How To Set Up an FM Transmitter In a Car
An FM transmitter is a great little device that allows you to create a temporary radio station for playing music from your smartphone or MP3 player on your car radio.
It’s a portable device that converts an audio output into an FM radio signal, which can be picked up by FM radio receivers within its proximity.
Most people have a library of music on their phones, and having easy access to it is a must nowadays. By creating a temporary FM station, it allows you and your passengers to play your tunes, so you can enjoy the volume of your car stereo system rather than your tinny smartphone.
Because it uses an FM signal, using an FM transmitter might not give you the clearest sound, but it allows you to enjoy your music on the go, and even better: you can use it as a music player for any gathering that any other radio can pick up within the area.
There are standard FM transmitters that you will need to connect with a cable, or you can get a Bluetooth FM Transmitter that allows you to connect without the need of any clunky wires.
They have other uses rather than playing music, which we discuss further down, but for anyone wanting to know how to set up an FM Transmitter, let’s take a look first.
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How To Set Up an FM Transmitter In a Car
So, you’ve bought yourself a car FM Transmitter, and if you‘re reading this it probably means you’re not sure how to set it up. If that’s the case, simply follow these steps so you and people in your immediate proximity can start enjoying your music.
First, you should plug your FM Transmitter into your 12V power port or cigarette lighter. Then, plug the cable that came with your device from the FM Transmitter USB output to your smartphone or MP3 player.
Now set a radio frequency on your FM Transmitter that isn’t used on the radio. Obviously, this depends on your location, but there are many free bandwidth spaces on the FM frequency that will allow you to connect.
For this example, I will choose 107.3 FM. Now you want to start playing music on your smartphone, whether it’s your iTunes, Spotify, or whatever, simply press play.
Now on your car stereo, turn on your radio and go to the same FM frequency as you set on your FM transmitter. I chose 107.3 FM so I will go to that and automatically my new “radio station” starts pumping out my tunes.
Now turn the volume down on your smartphone and turn it up on your car stereo and enjoy your tunes.
How to Set Up a Bluetooth FM Transmitter In a Car
Most people go for the Bluetooth FM Transmitter for obvious reasons. This allows you to share the music on your phone or MP3 via Bluetooth, while also allowing you to share it with a cable connection, too.
But let’s say you want to set up the FM Transmitter to play via Bluetooth. It’s pretty much the same as above, but you also need to connect your Bluetooth on both devices.
To do this, go to your smartphone settings, select Bluetooth, switch it on, and it should recognise your FM Transmitter. Select your FM Transmitter device and pair them up. That’s the only difference.
Once the Bluetooth has been paired on both devices, you will just need to switch them on in future, and as long as the Bluetooth is switched on on both devices, it will automatically connect.
FM Transmitters Other Use Cases
So, you know how to set up an FM Transmitter in a car, and you can now enjoy your music library on the go. But what else is the FM Transmitter useful for? Surely, a personal radio station isn’t its limitations?
Create an FM Radio Station for Camping Trips
An FM Transmitter is much more useful than just listening to music in the car on your own or even with your passengers. Any good quality device will broadcast to other radios within a given range.
If you’re on a camping trip or at a music festival with a big group of friends, you can all tune into the same FM frequency to pick up the tunes.
It’s a great way to share the tunes and make sure everyone in your party can listen to the music in their tents or RVs, without having to turn it up too loud and risk annoying other camping groups. Who knows, you might even meet some new friends that want to tune in, too.
Use Your FM Transmitter for Hands Free Calling
Your FM Transmitter will make your journeys safer, too, because the best ones allow you to make hands free calls.
If anyone calls you while you’re driving your car, instead of fiddling about with your phone’s touchscreen display, you can simply answer or dismiss any calls with the touch of a button.
Any calls you make/take will be transmitted through your FM station and broadcast through your car speakers, so you can hear them and they can hear clearly as though it’s on loudspeaker.
Use Your FM Transmitter for Charging Other Devices
All the best FM Transmitters come with a dual USB port, which gives you the option of charging other electronic devices. It will also charge your smartphone that you have plugged into it while playing music.
Most electronic devices have a USB connection, so if your child’s portable gaming device or tablet needs charging, you have the luxury of offering a charging station as long as your car electrics are on.
Issues with FM Transmitters
We use the term radio station above, but you can’t actually use an FM Transmitter to create your own radio station.
Unlike actual radio stations, FM Transmitters don’t allow you to broadcast your live discussion, instead it’s just for broadcasting your pre-recorded audio files.
You can get a good range with most good quality FM transmitters, but they are limited to around 10 meters on average. And because of the low output, they aren’t ideal for urban areas as they might clash with other frequencies being used.
Another slight issue with FM Transmitters is that not all of them are compatible with all music players. Android and iPhone mobile phones are mostly compatible, but if you’re intending to set up an FM Transmitter with a not so common MP3 player, it would be a good idea to make sure yours is compatible before you purchase one.
FM Transmitter – A Great Way to Share Your Tunes
Now you know how to set up an FM Transmitter for a car. It’s not difficult, and you come into the odd problem here and there, especially with Bluetooth. If you do, simply, un-pair the devices and pair them up again, and it should start working again.
FM Transmitters shouldn’t be your main source of car audio, but they are a great little device, especially for those weekends away with friends.
They allow you to share your music to a wider audience, and if you get one with a dual USB port, you’ll be able to charge more devices at any one time.
Whatever the reason you get one, setting up an FM Transmitter in your car will add more energy and variety to your car audio.