforcejane on February 5, 2005 at 11:52 PM (PDT) Comment 17

Has any one figured out whether the air play fits the ipod when its in ipod armour. I have an itrip which was brill however it meant i couldn't use the armour and the trip together. (even when i screwed of the white plastic at the top.)

Posted by Sami-uk on February 6, 2005 at 12:15 AM (PDT) Comment 18

Just sent mine back a couple of days ago. Very disappointing. Great package. Miserable sound quality. And I mean unlistenable. No matter what I tried it sounded like I was listening to something with its levels maxed out and playing though cheap blown speakers. And the hiss...forget listening to any audio books or podcasts, you'll get a headache real fast. It's unfortunate because they really nailed the small design and simple ui.
I'm finally just going to give up on fm transmitters and save up for a new car stereo with aux in.

Posted by boruta on February 8, 2005 at 1:56 AM (PDT) Comment 19

I wish I could say I was happy with my AirPlay. I thought I may have gotten a bad one. The sound quality makes the device useless. It makes your iPod sound like an AM station broadcasting from 100 miles away. Flat base, constant hiss and a weird noise whenever the iPod accesses the hard drive. If xtrememac ever gets back to me, I am going to return it.

Posted by JohnnyRoaster on February 8, 2005 at 11:00 AM (PDT) Comment 20

They haven't got back to me yet either. Chalk up poor service as another con.

Posted by paunchy1975 on February 8, 2005 at 4:18 PM (PDT) Comment 21

I got an email from one of the VP's from XtremeMac. He sounded genuinely concerned about the situation. They are going to send out another Airplay for me to try. Lets hope this one works better.

Posted by JohnnyRoaster on February 9, 2005 at 12:10 PM (PDT) Comment 22

What is the best volume adjustment on both the iPod and the car radio when using the AirPlay? Of note, I just received the AirPlay and have been more satisfied with it's performance than the iTrip. The sound quality with the AirPlay is cleaner.

Posted by rmichiel on February 10, 2005 at 6:27 PM (PDT) Comment 23

I keep the volume on my ipod at a little over 50% and just adjust the volume through my car deck. Sound is just fine. Better overall than my itrip.

Posted by ThaIRS on February 10, 2005 at 10:53 PM (PDT) Comment 24


We have shipped quite a large quantity of AirPlay units to date. We have had a very small number of returns or complaints. In fact, we have received a great deal of praise from reviewers and customers complimenting its outstanding performance and ease of use. There was however an initial issue revealed after the very first batch was shipped. Without revealing Apple confidential details about how communication between accessories and the iPod is carried out, when we first connect to the iPod, we must communicate to identify AirPlay as certain type of device. Following the required protocol, we attempt to establish this communication one time upon power up in the first batch of units produced. If the AirPlay is plugged in too slowly, an error in communication occurs which results in the AirPlay not getting adequate power from the iPod. AirPlay, therefore, cannot transmit at full power. This causes the symptoms reported by users where they describe the unit as totally unusable. The fix for them is to unplug and re-plug the unit in a bit more quickly. The fix for us was to update the firmware so that we initiate the communication attempt more than once, which has eliminated the problem. We will gladly replace any unit that is found to be defective, at our expense of course.

Some customers have reported hearing a high-pitched whine when listening to the AirPlay. First, let me say that unfortunately there are going to always be situations where ANY FM transmitter will exhibit this phenomena. If one reads reviews and user comments on any of our competitions products, or any low power FM transmitter you will find this bears out. Customers should understand that each unique combination of FM Transmitter, FM Reciever, Antenna, Radio Signal environment, and selected frequency will produce various levels of signal quality. In some situations, extraneous noises may be perceptible. This phenomena is going to be most obvious when the iPod volume is low and the stereo volume is high. We recommend that users keep the iPod around 60-80% of full volume for best signal to noise ratio, in other words, best performance. That being said, we will look very closely into this issue and attempt to reduce this noise further on the next update to the product.

We certainly appreciate all of our customers feedback and their satisfaction is, without question, our primary concern.

Gary Bart

Posted by Gary Bart on February 11, 2005 at 6:08 AM (PDT) Comment 25
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