These days many cars come equipped with a USB port for an auxiliary input so that they’re able to connect to an external device such as a smartphone or MP3 player and use it for playing music.
For those using an older car, like with my 2002 Volvo S60, you might not have a USB port or an auxiliary input and in this case you’re going to have to either use CDs (that’s if your car comes with a CD player) or you’re going to have to consider using an FM transmitter.
Without one of these transmitters you’re basically stuck just listening to the boring radio and this can get quite tedious quickly because of all the ads and music that you might not like.
Having an FM transmitter will allow you to connect it to a smartphone or mp3 player where you’ll then be able to play music, audiobooks, or podcasts through your car radio system on any FM frequencies that aren’t in use.
The Best Car FM Transmitter
I recently began my search for the best FM transmitter to use in my car and I wanted to share with you some of my recommendations for what I believe are great options when it comes to being able to listen to music in your own vehicle.
JETech Wireless FM Transmitter Kit
The JETech Wireless FM Transmitter Kit is a fairly basic transmitter and it’s one of the first ones that I came across and decided to use when I was looking to be able to listen to music in my car with my MP3 player.
Over the years I have used quite a few different ones similar to this one and I really have no preference over the 3.5 millimeter audio cable vs the Bluetooth ones so it’s ultimately up to you to decide which ones you prefer using in your own vehicle.
This kit can be used for using smartphones and MP3 players for listening to music over your car stereo if you don’t have an auxiliary input or USB port in your car.
To get everything working you have to plug in the 3.5mm audio plug into the headphone jack of the device that you want to use and then with the digital tuner you need to tune to a station that’s not being used so that you’ll be able to play music over it.
Depending on where you live, especially if you live in a busy city area, you might have a little trouble finding stations that aren’t used but if you go through the different frequencies you’re bound to find one that will give you a suitable connection.
One great feature I love about this kit is that the car charger plug that powers the digital tuner also comes equipped with an additional USB port so that you can use it for charging your smartphone or other device while you’re driving.
I love using it for my iPhone, especially when I’m using GPS, because I’m able to listen to music and keep my phone charged at the same time while being able to follow directions so that I don’t get lost.
Depending on your preferences there are a few different colors to choose from and overall I would recommend checking out the JETech Wireless FM Transmitter Kit if you’re looking for an easy and straightforward way of being able to play audio devices in your car through its own stereo system.
Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter plugs directly into the cigarette lighter port in your car and allows you to connect a device to the radio through a Bluetooth connection rather than a 3.5mm cord.
However, there is an auxiliary port built-in so that you can use it to connect a 3.5mm cord to a device without Bluetooth capabilities and it can also be used with a MicroSD (TF) card that you can store music on and play it through the radio without fiddling with any devices.
If I had to pick the best Bluetooth FM transmitter I would definitely settle on this one as I’m quite happy with its features and how it works.
It’s well equipped to use with Bluetooth enabled devices like smartphones and tablets but it can also be used with an MP3 player that doesn’t have any Bluetooth capability so there was a wide range of versatility when it comes to this FM transmitter.
Right on the front is a large LCD display screen that shows the car battery voltage level when you start the car along with the name of the song is playing if you’re using the TF Card (MicroSD).
The display will also show the current volume as well as allow you to tune through the different radio stations to find one that you’re able to use.
Located right underneath the display screen is a series of different buttons along with a dial control that allows you to change the settings and the unit can also be moved around because of the flexible hose that holds it up so that you’re able to position it in the ideal location for you to use while driving.
Built into the power connector that goes into the cigarette lighter is a USB charging port and this is great for charging any devices while you’re driving, especially if your car doesn’t already come with a USB.
I find that the Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter is a great Bluetooth FM transmitter to use in the car and it works quite well with a wide range of different devices thanks to its Bluetooth capabilities along with auxiliary connection and TF Card reader, especially if you’re able to find stations without much static.
