When you own a vehicle with a stereo that doesn’t have Apple CarPlay or Bluetooth audio streaming, it’s situations like this that you have to resort to the old method of getting your own personal music in the car by using a Bluetooth FM transmitter.
If you’re stuck with an old FM stereo (without AUX) in your vehicle, your best option to playing your smartphone over your car speakers is Bluetooth from your smartphone to an FM transmitter, then tuning your car stereo into the same FM station to playback your music over your car’s speakers.
The AUKEY Bluetooth FM Transmitter bucks the usual form factor trend that you commonly see with many other FM transmitters. Instead, you get a tiny puck-like device that you stick onto your dashboard, within reach so you are able to interact with it, and connect it to the bundled dual port USB charger, which plugs into a nearby 12V charging port.
In the box, you get the transmitter device that has a long enough USB cable pre-attached to power it. You also get a dual USB 2.4A charger in the box and a magnetic dashboard mount plate and two adhesive stickers to attach it to your interior.
Once you have found a suitable nearby position to place the transmitter, you next connect its USB lead to the dual USB charger and then plug this charger into a free 12V charging port in your vehicle. With the ignition turned on in the vehicle, the transmitter comes to life, displaying the current frequency setting and there’s a small LED indicator light to let you know if the transmitter is in its Bluetooth pairing or connected mode.
Selecting an interference-free radio frequency is key to having the best experience with any FM transmitter device. The AUKEY Transmitter does a really good job in overpowering any nearby station that may leak into your set frequency. A much better job than some other FM transmitters that I have used.
Changing and selecting a frequency is as simple as pressing one of the buttons on the transmitter. Once you set your stereo to the same frequency the next task is to pair your device to the transmitter. Buy holding down the multi-function button on the transmitter, the device enters into pair mode. On your smartphone, you then enter its Bluetooth settings where the transmitter model will be displayed. Once selected the two devices will pair. After this task is complete, future connections are handled automatically the next time you turn the ignition on your car.
When playback is being cast to the transmitter you can either control the audio playback through your phone or you can select the next and previous track buttons on the transmitter. The device also supports hands-free calling, thanks to its built-in microphone and button to accept and cancel calls from the transmitter.
Audio quality sounds great through the AUKEY Bluetooth FM Transmitter. It will not compete with a direct audio connection, however, since hearing a number of FM transmitters over the years, I found the AUKEY to have a solid and reliable audio signal that also manages to block out fairly strong FM signals from nearby radio stations. Being of a wired dongle variety of transmitter, it means you can place it close by to have reachable access to it to swap tracks and accept calls. Having the built-in microphone placed higher up on the dash also allows for better quality during phone calls.
Retailing for £19.99 from Amazon, the AUKEY Bluetooth FM Transmitter is a device that comes easy to recommend when you are shopping for an FM transmitter on a budget. Its form factor is super convenient and its quality of signal and audio playback sounds just great. If you’re looking for a low-fi solution to getting audio from your smartphone into your car, give the AUKEY Bluetooth FM Transmitter a listen.