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First Look: iTrip Universal, FM Transmitter

updated 04:40 pm EDT, Thu August 21, 2008

iTrip Universal

The biggest problem with digital music players is that you can't always listen to your music wherever you go. While you can carry your digital music player on a belt and listen to your favorite songs through ear buds, this isn't always practical while driving or entertaining guests at your house. One solution is to buy an FM transmitter that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter so you can listen to your music over your car radio. Then buy a second home stereo that lets you plug your digital music player into speakers so you can blast your tunes all over your house. Rather than buy two separate devices, consider saving money and just get the iTrip Universal from Griffin Technology instead.

This portable FM transmitter is slightly larger and heavier than a pack of gum. Unlike many FM transmitters that must be plugged into a car's cigarette lighter, which forces you to use it only in your car, Griffin's product contains a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that makes this product completely portable. Pop the top off the device and plug it directly into the USB port of any computer to recharge it.

After you've recharged its battery, you can plug the included cable into the 3.5 mm headphone jack of any digital music player whether you own an iPod, an iPhone, a Zune, a SanDisk, or any other audio device including portable CD players. If it has a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, you can plug and play it through this device.

To play your music, you need to tune this FM transmitter to any unused radio frequency (within a range of 88.1 MHz - 107.9 MHz) in our area. For your convenience, you can preset up to three frequencies so you can switch to them at the touch of a button. This lets you save the best frequency for your car and another one for your house.

Place any FM radio within 10 - 30 feet of the device and you'll be able to hear your favorite music playing off your FM radio almost as if you were running your own private radio station. Carry this device in your car and listen to your music on your car radio. Bring it with you back home and now your favorite music can play over your home stereo system. By working with any audio player and any FM radio, this device eliminates the need for buying separate audio accessories for your car and home.

At $39.99, the iTrip Universal is no more expensive than a typical FM transmitter for your car, and it's certainly less expensive than many home stereo products that let you plug and play an iPod through its own speakers. If you truly want to take and hear your music wherever you go, the iTrip Universal may be the only audio accessory you'll ever need.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dennisobell

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't mean to be nasty, but is there a reason why this review is written as if FM transmitters haven't existed for the last half-decade?

  1. aljaw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    itrip universal

    The article neglects to mention the quality of the sound. I own the original itrip and I never use it because there is more static than music. Hopefully the new itrip has a stronger transmitter.

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