Listening to music is part of driving. However, if the radio does not have a connection to external devices such as smartphones or tablets, the simplest and cheapest solution is an FM transmitter. Good sound quality for your favorite songs and the type of connection is important.
In the case of the latter, a distinction is often made in tests between a connection via the cigarette lighter or pairing via USB. You can discover a convincing product with the right connection directly in our comparison table.
Buying advice: How to find the right product in our FM transmitter comparison
The most important in a nutshell
- With an FM transmitter, you can play your own songs via the radio as soon as the car radio does not have a line-in input for a conventional 3.5 mm jack plug and a Bluetooth connection is not possible.
- First of all, you could consider which connections you use permanently. In addition to the conventional jack plugs, a USB port could be important for charging a navigation device or tablet.
- The possibility of a connection via Bluetooth or the use of remote control can also simplify the operation.
Many people like to drive a car and beautify the atmosphere by listening to music on the built-in radio. Since the music from the numerous radio stations can quickly lead to boredom, many people would like to fall back on their personal music wishes from the iPod, Android smartphone, MP3 player, or MP4 player. Unfortunately, especially with car radios, if they are not double-DIN radios, it can be difficult for the older generation to connect to the smartphone.
In such cases, you need a device that allows you to convert music files from MP3 players or iPhones to radio frequencies so that they can be received and played by the radio.
What you have to pay attention to in addition to the frequency range and the power supply when buying an FM transmitter and how uncomplicated you can play your favorite songs easily and quickly in the car, you will learn in this FM transmitter comparison 2022. To make your choice easier, we have also integrated a chapter on Bluetooth for FM transmitters in our purchase advice.
How does an FM transmitter work?
FM transmitters are also referred to as MP3 transmitters, transmitters, or mini transmitters. These convert an audio signal to an FM frequency (radio frequency).
In particular, radios of the older generation can be easily paired via USB or Bluetooth with devices such as the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, or other players for playing music.
In Germany, only models are allowed that have a CE marking and have a maximum radiant power of 50 nanowatts.
Often the transmission range is limited to a few meters, which is why a continuous connection is often maintained only 4 – 14 meters without interruption. With the phase control loop (PLL technology), it is possible to select a wide variety of frequencies of the FM transistors and to use them within the bandwidth from 87.5 to 108 MHz. However, some cheap FM transmitters only have a rigidly set frequency.
Caution! Switzerland only allows the use of such devices if they are used within the FM frequency range of 85.5 to 108 MHz.
Criteria for purchase – cigarette lighter or USB
If you want to buy an FM transmitter, you usually do not have to dig too deep into your pocket: High-quality FM transmitters are also cheap to have (from about 15 €). Therefore, carefully compare the different models and then decide which is the best FM transmitter for your needs.
The personal FM transmitter test winner does not necessarily have to be number one on the market.
The power supply – connection on the cigarette lighter
Many devices in this FM transmitter comparison are powered by a conventional 12-volt car plug. The connection is made via the cigarette lighter. Some manufacturers operate their models using a battery or a rechargeable battery with electricity.
Tip: Inexpensive FM transmitters often dispense with the car plug and are charged with energy using the USB port.
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