Cheap Griffin iTrip Mini FM Transmitter for iPod Mini (Electronics) Price
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The iPod mini has helped revolutionize the way people store and listen to music, but it's not particularly car-friendly. Unless your car stereo includes a cassette deck (increasingly rare) or an auxiliary input (more common among newer stereos) combined with the appropriate adapter, you simply haven't had the means to play your extensive iPod library through your car's speakers. Several companies, however, have sought to fill this void by releasing a product called an FM transmitter, which broadcasts iPod tunes via the FM airwaves. Griffin Technology is among the category leaders with its iTrip mini, a discreet little device that fits unobtrusively on top of the iPod mini. The iTrip mini isn't confined to car stereos--it plays on almost any FM radio--but because most home stereos and boomboxes have auxiliary inputs, it's most popular as a car accessory.
Design and Setup
The iPod mini is loaded with impressive features, but it's also an Apple product, which means that looks matter. A lot. And Griffin clearly recognizes this, because the iTrip mini is sleek and complementary. It's built to fit into the iPod mini's headphone and remote ports, from where its all-white body looks like an extension of the mini itself. Plus, the device measures less than an inch tall and exactly as wide as the mini, so it takes up almost no extra space--an important feature to people who value the mini's portability. The iTrip mini also works when plugged into full-sized iPods with dock connectors, but it doesn't fit as well shape-wise. Owners of full-sized iPods can buy alternate iTrips designed with their players in mind, including iTrips for 1G and 2G FireWire iPods, 3G and 4G iPods with dock connectors, and special-edition black iPods.
The iTrip mini is designed to broadcast to any empty FM frequency on your dial--depending on where you receive the best reception--but it's only configured to play at 87.9 MHz right out of the box. That means a little setup is required using the included CD-ROM and iTunes. Fortunately, the installation is painless and takes only a few minutes. The installer adds a playlist to your mini (through iTunes) called iTrip Stations, which consists of a series of short audio files that correspond with all available FM frequencies.
Features and Performance
The iTrip mini performs best when tuned to an FM frequency that plays nothing but static, with no audible words or music. Finding a good frequency is fairly easy, but it requires your full attention, so it's best to do so while parked. We tested the iTrip mini on three separate frequencies in a midsize market with varying success. The sound was generally good in two of the frequencies, less so in the third. This remained true whether the device sat next to the radio, in the backseat, or under a stack of newspapers. While driving through bad FM reception areas, the iTrip mini received a bit of static, but it usually passed in a couple of seconds.
The iTrip mini is designed more for convenience than elite audio performance, so listeners shouldn't expect CD-quality sound. When tuned to a clear frequency, it's about on par with the average FM station. If the volume is turned high, users might notice a slight hiss through the speakers, but engine hum and road noise will generally cover that up. However, listeners who value top-quality sound--especially people with expensive speaker systems that pick up every minor flaw--may instead want to add an auxiliary input to their car stereos to get the most from their iPod minis.
The main drawbacks to the iTrip mini are fairly minor, but will bother some users. First, the iTrip Stations playlist is stored as part of your overall music library, meaning the individual audio files can emerge during shuffle play--and the sound isn't pleasant. Listeners can remedy this by creating a new playlist with their entire music libraries minus the iTrip Stations files. Second, the iTrip mini draws its power from the iPod mini battery. This is actually both a plus and a minus, as it means you don't need to keep buying new AAA batteries every week, but you also won't receive as much power from each iPod charge. If this bothers you, consider purchasing an auto charger, which powers your iPod mini through the cigarette lighter adapter while you drive. Third, the iTrip mini isn't great for long road trips through crowded regions, because the available FM frequencies may change every 40 or so miles (or less), making it necessary to frequently retune the iTrip mini. On the flip side, it's great for long drives through the country.
Ultimately, the iTrip mini is a good value. The convenience will please iPod fans that have been clamoring for a way to play their music in the car. Audiophiles may want to look elsewhere, but most other listeners should be satisfied. --Rivers Janssen
- Makes iPod music library accessible to anyone with an FM radio
- Sleek design fits iPod mini perfectly
- Simple, easy-to-follow controls using mini's click wheel
- Sound quality is solid, though not terrific
- Sometimes requires frequent retuning to find best FM frequency
- Hard to find good frequency in crowded urban areas
- iTrip audio files emit unpleasant noise when chosen for shuffle play, though problem is fixable
What's in the Box
iTrip mini FM transmitter, installation CD-ROM, user's manual.
| CATEGORY: || Electronics |
| MANUFACTURER: || Griffin Technology |
| FEATURES: || FM transmitter designed to play iPod mini music through FM radios, Tunes to any FM frequency for the best possible performance, Battery-free design receives power from iPod itself, Sleek, attractive housing fits seamlessly on top of iPod mini |
| MEDIA: || Electronics |
| MPN: || 4025-MINI |
| # OF MEDIA: || 1 |
| ACCESSORIES: || |
| UPC: || 685387040254 |
Customer Review of Griffin iTrip Mini FM Transmitter for iPod Mini
Poor sound quality in urban areas
I bought the iTrip hoping that I could sit on my couch with my iPod and transmit to my stereo receiver across the room (about 10 feet away). My high hopes for an elegant wireless solution ended in disappointment. Despite that I have a nice big antenna attached to my stereo receiver and was only about 10 feet away, the sound quality was completely terrible - like listening to a weak FM radio station. The subtlest tilting or moving of the iPod would create more or less static. I live in an urban area and there are few available FM frequencies. I tried a number of different frequencies but to no use - they all sounded very poor.
>My friend has used the iTrip in her car on long drives and mentioned that she was happy with its performance only in rural or less-populated areas where there were abundantly available FM frequencies.
>On a positive note about the iTrip, it is easy to use. Also, you can leave your volume all the way down and it will still transmit FM signals.
NOT for big city driving...
I bought this item to play the music from an iPod mini over the car radio for a 1000 mile road trip. I set my radio to the 87.something FM station the instructions recommended. Once we were out of the range of Los Angeles area broadcasting, the thing worked like a champ all the way to Santa Fe, NM. In order to appreciate how this thing works, you do have to have a basic understanding of radio wave physics. Even if you don't..just understand that a crowded FM band will not allow "clean" play...there's just too much noise. If you live or travel outside major metropolitan areas, this is the device for you. I didn't give it 5 stars, because I've only had it in use for under 20 hours. I don't see why it would stop working, though, because it draws it's power from the iPod itself.
Just stops working!
Ok. This is the 2nd ipod mini transmitter I have purchased that has broken within a month. All of a sudden it just stops working, for no apparent reason. Don't waste your money. It's a piece of junk.
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