Here we are, back again for another segment for Gadget of The Week . This week's focus: Griffin's iTrip nano. Let's just get straight to the point here. It's small, it's sleek, and it's easy to work with. What more could you seriously ask for? Well we sought to find the answer to this question.
The whole point of this $50 accessory is to ensure that your songs on your iPod are broadcasted via FM radio waves. Your stereo at home, or the one in your car can thus tune into that specific frequency. Once tuned in, it's business as usual: use the iPod to scroll through your songs and all of that jazz. You can even control the volume on your iPod as if the stereo you were listening your music on acted as your headphones. That in itself is quite ingenious really. No seriously... it really is.... okay moving on.
Yes it's small and portable, yes it practically weighs nothing, yes you can use your USB phone charger to charge your iPod at the same time, but what about sound quality...you know the whole reason you would get this in the first place? Well, because we here in San Diego don't really have many available radio frequencies, I had to set mine at 87.9FM. The broadcasting companies around here start quite low, so it was a wonder I was even able to use that. At first everything was fine. Loaded it up, listening to my techno music came across some hills and the signal faded in and out. For the most part it stayed stable on the forty-five minute drive from the office to my home during Friday rush-hour traffic. A few blips here and there, but it was steady. I also wanted to test to see if one could make cell phone calls while the device was operational, and it works just fine. Sure they sure different technologies, but I wanted to humor my curiosity.
I think the only downside I could see to this device is the fact that the sound quality is well that of radio. I had figured since the "broadcast station" was literally 5 feet from the antenna, the clarity of songs played should have been a bit better. Now I'm not sure if that's because of my location, the design of my car's antenna and synch to the radio, or other factors, so here's the final verdict: The iTrip nano is a device that is good to have on road trips when you don't want to shuffle through a million CD sleeves. It's worth the price they ask for it and I think it'll get better with time. Right now the sound quality is good, but not superb. With a few more months of development I think this could be even more of a a "must-have" item. 4/5Us: