Recommendations for iPod in-car use

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Starting to look at using the iPod in a car and I'm trying to decide between the wireless FM transmitter options vs. something more permanent.



If you've implemented either, tell me your experience. Thanks.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    lfe2211lfe2211 Posts: 507member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Starting to look at using the iPod in a car and I'm trying to decide between the wireless FM transmitter options vs. something more permanent.



    If you've implemented either, tell me your experience. Thanks.



    Depending on the area you live in, the FM transmitter can be nearly useless and a waste of money. If there are too many FM stations in the vicinity of the devices frequencies, it won't work well. I have that problem in the NYC area. I use a cassette adapter which works well but suffers from low audio quality for music. I use it mainly for audiobooks and podcasts which are clearly audible.The best option is too plug your Ipod into the jack of a BMW or Lexus audio system but that of course, costs lost of jack.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    soulbowsoulbow Posts: 30member
    I drive a 98 Firebird and had tried to use a FM transmitter but the quality was just not good at all. Much worse than regular FM radio. I then got a brand new radio/CD player with an AUX in port and the sound quality is so much better. It was well worth the $260 I ended up paying after all the hidden charges. (The CD player/radio cost $120 at circuit city...





    I don't think any mp3 or similar file will ever sound as good as a CD though.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    krispiekrispie Posts: 260member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Starting to look at using the iPod in a car and I'm trying to decide between the wireless FM transmitter options vs. something more permanent.



    If you've implemented either, tell me your experience. Thanks.



    Depends on your budget, of course...



    I found the FM solution pretty useless. And the AUX-in option isn't great as it doesn't charge the iPod, display the tracks on the head unit, or allow control of the iPod from the head unit's controls.



    I use a JVC head-unit which is a CD player and DAB + FM radio. But the key for iPod use is their adaptor that looks to the head unit like a CD changer, but actually runs a cable to the glovebox (or wherever you want it). There, I just plug it into the iPod's dock connector. It charges the iPod, the controls on the head unit changes tracks etc, and track names appear on the main display.



    Lovely.



    There are a few quirks in the interface for selecting play-lists etc, but apart from that it's great.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    I tried the FM transmitter route but was not overly impressed. Fortunately, I lucked out and my built-in stereo kicked the bucket and I replaced it with a new Kenwood that had a direct attachement cable as an option. It sounds great and I can access it (to the degree that I desire) through the stereo's interface, so the iPod itself is actually stashed safely in the magazine slip behind the driver's seat.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    glossgloss Posts: 506member
    I get the impression that Alpine's 'Full-speed' iPod interface is sort of the way to go.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,179moderator
    I think the AUX method is best. Battery life should be enough for any car journey and you can get a car adaptor to plug into your cigarette socket.



    The FM transmitter has reliability problems as mentioned. Connections to car stereos are expensive and they override the ipod controls. I hate the idea of flipping through so many albums with car stereo controls so you have to un-dock the ipod, find the track and put it back, all the while avoiding an accident.



    The AUX way, you can even make a dock up at the right of your steering wheel and control it with your right hand where you get easy access to volume control and track skipping and not diverting your eyes too far off the road.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    after trying the FM transmitter for months in Phoenix, I found it was a waste of about $90 for something that sounded so bad, was hard to use and sounded horrible. I bought an Alpine CDA-9856 last year and had it installed. Best iPod accessory ever. (and it even works with my iPhone, even though it says 'not supported' but that's another story).



    Its well worth being able to control your iPod through your head unit and have the iPod in the glove compartment. Not only is it 'out of sight' and charging but it sounds as perfect as you can get. I found the best way to control it is with smart playlists (less searching for songs and podcasts).



    Can't go wrong. I think this unit can be had for much less than $200 now. I paid $210 last year. This is probably the number one way I use my iPod, so it makes sense to do it right.
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