Belkin Australia TuneCast Auto Universal
- Powered by the car lighter, universal for any MP3 player, slim
- Can't take batteries, won't charge your MP3 player, not automatic
Although it's a simple device, it's quite a handy one to have if you're on the road a lot and need to have your music on hand.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
Belkin's TuneCast Auto Universal finally throws a bone to those of us not swept up by the iPod era. Not only is it an effective way of playing music from an MP3 player through a car stereo – or any radio receiver for that matter – but it uses a 3.5mm headphone-style jack to make the connection, rather than a proprietary connection.
For those who aren't familiar with the technology, FM tuners essentially broadcast an FM radio signal on the frequency you've selected. You then select the same station on your car's radio and off you go. In this case, the TuneCast can broadcast on frequencies ranging from 88.1MHz-107.9MHz. It's only a weak transmitter, so it generally reaches as far as a car's aerial and no further, though you might pick it up in an adjacent car if you were unlucky. For it to work correctly it's necessary to pick a station that's clear, or rather, isn't already being broadcast on.
Although it's possible to find stations that are mostly quiet, in areas like Sydney, it's difficult to ensure a consistently clear station, as most are either in use, or close enough to an in-use station to pick up part of the signal. It's not a perfect alternative for a direct cable link, but most cars don't have that as a feature, so it's the best replacement we've got available.
The TuneCast Auto Universal consists of a few basic parts. Two cables dangle down from the main control hub like tendrils on a jellyfish. The first part is a 3.5mm connection that plugs directly into the headphone port on the player; 3.5mm plugs are an almost universal standard for portable music devices. It shouldn't matter whether you have a Creative Zen, Toshiba Gigabeat, Microsoft Zune, or an iPod, the 3.5mm jack should fit your device.
Also hanging down in a tentacle-like manner is the power adapter, which connects to a 12V in-car cigarette lighter socket. The upside of this device is you can play music for as long as the car is on and the MP3 player has power allowing it to be slimmer from the lack of batteries. The down side is that you can't use batteries, even if you want to. If the car you're in doesn't have a working cigarette lighter socket you're out of luck. Also, unlike the iPod proprietary connection on the Belkin TuneCast Auto iPod the 3.5mm connection cannot charge the device, so you're relying solely on battery power.
The last part of this device is the control hub. This is the brain of the TuneCast Auto. It's a simple system with a few basic controls that cover all you're going to need. There are two presets, an essential feature that saves you the trouble of memorising a clear frequency, and a set of scan-up and scan-down buttons to search for clear frequencies you can broadcast on.
The product's name is a little misleading; it's not automatic in any way. If you want automatic you're going to need to track down a Belkin ClearScan product that finds a clear channel for you.
The only other thing that you'll get with the TuneCast Auto Universal is an adhesive pad to stick it to your dashboard, should you choose to do so.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Apple TV will serve as hub for remotely controlling HomeKit devices
- Sony Smart B-Trainer headset gives runners vocal advice
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
- Apple shows off iPod touch, nano updates
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)QLD
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPDigital Business Analyst | AgileQLD
- FTSecurity Incident / SOC Analyst (Tier 1) - Permanent - North Ryde BasedNSW
- CCTest ManagerWA
- TPSOE AdministratorQLD
- TPDigital Project ManagerVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCSharepoint Business AnalystACT
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectWA
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - ITMSP - Melbourne CBDVIC
- CCUI UX AnalystWA
- FTEnterprise Architect l Practice Manager - Archimate 3.0, eTOMNSW
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- CCWindows AdministratorACT
- CCUnix Systems AdministratorNSW
- CCData Centre Design Engineer - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- TPChange and Communications CoordinatorQLD
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - SQLACT
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Project Manager - PERMANENTACT