Logic3 FM Transmitter
It good news to hear that FM transmitters were classed as illegal pirate broadcasts up until the latter part of 2006. Hence the reason why you’ve probably not seen them in the shops until recently.
FM transmitters have been on the market in the US for a while now whilst I’ve been happily using my tape adapter in the car. Having an FM transmitter is a great solution for those who either don’t have a tape player or a line-in jack.
There are many variations and flavours of iPod FM transmitters. The Logic3 FM Transmitter that I’ve been testing allows you to listen to your iPod tracks using the iPod dock connector or the 3.5 mm audio out jack, and charge it up at the same time using the included 12v cigarette power adapter. This is both handy since these FM transmitters can zap the juice out of your iPod on longer journeys as well as being able to use it for portable media players.
The clicker remote is simple to use with just a single button that lets you switch frequencies from 88.1 to 88.9FM. Set your radio to the frequency you want to use and press play on your iPod, then sit back and enjoy your music from your car speakers.
In comparison to using the tape adapter, which I’ve been so used to for the past few years, the FM transmitter fared very well. I was expecting the quality to be low but to my surprise I couldn’t actually hear the difference. It’s quite possible that I’m not in an urban-enough area where you get hundreds of radio frequencies interfering, but for my scenario travelling around town and on the motorway, I was able to get a crystal clear signal with no disruptions at all.
So far it scores good marks, but would I continue to use the Logic3 FM Transmitter? In terms of practicality when I want to just jump in the car and get my music going with minimal fuss and time, this solution doesn’t work for me. There’s too much cabling and too much messing about just to get the whole thing to work. From untangling the wires and getting it set up to work, it takes up to a minute before I can get going. That’s about 30 seconds too long and the hassle of untangling the cables was sometimes not worth it that I had to just leave it until I was at my next stop or had more time to get it set up.
If I’m going to go down the FM transmitter route, then the solution needs to be more simple and much cleaner. The most popular brands for FM Transmitters are made by Griffin with the iTrip, perhaps the most well known of its type. They have a number of products that cater for different scenarios. The type that I like most is the one where you just clip the entire thing to the iPod dock connector, no wires and no mess. However you compromise your running time as these rely on the juice from your iPod battery and depending on how old your iPod is, it may not last you the journey.
At Â£29.99 this does offer a complete solution, but be prepared for some wire management. It works well on the given frequencies and it does offer the ability to connect to other devices via its 3.5 mm jack, but because of the issues I experienced in getting it set up each time I wanted to listen to my music on my car journey it doesn’t score top marks for me.