No matter who you are though, there’s a good chance that you’ll agree – a drive is always better when you’ve got access to the right tunes.
The trouble is, listening to music on your car radio can only accomplish so much. You’ll be able to tune into some of your favourite stations – but if you lose signal, then you’re doomed.
At the same time, you can play music directly from your phone, but then you’re stuck searching for an internet connection. Even if you’re lucky enough to have your most-loved albums downloaded so you can access them offline, smartphone speakers don’t really match up to the quality of a Roberts Vintage or Pure radio.
For audiophiles, the experience can be like nails on a chalkboard.
The good news? There is an alternative option for all of us modern adventurers.
With the best FM transmitter, you can stream music wirelessly from your device to your phone, using your car’s FM stereo. That means you get to listen to podcasts, MP3 files, and virtually anything else you can access on your phone, through your vehicle’s (enhanced) speaker system.
Some Bluetooth FM transmitters even come with extra features, like the ability to take hands-free calls, so you can keep your eyes and attention on the road.
So, how do you choose the best car FM transmitter?
We’ve got you covered.
1. The Avantree CK310 Bluetooth FM transmitter UK
When you’re on the hunt for the best car FM transmitter, you’ll usually find that most products are pretty same-y. There are plenty of devices out there that plug straight into your cigarette lighter to access your speaker system, and they come with basic features, like the option to pause or play your music. However, the Avantree CK310 uses a different approach.
The Bluetooth FM radio transmitter delivers wireless streaming technology for your car. Lasting around 7 hours on a full charge, you can place the small circular device anywhere in your car – not just into the cigarette port. The device even comes with some “magic tape” you can use to fix it to your dashboard. Aside from letting you play music on the go, the Avantree also features wireless calls, GPS navigation, and more.
For just under £25, features include:
Wireless music streaming
Answer calls with the touch of a button
Place anywhere you like with magic tape
No cigarette lighter required
7 hours of battery life
Automatically turns on and off with your car
User-friendly interface with a digital screen
There’s even a USB charging port included on the device so you can charge your phone while you listen to music. The plus and minus symbols on the screen of the Avantree allow you to tap your way through FM stations at your leisure. At the same time, the large display lets you see which FM frequency you’re listening to. Of course, you can always ignore the stations entirely and listen to your own music instead.
This is a very handy device and a unique option for those in search of the best Bluetooth transmitter for car use. Just keep in mind that you can get a little bit of static depending on where you place this device in your car.
A sub-brand of the Anker corporation, known for their high-quality charging tools and external batteries, Roav delivers another fantastic option for those who want the best FM transmitter that money can buy. This product takes a more traditional approach to connecting your car and smartphone by plugging into the cigarette lighter in your vehicle. It’s very similar in style to a DAB car radio adapter.
Once you’ve plugged the Roav transmitter into your car, you should achieve a solid and stable transmission that gives you access to all of the music and content on your phone. There’s even a FM signal booster included in the technology to help cancel out the static of any FM station that you might want to listen to. Like the Avantree above, the Roav also comes with a hands-free calling option too.
For just less than £18, features include:
2 USB charging ports
Easy user interface
Boosted FM signal
Rapid charging high-speed power
Hands-free calling via Bluetooth 4.2
Echo and noise cancellation
Though it’s pretty basic at first glance, the Roav is actually an attractive little product to have in your car. It fits neatly into the décor of any vehicle, with a classy matte finish on the device face. At the same time, you get the benefit of two state-of-the-art charging ports that have been revved up with Anker’s exceptional fast-charging technology.
If you’re looking for the best Bluetooth FM transmitter that the UK has to offer, complete with noise cancellation for your hands-free calls and an excellent FM signal, this is it. One slight issue is that it will automatically connect to the last device you used – which can be a bit fiddly when you’re trying to get your car ready for your next road trip.
Excellent listening quality
2 fast-speed charging ports included
Attractive and compact design
Hands-free calling included
Auto-connects to the last device that you used
Wide variation between volume levels for different apps
As we were searching through FM transmitters to bring you this list, we found that there’s a very wide selection of tools available on the market today. The kind of product you get is likely to depend on several things, including how many features you want access to within your car. For instance, a lot of the best car FM transmitters on the market are just basic products that plug into a cigarette lighter.
