|Product Length:||8.0 inches|
|Product Width:||8.0 inches|
|Product Height:||3.0 inches|
|Product Weight:||0.88 pounds|
|Package Length:||7.1 inches|
|Package Width:||5.1 inches|
|Package Height:||2.9 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.4 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 153 reviews|
|Average Customer Review: ( 153 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 75 found the following review helpful:
A Great All-in-One FM Solution for your Vehicle Oct 22, 2006
By Casey A. Henry
Strengths: All-in-one solution for docking, charging, and FM transmission; adaptable to all iPods and vehicles; versatile FM tuning options
Weaknesses: Sound quality issues typical of FM transmitters; no auxiliary audio input or output
Let's face it: using your iPod in your vehicle just isn't as simple as it should be. Unless you're driving a 2006 model year or later vehicle, chances are that your vehicle's stereo head unit doesn't provide any easy way for you to connect your iPod (or any other digital music player, for that matter). That means that you only have three options for listening to your iPod through your vehicle's stereo: direct connection to your head unit via an auxiliary input, a cassette tape adapter, or an FM transmitter. Most automobiles don't offer an auxiliary input jack on the front of their receivers, and connecting your iPod to a rear aux input--if your unit even has one, that is--is a complicated process that involves removing your receiver and (sometimes) part of your dashboard as well. So even though this setup offers the best sound quality, installation can prove difficult...or impossible. On the other hand, cassette tape adapters provide a far simpler and good-sounding method to connect your player, but they only work if your vehicle has a cassette player. So if neither of the above solutions are an option for you, then you have to begin considering either (1) purchasing an aftermarket, iPod-friendly head unit or (2) looking for an FM transmitter, and that's where the Belkin TuneBase FM for iPod comes into the picture.
If you decide to go the FM transmission route, you really can't lose with the TuneBase FM. Not only does it transmit the audio output from your iPod to an FM frequency you select, but it also provides a convenient dock for your iPod that even charges your iPod while it's in use. Many all-in-one solutions such as this are poor performers all around, but the TuneBase FM fulfills all of its duties superbly.
It goes without saying that the most important element of the TuneBase FM's performance is sound quality. After all, it doesn't do much good to dock and charge your iPod in the car if you can't listen to your music. As FM transmitters go, the TuneBase FM does an admirably good job getting audio output from your iPod to your vehicle's stereo, but it is plagued by the same sound quality issues that affect all FM transmitters. I live in an area that has a pretty crowd frequency spectrum; there are only a few frequencies that are relatively free of other transmissions. Despite this, however, the TuneBase FM still manages to transmit a clear audio signal to my receiver most of the time, although static can be a problem from time to time. I commute almost forty miles one way to work everyday, and I rarely have to switch frequencies, which is pretty impressive. Your results may vary depending on how crowded the airwaves are in your region. Compared to my last FM transmitter, a highly-rated iRock! BeamIt model, the TuneBase FM transmits a slightly clearer and more powerful signal. You won't get a much better FM signal from any other FM transmitter.
The TuneBase FM's other features are what really make it stand out from the rest of the crowd. Its docking solution, utilizing a flexible steel "neck" to support the cradle, is much more elegant, flexible, and pleasing to the eye than other solutions that use a series of thick, jointed plastic connectors. This allows you to position your iPod just about any way you please, and it also virtually guarantees that this dock is adjustable to fit just about any vehicle on the road. The dock is secured by inserting the base into a free power or cigarette lighter outlet, which is also how the device receives power for charging the iPod. Included in the box are plastic and rubber outlet adapters to ensure a snug fit in just about any outlet, and this seems to work quite well; even over bumpy roads or terrain, my iPod remains firmly upright in its cradle. It would be nice if the adjustable neck were just a couple inches longer (this unit includes a four-inch neck, the TuneBase FM for iPod nano includes a seven-inch neck), but a longer neck would likely be too flimsy to support heavier iPods such as the 60GB and new 80GB 5G video iPods.
The TuneBase FM automatically pauses and powers down a docked iPod when it the power supply to the device is interrupted, and it powers up the iPod and resumes playback when power is restored. One note about this: there is no on/off switch on the device, so it remains powered as long as the vehicle's power outlet is powered. If your vehicle's power outlets deactivate when you remove the key from the ignition, then this is not an issue. However, if your vehicle (like mine) powers your outlet(s) continually (even when the vehicle is off and the key is removed from the ignition), you need to remember to manually turn off your iPod when exiting your car or risk draining your car's battery.
Tuning to different radio frequencies with the TuneBase is a simple exercise. The device interfaces with the iPod through its dock connector, so it is able to display frequency and present information on the iPod's own display, which is much easier to read than a separate LCD readout. Tuning options are very flexible. In addition to four presets (which, if you sync with the presents on your vehicle's receiver, makes channel-hopping a breeze), the TuneBase FM allows you to to any frequency from 87.9 to 107.9, including broadcast-free even-numbered frequencies such as 88.8, 96.2, etc.
I only have a few minor complaints about the TuneBase FM for iPod. As I mentioned earlier, there is no on/off switch to accommodate vehicles with continually-powered outlets and cigarette lighters. I haven't experienced any difficulties with leaving my TuneBase plugged in for extended periods of time as long as I manually power down or remove my iPod, but it's an unnecessary extra step that I shouldn't have to take. It's also unfortunate that Belkin does not include auxiliary input and output jacks for direct connection to supported receivers or the ability to use the TuneBase for other digital media players and not just iPods. There's even a spot on the cradle specifically for an auxiliary jack; Belkin just decided not to include it with this model. That's really too bad, as I would have been more than willing to pay an extra five dollars or so for the added functionality of an auxiliary jack.
