FM Transmitter Buying Guide
Here’s what to look at when shopping for an FM transmitter, including pre-purchase considerations and relevant FAQs about the product.
Pre-Purchase Considerations :
Here’s what to consider before buying a transmitter for your vehicle.
Compatibility Requirements :
Are you looking for Bluetooth, USB music source, auxiliary cable, microSD, or another type of compatibility with your in-car transmitter? These are all available options across the market, but not every type of connectivity is available in every unit.
Whether you have the most current smartphone or want to plug into an older MP3 player, it’s important to note what type of compatibility you require before shopping.
Style and Fit :
While many transmitters are bulky with large screens and lots of features, that won’t work for every vehicle configuration. Besides, some of us prefer more streamlined devices that are less likely to attract the attention of unsavory types.
Whatever style you’re looking for, consider that alongside the fit your vehicle requires. For cars or vehicles with cigarette lighters in the middle of the center console, that might not be an ideal place to put a microphone-enabled device since it won’t work well for voice calling.
In contrast, a bulky device won’t be a good fit if it’s too close to your steering wheel and prevents you from operating the vehicle safely.
Questions & Answers
Here are a few FAQs about in-vehicle transmitters for FM radio compatibility.
How Does an FM Transmitter Work?
Transmitters that use FM connectivity rely on the radio station in your car to transmit sound through your speakers. The transmitter connects to your car’s power source to turn on, but then it finds an open radio station’s airwaves to “share” with your car radio.
With both sources tuned to the same station, the transmitter can then relay the music from your device to your car stereo. For this reason, most transmitters will have some type of interference, but this can vary greatly depending on where you live. In general, highly populated areas have fewer available radio stations for this purpose.
Are Wireless Transmitters Good?
The short answer is, in some cases, they may be the only option, so this question is often moot! But in general, yes, wireless transmitters are good. The overall sound quality depends on where you are and what FM station you use, but yes, you can achieve decent sound quality with a transmitter via FM channels.
Will a Transmitter Drain My Car Battery?
Yes, an FM transmitter can definitely drain your car battery. Very few transmitters utilize an on/off switch, and most manufacturers recommend removing the device from the outlet when you turn the vehicle off. Then once you turn the vehicle back on, you can plug the unit in again.
Some devices do have on/off switches, however, and this is a highly desirable feature to look for.
Final Thoughts :
No matter what type of smartphone or music player you have, there’s an FM transmitter to get your music playing, your device charging, and your phone calls coming across clearer than ever. And with this list of the best options out there, you won’t need to invest in a new car stereo or other pricey upgrades.
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