FM Transmitter for my iPod to car radio.

GraemeT Posts: 155
edited February 2010 in The bottom bracket
I'm new to this ipod stuff and as there's been a few threads on here on the subject I thought I'd add my bit of ignorance.

What can you tell me about FM transmitters to connect your ipod to the car radio.

I've bought 2 so far and they seem a bit rubbish.

The first was a cheap one from Asda that just plugs into the headphone socket. It is very quiet, I have to turn the radio up really load to hear anything.

I thought this may be because its using the headphone socket, so I bough a Kensington on that plugs into the multi pin connecter at the bottom, but it seems no better.

I must admit I haven't played about with them much, but can anyone give me any tips on what to do ar what to buy next?


Just Keep Pedalling


  • pneumatic
    pneumatic Posts: 1,989
    We have one and it is very poor. OK if you can find a channel to tune it to when you are stationary, but as soon as you try to use it on a long journey, you run into all kinds of strange local radio pollution, especially around the big cities.

    I tried to use mine to listen to a stack of podcasts on a drive from Fife to London. It was unuseable around Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham (i.e. most of the journey). Best was Lanarkshire and the Lakes, where the radio reception is usually so poor that the transmitter had no competition.

    Fast and Bulbous
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • balthazar
    balthazar Posts: 1,565
    I've found those things to be nothing more than constant hassle. My current solution is a bodge: my car came with a CD multichanger in the boot, so I've cribbed my iPod into the "line in" sockets that this uses. The only trouble is that I need to keep a CD spinning so the head unit expects something from the line in... told you it was a bodge!

    Most people seem to prefer the fake-tape-with-a-cable-sticking-out approach, of the cheap solutions, though I've never tried it. However, head units with AUX sockets seem to be pretty cheap these days. I'd buy one myself, but I can't stand all the blue lights – my current one looks roughly period to the car.
  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    The fake tapes are generally easier and better. But most cars don't have a cassette player nowadays.

    I use an FM transmitter (cheap one from Argos, in a Peugeot 106), and it works fine tbh, just gets overwhelmed when there's a lot of bass occasionally. So no good for cruisin' down the high street/a retail park car park on a Saturday night.

    Plenty of times I've turned the radio on to find a fairly clear station on 'my' frequency, but as soon as I plug in the transmitter it dissapears and I get silence until I start playing through it.

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • cathald
    cathald Posts: 105
    I had one of those fm transmitter things and got pissed off with it
    Went out and got myself a decent radio which came made for ipod use, a little lead from the back of the radio and I have mine routed into the glovebox so no wee assh#'e can see it to steal it.
    ipod is controlled from the main radio controls
  • cee
    cee Posts: 4,553
    i got one that is powered from the fag lighter in the seems to be better around cities than the battery operated ones...however would agree that the headphone jack to fake tape version is easier to use and gives a better quality of sound for more of the time.

    If you don't have a line in on your cd changer, or on the front of your car stereo, it is worth looking at the back of the stereo....there is often a line in there that you can run a cable to somewhere reasonable in your centre console.
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • Porgy
    Porgy Posts: 4,525
    I had a cheapo one a couple of years ago and thought it was ok - a little quiet - you had to be pretty precise about the tuning, the MP3 player had to be turned up to about 75% with the radio volume on very high. there was quite a bit of background noise but it worked, and better than no music.

    also found that it matters where you put the transmitter and at what angle the joining lead was at etc. - you need to play around with it until you get the best results.

    But I've noticed these bluetooth transmitters on the market - wondering if they're better - and been thinking of getting one - though don't drive any more so would only be for home use.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I have one, quite expensive as they went (MrsNapD gt it me for christmas bless her) but it is bobbins. Same problems as everyone else has mentioned. Plus it gave me a headache for some reason :shock:

    My little Fiat has a USB socket and you control it from the steering wheel (you don't turn left and right like the click wheel though. Whilst amusing, it would be quite dangerous...)and the info comes up on the dash. It's ace...

    In the big car I just put things on CD and into the multichanger...
  • Bugly
    Bugly Posts: 520
    bad things really I mean a low power FM transittor inside a car and the aerial is outside (why put the aerial on the outside if the body doesnt attenuate the RF signal?). Rubbish design.
  • Depending on your head unit in the car you may be able to get a dedicated interface to join the ipod to the head unit
    I have an Alpine head unit and Ipod interface which also means i can control the Ipod via the head unit which is alot easier than using the Ipod controls
  • I plug mine into the garmin (transitions) which works fine until you drive about 40 miles then you get the same radio station you hear in any curry house in the country