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Review - iTrip Auto
Wednesday, January 4th, 2006 at 12:00 AM - by
Griffin Technology seems to release a new iTrip every month these days. The latest member of this ever-expanding family is the iTrip Auto, the company's first FM transmitter to combine the convenience of a 12V car charger.
Griffin Technology iTrip Auto
The iTrip Auto features an indendent LCD and controls for dialing in an FM frequency, from 88.1MHz to 107.9MHz. Like other recent iTrips, the iTrip Auto can broadcast in LX (stereo) mode and a stronger DX (mono) mode, but unlike those other recent offerings the iTrip Auto does not feature support for international frequencies. This includes a lack of support for 87.9MHz, a virtually unusedand thus idealfrequency in the U.S. that many car stereos are able to tune into.
While the iTrip Auto uses a dock connector to mate with iPods, unlike the recent iTrip with Dock Connector (2 out of 5), the iTrip Auto is strictly an automotive affair, requiring a 12V cigarette lighter socket to draw its needed power.
iTrip Auto compared to XtremeMac's AirPlay2
We found the audio quality from the iTrip Auto to be relatively good as far as most FM transmitters are concerned but it still pales in comparison to a cassette adapter or line-in solution. Of course, for cars with head units that lack either of those two connectivity options, FM is the easiest way to go.
The iTrip Auto is essentially a glorified version of Newer Technology's RoadTrip!+ (5 out of 5), allowing users to select almost any FM frequency, whereas the RoadTrip!+ is fixed at 87.9MHz (that ever-so-sweet frequency). But the iTrip Auto's svelte controller and LCD display come at a steep cost, with a suggested retail price of $69.99 compared to just $27.95 for the RoadTrip!+.
Given the almost outlandish price discrepancy between the iTrip Auto and other competitive products, it's very difficult to recommend this FM transmitter. Even if your car stereo can't tap into the 87.9MHz frequency the RoadTrip!+ utilizes, putting the $70 the iTrip Auto commands into a better head unit for your car (one that supports line-in) seems a far more sensible solution than spending that much money on what essentially pipes music of mediocre quality to your car's speakers, even with the power charging perk.
Just The Facts
Pros: charges and transmits, attractive controller
Cons: expensive, can't hit 87.9MHz, expensive, can't function without 12V power, did we mention its price?
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