However, the Nulaxy wireless KN29 is far more complex. There’s 1.8-inch landscape colour display screen included, so you can access more information about what you’re listening too. The screen shows everything from which mode you’re using, to how much battery power your car has.
Another thing that you can do with the NULAXY which you can’t access with most FM transmitters, is manage your EQ mode. There are five options to choose from, including one for “Rock” and “Classical” music.
For just under £19, the KN29 features:
Colour screen packed full of useful information
1 regular USB port and 1 fast charge port
Incoming call announcement feature
5 EQ management modes
Built-in microphone for hands-free calling
Aux, Bluetooth, TF, and USB music in
Noise cancellation technology
Boosted FM playing
Smart device charging
Safety features (voltmeter for device protection)
According to other car FM transmitter reviews that we’ve read about this device, it’s one of the most popular items on the market because it’s so comprehensive. It’s hard to get the same level of functionality from any other FM transmission device for the same ridiculously low cost. Plus, you get to check the battery power of your car at any second.
The KN29 isn’t perfect – the range is a little limited, so it’s a good thing you’re going to have your phone with you in the front-seat if you’re streaming podcasts. Additionally, it’s hard to get things connected at first. However, once you’ve got the device working smoothly, you should have a great time with the Nulaxy.
VicTsing is a brand name that shows up in a lot of FM transmitter reviews. In the UK, the company is almost as well-known as brands like Pure in the automobile accessory niche. The QC3.0 Bluetooth FM transmitter is another example of a transmission system that comes with access to plenty of advanced features. For instance, the auto-search feature in this product makes it one of the best car FM transmitters on the market, as you can easily find channels quickly, without worrying about endless interference.
The VicTsing comes with 3 USB ports included, so you can charge multiple devices while you’re listening to music or podcasts. There’s also a quick-charge function when you need to top up your battery quickly. Additionally, like the Nulaxy device mentioned above, the VicTsing also has the added benefit of EQ control, so you can choose the sound that’s best suited to the content you’re playing.
Available for just over £20, this product comes with:
Auto search and easy pairing
3 USB ports and quick charging
5 EQ modes to choose from
CVC noise cancellation technology
Hands-free Bluetooth calling
More than just a way to stream music from your smartphone, the QC3.0 is a handy way to bring your car into the future, with access to Bluetooth streaming and hands-free calling, an informative colour screen, and so much more. We particularly liked the fact that you can automatically find the channel with the least interference just pressing a single button.
One issue that you might have with this device is that it’s a bit bulkier than many of the other Bluetooth transmitters available today. If your cigarette lighter is located too close to your gear stick, you could easily knock the transmitter out of place.
Another contender in our list of best car FM transmitter options is the Clydek Bluetooth tool. Upgraded with Bluetooth 5.0 for better connections, the Clydek doesn’t have the same high-level features as some of the other items in our Car FM transmitter reviews, but it’s still brimming with useful technology. For instance, you get an exceptional transfer speed and a bigger transmission range because of the stronger Bluetooth connection.
Like most FM transmitters, you can use this product by plugging it directly into your cigarette lighter. It comes with 3 music playing modes, all of which promise a clear and consistent quality of sound. Additionally, you can enjoy hands-free calling with this device too. All you need to do is press the central button in the screen to either answer or hang-up a call. You can even automatically redial any calls that you’ve missed.
The Clydek also happens to be one of the cheapest FM transmission tools that we’ve covered so far, available at a price of less than £10.
Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
3 music playing modes
Dual USB connections
Easy-to-use (plugs into the cigarette lighter)
Charge multiple devices at the same time
While the Clydek FM transmitter isn’t the most advanced option that we’ve seen on the market today, it comes with pretty much everything you’ll need to upgrade your daily drive. For instance, there are three music play modes to choose from, hands-free calling, and even voice navigation when you want to use the GPS on your smartphone. For those who want to keep an eye on car performance, there’s voltage detection included too.
