Belkin Australia TuneBase FM for iPod nano
- Uses nano display for tuning, Good audio performance, Flexible Steel neck ensures good positioning, Four presets, Charges while playing
- Controls small and don’t light up
This is a fantastic unit with surprisingly good audio quality. Apart from some minor control issues, the TuneBase FM’s unique flexible neck ensures it is ahead of the competition.
Price$ 139.95 (AUD)
FM transmitters for iPods and other MP3 players have been on the market for some time now. Whilst they don't always offer the best sound quality due to the unstable FM frequency, they are seen as a way to play your music through your car or home stereo without spending extravagant amounts of money on wired systems.
Belkin are well known in this sector for their solid offerings and in the versatile TuneBase FM for the iPod nano they have produced an excellent device which allows you to power, charge and listen to your iPod in the car; all with a single unit. No wires, no fuss.
Connecting through any cigarette lighter port, the TuneBase FM utlises a convenient and innovative flexible steel neck, which means you can position your iPod however you like. While it sounds and looks extremely simple, how convenient and welcoming this design is won't be fully known until you actually use it. It's absolutely brilliant.
With other models, we used to sit our iPod in the centre console or glove box, meaning that changing songs involved a bit of effort (and might we add very dangerous when driving). With the TuneBase FM, the ability to have the iPod wherever you like for easy access is convenience personified. You can tilt it towards yourself or your passenger in any direction you like; whatever is most comfortable in your car. We can't praise this design enough.
The TuneBase doesn't have an LCD display itself; tuning the devive is done using the the iPod screen. The base where you connect your iPod houses the controls - four preset buttons and an Up/Down tuner is all that is needed. A plastic cover protrudes from the top of the base, protecting your Nano's connector port from being damaged and holding it securely in place. Using the TuneBase FM is as easy as selecting a frequency and tuning this frequency into your car stereo. If you tend to make plenty of long distance trips, our advice would be to store a few known frequencies into the TuneBase FM so you can easily change them if required.
We only have a couple of complaints with this unit and they centre around the control system. Firstly, when you are driving and using the TuneBase FM at night, the buttons do not light up - they aren't visible in the dark. We instead had to feel around to ensure we were pressing the right buttons and this is both annoying and a safety issue. Secondly, the controls themselves are a little small and require a firm press to activate, so those with large hands may have problems hitting the correct button. Also, if you are on a long trip and need to tune to a new FM frequency, holding the Up/Down buttons does not scroll through the frequencies quick enough for our liking.
Apart from these small issues, the rest of the unit is pretty spot on and the sound quality is good as well. We experienced no dramas in regards to reception and the TuneBase FM only ever dropped out twice. If you can select a solid and stable frequency, the TuneBase FM will deliver your tunes without any problems and its unique design will ensure it will be a welcome part of your driving experience.
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