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SainSonic Multi-Function Car MP3 Player (Blue Display)
Color: Blue|Package Type: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$11.09+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


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.
3131 comments| 91 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Enthusiast: Guitaron March 11, 2015
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.
Finally the 1/8" cord that comes with it to hook up a phone, ipod, or other mp3 player is very shoddy. They break at the ends very easily and expose the inner wire which also rips easily. Good thing its an incredibly cheap item that most people have and if you don't you can buy one for a buck or two.

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.

Finally, it comes with an extra fuse, and also a 1/8" cord that comes to send a phone, ipod or other external mp3 player which is shoddy - they break at the end without any strain and the inner cords (L/R/Ground) tear. Buy another one for a buck or two.
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.
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on February 5, 2013
Howdy guys,
I bought this FM Transmitter for my new car which didn't contain an aux port, luckily I found this bad boy online for 13 bucks, so I bought it, installing it wasn't hard at all pretty simple, plug it in, sync the stations with your radio and hear your music, the only "problem" that I had ran into was the fact that it was quite a bit of static, I live in South Florida so that is most likely the issue not really the Transmitter itself, but the best station that I have found to work really well is "107.1" which works most of the time.

Pros
Now this adapter is really cheap, but not poorly constructed where it would fall apart if disturbed, I give it props for that. Also the green light adds some personality to the device lighting up a faded green so its not obnoxiously bright, and also it came with a sweet remote which I actually use often. Also didn't expect this device to come with built in "EQ" which I can't get to work with the aux cable. I'm sure it works if you play the songs directly from the device.

Cons
Not a lot of stations are available and are clear for me to use, but this may vary with the area i'm in. But i'm sure there are other products which produce better sound. At the end of the power stick there is a rubber "grip" that is used to keep it in, I took that off because I almost ripped my dash off (Because it was stuck inside the power outlet) but there is a way to take it off so i'm happy and its working fine.

Verdict
Great transmitter for the price, if you want the job to get done and to listen to your music, or your waiting for a new radio get this temporarily you will be happy for now, also I recommend a Bluetooth adapter because the sound quality on those are way better, I actually got this so that I can save up for the Bluetooth. If you are a person who is crazy about sound quality, the sound comes out decent most of the time, but of course would sound better if your songs are played off the CD. Like I said if you want to listen to your music through this easy method for the price go get this device right now, but if you want something that puts out better quality sound and is a lot more reliable on the stations, i'm pretty sure there are better devices out there for you.

Thank you guys
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on June 26, 2015
Purchased this for a 2002 Mazda Miata. Sound quality is decent for the price and the setup is self explanatory.
Doesn't seem to have a shuffle feature which would be nice as the display is very small.
Would be very difficult not to mention dangerous to cycle through the display to find something specific.

Remote is useless. Must be pressed 2-3 times to get a response.
The panel that is underneath the volume knob that controls the play/pause/forward/reverse was falling off, coming apart.

The main issue is the size. Although there are dimensions for the body of the MP3 player in the product listing, the plug extends much further than expected.
This thing is so long that it is even with the shifter knob in my car. While this can be rotated, it won't go into a position that allows clearance for your hand, at least not in a car this small. I suppose if this were going in a larger vehicle such as a truck or suv this wouldn't be an issue.
The listing/photos don't accurately represent the proportions of this MP3 player.

This is a great idea for a quick non-invasive way to play music via MP3 without altering a factory stereo.
Quality could be better. If I was using in a different vehicle I would still return it. It's only a matter of time before the front panel comes off.
review image review image
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on July 7, 2015
Totally useless! The information screen is so small and so dim it can't be seen or read in indirect daylight. Everything is blue, not red as shown in the picture. I had to cup the unit to put it in darkness to see the information. The freq. numbers and letters were so small they couldn't be read unless my face was very close. When I changed the frequency up or down the number flashed for an instant and went dark. My iPhone 6 could not be connected nor controlled through the USB/Lightning cable. Connected with the headphone jack, I found two frequencies that I could barely hear the music playing on my phone. Both the volumes were turned to maximum and I could hardly hear anything even though I was parked in my driveway with the doors closed and the windows up. No way it would be loud enough in a moving car.

The SainSonic Player doesn't work. It's very poorly designed and unusable. I'd give it zero stars if I could.

Stay away from this awful piece of... junk!
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on September 14, 2013
I've tried many FM Transmitters and none have wowed me as much as this one! I was a bit skeptical about this device at first but let me tell you that this is one of the most impressive FM Transmitters I have ever used!

The sound quality is OUTSTANDING if you are tuned to a completely blank radio station. Static? Well as with any transmitter you'll have to deal with that from time to time however this one hardly outputs much of it! It kicks out a strong signal! As far as build quality is concerned it could stand to use some improvement, however nothing has broken on me thus far!

