When we got a new car with a CD player, we had a problem: how to playback music without the cassette adapter we'd been using for eight years. A local car stereo shop offered to sell a mini-FM transmitter for $100.
Too much! I told my son, going on a band trip to California, to be on the lookout for something cheaper. He returned with a $30 unit, one of the first on the market. It worked well for 3 years, but then the audio connector began to fail, with one channel cutting out intermittently. Time for a new one.
In an earlier post, I noted that Best Buy sells these for $60 or more, while Wal-Mart sells 'em starting at $20. I decided on the $20 model to see if there was a tangible difference. It's the Morph brand Mp3 To Air.
One drawback to the old one was that it was limited to broadcasting on four frequencies. Today's models cover all FM frequencies, as does the one I bought.
In the plastic packaging, it came with:
- tuner unit
- USB cord
- car charger
The USB cord connects to your computer (for home use) or to the car charger. Or, it can use two AAA batteries.
The unit works well enough, but has some problems:
- the power and tuner buttons are outdented (stick out), so they sometimes get hit accidentally, and then the unit turns off or changes stations
- it is supposed to turn on automatically when the MP3 player is turned on, but this function doesn't work
- to save batteries, it turns itself off after a minute of no signal. Problem is that it's not running on batteries and turning off just means I have to turn it on again.
- it comes with a built-in digital thermometer (why?) that's wildly inaccurate.
Despite these drawbacks, it was worth saving $50 for a rather basic function.