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Customer Review

344 of 356 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FM Transmitters for Ipod - 3 Options, December 2, 2005
By 
This review is from: Griffin Technology 4030-ROAD RoadTrip FM Transmitter and Auto Charger and Cradle for iPod (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I've tried three different types of FM Transmitters for IPOD and here are my rankings in order:

1) Griffin Itrip - $30-$50 depending on model

2) Griffin Road Trip - $80.

3) Belkin Tunecast - $40

First let's talk about sound quality. On all of the FM Transmitters, the sound quality isn't that great. It's somewhere in between AM Radio and FM Radio quality, a long ways from CD clarity. However, being able to play your IPod in the car on a roadtrip or at a party is a great convenience. After a short while, you don't notice the lower quality. My friends and I have happily listened to the IPod for hours.

The next important item is battery power. The Belkin Tunecast runs off AAA batteries and does not draw power from the IPod. The Griffin Itrip draws power from the IPod. The Griffin Roadtrip must be plugged into your car's lighter or auto power adapter. Of these three I like the Griffin Itrip the best. I can take the IPod a party and broadcast for a few hours unplugged or use a charger for unlimited play. In the car, I typically have my IPod charging to a separate auto charger. However it's not a requirement so I can also charge my cell phone and still listen to my music.

Tuning the Transmitter to a blank station: The Road Trip and the Tunecast were both easier to change radio frequencies. The Itrip could be tricky to adjust the radio station. This is important because you need to be tuned to a blank station. Reviewers who talk about station interference merely need to tune their Transmitter to a blank station. I've used the Transmitters all over the country including NYC and I've always been able to find a frequency on the dial to use.

The next consideration is usability. I liked how the Itrip attached to my IPod so it handled as one unit. Judging a separate Tunecast component and the IPod was awkward in the card. When using the Griffin Roadtrip, you must take the IPod out of its case and mount it to the cigarette lighter. At that angle it was impossible to read the screen, so if you wanted to make any selections or adjustments, you had to remove IPod and temporarily lose the signal. With the Itrip, you can hold the IPod on your hand and pick out songs while still listening to your music. Depending on the design of your case, you may not need to remove it to use the Belkin Tunecast or Griffin Itrip, which protects the easily scratched IPod.

Finally price - all three items do essentially the same task. The cost of a car chargers for your IPod is approx $30, so if you factor that in that cost, all three device are essentially the same price.

I prefer the Griffin Itrip for the reasons stated, but I know others who prefer to mount their IPod with the Griffin Roadtrip.
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