An Introduction to FM Transmitters | iLounge



I have tried the iTRIP FM transmitter with my nano and set the channel on my car stereo and the transmitter like instructed but I can not get the music to play.
I thought the iTRIP was defective so I took it back and replaced it with the MONSTER charger/FM transmitter and tried it.
It still will not play music through the radio.
The transmitters both sounded like they were linking up to the radio channel because any static on the station will go silent but when I play the iPOD there is no sound.
Please help.

Posted by lsc302ho on January 15, 2006 at 4:47 AM (PDT)


This article states all that is wrong with using FM transmitters. If you can spare a little more money, I would purchase a new in-dash player that has front aux input for your ipod. Sony sells one called the "Sony In-Dash CD Player with MP3 Auxiliary Input (CDXGT100)" Everyone from Bestbuy to Circuit City should have this in stock.

Posted by edm203 on January 22, 2006 at 12:52 PM (PDT)


Check and double check. I drive a lot, across Kansas and up to MN, everywhere in between. There are no urban areas with a common empty station. You can listen to a single frequency for maybe an hour before you have to search for a new one. It seems like small beer, I know, but it's still a pain.

The article also fails to mention that the less expensive transmitters that run on batteries tend to eat batteries faster than... well, very fast. This also degrades sound pretty much as soon as you start playing.

Spend the extra $$ to deface your vehicle with a new deck, and get something with a front end line-in or iPod pin connector. You won't regret it.

Posted by joshschr on March 5, 2006 at 3:49 PM (PDT)


lsc302ho--Setting up the original iTrip (which I own) is tricky, but is doable with a bit of finagling. The newer iTrips with the easily tuned frequencies are bound to be better to use.

That said, if you were planning to get a new car stereo anyway, get one with RCA input jacks on the front. High fidelity stereo, no worries.

Posted by FloydC on May 4, 2006 at 8:10 PM (PDT)


If you want something better than the transmitter and less expensive than the in-dash, check out FM modulators. It's hardwired in the back of your deck, tapping directly into the antennae. You pick one station and it overrides it no problem. It's much stronger and clearer signal than the transmitters with very minimal (if any) static.

I had my local Car Toys install it for about $75 parts and $75 labor. It requires pulling the dash, so unless you're qualified, I recommend having someone else do it. They ran the plug-in so it comes out right under my e-brake. They also installed a tiny switch under the dash near my steering column, so I just flip that if I want to listen to CDs or radio. Smooth setup and I highly recommend it if you can't drop $300-$500 for in-dash expense.

Posted by CHW on June 28, 2006 at 12:37 PM (PDT)


Some people don't have the in-dash option. For example, my 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier has a stereo that is keyed specifically to my car, and removing it- or installing something new- requires an additional kit and costs almost twice as much as a normal deck.

Given the choice between hundreds of dollars and under $50, I'll take the cheaper alternative for now- even if it's not perfect.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on September 22, 2006 at 7:08 PM (PDT)


Another thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is the frequency response of many FM transmitters. Most can't reproduce low basses or high treble, which really lowers the quality of the music. This, along with the static and other sound-quality issues associated with FM transmitters, make them quite bad for reproducing high-quality music.

Posted by eboyer7 on August 24, 2007 at 7:44 PM (PDT)

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