New iTrip with Dock Connector: Better

by Derrick Story

I've tried Griffin's iTrips in the past and had mixed feelings about them. I wasn't crazy about loading the FM stations on to my iPod and having to use the screen to change them. The audio quality varied depending on where I was and if I could get an open channel to transmit on. But the convenience and flexibility of broadcasting iPod music to speakers while on the road was too tempting to pass up.

Griffin's latest iTrip with Dock Connector caught my eye because it addressed some of the previous drawbacks. Now, as the title indicates, you connect the iTrip at the bottom with the Dock Connector. I like this because I can use it for all of my current iPods (5th Gen video, nano, and 4th Gen photo). There's a mini-USB port on the bottom of the iTrip so you can charge your iPod in the car while its broadcasting. Nice touch.

Also, no more loading FM station frequencies into the iPod. The new model has an LCD screen that allows you to change channels on the fly without messing with the iPod itself. This is a big improvement.

Griffin has added a DX setting too. I used this when listening to podcasts and got good audio even in the city. It pushed back the interference and helped isolate the conversation. You can set the DX on the iTrip screen just by pushing in and holding the side control dial. You can also illuminate the iTrip screen this way too, making it much easier to read in dim lighting.

Another goodie is the ability to set the iTrip to either US or International tuning modes. (International for lower frequencies.) This saves you time because you don't have to scroll through channels you don't need. Here's a tip. My best station is in the 87 range, which doesn't appear on the US list. But I could get to it after switching to International mode.

As for the audio itself... I think the iTrip is great for listening to podcasts. My ears don't require the same fidelity for talk shows that they do for music. When I want the best audio possible for music, I still prefer the cassette adapter. It sounds better to me. But overall, especially considering that the iTrip is fighting for frequencies on your radio dial along with the rest of the world, I think it does an admirable job. Try the DX setting too. I found it helpful.

The new iTrip with Dock Connector costs $49.99. Clearly, this is the best iTrip ever.


2005-12-06 19:16:12
Sounds like an improvement
Thanks for the mini-review. I have the old iTrip and I wouldn't want to be without it. It works great though and although the new one seems to have a lot of new features and upgrades, I'm not sure I'll spend money on one.
2005-12-07 09:05:40
I might have to try this one...
... I have one of the old iTrips for a while and when I can get it to work right it is quite nice. However, I've always had a hard time configuring it from the FM station list on the iPod itself. So, if this version of the iTrip eliminates that hassle then I just might have to give it a try.
2005-12-07 09:10:22
I might have to try this one...
Note also that I wish the O'Reilly site would let you edit your own posts. It never fails that I find an error in grammar after I hit 'submit'.
2005-12-07 09:15:49
Which Review To Go With?
This ilounge review doesn't seem to like the iTrip as much as you do. Now I need to decide which review to go with :).

2005-12-07 09:34:44
I might have to try this one...
And post previewing would be useful, too, as I've mentioned a half-dozen times. Lack of it inhibits using HTML stylized text since I don't want to risk submitting sloppy-looking uneditable comments because of typos.
2005-12-07 09:39:59
RE: Which Review To Go With?
Ah, maybe I can help...

I don't use any car holders for my iPods. They sit on the front seat beside me. So the complaint about the iTrip mounting on the bottom now isn't an issue for me. It may or may not be for you, and something to consider.

As for ease of control... I really like the new iTrip and think it's easy, and even fun, to program.

In the end, I think it comes down to this: do you have an open FM channel that you can broadcast to? If you don't, forget about the iTrip. If you do, I think it's a nice accessory to have in your iPod bag of tricks.

Hope this helps.

2005-12-07 09:42:55
RE: I might have to try this one...
Hey... I have an inside scoop just for Mac DevCenter readers. We're going to switch our blogging system to Moveable Type. You'll be able to preview your comments and use all of the standard MT functions. Hope to see this enabled in January. You heard it here first...
2005-12-12 06:37:13
Question about your review?
Hi There, I'm new to the hole ipod world and was wondering about the Griffin iTrip with Dock Connector. (I have a 5th Gen) The major draw back
I had about purchasing it, was that I thought it wouldn't be possible to power the ipod from a car adapter if the itrip was connected.
But you mentioned there was a USB connection at the bottom, how would this help? as the cigarette chargers connect to the dock connection. Meaning having to unplug the itrip to recharge?? is there a cigarette charger that has a USB connection?

Please excuse my ignorance if this is way off! but I would like a little advice

2005-12-12 08:29:08
RE: Question about your review?
It's a good question. The Griffin PowerJolt has USB out. You can read my review here:

Then all you need is a USB to USB mini connector cord, and you're in business.