Overall, however, the TuneBase FM for iPod is an excellent product. If you have decided that FM transmission is your only option for in-car iPod connectivity, then this product is definitely worth considering and will perform admirably.
37 of 38 found the following review helpful:
As good as it gets May 26, 2006
By W. Gong
This is an excellent FM tuner solution. Unlike other FM tuners I have used, the frequencies you can use are not preset and can be reset on the fly. In addition, the Tunebase charges your battery while the iPod is in use.
There are drawbacks to keep in mind: like all FM tuners, you will hear static if you are getting signal interference. This is going to be an issue if you tend to drive in areas with heavy airwaves. This was a problem I had with previous solutions but is less of an issue since the frequencies are not hardcoded into the device and can be reset manually. It can be a little work to find a clean frequency, but that's just the nature of FM tuners.
I had originally considered finding some direct input solution for my iPod but found that it would be impractical for my car as far as the investment of dollars and work went. Seeing as how my car is about three years old, most solutions involve either replacing the stereo or actually going in and messing with the wiring in my car. I got the Tunebase as an interim solution but I am so satisfied with it I think I'm just going to use it for as long as I have this car.
48 of 51 found the following review helpful:
This is it! Apr 12, 2006
By R. P. Poletti
"Just a guy"
This is solution for your traveling iPod! The unit includes adapters for many different iPod models. It also includes fitting to ensure a snug fit into your 12-volt car power adapter. The fit is tight enough that the plug will not rotate with the weight of the iPod.
Sound quality is great. It holds your iPod quite securely. You can position your player where it is most convenient and visible!
I have two complaints:
1. As high volume, you can hear the electronic whine of the charger. This is unavoidable but less at lower frequencies. It may not be noticeable with some music but I am an audio-book listener so I can hear it.
2. The controls are little limiting and awkward. Adjusting the transmit volume, which you admittedly do only once, is quite awkward requiring you hold the unit, hold two buttons down while pressing a third. However, selecting a different station is very easy and one-handed.
Overall, I am quite please with this and recommend it.
17 of 17 found the following review helpful:
Worst iPod Accessory on the Market Mar 05, 2007
By Nicholas Andrew Soler
"Wally of Wadsworth"
I, like many, used those old fashioned tape adapters when I first bought a portable CD player. The sound on that old device is far superior to the quality of this Belkin product.
My fiance & I recently purchased a 30GB Video iPod and wanted to get something so we can listen to it in my 04 Accord and her 04 Cavalier. We agreed getting a radio transmitter was the best idea since we could switch it between cars when we wanted. We got this Belkin product from a local retailer for a relatively good price.
The flexible arm was nice, we could maneuver the iPod to face us and still be within reach to skip songs or change playlists. It also displayed the station we were using on the iPod itself, instead of on the Belkin device, this too was a pretty neat feature.
But from there on out, it's all downhill. We found an empty radio station in our suburb of Chicago, 88.3, and used it. The sound was ok, but I had to turn my radio up pretty loud in order to hear it. With that came a lot of static and high pitched whirring noise that was actually a little louder than the music itself. I didn't notice the noise / static too much when we listened to pop, rock, or R&B but when Classical or Vocal music played, you'd hear static instead of silence. Also, as we'd accelerate the noise would worsen!
We got used to the static and said, we'll deal with it. However, we drove into the city recently and experienced a plethora of other problems. As we'd drive on the highway, someone would pass us. Coincidentally some of them had radio transmitters on the same station as us. We'd hear their music crystal clear as if it was being played in our CD player. After they passed us, we'd go back to our staticy sound.
A little later on, the static starting getting overwhelming and it turned out there was a weak broadcast on that station in the city, so we switched to a different empty station 88.1, and we still couldn't hear. So we tried another, and another... we didn't hear any music for the rest of our day. NO station worked.
On the way home we stopped at my fiance's parent's house, and they said we should try their DLO Transpod. We plugged it in and tried 87.9 (which they recommended) and it was crystal clear. We decided to try 88.1 and 88.3 too since they were what we used earlier that day. As expected, they worked perfectly. I've now driven for days with this new device all over the suburbs and in the city. It's like night and day compared to the Belkin device. We are returning ours today.
To sum it up, FM transmitters are rather expensive and an imperfect solution to the iPod / car issue. But if you're gonna shell out your money on a device, you expect it to work. On top of that, you don't just expect it to work "ok", you expect it to work great. The Belkin achieved a nice sleek design and ease of use, but beyond that the product is worthless. DO NOT BUY THIS DEVICE!
If I could rate this a 0 out of 5, I would.
13 of 13 found the following review helpful:
The BEST May 22, 2006
By William R. Mcgonigal
I have owned the itrip, which was convienient, because you could take it anywhere (being cordless) and play it on any radio. But the sound was absolutly awful, and it drained the baterry. Then I bought the Transpod, which was an improvement, b/c the sound was a little better, and it charged the ipod. However, It was ugly as junk. Anddd after just a month of owning it, it broke. All It did was sit in my car. You can tell it is very cheap. So now I bought the belkin tunebase fm...ANDDDDD......This thing is amazing. The sound is serously BETTER then a cd quality (if you beleive that) I serously have never heard the bass in my car hit so sharply. It also charges it, and the tunebase is pretty small and holds the ipod without any ugly cords. You need to find a station that doesnt have reception for it to come in perfectly clear, and at times I do notice the ringing noise the other reviewer mentions, but I rarely notice it. I give the itrip 2 stars, the transpod 3, and this thing 5 stars by far. I don't know how it compares to the other new fm transmitters, but compared to the older ones, it is in another league. I highly recommend it.
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