I’ve tried Griffin’s iTrips in the past and had mixed feelings about them. I wasn’t crazy about loading the FM stations on to my iPod and having to use the screen to change them. The audio quality varied depending on where I was and if I could get an open channel to transmit on. But the convenience and flexibility of broadcasting iPod music to speakers while on the road was too tempting to pass up.
Griffin’s latest iTrip with Dock Connector caught my eye because it addressed some of the previous drawbacks. Now, as the title indicates, you connect the iTrip at the bottom with the Dock Connector. I like this because I can use it for all of my current iPods (5th Gen video, nano, and 4th Gen photo). There’s a mini-USB port on the bottom of the iTrip so you can charge your iPod in the car while its broadcasting. Nice touch.
Also, no more loading FM station frequencies into the iPod. The new model has an LCD screen that allows you to change channels on the fly without messing with the iPod itself. This is a big improvement.
Griffin has added a DX setting too. I used this when listening to podcasts and got good audio even in the city. It pushed back the interference and helped isolate the conversation. You can set the DX on the iTrip screen just by pushing in and holding the side control dial. You can also illuminate the iTrip screen this way too, making it much easier to read in dim lighting.
Another goodie is the ability to set the iTrip to either US or International tuning modes. (International for lower frequencies.) This saves you time because you don’t have to scroll through channels you don’t need. Here’s a tip. My best station is in the 87 range, which doesn’t appear on the US list. But I could get to it after switching to International mode.
As for the audio itself… I think the iTrip is great for listening to podcasts. My ears don’t require the same fidelity for talk shows that they do for music. When I want the best audio possible for music, I still prefer the cassette adapter. It sounds better to me. But overall, especially considering that the iTrip is fighting for frequencies on your radio dial along with the rest of the world, I think it does an admirable job. Try the DX setting too. I found it helpful.
The new iTrip with Dock Connector costs $49.99. Clearly, this is the best iTrip ever.