SiK imp in-car charger/line out | iLounge

Reviews

21

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

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

22

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)

23

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)

24

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)

25

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)

26

hadji d man is correct.. the last thing you want is multiple volume control points along the line. the best way to control the volume is to simply let the master control on your head unit do it all. and i have to say, all the people that are purchasing this dock-to-line out for use with their cassette to aux converters... save your money! you have already lost any possiblilty of getting good quality sound from your ipod through your car radio, the headphone out with the volume somewhere in the middle will be fine.

Posted by viper7189 on August 21, 2004 at 2:49 PM (PDT)

27

Well, I got the new eclipse deck. Should sound pretty good right, wrong. I knew that a aux should sound better than a tape adapter, but I was concerned about what I assume is clipping from too high of output by the Imp. In doing an internet search, I found another with an Eclipse 8443 and the imp causing distortion. What is with this product that so many people are having problems. Is there a way to "line level match?" I see nothing on the deck to adjust the line level input. I would have to say I'm very dissappointed and frustrated at this point with the imp. Sounded good on paper, but two of the three stereos I've tried it with have led to distortion. I wish they had a return policy. Any help from anyone in making it work would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by Tinman on August 23, 2004 at 7:06 PM (PDT)

28

I just got one of these. If you are planning to use the line input on your head unit with this line output be ready to deal with some ground loop issues. Since the cigarette lighter is grounded at a different point than the radio is, it is possible to get a ton of engine noise in the audio.

In my Subaru my XM Radio and also my iPod playing through the imp has a huge amount of alternator noise that varies with engine RPM. I ended up buying a filter from Radio shack and soldering it inline to the power supply for the radio and attaching an accessory (cigarette lighter) to it and the noise is gone.

Other than that it works very well. Feels solid and styled to match the iPod exactly. I think the audio level is just about right for my head unit's aux-in, btw.

Posted by Eudmin on August 24, 2004 at 6:05 AM (PDT)

29

Interesting comments here but some clarification is needed. I just bought one of these and it works perfectly, save for the alternator noise that has been mentioned. Sik should think about adding one of these filters inline with the charger since it seems to be farily common.

Regarding the line level output, line level is line level. There typically isn't a lot of variation in the spec. The line level output from the Ipod, using either the dock or the Imp, should be the same as other line level devices like a home CD player, DVD player, tape deck, etc. Neither the Ipod nor the IMP have a "hot" line out. In cases where the radio or head unit has a line level input, the 2 devices should mate perfectly without any issues, allowing you to adjust the volume from the head unit. That's the way that home systems have worked for years.

However, it's possible that Aux input on some head units is not true line level and has some type of input gain control to compensate for use with different devices. If that's the case, you would need to adjust that input gain or if that's not possible install some type of inline attenuator that would reduce the line level input coming from the Imp.

If you want to hear what the Imp would sound like in your system before buying one, try using the Ipod doc line output and connecting to your line input or aux.

As pointed out above, don't use the Imp with the cassette adaptor.

Posted by Britbonic on August 25, 2004 at 8:16 AM (PDT)

30

I've read all the opinions and yet I am yet to reach a conclusion about which auto kit to buy! I have a Kenwood deck with AUX inputs so I will be using them. I'm very worried about all this potential "line distortion" and what not. Is this to do with ground loop issues or something else completely? Sik or Belkin? Help!

Posted by Obsydion on September 1, 2004 at 11:31 AM (PDT)

31

In general, the best audio quality will come from using line out of IPod and line or aux inputs on your head unit. If you have a dock connector that provides line out, you can easily test the aux input of your kenwood and see how it sounds.

I believe that people are experiencing line distortion in those cases where the aux inputs are not line level or have some type of adjustment to accomodate inputs that have lower output than line level.

The ground loop issue will vary from one vehicle to another and is not related to the line distortion. There is a very simple solution for this - charge up the Ipod before you get into the car and unplug the cable from the lighter adapter.

Posted by Britbonic on September 1, 2004 at 1:55 PM (PDT)

32

I hate to beat a dead horse but I'll throw this out anyway.

I've just bought the new iPod and am using it with a late 1990's Nakamich head unit. This unit has RCA inputs for a CDC changer (Input Level 0.5V/Impedance 10 kohms). The inputs do not appear to be adjustable.

I have used the iPod with both the headphone jack and the dock and there is only a negligible difference in volume. I still need to use the top 1/3 of my volume scale while radio/CD works well in the middle 1/3.

At this point, I'm tempted to try the Sik unless I can find anything else.

Posted by David on September 6, 2004 at 4:53 AM (PDT)

33

I've used Belkin's car charger and it has the nice feature of disabling the iPod's internal volume control when plugged in. Does theSik do the same thing?

Posted by John M on September 23, 2004 at 11:41 AM (PDT)

34

I ordered the SIK DIN device, which is the Y connector that connects the power to the firewire and has a line out for audio. I am using this for my setup at home. The RCA (audio out) does not seem to get any signal for the line out of the SIK, while it gets good signal from the cradle line out or the headphone jack. What am I doing wrong? I thought the SIK DIN adapter is meant for that exact application.

Posted by MP3-is-me on October 7, 2004 at 10:35 AM (PDT)

35

i've been using the Sik imp straight into the AUX input of my honda element for six months now. its great. no line noise, no grounding problems, nothing. perfect sound.


my only quibble is that i wish the sound out was a male jack, rather than female, so it woud go straight into the AUX, rather than needing another male-male cable to make the connection.

mine came (cali to cali) overnight via USPS. and they answered my emails the next day. great company.

Posted by biocube on October 11, 2004 at 4:04 PM (PDT)

36

I recently purchased a Belkin car adapter. When I plug the mini ipod into it and plug it into my lighter, I get no sound out of my car speakers. Any ideas?

Posted by serenity on October 18, 2004 at 1:50 AM (PDT)

37

Hey- new here but just "iPod-ed" my Toyota (ha) and wanted to share the experience. I came across a device much like the Icelink- transferring a line-out from the connector to the head units cd changer input for 189.00 or something close to it. This allows for control from the HU itself (ff, rw, etc.). I ended buying a dock, a car charger and a 1/8" stereo to 2-RCA converter to plug in the back of the dock, and had the aux inputs (male) from the HU plugged directly into that. The dock provides a line out, a nice upright stand for my ipod, and the connector for charging. All for about 50 bucks. Not bad considering the cost of the IceLink. Sik Imp was sold out when i checked, so idecided to go this route and could not be happier. The output level from the Ipod's line out is also somewhat low compared to my other sources, but definitely acceptable. If anyone is considering the SiK Imp or Dock versus the IceLink- I highly recommend the former. I plan on getting the NaviPod remote, as the point at which the iPod is mounted is set back in my center console and requires me to lean forward considerably when changing songs, but other than that- I couldnt be happier.

Posted by JoshK on November 9, 2004 at 9:14 AM (PDT)

38

Which is better this or the monster version? Durability? Quality? and what are you using for mount the ipod in the car?

Posted by andrewm on November 13, 2004 at 1:05 PM (PDT)

39

HI guys. I just had a cd player installed in my car with an AUX input so I could hook my ipod up to it. I was surprised that a cd sounded quite a bit better than my ipod through the aux input...And suggestions on getting the BEST quality?? Am I not doing something right?

Posted by TonyC on December 12, 2004 at 6:52 PM (PDT)

40

anyone looking to sell their sik imp, or know of a place i can get one??? Their web site is all out of stock. AIM- victimeiced

Posted by victimeiced in nj on December 28, 2004 at 12:16 PM (PDT)

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