It adds Bluetooth to your car stereo, provides two USB charging ports and more. Plus: Calling all moviemakers! This handheld three-axis gimbal is just $72.
It’s a first-world problem, no question, but a car without a Bluetooth-compatible stereo is a car without joy. How else can you listen to music, audiobooks and podcasts streamed from your phone?
The AUX-in jack? Sorry, your phone doesn’t have an output jack anymore. It’s Bluetooth or nothing!
For years now, the workaround has been the old-standby FM transmitter, which provides a Bluetooth link between your phone and an unused frequency on the radio.
There are, at last count, several zillion of these products on Amazon. Different shapes, different configurations, different prices. But few as cheap as this: For a limited time, Efans (via Amazon) has the Titita Wireless FM Transmitter is $9.64 with promo code ZPDT37QS. That’s what I call worth-a-try pricing.
The gadget plugs into your car’s 12-volt adapter (once upon a time, we called that port a “cigarette lighter”). Then you pair your phone to it. Then you find a station on your stereo with little or no signal and tune the transmitter to match. Presto! You’ve got Bluetooth audio — after a fashion.
The big caveat: If you live in or near a big city with lots of FM action, you may have trouble finding an open frequency. This has long been the issue with transmitters like these, and unfortunately static can start to creep in as you drive around.
But, hey, for under $10? Maybe worth a try. The transmitter also supplies a pair of USB charging ports (a 1A and a 2.1A), a line-in jack and a backlit screen that shows song info, station setting and so on. Interestingly, you can also plug in a microSD card or USB flash drive and play any MP3 or WMA files stored there. (Old-school!)
Finally, there’s a built-in microphone for hands-free calling — and you can hear your callers through your car speakers, a huge improvement over your phone’s tiny ones.
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