An FM transmitter is a handy tool for anyone who wants to take charge of their car radio and play the music or audiobooks that they want to play. These are devices that allow drivers to take control of their radios and break free from the programming they usually have to contend with on a daily basis. And thanks to improvements in the technology used to drive these devices, they are not only more functional but also more convenient than ever before.
Before running out and buying one of these devices, however, a person still needs to do their research to find the best one for them. There’s a large variety of these devices available and not every one of them is worth their price. You really have to consider the features of each model and make your evaluation based on those facts. Which is why we’ve decided to list ten of the models that we feel are the best, so you can begin your journey.
10. LDesign Bluetooth Transmitter
This product not only allows users to transmit their favorite music and audiobooks from their devices but also updates cars to give them true Bluetooth capability. This device easily plugs into a cigarette lighter and has a frequency range between 87.5-MHz to 108.0 MHz, so it’s always easy to find an empty channel. It also has an easy-to-read display which shows off which frequency it’s set to and is capable of playing music from both a USB flash drive and a TF card. Since it’s a hands-free device, the user can also safely make phone calls while they’re driving.
9. Rangestar Long-Range Transmitter CZH-05B
Unlike other devices on this list, this product isn’t intended to be used in a vehicle. Instead, it’s supposed to be used at home so that individuals in rural areas can broadcast their own music throughout their home or their property. This device has adjustable volume controls for 3.5mm connections, as well as for RCA and MIC inputs. With a frequency range of 88.0 MHz to 108.0 MHz and controls that are easily adjustable, this product makes bringing music to a house quite easily. And since it’s been reported that this product can transmit up to 3-miles, users can enjoy their own music on radios mounted on tractors or on FM headphones.
8. Comsoon Wireless Transmitter
This product has a number of different features that people look for when they look for FM transmitters. It has a large 1.8-inch display that can be viewed from different angles and shows the user the incoming call number, FM frequency, volume, the song name from a TF card, and even the level of the car’s battery. This display can be read both day and night, and the whole unit is easy-to-setup for use. This product enables hands-free calling and is widely compatible with all kinds of different audio sources including Android and Apple smartphones, tablets and MP3 players. It also features Quick Charge 3.0 USB port and a 5V/2.4-Amp Smart IC Charge port.
7. CHGeek Bluetooth 4.2 Transmitter
Designed to be widely compatible with a number of devices, including Apple and Android smartphones, tablets and MP3 players, this product is an easy-to-use FM transmitter that most people can use. It allows hands-free calling and has CVC noise reduction built into its microphone for crystal-clear calls. This product also has dual USB ports, one of which is an IC 5-Volt/2.1-Amp USB charging port. Another key feature found on this device is a low-voltage alarm that alerts the user when their car battery is reaching critical levels. And finally, this device has a frequency range that ranges from 87.5 to 108 MHz, so it’s easy to find an empty radio channel to broadcast on.
6. CHGeek Wireless Radio Adapter
Manufactured with two USB ports, one of which is a smart-charging IC port, this product can easily charge two different devices and do it while adding FM transmitting functionality to your vehicle. It plugs into a compatible cigarette lighter and has a built-in microphone that also allows it to be used for hands-free calling. This product also has one button that can be used for adjusting volume, skipping songs or pausing music. And it has a frequency range between 87.6 MHz and 108 MHz, so it’s fairly simple to find an empty channel to broadcast your music or audiobook on. All of which makes it a simple but functional transmitter that can be used in most cars.
5. VicTsing V4.1 Bluetooth Car Transmitter
This device is only 2.76-inches long and 1.57-inches wide but is capable of being quite useful. It plugs into an ordinary cigarette lighter and has 3-distinct play modes: music can be played via an FM signal using Bluetooth, music can be streamed from a TF card, or music can be streamed via a USB flash drive. This product also has 2 USB ports, a 5V/2.1A USB charging port and a USB port for playing music. It has a compact design that won’t get in the way of most stick shifts, and a display that’s easy to read both day and night. And since this unit is widely compatible with a number of different devices, just about anyone can get good use out of it.
4. JETech Wireless Transmitter Radio Car Kit
This product has everything a person needs to wirelessly transmit music or audiobooks to their car stereo, except for the audio source. It comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack that can be used to play music from everything from a smartphone to a tablet or MP3 player. This product also has a USB port that can be used to charge a variety of devices including tablets and GPS devices. It’s easily inserted into a cigarette lighter, the user then connects their device to it through the 3.5mm jack, they then set an FM channel on the device and finally, tune their car stereo to that channel. It’s that simple!
3. Nulaxy Bluetooth Audio Transmitter
Thanks to this device, FM transmission, and hands-free phone calls are now a reality. This product plugs easily into a compatible cigarette lighter and provides the user with a wide range of different features. Music can be played via Bluetooth, an AUX connection, a TF Flash Drive or a USB Flash Drive. It has a compact design with an easy-to-read display screen that displays FM frequency, song title (if using TF Flash Drive) and can display the voltage of the car’s battery. It has a large button for rejecting calls or to pause music and several smaller buttons to navigate this unit’s other functions.
