Decent FM transmitter
Works with in-car TVs
Charges other devices like cell phones
Stays in place well
Static during FM transmission
It’s funny what we expect out of technology products. The DLO TransDock is an iPod car kit that, among many other things, lets you broadcast your iPod music to your car stereo via FM radio frequencies. When the broadcast is working well, the music sounds rich and bright and clear. Many times, though static or other radio stations interfere.
At first, I was very frustrated by this, feeling as though the product didn’t work as well as it should have. But then I spent some time really listening to my radio. Not just having it on in the background as I drove places, but instead listening to the quality of the signal and sound, listening to it for static and interference. And you know what I found?
I found that regular FM radio broadcasts are full of static and interference. My frustration with the TransDock disappeared. After all, it’s not fair to ask something that broadcasts using FM frequencies to sound better than FM radio.
The main feature of the TransDock, broadcasting your iPod’s music to your car stereo, works well. You will get some interference, especially in radio-dense areas like cities. If you live in a rural area with fewer FM stations, you’ll probably get less interference and may enjoy the product more. When interference is low, the audio quality offered by the TransDock is much better than what you get from a cassette adapter (the other chief option for getting audio from iPod to car stereo).
Along with the FM broadcast, the TransDock offers a number of other interesting features. Chief among these is a video iPod-specific one: the TransDock can connect to in-car entertainment systems to show iPod video in the car. This is a cool feature, though not having TV in my car, I couldn’t test it.
The TransDock also has allows you to pass through audio signals from other MP3 players or CD players, and charge cell phones and USB devices. The TransDock is powered via your car’s cigarette lighter and comes with a series of extenders to enable it to be easily installed near gearshifts and other items.
As long as you’re willing to put up with some static, and if you listen much to the radio, you already do put up with it, the DLO TransDock is a good option for getting your iPod’s music and video to play in your car.