Tips on Using FM Transmitters

by Paul Sanders

Your MP3 player already has a lot of cables to transmit data, recharge power, and connect your headphones. Eliminate some of the wires with an FM transmitter. An MP3 FM transmitter is a wireless transmitter that eliminates the need for an adapter or audio cable when you want to use your MP3 player with your car stereo or any FM radio. Here are a few tips for using an FM transmitter with your MP3 player.

Using MP3 FM Transmitters:

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  • Combine charger and transmitters.

    Some FM transmitters will replace a car charger for your MP3 player. Using one of these combination transmitters helps reduce the number of MP3 accessories floating around in your glove box. A charger/FM transmitter combination allows you to charge your MP3 player and listen to music simultaneously, too.

  • Multiple bands increase your options.

    Wireless FM transmitters will sometimes transmit on only one FM frequency band. An all-channel FM transmitter will let you easily find an unused frequency, so you're not stuck with just one channel. Multiple channel options let you avoid using channels that are experiencing interference from radio stations or other wireless sources of interference.

  • Set a moderate volume.

    It's usually easier to change your car's volume controls than the MP3 player's. Before you use the FM transmitter, set a moderate volume on the MP3 player. Setting a lower volume helps save your player's battery, and the volume on your player doesn't affect the volume of the music being transmitted.

  • Minimize transmitter distance.

    FM transmitters have a limited range. You may want the transmitter to be within 10 feet of the radio you'll be using. This isn't usually a problem in your car, but it can have an effect if you're using an FM transmitter at home, where there may be wireless interference from cordless phones and wireless routers.

  • Check player compatibility.

    Most radios can receive FM signals, but not all FM transmitters are compatible with any MP3 player. Usually, you can find compatible model numbers in the transmitter description. All portable MP3 players use 3.5 mm audio jacks for headphones, so a transmitter that connects through the audio jack will work with most players.