It comes with a remote and it works well! If this transmitter can last me a long time w/o burning up, I'll be ecstatic! For the price this thing is excellent. You get allot for the money! $11.99 is FANTASTIC! This device sounds better then a lot of those more expensive branded FM transmitters! How does it sound with the aux cable? Fantastic!

It is true the cable is really short, but you could remedy that by buying a longer one. I found however, that using too long of a cable causes interference. Be aware that using the AUX cable bypasses the EQ on the device, as well as the volume control. Using an SD card works flawlessly! It accepted a 16GB class 4 SD card with no issues.

I haven't used the USB side of this device yet, but I'm sure it will be just as good as using the SD side. So long as the USB stick isn't larger then 8GB!! Don't lose the remote, it is important!! There are function on the remote that are not available on the device itself! (I think changing folders, ect.) You can dump music in the root of an SD/USB memory device or individual folders stored in the root directory so long as it doesn't have folders inside of a folder ect. (I hope that made sense! lol.) I suppose you could do it but trying to navigate that many folders would add frustration!

Would I recommend this device? That would be a big >> HECK YES! <<
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on June 17, 2015
Took a chance on this MP3 / WMA file format FM transmitter based on low price knowing full well that there were a number of negative reviews. My 3 Star review is primarily because it took me longer than it should have to fully understand how it functions and because of an issue with the input port. Mine thankfully did not come with the rubber washer that gave so many others grief removing the player from their cigarette lighter. Rotating the angle of the adapter for better viewing requires first unscrewing the tip at the extreme end and once the fuse and spring are removed the barrel will rotate stiffly (I rotated mine 1/4 turn and reassembled). Also be careful to insert and remove from dash grasping the barrel rather than body to prevent breakage. Many users complained that it lacks song Shuffle and that there is no Instruction Manual. Today I learned how Shuffle is performed however I had already wasted many hours fooling with my files and this device to try make this work. It's really simple. With the unit powered on first HOLD DOWN the Play/Pause Button (next to the round knob) on the player until "All" or some other choice appears in the display window. Release and then quickly tap the same button repeatably until reaching "Random". Release and after a few seconds it accepts the command and you are now playing music randomly. Manufacturers really hurt their own sales when then do not enclose an instruction manual. Believe it or not I discovered the solution from a user review written 7 years ago for a different brand! The SainSonic sounded suprisingly well once bass and treble were adjusted (sometimes high frequency vocals were a bit sharp sounding). The built in selectible equalizer offers very little customizing. Signal strength is sufficient in my area of travel. In the event of interference switching to a clear frequency is easy as the LED characters are larger for this particular function than in normal use. Another reason the SainSonic only earned 3 Stars is because the input cable did not fully enter the port on the housing and required use of flash memory instead. The port seems to be the culprit and the sound crackled when the cable was inserted. Loaded 1,200 songs without folders directly in the root directory of an 8 GB low profile usb memory card (my SainSonic directory accomodates four digits possibly up to whatever the limit is for flash drive or memory card capacity.
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on March 26, 2014
I bought this unit so I could play music from a flash drive in a 2007 vehicle, a feature that most new cars have in their sound systems. The sound quality is fine and, once you find a good fequency, the reception is also good. A major drawback is there are no real instructions. So I had to play with the device and the remote to figure out how to change files on the flashdrive. Plus, the function of changing files does not really work well and the remote has poor performance. Another complaint is the screen is so small, there is no way you could change files while driving and see what file you are changing to. So if you preload a flash drive with music and don't want to change files, this device will work and produce pretty good sound. But other units offer better functionality.
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on June 1, 2013
I tested this side by side with a hardwired connection directly into my Honda aux sound port - using iPhone music. The sound quality was a little worse but unless you switched back and forth it would probably not be noticeable. Works best when volume (and I presume signal strength) is near max as the volume goes down the static hiss typical of a blank radio frequency starts to become noticeable.

I also tried the SD slot. It does NOT work with AAC but works fine with mp3 and shows the name of the song. It looks inside folders but what that means is that it just lists all the songs in one continuous list irrespective of folders. The only navigation you can do is move forward and back within the list.

My unit came with the plastic round disc on the end packed with the cord. I really don't know why it is necessary and as others have said, do not install it.

USB port is handy and charges an iPhone just fine.
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on February 16, 2013
I had this item a couple of days before opening it. I needed to download my Amazon MP3s to USB. So last night, I finally got the songs downloaded and tried to plug the player in my Jeep. It broke in three pieces (see customer pic #10). The other reviewer that suggested removing the rubber piece before using it was correct. I am confident the breakage was due to the pressure caused by rubber thing on the end. If you look at the picture of the unit where it goes into the lighter, you will see a black ring near the very tip. Remove that tip.

I ordered a Soundfly and I am very happy with it. Very sturdy and works great. It is twice the price but it is worth it. Soundfly SD WMA/MP3 Player Car Fm Transmitter for SD Card, USB Stick, Mp3 Players,iPod, Zune
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