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playm0de 09-23-2006 12:08 PM

iPod in the car
What are the best options for playing the iPod through the cars stereo? Which ones do you guys use?

lifeafter2am 09-23-2006 12:42 PM

In my old car I used a standard Y Cable (mini-jack to RCA) to plug my ipod into the back of my head-unit. Just recently I put new Pioneer systems into both my car and my fiancé's, which have built in ipod support. Before that she used one of those pieces that broadcasts the ipod to an empty FM channel, but that sounded like crap. We are audio FREAKS though, and can not stand audio degradation. :headphone

It depends on A)What kind of Audio Quality you want?
This depends on not only the system you put it through, how you put it into the system, and what quality the MP3's are (I do mine at no less than 192)
B) How much money you want to spend?


Sobe 09-23-2006 01:09 PM

My Sony headunit has an AUX input in the front, so I just hook my Gen 2 Nano up to the unit via that AUX input.

climbguy 09-23-2006 03:35 PM

How's that Nano Gen 2 working for you?


Originally Posted by Sobe
My Sony headunit has an AUX input in the front, so I just hook my Gen 2 Nano up to the unit via that AUX input.

PowerBookG4 09-23-2006 03:57 PM

In the new mustang there is a line in input in the center consol, I plug my ipod into there, and select line in on the system. Amazing quality.

Sobe 09-23-2006 07:22 PM


Originally Posted by climbguy
How's that Nano Gen 2 working for you?

iLove it.

I have the 8GB Black Nano.


playm0de 09-23-2006 08:58 PM

I am going to acura to see if they can install an auxilary port...or maybe just buy a new radio.

groggy23 09-23-2006 09:33 PM

Auxillary would be your best connection. Stay away from FM transmitters, and like thereof. Bluetooth from Scosche is not that bad either if you want to go wireless. But again nothing can really beat the sound quality of Y-cable RCA's direct to your stereo. I haven't tried the direct connection for iPod's for iPod-ready cars yet, but I assume the quality is like RCA.

gort 09-23-2006 09:53 PM

shipsupt 09-24-2006 03:19 AM


Originally Posted by groggy23
"Stay away from FM transmitters, and like thereof."

I could not agree more... but if you have an old stereo without hard connections to make, or if you are wanting to use in other peoples cars you can get away with the FM transmitters, they just lack the quality and inteference is always an issue.

A buddy of mine tried a cheap version of this unit he purchased from Cosco, big mistake. It was like the unit was never quite tuned right so you never got a clear broadcast.

I first used a Belkin model that had four channels to select from. Very companct and ran on batteries. It worked "OK" but I was always trying to find one of the four channels with the least inteference (Ussually a stronger signal on or close to the selected frequency). The other problem is that I'd always seem to forget to shut it off and run the batteries down!

I later tried a more cradle like unit that plugged into the 12VDC power point. Now I didn't have to worry about the batteries and it charged my iPod. It also set the unit up for easy access while I was driving. The real added bonus to this model was that it allowed me to choose whatever FM frequency I wanted to transmit on throughout the band. It was much easier to find a frequency that did not have a strong signal on it and allow a much bettter transmission without inteference.

As luck would have it, if you surf to this Bestbuy page you'll see the two units I had. The first is the small Belkin, at only $10 it's a pretty cheap and painless solution, just not the best. The second down is the DLO unit I had. I'd be guessing there are better units out there now...

Another tip if you have to go this road, see if your antenae is easily removable. It's not needed for the close in broadcasting you are doing and it will reduce the signals you are picking up from outside the vehicle.

I've since moved on to a hard wired set up in my vehicle and of course it really is the way to go if you can.


CWMac 09-24-2006 09:21 AM

I picked up a Griffin iTrip for £10 the other day and while id agree the quality of sound it is a cheap(&nasty?) way of getting sounds into the car without paying out a couple of hundred on a cd player with jacks etc.
OF course doesnt help when your car is a tempramental frenchy that has dashboard display and refuses to work with after market stereos lol.

init6 09-24-2006 09:40 AM

Just to chime in, I use a Griffin iTrip and it works fine for me. On the other hand, if I lived in a major city (my city is populous, but it's not as crowded as Orlando, for example, though we can receive all of their broadcasts), it may have been crowded out.

I'm able to use 97.7FM without many problems. Occasionally if I'm next to a vehicle that has a radio (bus, commercial truck, etc) I get some interference, but for my daily commute to school and back it works fine.

Being a bit of an audiophile I'll likely grab the Harman-Kardon kit, or maybe I'll just upgrade my car stereo to one with iPod support.

But for the $50 I spent on my iTrip it gets the job done and keeps me rockin' to and from college each day. ;)

brianj08 09-24-2006 10:06 AM

check out this company. they sell ipod interfaces and i have one installed on my car. i love the thing. it cost about 80$ but it is worth it for the sound quality this thing generates, also was a breeze to install.

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