2. VicTsing Blue In-Car Transmitter
This FM transmitter is suitable for use in just about any car. It’s widely compatible with a variety of common devices including Apple and Android phones, tablets and MP3 players. It can play music through a TF Drive, through the AUX port or through Bluetooth. It has a large 1.44-inch screen that’s easy-to-read and gives the user important information such as FM frequency and whether or not Bluetooth is connected. This product will automatically connect to the same channel that it was previously used with, so the user doesn’t have to set it up each time. All of which makes this a great little transmitter for daily use.
1. Atmoko Wireless Audio Transmitter
With so many features packed into one little device, it’s no wonder this transmitter is so popular. It has 4-different play modes which give the user a lot of options when it comes to streaming their music. Devices can be connected to it via Bluetooth, a USB Flash Drive, a TF Card or through the AUX slot using a 3.5mm audio cable. This device also has 2 USB ports that allow the user to listen to music while charging. This product is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices including Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. Other features found on this unit include CVC noise cancellation technology, voice prompt, an easy-to-read display and a frequency range of 87.5 MHz to 108.0 MHz.
How to Choose a Good FM Transmitter
While we covered the top ten best FM transmitters currently available in the above list, we thought it might be prudent to give you some tips on what to look for when buying one of these devices. As I stated earlier, there are dozens of different models of transmitters currently available, and together they cover a wide spectrum of different features. That’s why we feel it’s important to cover the basics of what you need to look for when buying on these transmitters. So without ado, below are what you need to look for when shopping for an FM transmitter.
Number of Frequencies – Generally speaking, of course, it’s usually best to choose a model with the widest possible range of frequencies, especially if you live in an urban area. That’s because the radio dial can become quite crowded around cities and if your device doesn’t cover a wide enough range, then you may not be able to find an empty channel to broadcast on. Most of the better FM transmitters have a range somewhere between 87.5 to 108 MHz.
Wide Compatibility – You’ll want to make sure that the FM transmitter cannot only connect with your particular device but that it can also connect with a wide array of devices. This allows you to upgrade your device without having to upgrade the transmitter itself. Top quality transmitters can pair with any compatible Bluetooth devices. This allows it to connect with everything from smartphones to tablets to laptops.
Other Connection Options – It’s also a good idea to get a transmitter that can be connected to using a number of other options. For example, some transmitters allow USB flash drives to be plugged into it or TF cards. Some even have an AUX feature which allows 3.5mm audio cables to be plugged into them.
Hands-Free Calling – Not all FM transmitters are designed to handle hands-free calling, but a lot of them are. If you feel like you need this feature, then be sure to buy a model that can handle it. Also look for a model with CVC 6.0 noise-canceling technology built into it, so people on the other end can hear you well through the unit’s microphone.
Large Screen – It may also be a good idea to get a transmitter that has a large screen that lets you know what frequency it’s tuned to and other details that may be important to you. A good display should be easy to see from the driver’s seat without the driver having to crane their head or otherwise take their eyes off of the road.
Compact Design – While you want your display screen to be nice and big, you want the rest of the unit to be compact. After all, you don’t want a transmitter that hangs over into your cup holder or gets in the way of shifting the car into gear. Some of the better models available nowadays are only a few inches in size.
Quick Charge – Another feature that’s becoming more and more common on FM transmitters is a quick charge feature. While almost all FM transmitters offer some sort of charging, if they’re equipped with a USB port, not all of them support quick-charging. A quick-charging feature can reduce charging time by up to a third in some instances. If you decide this is a must-have feature, then be sure to look for a model that supports Quick Charge 3.0.
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics that you need to keep in mind when buying one of these products, let’s take a few moments to discuss how to properly tune them for best results.
How to Tune an FM Transmitter
Once you’ve read the directions to your FM transmitter and have properly set it up, you will now want to tune the device to a vacant channel or at least a channel with the least interference. While this may be quite easy to do in small town or other rural areas, it can be a nightmare to do it in urban areas, so we’ve decided to give you a few tips on how to tune your FM transmitter for best performance.
Use a Radio Frequency Tool – The best way to search for a frequency is to visit a site such as radio-locator.com. You simply enter your zip code and your state, if you live in the U.S., and it will tell you all of the radio frequencies which are available according to the FCC. If you live in Canada, you can use the site to search for radio frequencies according to Province. While this website’s frequency locating tool isn’t foolproof, it’s pretty good for what it does.
Do a Manual Search – If the above technique doesn’t work, then you can always use the old-fashioned way of finding an empty frequency by doing a manual search of all available frequencies. This can be time-consuming, but it can help you find a suitable frequency to broadcast onto. When searching for a suitable frequency, be sure to start at the ends of the dial. These are the parts of the dial that are less likely to carry a signal from a radio station. If the ends are occupied, then choose one end and work your way to the other to find a suitable frequency. One that’s hopefully is completely empty and won’t interfere with your signal.
Brute Force – Okay, let’s say that you tried both of the above methods, but you live in a densely populated area, and you simply can’t seem to tune in a channel. If that’s the case, then you may want to remove your car’s antenna. Removing the car’s antenna will prevent your radio from tuning in any channel, and therefore you can choose any frequency you want to broadcast on. This trick isn’t for everyone and should be absolutely the last resort, but it does work well. Of course, if your smartphone or tablet runs out of juice, then you won’t be able to tune in a station, so it’s something that should be given serious thought.