Although many people still prefer to use car stereos for practical reasons, current technologies allow us to play music straight from our smartphones or any other mobile devices. To do that, you need an FM transmitter, a device that can be connected to your car’s radio with relative ease.
These devices operate by broadcasting your favorite songs through FM signals so that you can enjoy your playlist as if it were an FM radio station. Needless to say, although high-tech, these devices aren’t exactly built to the same standards. It is for this reason that you have to take your time and scout the market thoroughly to figure out what FM transmitter would best suit your needs. To save you the trouble, we put together a list of the ten best FM transmitters out there for you to look at.
Best FM Transmitters – Reviews
10Aphaca Bluetooth Car FM Transmitter
As well as a high-quality dual-USB car charger, the Aphaca BT69 is a strong, iPhone-worthy Bluetooth FM wireless in-car transmitter for high-definition MP3/4 playback. It also supports Smart Car Locator App for showing information about the car on your smartphone while you are away. It works by using a cutting-edge Bluetooth 4.2 FM transmission technology that streams only top-notch audio to your car’s FM stereo.
9Criacr Bluetooth FM Transmitter
This Criacr product is a modern iPhone-compatible Bluetooth FM transmitter that also has two functional USB charge ports and supports TF card and USB flash drive functions. An integrated mic with noise suppression and echo cancellation technology ensures you experience crisp music and clear phone calls. Its innovative Bluetooth module streams music stably from your iPhone or iPad. Not only that but it also offers automatic pairing after previous sessions.
8IMDEN In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The IMDEN’s is a high-performance Bluetooth FM transmitter that makes streaming music and making hands-free calls from your iPhone to car FM stereo system effective and easy, ensuring a more enjoyable, safer driving.
An integrated mic features CVC technology for a crisp-clear talking, while blue-ray LED display shows the FM channels, song name, incoming call number, and a lot more information that might be useful. It also features dual USB charge ports and another USB port for a flash drive.
7LIHAN Wireless FM Transmitter
This wireless FM transmitter from LIHAN is a great one to use when streaming audio music from your iPhone to your car stereo, one that also supports hands-free and clear phone calling. Its simple to use design also features a car charger port for keeping your smartphone charged up, while a large LED display makes everything easy to control, showing pertinent information clearly at all times.
6Nulaxy KM20 Bluetooth FM Transmitter
Another great iPhone FM transmitter for your car, the Nulaxy KM20 is modeled after the KM18, a sister product. This new model has the stability of the former, yet has a modern elegant and sleek design.
Its big screen and integrated cell-phone keys make it simple to use and higher definition sound experience. It utilizes an efficient Bluetooth 3.0 technology and also boasts a USB charging port, a USB flash drive port, an FM tuner, and AUX-in/out ports.
5LDesign Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The LDesign’s wireless in-car FM transmitter doesn’t disappoint when it comes to delivering high-definition sound. Also featuring an effective USB port for charging your iPhone on the go, and CVC technology for sieving out voice distractions and noise, this device offers the easiest way to include a Bluetooth experience from your iPhone to the car stereo for hands-free music and calling experience. Its unique construction makes it a great pick for older car models with all newfangled technology.
4Otium T10 FM Transmitter
This FM transmitter by Otium is another option you can use with your iPhone or Android phone. Fully compatible with virtually any smartphone with a Bluetooth enabled smart audio capability, it further supports AUX input/output, accepts micro SD, TF card, and MP3 and 4 players through its 3.5-mm jack.
It also supports an A2DP Bluetooth performance for clear iPhone-to-car speakers stereo transfer to deliver wonderful listening and calling. Furthermore, its LED screen makes it convenient to use while the device itself also doubles as a charger cable head.
3VicTsing Bluetooth FM Transmitter
Another top-rated model, this high-performance VicTsing’s Bluetooth in-car FM transmitter is superbly compatible with most modern iPhone smartphones as well as other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Its convenient LCD screen displays clear details—incoming phone number, song name, and even the car battery voltage.
An integrated CVC technology ensures a full duplex sound and also suppressed wind and noise so you enjoy only crisp and immersive music or calls. This FM transmitter can also connect automatically to resume from where it last stopped.
2JETech 0790 Wireless Car FM Transmitter
Easily Bluetooth-compatible with iPhone, iPad and other smartphones and tablets, the JETech 0790 also features a 3.5-mm headphone jack for extra versatility. It allows you to enjoy listening to music or other audio files from your iPhone via the stereo system of your car.
Its FM radio signal ensures high-fidelity sound, while integrated USB port helps keep your iPhone and other devices charged up as you drive. Furthermore, its tactile buttons and simple-to-read display make it quite straightforward and easy to use.
1Nulaxy KM18 Bluetooth FM Transmitter
Nulaxy KM18 is a highly rated Bluetooth FM transmitter nowadays, one that you will certainly love using with your iPhone in the car. It integrates Bluetooth 3.0 technology, features a functional USB charging port, as well as a TF-card slot. It is a handy car kit for excellent in-car stereo streaming and hands-free driving. Interestingly enough, it works equally well with iPhones and pretty much most popular smartphones out there, even MP3 players if needed. It should also be said that it can be connected to virtually any device via Bluetooth with relative ease.
