Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Belkin TuneBase FM for iPhone and iPod Review

Tuning for Tunes

Belkin TuneBase FM for iPhone and iPod

Connecting either an iPhone or iPod to a car stereo can be a sticky business. Unless you own one of the 65 plus new vehicles that come with an auxiliary audio jack, your options can be boiled down to just three: drive with earphones (please don’t do that), use a tape adapter (that’s if your car even has a tape player) or an FM transmitter. The latter can be a tricky proposition, as earlier and cheaper iterations have been known to be as reliable as a ’91 Hyundai in January. But like all things electronic, the technology is getting better, and the Belkin TuneBase FM for iPhone and iPod is a great example of this.

The idea behind it is straightforward. Just plug the TuneBase into the car’s cigarette power outlet, and the iPhone or iPod into the TuneBase (its plastic adapters will fit any iPod with a dock connector). Once the devices are powered through the outlet, select the ClearScan button on the TuneBase to automatically find the clearest FM frequency. There is also an option of selecting the FM frequency manually. Another feature to the TuneBase is the PRO setting, which help optimize the audio while boosting the volume.

We used an iPod Video, and programming the TuneBase was easy. The long, rigid cord leading from the power outlet to the device will put your iPhone (or iPod) within easy reach, a convenience and safety benefit. As for the effectiveness of the FM transmitter, we found that it worked well most of the time, but the reception faded when driving through certain areas. We tested the gadget in Los Angeles, however, which has an abundance of radio traffic—if you in a live in a smaller city there should be less of a problem finding a continuously free frequency.

Although we’d like to see it come in iPod-matching colors, we would definitely recommend Belkin’s TuneBase FM for iPhone or iPod. It may be a little pricey, but for those without a tape deck or auxiliary audio jack, the TuneBase is the best option available.

Works with iPhone, iPod 1G, 4G, 5G, iPod touch, and iPod nano 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G

Price: $100

For more information, visit

See our review of Belkin's AutoKit for iPod

(Updated: 12/13/11 NW)

The kinds of movies made for foodies, including classics such as Like Water for Chocolate and newer releases like Chef and Ratatouille.

We taste-tested several brands to help you find the best kombuchas on the market and the results are delicious. Bottoms up!