TransPod for iPod shuffle
Company: Digital Lifestyle Outfitters
Price: $59.99 MSRP
Love your iPod Shuffle, want to listen to it in your car but you don’t have a brand new car with the latest sound system that comes with a plug-in point for your Shuffle? Don’t worry; Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has taken care of the problem for you.
The TransPod for the iPod Shuffle is basically a mini-radio station (2”x1.5”x1.5”) that you own and operate. Plug the TransPod into a cigarette lighter, tune your radio to any blank frequency on the FM dial between 87.9 and 107.9 and then set the TransPod and it will work on that frequency. I’ve put mine to the test in the area just outside of Washington, D.C. and encountered no major problems in locating an unused frequency to set up on the car radio as the TransPod channel. The instructions are simple and easy to follow, setting the TransPod to work on that particular frequency is easy and plugging in your iPod is even easier. The one problem that I did start to experience as I worked my way through different frequencies was bleed over from radio stations on nearby frequencies but these stations were not in the area. I found a bit of radio “skip” occurring from stations well outside of the area, particularly late at night or very early in the morning.
These problems were easy to overcome by setting up a second frequency that did not suffer from these bleed over during these time periods. Users will need to remember to start with the iPod volume down and work their way up, both on the iPod and on the radio. You don’t need to be blowing your speakers and your ear drums with really loud music. (Users will also need to remember to lower the iPod’s volume way down before removing and using it with earpieces) The blue back-lit LCD display is easy to read even in the day time. You will experience some static when there is a lull between songs or the song itself in low in volume. Think of the TransPod as a Mr. Microphone for your iPod… (how many of you know or remember Mr. Microphone?) Guy Serle did a great review of the iCar Play Wireless Plus where he explains the problems and limitations of FM transmitters of this type. You are just not going to get symphony hall quality sound in your car with a unit like this.
What you will get is a FM wireless unit that will provide relatively good audio through your car FM radio and speakers that will pass until you get home. You will also get a unit that will charge your iPod while you’re driving so that you can use it on the run. You can even use the TransPod to charge portable gaming devices or cell phones and it comes with a line-out function for use with a cassette adapter or stereo input cable. You can use the TransPod to transmit the audio from any MP3 player, device and the sound from video games or movies in your car, van or whatever you use for transportation.
I used the TransPod in several different make vehicles with different radio systems. It worked fine in all of them, no problems encountered. Of course, the more speakers in the car’s sound system, the better I liked it. So until car manufacturers are including dashboard radio units that an iPod can be plugged into to provide a better sound, DLO’s TransPod will work fine.
So to review: Easy to set up, use and enjoy; easy to read back lit LCD, charges up your Shuffle for on the go use.
Cons: Not a symphony hall quality sound unit, static will occur.
MyMac rating: 4 out of 5