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!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
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
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- 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
- CCTest Automation EngineerVIC
- CCData Engineer (Java/ Data/ Big Data Developer)VIC
- CCSenior C++ .Net DeveloperWA
- CCSecurity Policy AnalystsVIC
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTBI ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCTest AnalystWA
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- CCSecurity Policy AnalystsNSW
- CCSalesforce - Functional Analyst (BA)NSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer - Internet of ThingsNSW
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - Tivoli Storage SpecialistNSW
- FTDigital Sales Account Manager - Global BrandNSW
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTGraduate Software Developer - SASNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperNSW
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- FTSenior IT Business Analyst - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- CCService Desk Analyst - TelcoTAS
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW