Gadget Review: Griffin iTrip Auto Universal Plus
When the Griffin iTrip Auto Universal Plus arrived at my doorstep it dawned on me. People are still using FM transmission! Aww man, I’m lucky I never had to deal with any of that as I went from a Mini-Disc car set up (laugh all you want, I loved Mini-Disc) to a deck with an 3.5mm aux input on the faceplate.
The Griffin iTrip Auto Universal Plus is an FM transmitter that works with virtually any MP3 player the accepts a 3.5mm jack. Operation couldn’t be simpler as you plug the MP3 player into the 3.5mm jack end with the other end plugged into the cigarette lighter socket. From there you press the smart scan button and the iTrip designates the most optimum FM frequency to broadcast your MP3 player’s music. Then lastly, you match the frequency on your car stereo to the one displayed on the iTrip and you are good to go. Self explanatory at this day and age really.
The iTrip AUP is a nice looking FM transmitter with black glossy and matte finishes. Construction is solid enough and it’s very light weight and has a smooth feel to it. The feature that will make this FM transmitter stand out from the pack is the USB socket embedded in the cigarette lighter adapter. Almost any device can be charged like this provided you have the right USB to whatever connection. Very useful when on the go and away from a wall outlet.
Ok, the sound provided by the iTrip AUP is downright horrible. A ton of hiss and really, really low volume output, which in turn makes you turn up the hiss. I don’t have a lot of experience with the way a FM transmitter should sound but can’t be like this. Right? For the record I live in Portland, Oregon on the North side of town. The radio reception I get is decent and I tried a bunch of channels. I just don’t understand. It seems so archaic. There are gonna be those type of people out that don’t really have that discerning audio palette and all they wanna do is hear their tunes, but I honestly couldn’t bear it.
I think FM transmission should be a last ditch effort at this point as there are better ways. It would be worth it in the long run to have a 3.5mm cord hard wired to the back of your car stereo if you can, or just pay for a cheap deck with a 3.5mm in. Probably to no fault of its own, the Griffin iTrip AUP does what it is supposed to do, but what it is supposed to do is an antiquated technology in my mind. The best part is easily the USB socket cigarette adapter charger but you can buy that as a stand alone product.
- Very easy to use
- Attractive design and aesthetic
- Scans for optimal signal frequency or lets you choose your own
- Straight miserable sound from my location in Portland, Oregon
- Uhh…If FM transmitters work for you give it a shot!
- Repeat 1st Con
Buy it here for $30.52!