Top positive review
91 people found this helpful
Best FM Transmitter / MP3 Player in one for the price LOOK NO FURTHER
on November 24, 2012
This FM Transmitter acts as both an FM transmitter for your MP3 player to radio, as well as acting as an MP3 player in itself. It is basically offers 3 way compatibility with an external source via 1/8" input jack (i.e. iPod, your phone, or any other MP3 player) or acts as an MP3 player itself by reading an SD card or a flash drive (has a usb input and an input for a standard SD card). The player comes with a very handy remote and if you are using the SD or USB/flash drive you can easily toggle through folders. It has its own volume control, and also emits a fairly powerful signal to reduce static and has a digital selection from 88-108 on the FM dial. Upon shut down and restart it remembers both the frequency and track that you were on. It is easy to use, has a nice display that shows the song, folder (if applicable) and other info.
To me, the most important feature of an FM transmitter for playing MP3s in a car is signal strength. There are lots of other quality transmitters available from near the price of this model upwards to 50 dollars and more, however they generally have the same functionality, perhaps maybe a larger display or a flexible extension from the input base (this one doesn't flex but does adjust), but for the expensive ones you are generally paying more for the brand and not the most important things, first being more signal strength (which tops out at a certain level anyway due to FCC regulations) and then being functionality like the SD card and usb options, remote, etc. Again this has all of that for a low price.
You'll be hard pressed to find another FM transmitter with this functionality and reliability for ANY cheaper, I've done tons of research and owned several. This is by far the best especially for the value. I use a 16 gig micro san disk SD card inside a standard adapter (I paid 12 dollars for the sandisk on amazon, bulk packaging) which holds A LOT of music and am always adding more from my PC. I can always hookup my iPhone, other MP3 player, or even a flash drive if I want and play music off of that.
FYI the FM transmitter spans the entire dial, so you can use any dead station, not just high or low frequencies.
Note on folder navigation: You can organize your SD, USB, or external player via folders, and the unit will intuitively recognize the folders... folder navigation can be tricky at first, but after using the unit for awhile it will be easy - the remote is necessary in the case of using folders.
It also has a directional adjuster (beyond just spinning the unit) whose function is based on the location of your 9volt adapter/cigarette jack to adjust the way in which it points so the display is best readable.
If you don't have an auxillary jack on your car stereo to accept a device that plays music, BUY THIS. It's by far the best FM transmitter for ten bucks and is practically as intuitive and multi-use as they get.
Other reviews claiming this is hard to use must be written by people who completely lack any tech savvy. It is very easy to use.
ONLY DRAWBACKS: there is not a "search" option. You can only skip between tracks, not search within them. For people who listen to long podcasts or that this feature is important to, you'll have to find a similar transmitter (there are a lot of them out there, granted this I feel is the best value) and some have the search option.
Another small drawback is this is literally an MP3 player... other formats such as MP4s will not read.
Some users may also find it somewhat difficult at first to toggle through folders. After using the device, you will get used to its functionality and this will be simple.
Also, not a drawback but informational note: there is no separate output jack - the "output" is simply the ability to send the sound (from a flash drive, sd card, phone, external mp3 player, or anything that can send sound over a simple audio chord with a 1/8" plug at one end) over an unused FM station. So, for folks wanting to use the functionality of this as an MP3 player that accepts USB sticks and SD cards but send it to your aux jack, it will not work that way, only over an FM station - look for an MP3 player that accepts sd cards if this is your intention then just go directly into your aux jack.
UPDATE 4-2014: My first SainSonic lasted me over 2 years. Somehow I lost it, and the biggest deal about that was I had a 16gig SD card in it, almost completely full with music. That's a lot. I was able to retrieve a good deal of it from my PC's old hard drive and my new laptop, so oh well. The new one I purchased is not quite as sturdy as the original. I don't know if quality control has gone down (I'm sure they are unfortunately assembled at a sweat shop in China) or if the new one I got is just an anomaly... That is not to say that it broke, nor to say I'm still not a proponent of this product, but the USB jack for flash drives moves a bit on this one, which could be a problem down the road, and the unit's 9volt plug is sensitive on this one... e.g. sometimes I will press a button and the unit will lose connection and therefore power down, and I have to plug it back in and get it plugged in just right to avoid this. I never experienced that with the original unit. Despite that, I'm still happy with it and out of all those other models I tried before this one, including ones that were friend's of mine that I used in their cars and inquired about the price, this little baby is still the best value.