8 Best FM Transmitters | June 2017

8 Best FM Transmitters
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Best High-End
★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Just because you don't have an auxiliary or Bluetooth connection in your car doesn't mean you should suffer top 40 radio stations. With an FM transmitter, you can enjoy music or podcasts from your smartphone or MP3 player in your vehicle or, using the most powerful options, broadcast anything you like throughout an office setting. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fm transmitter on Amazon.
8
The budget-friendly Doosl Universal ER107 is designed to plug directly into any mobile device with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. It is rather compact, so you can carry it around easily in a pocket, and it's backed by an 18-month warranty.
  • built-in rechargeable battery
  • remembers the last frequency used
  • no microphone for voice calls
Brand Doosl
Model ER107
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
7
The TAW-Global Whole House 3.0 lets users broadcast on any channel within the entire public FM band for distances up to 150 feet, making it ideal for office use. It also has integrated pre-emphasis which matches that of the radios in your region.
  • reduces noise at higher frequencies
  • adjustable sma helical antenna
  • grounding issues with ac power
Brand TAW-Global
Model 3.0
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
6
If you don't want to worry about the power draining from your hard-wired audio relay, the TeckNet F27 plugs directly into your car's lighter port. It also features a female USB connection to charge your phone or MP3 player while you use it.
  • high-contrast display
  • easy two-button controls
  • suffers from interference
Brand TECKNET
Model 811398
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
The F-S Electronics FSCZH-05B is a long-range, 0.5-watt fail-safe, dual-mode stereo device that can broadcast wirelessly in both high and low power output modes, giving you versatile usage options from up to 100 yards away.
  • transmits through a whole house
  • simple plug-and-play setup
  • not fcc part 15 compliant
Brand F-S Electronics
Model FSCZH-05B
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
With an outdoor transmission distance capable of reaching up to four kilometers, the Vite TIVDIO Dual-Mode is an excellent option for outdoor work sites. It also features PC control that connects to your computer via USB to interface with intelligent broadcast software.
  • 87-108mhz frequency range
  • aluminum-alloy shell
  • cooling fan is noisy
Brand VITE
Model TIVDIO
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
3
The Simple ISFM21 lets listeners stream static-free audio through their car's stereo system across a dedicated Bluetooth connection. It provides four selectable broadcast frequencies for the best audio transmission quality possible.
  • works with no visible wires
  • automatically syncs with devices
  • installs behind the dashboard
Brand iSimple
Model ISFM21
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
The GOgroove FlexSMART X2 has multiple onboard features, like volume, play settings, and phone controls. It connects via Bluetooth and allows you to pair two devices simultaneously, so you can take calls from one device while playing music from another.
  • has a built-in microphone
  • universal usb charging port
  • flexible neck for placement options
Brand Accessory Power
Model FSX20100GYEW
Weight 7.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
1
The Nulaxy Wireless AP-0674 is designed to work with almost any Bluetooth-enabled mobile device. It has a large, color LCD screen that conveys artist and caller ID information, as well as all of your pertinent transmission data.
  • wide frequency range
  • supports aux output and input
  • big intuitive controls
Brand Nulaxy
Model AP - 0674
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

How An Fm Transmitter Works

With the emergence of compact digital music players, FM transmitters have become increasingly popular. FM stands for frequency modulation, and this type of transmitter allows portable devices like MP3 players to communicate with an FM radio. They will let you hear all of your favorite songs and podcasts stored on your MP3 player over the bigger-sounding speakers of your car stereo, or any other FM radio you have. Most FM transmitters plug into a headphone jack, so they can work on any device that has a 3.5mm port, though others are designed to interface with microphones and act as office-wide PA systems.

FM transmitters are conveniently compact devices and can often fit into your pocket, and operating them is exceedingly simple. All you have to do is plug them directly into your iPod or similar device, and their converter turns the audio output into an analog audio signal that your FM radio can understand. Next, you tune your radio to the frequency that corresponds to your transmitter and you’ll hear your music playing loud and clear.

In the United States, FM transmitters work within the frequency band of 87.7MHz and 107.9MHz. Certain websites help you find unused channels in your city. You may have to click through all of these channels before finding the one that’s picking up your tunes, but once you’ve found it, you can count on that as your go-to frequency. Outside of that set frequency, your music will interfere with live broadcasts, and you’ll hear a bit of your personal collection, a bit of some mystery show, and a lot of static. Even within the proper frequency, there are still other factors that can interfere with your signal.

The History Of Transmitters

The very first transmitters came out in 1887 and generated radio waves via a high voltage spark between two conductors. These original units could not transmit audio, however, and sent information through radiotelegraphy. They tended to be very noisy, and by the 1920s, vacuum tube transmitters trumped all of these more primitive technologies because they could transmit sound using amplitude modulation, and so the creation of AM radio came about. Modulation in media is the process by which a message signal, like audio, for example, is carried inside of another signal that has the ability to travel.

In 1993, a man named Edwin Armstrong created frequency modulation (FM) transmission, which had less static and less noise than AM. The very first FM radio station came on the air in 1937. This year also saw the emergence of several major radio shows because performers previously-known for their television work finally found radio a suitable medium to explore. W.C. Fields was on his first radio show the “Chase and Sanborn Hour” in 1937, and NBC put out the “Charlie McCarthy Show.”

Special Features To Look For

If you go on a lot of road trips, consider a transmitter with auto scan. As you cross state borders, the corresponding frequency will change, but auto scan will help you quickly find the locally operating one. Another handy feature is preset stations – these let you save the appropriate channel for the cities and states you commonly drive through. For especially long trips, you’ll appreciate a transmitter that has a cigarette lighter adapter with a USB port so you can charge your device on the go.

If you want to be able to use your transmitter while moving around – like when you’re on a camping trip and want to control the music from across the site – look for transmitters with larger ranges. Most transmitters only have a 10 to 30-foot range, which is fine if you’re only listening to audio files in your car, but won’t satisfy your needs if you’re walking around your home with your device. The distance between your transmitter and your car’s antenna is also important, which is why it’s best to position your unit in the front of your car. That being said if you want to relax in the back seat while still controlling the music, purchase a model that comes with a remote control.

If you live in a highly populated area, you might struggle to find a clear station to connect to. In this case, look for a model with a wide frequency spectrum. Ideally, your unit offers the full spectrum of channels from 88.1 to 107.9 and doesn’t skip over anything. Some more advanced models have noise filters that remove any static or disruptions to your music. For ease of use, get a unit that has a Radio Data System (RDS). An RDS simply shows information about what you’re listening to – like the name of the song and artist -- on the display screen of your radio. That’s much better than waiting to get 20 seconds into a song before you know if you like it or not.



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Last updated on June 10, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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