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Belkin Auto Kit for iPod

Down to the Wire

Belkin Auto Kit for iPod
Belkin Auto Kit for iPod

So you’ve just crawled out from underneath that rock and want to know what hot electronic device you should buy. Most people would probably suggest one of the several iPod designs that are becoming as ubiquitous in people’s pockets as cell phones and lint. This ubiquity does present a problem, though; how do you get your entire music collection from the iPod to your car’s stereo? FM transmitters are an option, but only the best and most expensive ones like Belkin's own TuneBase work consistently well. Tape adapters are OK, but these audio dinosaurs are mostly extinct in newer cars.

Thankfully, automakers are answering customer demand by outfitting most new models with an auxiliary MP3 player jack that provides a direct connection to the car’s stereo. The Belkin Auto Kit for iPod is perfect for these vehicles, providing both power and stereo connection. Without this kit, iPod owners (with the exception of the nano) would be forced to plug in two different cords at opposite ends of the player in order to both listen and keep the battery charged. It’s already difficult enough to simultaneously operate a car and an iPod without this unwieldy set-up. The Auto Kit requires only one wire, plugged into the more convenient iPod Dock Connector. The Kit’s cigarette lighter adapter has a mini jack output on it (the same that’s on the iPod for headphones), allowing for a two-way mini jack wire to run from the adapter to the car’s auxiliary port. It sounds more complicated than it is. If your car doesn’t have an auxiliary port, an iPod tape adapter can also be plugged into the Auto Kit to prevent the two-wire problem.

Belkin Auto Kit for iPod

Although the distance between power outlet and auxiliary port can vary amongst different cars (make sure to buy a two-way mini jack wire of suitable length), most inputs are located somewhere on the dash or console. In the Acura TSX, though, both plug-in points are conveniently placed together under the center armrest (pictured left) keeping all cords and the iPod hidden from prying eyes.

We found the Belkin Auto Kit to be a must-have for anyone who owns both an iPod and one of the 60-plus vehicles that now come suitably equipped. Like Apple’s amazing little invention, the Kit makes listening to music a lot easier.

Price: $40
For more information, visit
Works with iPod 3G, 4G, 5G, nano and mini

See our review of Belkin's TuneBase FM for iPod

Cars with Auxiliary Jacks By Make
Acura: RDX, TSX
BMW: 3 Series, 5 Series
Buick: Lucerne
Cadillac: DTS, Escalade, STS
Chevrolet: HHR, Impala, Monte Carlo
Chrysler: 300, Aspen, PT Cruiser
Dodge: Caliber, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Magnum
Ford: Edge, Expedition
Honda: Civic EX, Civic Si, Element EX, Fit Sport
Jeep: Commander, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Patriot
Lexus: IS, ES, LS
Lincoln: MKX, Navigator
Mini: Cooper, Cooper S*
Nissan: 2007 Altima, Armada, Maxima, 2007 Quest, 2007 Sentra, Titan, Versa
Pontiac: Solstice
Saturn: Ion, Outlook, Sky, Vue
Scion: tC, xA, xB
Toyota: 4Runner, Camry, FJ Cruiser, Prius, RAV4, Sienna, Yaris
Volkswagen: Jetta, Passat, Touareg**

* optional
** optional with navigation-equipped cars

Updated: (08/31/10 AR)

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