The best car FM transmitters offer great audio quality and have ports to charge your phone. While newer cars might feature ways to connect to your mobile device, you’ll need one if your vehicle is an older model. But with a range of features to choose from, picking the right device can be tricky.
We’ve reviewed several of the best transmitters on the market to bring you the right model for any situation. Whether you’re looking for the clearest music or need a reliable way to call your office, we’ve found a model for you. Keep reading to know the best models and how to choose the right FM transmitter for your vehicle.
- Best Overall: Sumind BT70
- Best Alternative: Nulaxy KM18
- Best for Budget: Anker Roav SmartCharge F0
- Best Large Interface: Guanda RM100
- Best for Phone Calls: Lencent T25
Best Car FM Transmitters: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Sumind BT70||Nulaxy KM18||Anker Roav SmartCharge F0||Guanda Rm 100||Lencent T25|
|Size||8.4 x 3.1 x 2.2in||6.4 x 4.9 x 2.1in||2.7 x 1.9 x 1.5in||3.9 x 3.4 x 1.8in||3.2 x 1.6 x 1.5in|
|Connectivity||USB, Aux, Bluetooth, TF Card||USB, Aux, Bluetooth, TF Card||USB, Bluetooth||USB, Aux, Bluetooth, TF Card||USB, Bluetooth, TF Card|
Best Overall: Sumind BT70
- Intelligent and fast charging: input 12-24 V; Output 2 USB ports: smart 2.4 A charge port which can intelligently identify android or iPhone devices and QC3.0 fast charge port
- Special design: large key for easy operation; 1.7 Inch large LCD backlight display song name/ incoming phone number and shows your car's battery level when car start; Can rotate the LCD display screen in 270-degree gooseneck for optimal viewing comfort; Turn off the FM transmitter: long pressing the next song key for 5 seconds, it will turn off the FM and functions keep charging function
- Broad compatibility: this radio adapter works with compatible devices, like iPhone, iPad, iPod, tablet, smartphones, you can transfer music in those devices to car audio via 3.5 mm audio cable; Support TF/ Micro SD card in FAT format up to 32G; Support A2DP; Support MP3/ WMA format; Also support AUX output
- High clear sound and call quality: adopted advanced interference and noise cancellation technology - CVC technology creates full duplex sound and suppresses noise and wind; Built-in microphone feature supports hands-free talking reduce interference
- Features v4.2 and EDR: compared to earlier or older versions likeV2.0, V 2.1, or V3.0, V4.2 consumes much less energy and lasts much longer; EDR(Enhanced Data Rate), which ensures a faster data transmission rate and much more stable connection between a device and the audio receiver
The Sumind BT70 sits atop the best car FM transmitters for its spectacular quality in just about every aspect.
This model has an adjustable gooseneck design and a large display with pleasant LCD lighting. It provides excellent audio quality with CVC technology and noise suppression for clear phone calls. And it comes with four ways of connecting your music, giving you options when FM transmission isn’t the best.
What we love about the BT70 is its QC3.0 charging port. Whereas most FM transmitters skimp on USB quality, this one features the latest technology. This allows you to charge your phone pretty fast. While this model is a little more up-to-date, we wish it came with USB-C.
Check out the Sumind BT70 on Amazon.
Best Alternative: Nulaxy KM18
- 1.44 Inch LCD Display: Nulaxy KM18 Bluetooth FM transmitter has a 1.44 inch screen for better displaying information like phone calls, FM channels, music, car battery voltage, etc. The ideal screen size to assist you in driving safe without disturbance.
- Flexible Gooseneck&Bluetooth V5.0: The rotatable Gooseneck of the wireless radio adapter can provide you with an adjustable viewing angle and optimal viewing comfort of LCD display screen. With the Bluetooth V5.0 technology, the car bluetooth adapter can provide a more stable and faster connecting without intermittent disconnection.
- Noise Cancellation&Hi-Fi Sound Quality: Nulaxy noise-cancellation technology dampens the road noise and gives you clear, crisp sound for hands free calls. High Quality Music Streaming ensures crystal clear sound for listening music and hands-free calls.
- Hands-free Calls： All in one button for hands-free calls: answer/reject/hand up/recall make you seamlessly switch between incoming calls and music. Enjoy complete voice-control and safer driving with this Bluetooth transmitter.
- Wide Compatibility: The fm transmitter bluetooth for car is compatible with most devices on the market, such as iPad, iPhone, iPod, HTC, Galaxy, Sony, MP3 player, tablet and Android Smartphones. You can play your favorite songs on your car stereo via Bluetooth, TF Card and Aux Cable. And it fits 12V-24V cars and trucks.
One of the older models, the Nulaxy KM18 makes a great alternative as one of the best car FM transmitters.
This device has the most updated Bluetooth connectivity, ensuring that your iPhone or Android smartphone stays connected. Additionally, you can expect this FM transmitter to bring some of the best audio in the industry; with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating with nearly 120,000 reviews on Amazon, the KM18 comes with immense customer satisfaction.
