Griffin RoadTrip with SmartScan

Versatile, well designed FM transmitter

Griffin RoadTrip with SmartScan
  • Griffin RoadTrip with SmartScan
  • Griffin RoadTrip with SmartScan
  • Griffin RoadTrip with SmartScan
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Flexible steel neck, sturdy design, SmartScan feature, display

Cons

  • Doesn't work with the iPhone, mediocre performance in and around CBD areas

Bottom Line

The RoadTrip is a decent choice if you are after an FM transmitter for your iPod. It doesn't offer outstanding sound quality, but the flexible neck design is convenient.

Would you buy this?

An FM transmitter featuring a convenient flexible neck, Griffin's latest RoadTrip comes with SmartScan, a feature that automatically searches for the best three frequencies and saves them as presets.

Although FM transmitters don't offer the best sound quality, they are increasingly popular due to their relatively inexpensive cost and ease of use. The versatile RoadTrip allows you to power, charge and listen to your iPod in the car. It connects through a standard cigarette lighter socket. The flexible neck allows you to tilt the iPod in any direction you like. We really liked the sturdiness of the connection — the RoadTrip's design means the unit is held very firmly in place when connected to the cigarette lighter socket.

The RoadTrip has just three buttons on the unit, which correspond to what is shown just above them on the display. The display itself is quite small, buts it's very bright and easy to read, especially during night driving. Using this unit couldn't be easier — the SmartScan feature is activated by pressing function and then scan. This takes about 20sec to store three of the clearest FM frequencies. You can then select one and tune your car stereo to match. SmartScan is particularly convenient on long trips — if the frequency starts to drop out as you are driving you can simply search for three new frequencies again. Of course, you can also tune the RoadTrip manually and can store up to three of your own frequencies.

Sound quality is never going to be outstanding using FM transmission, but the RoadTrip does a relatively solid job. For optimal quality, you can adjust the sound function between stereo and mono modes. The latter is ideal for podcasts and audiobooks. Stereo mode is more suited to music, though we found the stereo setting worked fine for all content. Sound is a mixed bag, depending on what area you are driving in. We experienced more favourable results when in the suburbs rather than a CBD area.

The RoadTrip includes seven docks, supporting most iPods that feature a dock connector, including the iPod touch. However, it doesn't support the iPhone.

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