The Monster iPod Auto Adapter
May 30, 2007
When I play my iPods in the car, they have to sound good. I mean good! To me the only way to do this is to have complete iPod integration with my car. My friends tease me and call me crazy, but hey, I wouldn’t be the Click Chick if I thought differently.
This whole iPod integration thing was actually one of the biggest selling points on the car my husband and I purchased two years ago. All I have to do is plug my iPod into the glove compartment and voila! I can control my iPod with buttons on my steering wheel and see exactly what’s happening on my car’s digital display. And the sound - it’s awesome!
That’s pretty slick, but unfortunately we can’t afford to buy two of those particular cars, so for our second car an external option is necessary. I’ve tried many FM transmitters, and I usually ignore most iPod car adapters because there are too many of them around to pay attention to.
OK, so nothing can beat my full car-iPod integration, but at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Monster’s iCarplay Wireless 200 caught my attention because it won the CES Best of Innovations 2007 in the mobile audio category.
The iCarplay Wireless 200 allows you iPod and iPod nano users to play your tunes wirelessly through almost any FM station on your car radio while you simultaneously charge your iPod. Keeping it plugged into your car’s lighter allows your iPod to stay charged, and if it’s low on battery, it uses the Smart Digital Charger technology to rapidly charge it. Although there’s a cord to deal with, it’s worth it since it gives your iPod life. Most other FM devices don’t give you that option to charge, and you end up using up your iPod’s battery power. That’s not bad for a short drive, or a few short drives, but if you’re on the Mainland for a drive that lasts hours and hours, there’s no way your iPod will last that long, and it’s better to have the charging option.
The special feature about the Wireless 200 is that it has an exclusive AutoScan technology that automatically finds the clearest FM frequency that will catch your iPod’s tunes. This doesn’t mean it will change your radio station automatically, but it will find the three clearest stations and display them on your iPod. You then use the switch to select which you want to use, then tune your radio accordingly.
The device clearly displays all essential information on your iPod’s screen, and features a three-button control to directly access its features and settings. You have the option to program “favorite station” presets, and use the international mode for your next trip to Europe or Japan.
From personal experience, I know that with other FM transmitters, finding a clear frequency can be a pain sometimes. It becomes time-consuming and distracting, not a great thing to experience while driving. On most of the other ones I’ve tried, you hear lots of static, and you also need to install special software to be able to control it. One of my favorite things about the Wireless 200 is that it does not require any additional software. Just plug-and-play, and you’re set. I tested it with multiple iPods, including my 80 GB, my husband’s 20 GB and my nano. All worked flawlessly, and with almost no static.
The Monster iCarplay Wireless 200 may not be the full iPod-car integration that I know and love, but it’s the next best thing. You can find it at $99.95 at your nearest Best Buy (www.bestbuy.com) or Radio Shack (www.radioshack.com).
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