Where the Nulaxy model differs from the Sumind is its display size. The KM18 is the better option for those that want a screen that isn’t so overwhelming. However, this device only comes with a single 2.1A USB port, which offers sub-optimal phone charging.
Check out the Nulaxy KM18 on Amazon.
Best for Budget: Anker Roav SmartCharge F0
- 【Stable Transmission】: Solid Bluetooth and FM connections stream music straight from your phone to your car's sound system.
- 【Clear Sound】: Just find an unoccupied station and the boosted FM signal and static-cancellation technology broadcast a great listening experience.
- 【Rapid Charging】: Rapid Charging: PowerIQ-equipment dual USB ports grant simultaneous high-speed charging for both driver and passenger. Qualcomm Quick Charge not supported.
- 【Better Hands-Free Calling】: Bluetooth 4.2 provides a stable connection and echo-cancellation reduces background noise for clearer calls.
- 【What You Get】: SmartCharge F0, manual, 12-month worry-free warranty, and our friendly customer service. Note: Incompatible with 2007 VW Jetta, 2011 Nissan Rogue, 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S, 2001 Audi A4, 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan, 2011 Mazda Miata, 2005 Toyota Highlander, 2004 Saturn Ion, 2005 Honda Civic, 2008 Chrysler Town and Country, 2009 Hyundai Sonata GLS, and 2012 Nissan Sentra.
If you’ve got a tight budget and you’re just looking for a device to play your music, Anker Roav SmartCharge F0 can be a fantastic buy.
Anker, one of the leading phone charging brands in the world, designed a simple FM transmitter equipped with it’s state-of-the-art, PowerIQ ports. While this device doesn’t come with all the connectivity options and standard Bluetooth capability, it has enough functionality to play your music or make phone calls at an affordable price.
The Roav SmartCharge F0 slims up its design to significantly reduce the cost. This means you won’t have an LCD to accommodate your music. However, this FM transmitter comes with two fast-charging USB ports, allowing you and a friend to keep your devices topped up while listening to your favorite music.
Check out the Anker Roav SmartCharge F0 on Amazon.
Best Large Interface: Guanda RM100
- EXCELLENT 4-in-1 BLUETOOTH FM TRANSMITTER & BROAD COMPATIBILITY: Guanda’s Bluetooth car adapter can accept UNIQUE 4 different audio transmission ways: Bluetooth; U Disk; AUX in/out Port; TF Card. Our Car Radio Adapter Bluetooth FM Transmitter has Broad compatibility with Samsung, LG, Sony, iPhone (including X, XS, 11/12/13/14 Pro Max), Android, iPad, and more.
- MORE COMFORTABLE VISION SENSORY: This car Bluetooth FM transmitter features an advanced 1.8 inch car digital color LCD display, more indicators can be clearly seen, such as Bluetooth name, FM stations, connected device's name, car voltage, music name, music amount, colorful and lively music spectrum, play status, volume etc. Meanwhile, car radio adapter Bluetooth transmitter adopts rotated 360-degree flexible elegant gooseneck design.
- OPTIMAL CHOICE FOR YOUR VEHICLE: This audio adapter FM transmitter Bluetooth car kit transmits music on your mobile device to a FM preset frequency, as while wonderful stereo sound is delivered via vehicle's speaker. The car transmitter can play MP3, WMA, or FLAC files, you can enjoy 5 Hi-Fi stereo noble and elegant EQ music modes switch at will.
- ONE CLICK HANDS-FREE CALLING & VOICE SMART NAVIGATION: Bluetooth adapter for car is equipped with Noise Suppression (CVC) technology and echo-cancellation, that brings superior calling experience. Besides, you can also get crystal clear voice navigation and Hi-Fi stereo music from your car Bluetooth adapter, which means your driving trip will be more safe and more cozy.
- INTELLIGENT CAR CHARGER ADAPTER, SAFE AND QUICK CHARGE: Input 12-24 V, output 2 USB ports (QC3.0 & 5V/2.8A), Bluetooth car charger can intelligently identify android or iPhone devices. Smart car charger QC 3.0 USB charges up to 4x speed of the conventional car charger. Built-in over-current, over-voltage, intelligent temperature control, and short circuit protection.
When you don’t want to compromise on car’s display and don’t mind paying a little extra, get the Guanda RM100 with a massive screen.
This model features a 1.8-inch full-color screen with music spectrums, play status, and a large variety of other metrics. And this is just the most prominent aspect of this incredible model.
While its volume knob is a little bulky, the rest of its design feels durable. It comes with two USB ports, including one Qualcomm 3.0 fast charger. And its Bluetooth 5.0 technology ensures you have the most reliable connectivity. Be mindful that when considering this device, you’re paying for quality.
Check out the Guanda RM100 on Amazon.
Best for Phone Calls: Lencent T25
- Crystal Clear Music Streaming - LENCENT T25 is anti- statics designed, and equipped with noise and wind suppressed by CVC technology that can achieve full duplex sound quality. You can stream music on your car stereo via Bluetooth/ USB Flash Drive (≤32GB) / microSD Card (≤32GB). WMA MP3 WAV APE FLAC music formats are all supported.