One downside is that there isn’t an auto-tuning feature. That means that if you lose the signal or it starts getting spotty, you’ll need to pull over to fiddle with your reception until you get something that works again.
The SAIMPU Bluetooth FM transmitter for UK customers is a little flashier than some of the other tools that we’ve looked at in this list. There’s an RGB surround with coloured lighting to draw attention to the device when it’s plugged into your cigarette lighter. Personally, we couldn’t see how this was beneficial to the performance of the product – but it’s something that’s likely to attract people who take pride in what the inside of their car looks like.
Like some of the other Bluetooth FM transmitter options that we’ve covered so far, the SAIMPU comes with dual USB ports, with fast-charge connections so you can get your batteries back up to full-performance four times faster than usual. There’s also hands-free calling included as part of the Bluetooth experience.
For just under £15, you’ll get features like:
Enhanced FM frequency
Dual USB with fast charging
Quick-touch ease of use
Easy Bluetooth transmission
The music is clear, and the voice quality available with this device is very good. However, some other reviewers did complain that they had a hard time getting their phones to charge any faster than usual through the available ports included with the SAIMPU. On the other hand, we didn’t have this issue – so it might be something that depends on the device you receive.
We’re heading back to a slightly different style of Bluetooth FM transmitter for the next item on our list. This one combines something that you can place on your car dashboard with the traditional simplicity of a transmitter that plugs into your cigarette lighter. Like a handful of the other FM transmitters on our list, the GRDE comes with the latest 5.0 Bluetooth technology. This just means that you get smoother connections and a better stability when you’re streaming.
The GRDE also comes with a colour screen that you can attach with a clip to your air conditioners. That means that you can more easily reach the control portion of the device to skip between channels, while the product is still powered by your cigarette lighter.
The GRDE Bluetooth FM transmitter is one of the more expensive options that we covered in our search for the perfect product, but it does offer excellent Bluetooth transmission, and compatibility with a range of smart voice assistant devices.
For just over £20, you’ll get:
Smart assistant compatibility
Hands-free calling and navigation
Digital screen with clip included
2 USB charging ports (quick charge)
3 music playback modes
Easy to use and reliable, the GRDE stands out as one of the best car FM transmitters that we’ve seen for a number of reasons. Just keep in mind that it may take a while to arrive – even if you spring the extra for next-day delivery. We liked the fact that you get to actually pause, rewind, and manage the tracks that you’re listening to, rather than just skipping between frequencies too.
More control over your listening experience
Hands-free calling and navigation
Fast charging ports
Delivery isn’t great
The clip could be stronger – might fall off your air-con unit
Probably the product with the best FM transmitter reviews that we saw during our search, the FirstE Bluetooth FM transmitter has definitely made an impression with today’s consumer base. Not only is it exceptionally easy to use, but this device also features a very stable Bluetooth connection, so you can avoid the stress of suddenly losing your signal at a moment’s notice when you’re trying to listen to your favourite channels.
Out of the box, this product looks simple enough, but it comes with a few extra features built-in. For instance, there’s a built-in microphone, and noise suppression technology included so that you can take calls hands-free and enjoy a better call quality then you’d be able to get from most competitors too. Additionally, there’s a dual USB charger included within the device, so you can keep your phone powered up while you stream your podcasts.
Available for just less than £15, the FirstE product features:
Hands-free Bluetooth calling
Noise suppression for better call quality
Wide compatibility with a range of devices
Excellent high-stability connection
Dual USB charger
Easy to use interface
There’s no ultra-fast charging option for this particular transmitter, so if you’re looking for something that will power your phone up quickly, you might want to opt for the Anker above or one of the other alternatives that we’ve covered. Additionally, there’s very little information available on the digital screen.
However, if you’re looking for something simple and accessible to upgrade your daily drive, this could be it. It’s a reasonably powerful device, easy to install, and it makes listening to your music without an aux lead a breeze.
At first glance, the CHGeek Bluetooth FM transmitter is likely to remind you of a tiny microphone, with a small speaker-surround grille, a circular plate at the top, and a power system that plugs into your cigarette lighter. Like many of the best Bluetooth transmitter for car devices on the market today, the CHGeek comes with dual charging ports to keep your phone juiced up, and a voltage display, so you can see how much energy you’re draining from your car.
