Driving with Tunes and an iPod Car Adapter
Driving with headphones on is not the world's greatest idea, as it can distract you from road conditions. It is probably on par with talking on a cell phone while driving, so plug your iPod into a car adapter instead. With an iPod car adapter, you can be safer and still enjoy your tunes on your morning drive. There are basically two main manufacturers of iPod accessories, including car adapters. Belkin and Griffin both make products that are not overly obtrusive and usually match the iPod quite nicely. Belkin has the Belkin Audio Kit for iPod with DockConnector (that was its title at the website - belkin.com). This iPod car adapter will allow you to plug your iPod into your car's audio system, and you can recharge your iPod while in the car as well. This audio kit is also compatible with Belkin's TuneCast FM transmitters, although reviews of the TuneCast and TuneCast II have been lukewarm at best. The retail price for this audio kit is $39.99 at Belkin's website.
Plug It In and Forget About It
Griffin has two iPod car adapter systems that you might want to consider. One is the RoadTrip, a combo FM transmitter and car charger. It includes an adjustable cradle and works with almost any iPod from Nano to a video iPod. It seems to vary a lot price-wise, as it retails for about $89.99 on the high end to $49.95 at one online store. Another interesting iPod car adapter is the Neo iON iPod Car Stereo Interface, which works with most older iPods and almost anything up to a video iPod (except the Shuffle, but check the specs). It will even work with the Apple iPhone. The Neo iON will allow you to plug your iPod directly into your car's audio system so that you'll be able to operate it directly by using your car stereo's control panel.
It also keeps your iPod charged with its Smart Charge feature and uses a single cable. It also boasts excellent sound quality, but expect to pay for it. It retails for a wince-inducing $189.99. Whether or not it's worth it to you depends on how much of an audiophile you are. Of course, if you have a long daily commute or happen to be planning a summer road trip, it might well be worth the investment to get CD-quality sound. You be more than pleased with an iPod car adapter.