Griffin RoadTrip FM Transmitter and Car Charger for iPod (Black)
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- Compatibility: iPod nano (1G only), iPod mini, iPod 3G, iPod 4G with click wheel, iPod color, iPod video
- Convenient one-piece transmitter and charger module uses any frequency from 87.7 to 107.9 MHz
- Backlit screen shows which frequency RoadTrip is currently broadcasting
- Transmitter can be removed and used with a Mac or PC computer
- Plugs into any auto power outlet or lighter adapter
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A complete auto solution for iPod - the ultimate travel companion for iPod. RoadTrip combiens an FM transmitter, power supply, and charger in one conveniet unit. The transmitter module is easily detachable and can be used to play music from your PC or Mac.
The Griffin Technology 4031-RDGC RoadTrip FM Transmitter and Auto Charger and Cradle for iPod combines a high-powered FM transmitter, an iPod auto charger, and a convenient iPod cradle in one package. The RoadTrip plugs into any power outlet or lighter adapter and provides an adjustable cradle for any docking iPod. Once your iPod is charged and docked, the transmitter broadcasts your iPod's music to any FM frequency from 88.1 to 107.9 MHz. The backlit screen shows which frequency is currently broadcasting, while buttons located directly on the front of the unit allow for easy adjustments.
The removable transmitter can also broadcast music from Macs or PCs through a combination USB power and audio connector cable that attaches any USB-equipped computer to the module. Then, just play your iTunes music, movie audio, or presentation sound on any FM stereo that's close by.
What's in the Box
RoadTrip body, FM transmitter module, power plug, sleeve adapter, extension, USB/audio cable, protection pad, iPod holder/belt clip, and clip holder for iPod mini.
Note that the RoadTrip is compatible with iPod nano 2G models with adapter available from Griffin.
Top Customer Reviews
The cradle and mount is very handy in that you can adjust it so that you can view both the Ipod's screen and the frequency the Roadtrip is on without really having to take your eyes off the road. As one would imagine, I had a lot of stuff in my car on the trip, so I didn't want to mess with a typical corded charger and transmitter. This allowed my Ipod to be mounted close to my radio controls and didn't take up any space on my floor or console.
A couple of things to note here, however. First is that the mount comes with two pieces, one which you plug into your cigarette lighter and one which is an extension piece if the Roadtrip is in your way. I used the extension and was very pleased with it, but over time the sheer weight of it would not let it fig snugly in my cigarette lighter, and it tended to move around when I went around corners. Taking off the extension solved this problem, and, while it was not as conveniently placed, still allowed me to see and use it easily.
The sound quality of this product is also not as good in my other car (a '97 Grand Am), but I suspect that's the fault of the car itself, not the Roadtrip. The antenna on that car doesn't pick up very good signals anyway. Overall this is a great product, certainly a great asset for me on my cross-country adventure.
First up: Belkin Tunebase
I bought this after my Roadtrip base was stolen with my iPod, and I thought I would try an alternative. I liked the flexible connector in my SUV to allow reaching of all controls. However, it was disastrous in my Saturn, only preferring 1 position - lying down. It is a pain to control the iPod when driving in either vehicle, as the flexible arm gave too much in order to advance unwanted songs or control the iPod in general. Although a wider range of highs and lows was evident, the strength of output of this device is way too low; easily outcompted by either of the following transmitters. In the SUV, it is very good at broadcasting and being received by the radio. However, in the Saturn, it was an absolute disaster. I am transmitting on a completely free channel, and in my Saturn I got feedback from the background radio hiss! I even had the hiss increase in tune with the windshield wipers! How awful. This is not a bad transmitter in a larger vehicle, like my SUV, but in a small vehicle, you don't want to risk it. Finally, you can't disconnect the transmitter like the Griffin items. So, it's use in your car, or don't use at all. Although you rarely need to use it outside of your car, the other two below are the same price or cheaper, so you're already paying for it. Avoid this item.
Next - Griffin Roadtrip
Although this comes with an extension, the fixed location of the holder interferes with many of the car controls, even with the extension. However, the transmission is much better and can even be picked up in nearby cars at clear enough reception. I again had trouble making turns in the Saturn, as the roadtrip does slip around; but not nearly as bad as the Belkin. The transmission is good, but not great; as you do need to find a completely clean frequency in order to get a good reception. Finally, controlling the iPod is easy, as the adapter is a sturdy adapter and holds the iPod quite well. It got the job done in both cars, but didn't exactly knock my socks off.
Finally - Griffin iTrip
The best of the bunch. I doubt the transmission is greater than the griffin Roadtrip; based on the fact it runs off of the iPod, but it doesn't matter. You can move your iPod into position to be right under your antenna and get fantastic reception. In addition, because it doesn't need to be connected to the lighter, there is no interferce with the controls of the car and the iPod is easy to control. Finally, purchase this with the Powerjolt and you've spent the same as either of the above and can charge your iPod at the same time; except with a cable to keep the iPod clear of auto controls. I was expecting very little from this tiny device, but I am quite pleased. The only drawback is that, since there is no holder, there really is no secure place to put your iPod; as it will slide all over the dash. Putting it near the controls of the car (like in the center compartment area) obviously takes away its advantage over the Roadtrip. However, some velcro backing to it or sticky tape should afix it to the dash temporarily and you can remove it when you leave the car. But then you have tape on the back of your iPod....so..... Well, it still is the best choice, as the transmission is clearest because you can get it close to your antenna; and it is the only transmitter that worked well in my Saturn. In the SUV, all worked well.