Many people unknowingly make the mistake about MP3 FM Modulators and mix them up with FM Transmitters. Even though they are very similar they can be very different and give you very different results. We will attempt to help clarify the difference between the FM Modulators and FM Transmitters in this article.
FYI, for the sake of simplicity we will assume that you are going to use this in your car and when we talk about FM Transmitters we are referring to a personal FM Transmitter you can buy off the shelf not a big commercial one or a homemade one.
Mistake #1 Installation Complexity
Most people do not realize that if you go with a FM Modulator instead of a FM Transmitter that you will be required to install it next to the FM Radio. This means you will have to pull out your car’s FM Radio and hard wire it into your car’s electrical system plus mess with your car’s audio system.
This is not only time consuming but you can easily ruin your car’s electrical and audio setup as well as potentially get yourself hurt. That is why most hire a professional to install a FM Modulator but that will cost money which could end up being more than the cost of the MP3 Player, Modulator and FM Radio combined.
Mistake #2 Transmitting
The second mistake people make about FM Modulators is they do not realize that the reason it needs to be close to the FM Radio is because it is transmitter the signal from your audio source, which in this case is your MP3 Player, to the car’s FM Radio.
And since a FM Modulator typically only goes a few inches or a foot or two are best it needs to be very close to the FM Radio which requires the installation process mentioned above.
Mistake #3 Frequency Options
Third mistake most people do not realize when going with a FM Modulator is the number of frequencies you can select from. Since manufacturers know that you will not be able to change the frequency once it is installed they usually only give you one frequency to pick from or a few at best.
What that means for you is you have to either pick a frequency that is not on the public FM Band of 88.0 to 108.0 such as 87.7 or 87.9 FM for example or you will have to hijack a frequency that is on the public band and hope you do not run into a commercial station trying to broadcast on that frequency as well.
So how do you avoid making those 3 big mistakes?
Very simple if you want to broadcast the audio from your MP3 Player to your car’s FM Radio (or any radio for that matter) you will want to buy a GOOD FM Transmitter. I say good because there are so many out there that just flat out stink. Either they don’t go very far or the audio quality is just not acceptable. FYI, you can click on the links below to see a good FM Transmitter to consider.
So let’s just assume for a moment that you picked a quality FM Transmitter. With it, you can use it not only in your car but also in your home, office, etc. if you wanted to. Plus you can easily power it without having to hard wire it to your car’s electrical system. And you can plug in your MP3 Player without dealing with the car’s audio systems setup. Finally, if you pick the right kind of good FM Transmitter you can also broadcast your other audio sources like your satellite radio, home stereo, computer and even your TV.
This way you can avoid having to deal with the cost and time of installation and hard wiring as well as possibly screwing up your car’s electrical and audio systems. Plus you can transmit further than a modulator and on more frequencies so you won’t have to compete with commercial radio stations.