As we go through the years, an increasing number of vehicles have the ability to integrate the iPod into their system. This can be done easily and will allow an excellent connection between the sound system of the car and the iPod. But what if your car doesn’t have this? The solution is provided by the iTrip Dock Made by Griffin.
Some people might suggest buying a direct car integration kit but those can sometimes cost more then $200, if you demand ever ounce of sound performance then this might be worth it, but the sound quality will only be as good as your car’s speakers. I’d suggest trying a much cheaper option, the Griffin iTrip. Today we are taking quick look at the Griffin iTrip, dock version.
The iTrip is a very simple concept; send your iPod’s output over a radio frequency, set your cars radio to the same frequency. In our testing the iTrip did a damn good job at doing that. The most practical use for the iTrip is in a car as I mentioned earlier. Cars usually have pretty decent quality antennas and since they’re mounted on the outside of the car and you have your iTrip set to a real radio station your car might tend to pickup the real radio station instead of your iPod despite the iPod being 4 feet away and the radio station tower being miles. So you just need to tune your car to a frequency with nothing on it but static. The range on the iTrip is decent, so picking a static non-existent station is important; you don’t want the passing cars to hear your Britney Spears for a few seconds do you?
On the bottom of the iTrip you will find a mini-USB connector, I personally like this feature as it enable you to connect the iPod to your computer with a standard usb cable if you’re at a friends house and forgot your proprietary Apple usb cable or something.
Moving to the front we can see a small LCD screen showing the country frequency, single mode (LX or DX) and finally the frequency you that the iTrip is currently broadcasting to. The single mode can be changed by holding the wheel-button on the right side. To change our broadcast station just turn the wheel and push the button once, instantly the iTrip will be broadcasting to the new station. Set your car to the corresponding station and you will hopefully hear your music.
I had a few minor glitches with the unit. Trying to get the iTrip to turn on is tricky, sometimes it will just turn on when you connect it, and sometimes you will have to turn the iPod on and off. That glitch only seemed to be a problem on our iPod Nano.
The sound quality was decent, about the same as what you would here from a radio station. Obviously the single is analog so you will get some quality loss. As long as you’re not a major audiophile the sound quality is great.
Who is this for?
Audiophiles that want every bit of quality that their iPod can output? – No.
Casual listeners that want to listen to their music in their car very easily and don’t mind losing a little bit of quality? – Yes.
Note: Griffin recent released a sister product to the iTrip, the iTrip Auto, this features a built in car charger so your iPod’s battery doesn’t drain while listening in your car, in our limited testing this worked just as well as the iTrip Dock.
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10 Marks
– Works very well.
– Decently priced.
– Standard USB connector