Gear Review: iPod FM Transmitter

Your buddy has been bugging you for his Best of Warrant CD he let you borrow last month. It's been great listening to it in that 1996 boom box sitting in the passenger seat, but wouldn't it be even better if you could play it on that iPod you scored for [insert holiday]? You can see it now: cruising down the highway, windows down, in your pimped out Geo Metro, tunes blasting.

But wait, you don't even have one of those fancy new radios with a cassette player, much less some kind of auxiliary thingamabob to plug the iPod into. Enter the HandHeldItems iPod FM Transmitter.

Just set your dial to an empty station, match up the frequency on the transmitter's LCD screen, and you are rocking out to Cherry Pie anytime you feel like it. Unless that is you get too close to a real radio station's frequency, then it's time to search for another blank spot in the airwaves. Don't worry, it's not difficult, and thanks to the weak transmitter built into this unit, you'll get lots of practice seeking out a new station to usurp.

That is, you'll get lots of practice when you can actually get the transmitter to broadcast to your FM radio at all. Luckily it can be powered from the iPod itself, so assuming you have adequate battery power left, you can move the iPod to any position in your vehicle to achieve maximum sound quality. And if your iPod is threatening to die on you before you can make it through another replay of the album, just plug in the included power adapter to your lighter socket and you are back in business.

Don't get too excited with your air drums though; the transmitter doesn't have any clips to keep it firmly affixed to your iPod. One wrong jostle and your jam session comes to an abrupt end. The iPod is intelligent enough to pause the track for you, so you miss none of Joey Allen's killer guitar solo, complete with just the right amount of static you can never seem to get rid of, no matter how close the HHI iPod FM Transmitter is to your radio. That's ok though, Warrant was a gritty band, and the static reminds you of just that.

Final Grade: C+

So it goes,

photo from here


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