For a few years now, I’ve driven a car with no direct cable for my phone’s audio, nowhere to plug my phone into the car’s system, no bluetooth capability, and not even a cassette player to use as an adapter. Couple this with my personal hatred for radio, and I’ve struggled to figure out a way to listen to my music (or podcasts) on long commutes – that is until now.
Once exhausting all of the options listed above, I began to think of other ways to play my phone’s audio in the car. My first thought was to just use the phone itself, it does have built-in speakers after all. After one drive it seemed like a less than optimal solution, and after one drive with the windows open I realized it wasn’t going to work at all. Then I looked into changing my car’s radio, or another part of my car, to be able to connect my phone. After looking up the process involved in doing so, as well as the price, I realized that too wasn’t going to work.
Then one day I discovered FM transmitters. I wasn’t sure how I had gone so long without hearing about them, but it seemed like the perfect solution; cheap, easy, and playable directly through my car’s radio. I bought one for ~$5 and was very disappointed when I received it. It had a short battery life, almost always needed to be recharged, wouldn’t stay connected to my phone, and probably most importantly, I was able to hear the static more than the music.
I realized that you usually get what you pay for, and decided to try my luck with a more upscale charger. After a ~$25 investment, I was excited to finally be able to listen to my music. This transmitter stayed in my phone, and held a great charge, but unfortunately the static was still pretty intense.
I had given up and begun looking for yet another way to reconfigure my car, when I was offered a T9 FM transmitter for review. It was my first time trying a transmitter that used bluetooth, so I was hoping maybe that would remedy the static problems, and to my surprise, it actually did.
This transmitter doesn’t need to be charged because it remains plugged into your car, and has a USB port in it so you can still charge a device. The thing that makes this transmitter different, is that with other transmitters when you turn the radio volume up enough to actually hear the audio, you start to notice the static. The T9, however, has a volume adjuster on its own, so if you raise your phone to full volume then adjust it from the transmitter, the static becomes much less of a problem.
That’s not to say the static isn’t a problem at all, because it still can be, but if you adjust the volume correctly and find the best radio station to use it with (it comes with 6 preset) it’s a huge improvement. The only place I haven’t noticed an improvement is in residential neighborhoods and more densely populated areas. In other words, the more urban you get, the less useful it becomes. Still, overall I would definitely recommend it. It’s the best FM transmitter I’ve used so far.
You can find it for sale on Amazon here.