The Bluetooth connection is limited to only V4.2, but it’s still strong enough to give you a relatively fast and stable connection. What’s more, this product comes with noise cancellation built-in. That means that if you’re using it for hands-free calling or for listening to you favourite music and podcasts, you should still get an excellent level of clarity.
At just over £14, the features included with this device are:
Dual USB ports for simple charging or playing music from a USB stick
Bluetooth version 4.2
Crystal-clear audio with noise cancellation
Minimal background noise
Displays car voltage
The CHGeek FM transmitter offers a very straightforward experience that’s likely to appeal to anyone who’s not used to having a lot of tech in their life. You can easily sync the device up to your phone, and all you need to do to power it on is plug it into the cigarette lighter. However, it is a bit of a shame that there’s not as much information available from this transmitter as you’d get from other devices.
Finally, we come to another option from the VicTsing brand. This smaller VicTsing Bluetooth FM Transmitter looks a little simpler at first. However, when you start browsing through the features, you’ll find a number of exciting capabilities for a low price tag. For instance, this transmitter features 5.0 Bluetooth, which means that you get faster pairing and fewer stability issues than you might get with some of the other tools on the market today.
Additionally, one of the main things that sets this product apart is the fact that it comes with Siri and Google Assistant access built-in. This means that you can ask your phone to make calls for you, while you’re driving. While many Bluetooth FM transmitters allow you to receive calls, this is one of the few devices that will allow you to make them hands-free too.
For just over £15, features include:
2 USB charger ports
1 Quick charge ports for fast power
Bluetooth 5.0 speed and reliability
SIRI and Google Assistant compatibility
LED light included
Despite the relatively low price tag, this VicTsing stands out as one of the highest-value Bluetooth transmitter options for cars today. If you’re looking for something that will take your vehicle into the next generation with hands-free calling and smart assistant access, then this is the perfect tool for you. What’s more, you get a fantastic Bluetooth connection that eliminates stability issues too.
The VicTsing is easy to use and affordable, with a compact design that isn’t going to get in the way when you’re driving.
Compact and convenient design
Smart speaker connectivity
LED light for use at night
Quick charge port
Can struggle to connect first time
May automatically connect to devices when you don’t want it to
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for choosing the ideal Bluetooth FM transmitter.
If you’re looking for a device that will help you to listen to your favourite tunes when you’re on the go, there’s no shortage of options out there. It seems like there are countless tools that you can plug into your cigarette lighter or connect wirelessly to your car to upgrade your driving experience.
Hopefully, reading the reviews above will give you an insight into the kind of technology that you want to bring into your vehicle this year. However, we recommend also taking the following factors into account when making your decision:
Signal quality: You need to make sure that you have a good signal with the best FM transmitter. Otherwise you’ll end up with distorted and low-quality sound. This negates the point of using a transmitter to avoid listening to music on your smartphone in the first place.
Ease of use: Most of these transmitters are easy enough to use. However, some come with more complex features than others, which can make them more daunting to beginners. If you’re concerned, check the car FM transmitter reviews from other customers to get their feedback on usability.
Compatibility: The transmitter you choose should be able to connect to a broad range of devices. This is usually the case with many of the best car FM transmitters on the market today, but it’s best to double-check that you can use your device however you like.
Frequency range: Make sure that you have access to the highest possible range of channels, so you can find the best performance wherever you are. You don’t want to be randomly losing signal as you drive.
Extra features: Additional features like quick-charging ports for your smartphone and hands-free calling can really come in handy when you’re making your decision. Pick the FM transmitter that will give you the best dose of convenience for your daily drive.
There are a number of great choices on the market today. Our favourite option is probably the VicTsing product with Siri connectivity, simply for the fact that it allows you to make calls, as well as receiving them. However, for strength and durability, we would definitely choose the Roav product by Anker.
Which is your favourite FM transmitter on the market today? Let us know in the comments below if we’ve missed a product you think that we should review. Alternatively, check out our other reviews here at Radio Fidelity for more insight on which products you should look into.
Radio Fidelity: For the love of radio.
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