Review: Irock! Wireless Music Adapter
Pros: Inexpensive, small, easy to use, unique design, cool red glow.
Cons: Noticeable static, must find the right placement for best reception.
Since the release of the iPod, owners are trying to find the best solution to bring their iPod on quick trips to the market or long road trips in the car. In this review, we take a look at the Irock! Wireless Music Adapter (also known as a FM transmitter), one of many devices, which will enable you to enjoy your iPod in your car or at home on your stereo receiver.
The small, alien-like pod is simple in form as well as function. View the photos for a closer look. There are only a few components in which to familiarize you with, the power-on button, frequency selector and a 1/8” stereo jack. The Irock! FM transmitter takes two AAA batteries. The power button looks cool as it emits a red glow when the unit is turned on. The frequency selector is a switch with four to choose from. These frequencys are: 88.1, 88.3, 88.5 and 88.7. There is also a 1/8” stereo jack to plug into the headphone port on your iPod. The 1/8” stereo jack even has its own holder in the back of the Irock! unit. Kudos to all who were involved in the product’s design, the Irock! unit exudes future-geek modern looks. Now, if they had just paid all this attention to its reception capabilities, this product would truly i-rock.
Our test consisted of driving around town while trying to get the Irock! unit placed just right for optimum reception. I plugged the Irock! unit into the headphone jack on the iPod, pushed the power on button, as the red light glowed, and proceeded to turn on the iPod. After selecting a song, I turned on the car stereo receiver, tuned it to 88.1 and could hear the song pumping through my car stereo. So far, so good? Well, the reception on this particular FM transmitter left a lot to be desired. There is definitely noticeable static. It takes some time to place the unit just right until the static lowers to a tolerable level. Remember the days when you had an antennae on your T.V. set? You had to hold it just right to get a descent picture. I placed the Irock! unit as far away as the back seat to get a descent, almost static-free reception. I also found out by holding the unit in my hand, that the reception was the best. So, here I am driving with one hand, while my other hand is holding the Irock! unit. But, at least my music was sounding good as my iPod rested in the back seat. Of course, your mileage will vary, no pun intended. Another tip is to increase the volume on the car stereo to drown-out the static a bit.
The Irock! FM transmitter isn’t perfect, but it does provide a moderately inexpensive method of getting all those illegally copied mp3’s to play in your car stereo. Just kidding. Officially, don’t steal music. There, now my lawyers won’t bug me. You can have the Irock! Wireless Music Adapter for about $30 at CompUSA.com. There are better alternatives, a cassette adapter or FM modulator. The latter will usually cost more and will need to be “hardwired” into your car stereo via the antennae input. But if you desire the best possible reception and clarity, get an FM modulator. The reception will be about the same as a high power radio station in your area. If you have an auto stereo with a cassette player, you can opt for a cassette adapter. These provide great reception as a low cost alternative to FM transmitters. But, if you’re like me, having a car stereo without a cassette player, I will use my small, handy, red-glowing Irock! unit and drive with one hand tied behind my back seat.