Gettin’ nothing but static

Monday was a really crappy day: my Passat factory tape deck stopped auto-reversing and would only play side A. This was a Big Problem because I only listen to my iPod in the car and the tape adapter that I use only plays on side B. And of course the Passat factory radio doesn’t include an aux in.

Originally I had hoped to wire the iPod to the head unit directly, but I simply don’t have that kind of time right now. So, with some trepidation, I decided to see if I could find an FM transmitter that would work. I’ve had bad luck with these devices in the past. I bought one in 2001 for my first generation iPod, but after I almost ran off the road trying to tune the frequency to an unused station I stopped using it. The problem, too, was that the unit was underpowered—even when I found a relatively clear spot on the dial it would get swamped by static. I had the same trouble with a Griffin iTrip and my second iPod.

This time I bought a Monster iCarPlay Wireless Plus. This thing has no problem punching through static on empty channels, though there is still intermittent bleed through of noise. It’s also easier to tune. I noticed that the sound isn’t as clean as what I used to get through the cassette adapter, but that’s my only complaint. Nice product.