- Intelligent Dual USB Ports & Safe Charging - Coming with 2 USB ports(5V-2.4A and 5V-1A), you can charge two devices simultaneously. Built-in over-current protection, over-voltage protection, intelligent temperature control, short circuit protection, it will effectively ensure safe charging.
- Hands-Free Calling & Voice Navigation - Bluetooth provides a stable connection, while Noise Suppression (CVC) technology and echo-cancellation grants an amazing hands-free calling experience. Besides, you can also get clear voice navigation from your phone’s app, which means driving will be more safely.
- Car Battery Voltage Detection & Blue Ambient Light - The FM transmitter will display car’s voltage when plugged into the cigarette lighter. Keep abreast of car battery health at all times to avoid problems when driving. With the circle of blue backlight around this car charger, it will greatly simplify your operation for safer driving. (Please compare the size between the transmitter and your car cigarette lighter )
- Wider Range & Compatibility - This Bluetooth transmitter is well compatible with most of the smartphones and more devices that equipped with bluetooth function. It will automatically connect to its memorized paired Bluetooth device when power on. Also, with the wider range from 88.1MHz - 107.9 MHz, you can get more stable and consequent music experience without interference
If you often spend most of your drive time on the phone, the Lencent T25 can provide you the best call quality.
While you shouldn’t expect full music from this device, its hands-free calling, noise suppression, and high-sensitivity microphone make it one of the best car FM transmitters for phone calls.
Remember that Lencent designed this model for a single focus; the T25 doesn’t come with auxiliary connectivity, and its dual-USB ports only provide average charge quality. But if you’re only concerned about making reliable phone calls, there’s no reason to spend the extra money on these features.
Check out the Lencent T25 on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Car FM Transmitter
Below are four things to keep in mind when choosing the right car FM transmitter.
- Audio quality
Let’s review each one in more detail.
The reason you’re looking for the best car FM transmitters is to listen to music or make phone calls. So, you want to ensure the models you pick have great audio quality. To reduce interruptions in sound, consider devices that have CVC technology. This helps reduce the feedback from external factors such as wind or obstacles.
Additionally, you want to look at models with up-to-date Bluetooth connectivity. Ensuring your wireless connection is stable keeps your devices from cutting out in the middle of your favorite song or an important business call.
While FM transmitters make playing your MP3 music convenient without all the wires, they can suffer in poor weather conditions or dense coverage. In these instances, it’s nice to have alternative connectivity options.
Many devices come with an auxiliary port, allowing you to use your phone like a pair of wired headphones. Additionally, you can find models with an SD card slot, giving you the option to keep your music on the device without needing to connect your phone at all.
In addition to the auxiliary port, the best car FM transmitters come with one or two USB ports. These are handy for keeping your mobile phone charged, although most come standard. If you’d like to prioritize charging capability, look for QC3.0 ports. Additionally, some newer models come equipped with USB-C.
The FM transmitter market is mature. Because the technology is pretty straightforward, there’s not a lot of variety in quality. Most transmitters fall in the price range of $15-$25 without sacrificing critical features. However, you can spend a little more on updated USB ports, voice commands, and additional display metrics.
What to Know Before Buying a Car FM Transmitter
Before looking into FM transmitters to play music on the road, it’s important to know how these devices work. Because they use radio waves to send and receive information, their signal can suffer interruptions depending on various factors. These can include location, weather conditions, and compatibility with your mobile device. You can facilitate this issue with an auxiliary port, but if your transmitter does not have one, expect frequency issues from time to time.
It’s also essential to understand that most newer model vehicles come with this capability as part of their native radio console. Before you buy an FM transmitter, check to see if your vehicle already has one as part of its system. If it does, these devices might prove redundant. However, an FM transmitter might be the right fit if you drive an older model car.
Using a Car FM Transmitter: What It’s Like
When testing out the best car FM transmitters, users discovered no issues connecting their mobile phones to the devices. Each transmitter provides a straightforward method, and a connection was made in seconds across the board. Additionally, models with auxiliary ports worked as intended. This gave transmitters such as the Sumind a default advantage over others such as the Lencent.
Users found the largest variance among the models when testing sound quality. While the Nulaxy KM18 provided great streaming and phone call audio, the Anker Roav Smartcharge F0 was a little shakier. Models with older Bluetooth technology were prone to disconnects, and in some instances, they also experienced frequency interference.
Where the Anker transmitter lacked in audio quality, it made up in its ports; having two PowerIQ USB ports made charging multiple phones a breeze compared to other models. In particular, users struggled with the Nulaxy, which features a single, outdated USB-A port. We wait patiently for more FM transmitters to include USB-C, but as the devices become obsolete, it might not happen as widely as we’d like.
Best Car FM Transmitters: Further Reading
While you can expect to play your music straight from your phone in the latest electric vehicle, older model cars still need the best car FM transmitters. With various connectivity options and the ability to charge your phone, these devices are worth a purchase. Check out the articles below for more ways to enhance your time out and on the road.
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Last update on 2023-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API