AVANTEK Radio Transmitter
The AVANTEK Radio Transmitter is a straightforward and simple transmitter that plugs directly into the cigarette lighter outlet in the car and can be used to play audio files from a wide range of different devices.
It’s possible to use this transmitter with any device that comes equipped with a 3.5mm auxiliary port (headphone jack) and it can also be used with regular SD cards and even a USB drive up to 32 GB in size for playing MP3 and WMA formatted files.
After plugging it into the power outlet in the car it needs to be tuned to the same unused FM frequency on the radio that you’re using to play music on and once you connect your device you’re good to go once you’ve selected your song.
Using it is quite straightforward as the buttons are large and easy-to-see and the display screen also displays the FM frequency with large numbers that offer high visibility in a range of different lighting conditions.
The transmitter itself is quite small and boasts a sleek and low-profile design and the auxiliary cord you need for connecting a device is included.
There’s also a USB port that you can use for charging your devices while you’re driving around and overall I quite like the simple design and ease of use of the AVANTEK Radio Transmitter and I would definitely recommend checking it out if you’re looking to use an FM transmitter to listen to music in your car.
LDesign Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The LDesign Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter is another option that I would recommend checking out if you’re looking to use Bluetooth or a few other options when it comes to play music in your car.
Not only can it be used to stream music wirelessly through a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone or wireless device but it also supports a USB that has already been pre-loaded with music as well as a TF card (MicroSD) so that you have a wide range of listening options.
There’s even a 3.5mm input jack so that you can still connect a device using a 3.5mm cord along with all of the other connection capabilities which makes this quite a versatile little Bluetooth transmitter.
As for its size, it’s quite small in shape and design and it takes on quite a contemporary appearance so it helps to add a touch of modernity to the car interior.
Also on the transmitter is a USB port that can be used for charging your device while you’re driving around.
There is a LED display so that you’re able to see the station that you’re tuning to along with buttons that allow you to change the channel, volume, as well as answer a phone that’s connected through Bluetooth.
The LDesign Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter is quite a nifty little device and I would recommend checking it out if you’re looking for a portable and low profile transmitter to use with a Bluetooth connection in your vehicle.
Doosl Universal Wireless FM Transmitter
The Doosl Universal Wireless FM Transmitter is interesting because rather than plugging into the car Power output it plugs directly into the device that you’re using as long as it comes equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack.
It’s possible to enjoy up to 10 hours of continuous playback use with this transmitter thanks to its internal rechargeable battery and it’s easy to use since it plugs directly into a device rather than having to fumble around with cords and wires.
The device itself is quite small so when it’s plugged in your phone or mp3 device can still be kept out of the way.
On the front is a digital display so that you’re able to see the radio frequency that you’re tuning to and to change the frequency there are large left and right buttons for tuning.
On one side of the device is the power button that you can use to turn it off and on whether you want to use it or put it away and on the other side is the charging jack where you plug the cord in to charge it when it runs out of battery.
The Doosl Universal Wireless FM Transmitter is quite a simple and no frills device and I would recommend checking it out if you’re looking for something that’s easy to use to listen to music through your car stereo with a device that comes equipped with a 3.5mm jack.
FM Transmitters 101
What is an FM Transmitter?
An Fm Transmitter is a small device that’s used to allow your smartphone or mp3 capable device to play music through the speakers in your car.
They’re ideal for those without access to a built-in USB or auxiliary port in their vehicle.
These transmitters can connect to your smartphone or music device in a variety of different ways with the most popular being:
- Through an auxiliary cord
Once the device is connected the transmitter is able to transmit audio through the car speakers as it’s able to essentially hijack any empty radio frequencies.
How to Use It
These transmitters are quite easy to use.
Start by plugging it in to your music device.
Then, find a radio station on the radio without much static or interference then tune the transmitter to the same station.
Choose a song and if you’ve connected everything correctly you should hear it playing over the speakers of your car.
If you’re noticing a lot of interference or static it’s a good idea to try a few different stations to see which ones work the best in your local area.