FM Transmitters are a hugely popular iPod accessory because they offer the ability to play your iPod through you car stereo for a fairly reasonable price. In the AirPlay2, XtremeMac has produced a fine product that is compact, hassle-free to use and provides decent quality FM sound; all in all a great bundle.
- Small, compact, Easy to use
- Some distortion depending on where you place the unit
Simple, compact and very user friendly, the AirPlay2 is an ideal option; most notably for iPod nano owners.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
While these devices are very popular, they can also be largely hit and miss. Some people may not experience any problems; others may not get theirs to work at all. Because transmitting sounds over FM frequencies is unstable, the sound quality you'll get from such units depends on where you live, where you place the transmitter, what type of car you drive and the radio frequency you are using. However, we were extremely pleased that we encountered no major issues with the AirPlay2 during testing; despite some small issues with FM distortion (depending on where the unit is placed in the car), the unit worked very well and was a joy to use.
Designed with the iPod nano in mind (but still working with any iPod with a dock connector), the AirPlay2 is extremely small and compact in size. When attached to the nano, its size ensures it does not protrude over the standard dimensions of the miniscule player. This is great news for nano owners, but because the nano dock connector isn't central, those who are using the AirPlay2 with other iPod models will find sits off to one side a little. Nothing drastically wrong here, just worth a mention.
The simple design continues over into the operation of the unit, which we were pleased with. There are only four buttons on the unit; 1, 2, 3 and AirPlay2. The numbered buttons are used to manually select a frequency or access preset frequency stations. The AirPlay2 button is used simply to switch the unit from Manual Tuning mode to Normal Operation mode and vice versa.
To tune in a frequency, you simply use the manual tuning mode to select a station on your car radio that is free of distortion and then hold down either the 1, 2 or 3 preset buttons to store it in the AirPlay2. You can store up to three preset frequencies, which may be useful if you do a lot of traveling and need to use multiple presets in different locations.
The AirPlay2 displays the frequency as well as preset settings in a small blue backlit screen in the middle of the unit. It also shows whether the unit is in Mono or Stereo mode; the Airplay2 has the capability to be switched between these modes. According to XtremeMac, if there is a great deal of radio interference switching to mono mode may improve sound quality. We have to say that we didn't feel the need to do this, as sound quality was adequate throughout testing.
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