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A Guide To FM Transmitters
FM transmitters are useful devices that allow consumers to play music or audiobooks from their smartphone or tablet, so they can listen to it over their car stereos. Although many newer cars have stereos that allow consumers to play music directly from their devices, not everyone has access to these newer vehicles. And in fact, some people find that even in vehicles equipped with newer stereos, they prefer to use their FM transmitter than factory stereo because it does a better job. In either case, it’s extremely important for the consumer to buy the best transmitter possible and to tune in the correct way so that they can get the most out of it. This guide aims to give the reader helpful information that will make both of those things a whole lot easier. Okay, we’ve wasted enough time talking about how useful these transmitters are, so let’s turn our attention to buying the best one possible.
Buying The Best FM Transmitters
The difference between a good and a great transmitter is only a matter of degrees and turns on the features that one has and the other one doesn’t. Below are some of the most important features that consumers should look for when they’re choosing a transmitter for their car.
Choose A Transmitter With Wide Compatibility
The absolute first thing that the consumer is going to want to think about when they’re buying a new FM transmitter is whether it connects to the device they want to play music from, regardless of whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop computer or MP3 player. For the transmitter to be useful, then it has to meet that minimum standard. Now, having said that, most consumers are probably going to want to get a transmitter that does a little bit more than that. They’re probably going to want to get a transmitter that can be used with a wide variety of devices. After all, if a person buys one with limited compatibility, then what happens if they want to play music not only from their smartphone but also from their MP3 player? It probably won’t work. Just remember, the best FM transmitters are the ones that can work with a wide variety of different devices.
Consider Different Connection Options
Another thing that can be found on some of the better transmitters is the ability to receive audio inputs from several different sources. Although consumers can connect to any FM transmitter using Bluetooth, not all of them will accept inputs from other sources. So most people will probably want to consider buying a transmitter that can accept TF cards, or USB flash drives, so they can listen to music stored on these devices. Consumers who don’t have Bluetooth might also need to buy a transmitter that uses a 3.5mm audio cable. Of course, if the consumer only plans on connecting to the transmitter using Bluetooth, then they don’t have to concern themselves with these features if they don’t want to consider them.
Think About The Number Of Frequencies
Another important consideration for everyone considering an FM transmitter is the number of frequencies offered by the device. For people who live in crowded urban areas, this is especially important as it can be difficult to find an empty station suitable for transmitting to around large cities. So if the transmitter doesn’t have a wide range of frequencies, then it can be difficult (or impossible) for the consumer to be able to use the transmitter. Some of the best FM transmitters have a range that’s somewhere between 87.5 MHz and 108 MHz. That range is suitable for just about everyone.
Consider Large Screens & Easy To Use Controls
Some people are probably going to want to buy a transmitter that has a large screen and easy-to-use controls. A big LED screen that clearly shows the channel the device is broadcasting to and large buttons make the transmitter easy to tune and use. Another feature found on some models includes a rotary dial that makes tuning in the exact frequency a whole lot easier.
Not All Transmitters Have A Hands-Free Calling Feature
The one fact that all consumers should keep in mind while shopping for a new transmitter is that not all of them allow hands-free calling, so if it’s important to the consumer, they should make sure they buy one that specifically states that it has this feature. For consumers who don’t need hands-free calling, they can move on to the next point, but for those who do, they may want to consider the following. When choosing a transmitter intended for hands-free calling, be sure to purchase one that’s equipped with CVC 6.0 noise-canceling technology. That will ensure that calls are crystal clear and will allow the person on the other end of the line to hear the caller over the hum of the car’s engine.
Other Features To Seriously Think About
The above features are only a few of the features that consumers should think about, although they are the most important features. There are a few other features that some of our readers might want to consider as well, and we’ve listed these additional features below for our reader’s convenience.
- Compact Design
- Rapid Charge USB Ports
- Bluetooth 3.0 Or Higher Connections
- Equalizer Playing Modes
- Quick Select Feature
- Auto Scan Feature
- Over-Voltage Protection
- Short Circuit Protection
How To Tune An FM Transmitter
Once the consumer has purchased the best FM transmitter available, they are then going to want to tune it to their car stereo as quickly and painless as possible. Although the scope of this guide prevents us from giving our readers direction on all of the major transmitter brands available, what we can do is to give a general overview of the tuning process. As is always the case, the consumer should refer to and follow the directions provided by their devices’ instruction manual for best results.
Option One: Tuning The Unit With A Radio Frequency Tool
Once the consumer has set up and installed their FM transmitter, according to directions, of course, the next thing they’ll want to do is to use a radio frequency tool to find an empty station. Sites like Radio-Locator.Com allow the consumer to search for vacant stations according to where they live. If the consumer lives in the United States, the process can be easily done by entering their zip code or the U.S State where they live. If they live in Canada, they can find empty stations according to which Canadian Province they’re traveling through. Although this website isn’t foolproof, and there’s always a chance of FM station overlap interfering with the consumer’s transmitter, it does work fairly well.
Option Two: Setting The Station By Hand
Of course, if the above step doesn’t work for the consumer, or they merely decide that they don’t want to do it that way, there is another way of finding an empty channel to broadcast on. If their transmitter has an auto-search feature, it can be as easy as just pressing it and allow it to find an empty channel on its own. Otherwise, the consumer is going to have to manually tune it in. The latter method might involve a little bit of trial-and-error, but it’s still a suitable way to find an empty channel.