Wednesday, January 4, 2012

[Review] Listen to Your iPhone Music Even In An Old Cassette-Playing Car Radio

In some cases, our vehicles are still older than our iDevices.

If you have an older vehicle, like my 1999 Jeep Cherokee Limited, then you might find that you have a cassette player instead of an MP3-supported stereo system. If you want to be able to listen to your iDevice's music without paying a ton for a new stereo, this is a viable option that will only cost you $9.99 out of pocket, and gives you cassette-quality music right from your iDevice, without needing to pay an arm and a leg for a brand new up-to-date stereo system. This device is called the Motor Trend Cassette Adapter and it really is as easy to use as it looks.

The Cassette end is inserted into the vehicle's Cassette player and the wire with the 3.5mm headphone jack will stick out. The wire is approximately two feet long and is good enough to let your iPhone or iPod to sit in a cup holder while it's plugged in. The sound quality is no better than a cassette player, but it works. If you have great quality music on your iDevice and you play it with this cassette adapter, you will notice the difference in sound quality which is slightly boiled down because you won't get your digital sound. When you're using it you'll see how the wire sticks out of the Cassette port; it looks like this:

 To reduce noise, turn your treble down and your bass up if your vehicle stereo has the option to do so. Mine appears to sound halfway decent so that it sounds like it's coming from the radio. For $9.99, I'd say it's a good buy. Your bass quality depends on your speakers in your vehicle and the sound quality will always have that hard-to-hear fuzzy background because of the nature of cassette tapes. It's no wonder that we found ourselves converting to CD's and finally MP3's.

The Motor Trend Cassette Adapter is small enough to store in your purse, pocket, glove compartment, or storage compartment in your vehicle and it really doesn't weigh much. It weighs less than a pair of in-ear headphones; being made out of plastic.

One thing that I did have a fall out with is the fact that the Motor Trend Cassette Adapter's 3.5mm jack has a rather large circumference and doesn't fit my Apple Bumper case. It's not too overly large that it won't fit some or most cases, however we know how Apple is with making their accessories absolutely perfect for each other and for no one else's accessories. That being said, I did have to let my bare and vulnerable iPhone 4 sit in my cup holder praying that I didn't drive over any large bumps or hit any rough turns as not to scratch it. I will probably end up purchasing a different case.

Another thing to note is that if you're driving a standard transmission vehicle and you put the iPhone in a cup holder, the wire from the adapter might tickle your hand constantly while you're driving which can serve as a distraction. Another thing that serves as a distraction is the urge to switch a song while you're driving. We never recommend that you handle a phone while driving; it's always better to pull over or settle in a parking lot or have a passenger switch songs for you.

How many of you still have a cassette player in your vehicles and would consider buying an adapter like this? Share in the comments.