Belkin Australia TuneBase FM w/ClearScan
- ClearScan technology, flexible steel neck, PRO sound setting, 3.5mm audio jack
- A little pricey
Belkin's latest TuneBase FM is a big hit. ClearScan technology is a great inclusion and sound quality, although not outstanding, is notable for a FM transmitter.
Price$ 139.95 (AUD)
Although FM transmitters don't offer the best sound quality, they are increasingly popular due to their relatively inexpensive cost and ease of use. Boasting ClearScan technology which automatically finds the clearest FM station, Belkin's latest TuneBase FM continues the successful design of previous units while adding a few new features.
The versatile TuneBase FM allows you to power, charge and listen to your iPod in the car – all with a single unit. Connecting through any cigarette lighter port, the TuneBase FM utlises a convenient and innovative, flexible steel neck. It's an excellent design that allows you to tilt your iPod in any direction you like.
A small, backlit LCD display on the unit displays the frequency once it's plugged into the cigarette lighter in your car. A handy new feature on this model is ClearScan – the simple press of a button scans for the clearest FM frequency in your current area. From here you simply tune your car stereo to match the chosen frequency. Of course, you can still choose an available frequency manually, though we found the ClearScan technology worked remarkably well.
ClearScan is particularly convenient on long trips – if the frequency starts to drop out as you are driving you can just press the button to search for a clearer frequency. The TuneBase FM also allows you to store two frequencies for quick access.
Another new feature on this model is the PRO setting. PRO increases the average volume and transmits in mono instead of stereo. If you are struggling to receive a clear signal, this may help, though it's recommended for podcasts and audio books rather than music. There are three PRO settings which you can scroll through, but we found the normal sound setting worked fine during our tests. Sound quality achieved with the TuneBase FM is not outstanding, but quite good for an FM transmitter.
Belkin has included adapter sleeves to ensure the TuneBase FM fits every model iPod, with the exception of the shuffle. A nice feature is a 3.5mm audio jack – if your car stereo has a line-in port, you can connect the TuneBase FM directly to it for better sound quality.
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