FM Cup Review

This FM Transmitter and charger for iPod is available in black or white, weighs 9oz, and is around 3in tall (and 3.25in in radius). It’s shaped like a small mug, and is designed to fit your car’s existing cup holder, with four spring-loaded sides, so that it will fit a variety of holders.

Once you’ve slotted the device into your holder you need to connect it to the auto-accessory adaptor on the dashboard using the 17in cable supplied. The transmitter draws its power from the car. Pop an iPod into the dock hosted at the top of the unit, switch the unit on and choose an FM channel to transmit on, find that channel on your radio and you’re done. MacAlly hasn’t included the facility to appoint preset channels, but the device does have the capacity to recall the last frequency it was tuned to. The transmitter works across the FM spectrum, from 88.1MHz to 107.9MHz, so you should be able to find a decent channel, free of interference. We did find this transmitter quite capable of hanging on to its chosen frequency, and when choosing a clear frequency we were pleased with the sound clarity experienced, though there was a little background hiss at the higher FM channels.

The top-mounted iPod dock means you can use the transmitter with any dock connector-equipped iPod, including the nano and the mini. For older iPods, MacAlly has introduced a line-in port that grabs the music from the iPod’s headphone port, and supplied a 3.5mm cable to do that job. This also means you can use the transmitter with any device that’s equipped with a headphone port. Your iPod is kept recharged by the system.

When in place, the iPod leans back slightly. This makes it easy for the driver to see what’s playing, and helps them to navigate between songs.

Controls are all housed on the front of the device. These include: the On/Off switch; an LCD screen that displays the current transmission frequency, two buttons (- and +) used to select a channel; and a QS button that changes the frequency between 88.1, 94.1, 100.1 and 106.1FM. There’s a green LED on the charging cable that lets you know when the unit has power.

Because it’s sitting in your cup holder you should find all the controls easy to access, though we did feel the screen to be just a little tiny, and bright sunlight could make it hard to read.

OUR VERDICT

If your car has a cup holder and you want an FM transmitter for your iPod, it makes sense to use a device like this. A good signal, the capacity to transmit songs from older iPods and other players and the spring-loaded sides that ensure stable fit make this a good solution.

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