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FM Transmitters Buying Guide

Sep 10, 2008
Many of the car manufacturers have caught on to the trend of MP3 players. They are now starting to create their vehicles with a built-in input so you can connect your iPod or MP3 player to the car's sound system. The problem arises when a car doesn't come with those convenient inputs in order to connect an MP3 player. This is where an FM Transmitter comes in. An FM Transmitter connects to the headphone jack of your MP3 Player, and then transmits the music you are playing for your car's radio to play on a certain station. By doing this, it will allow you to listen to your music of your MP3 player on your own personal "radio station". If you think an FM Transmitter is not for you, than a tape adapter is recommended. In this article though, we will only talk about FM Transmitters.

Below you'll find a list of things our product specialists recommend our customers to consider before purchasing an FM Transmitter.

Compatibility: Be sure to see whether or not a certain FM Transmitter is compatible with your MP3 Player. If you're not sure there are "Universal" FM Transmitters that will work with almost anything with a 3.5mm headphone jack. This can help prevent you from the hassle of buying and returning an incompatible device.

Battery: You might want to consider the type of batteries the FM Transmitter uses. Most FM transmitters are powered off of "AAA" batteries or through your car's cigarette lighter. If an FM transmitter is specifically designed for your MP3 Player (which connects through another input, not necessarily the headphone jack), the transmitter might be capable to run off the battery the of the MP3 player itself.

Charger: If available, you should consider an FM Transmitter specifically designed for your MP3 Player (which connects through another input, not necessarily the headphone jack), because many of them will charge your MP3 player while connected to your car's cigarette lighter. With these types of FM Transmitters, you get two great features in one package.

Channels: Check to see how many channels the FM transmitter can transmit to (it may also be a range, if so determine how large the range is). Generally, the more channels it can transmit to, the better of a connection that is possible. The reason for this is sometimes other radio stations can interfere with the FM transmitter's signal, therefore distorting the sound. With more channels available to transmit to, you are more likely to find a channel that doesn't interfere with another radio station.

Digital or Analog: Another thing you may want to consider is whether or not the FM transmitter has a digital screen. If it has a digital screen it may make it easier for you to tune through the best stations, but you may just be fine with an analog transmitter. The analog transmitters will just have buttons to switch the station being transmitted, without any screen. The plus side of this is that analog FM transmitters are usually cheaper than those with a digital screen.

Definitions:

AUX (Auxiliary) Generally used as an extra input for a device such as an add-on CD player/changer, MP3 player, or other audio (line level) input.

Headphone Jack: An input to connect headphones to (usually 3.5mm in diameter).
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