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Exclusive: Review of Griffin's iTrip mini


That's right folks, we were lucky enough to get an iTrip mini to review before they hit the stores and our good fortune is your good fortune!

itrip mini

What is the iTrip mini?
Simply stated, the iTrip mini takes the sound from your iPod mini and broadcasts it so any FM radio and receive it. This is very handy for the car, in home stereo, boom boxes, wireless headphones and anything else that can play FM. We have a shower radio and use the iTrip to broadcast our tunes while in the show too. It's pretty cool not have to plug in a bunch of wires, the iTrip mini doesn't require batteries (it uses the iPod's) and that's why we really like it. That and unlike a lot of gadgets, this one looks great and works as described.

itrip on mini

To use it, you simply pop the iTrip mini in to the iPod and play music- the volume needs to be 50% to 70% on the iPod for best results. Lower than 50%, the iTrip will turn itself off, higher than 70% it might become distorted.

Next, tune your radio to 87.9, this is what the iTrip is set to by default, for the most part this is perfect for all the instances we've used it.

And that's about it. We tried the iTrip mini in a car (BMW 330ci) and 2-3 different FM radios, all of them worked great. We were 10 to 20 feet away in each test and the sound was perfectly clear. We have the iTrip for other iPods (white 2/3g versions) and we think the mini actually sounds a bit better. Using it for a couple hours didn't seem to drain the battery any more or less than it usually does, so for now- we're pretty sure the power drain is negligible.

itrip in bmw 330ci

Other stations
Let's say you want or need to use other stations besides 87.9, no problem. Install the software which comes on the CD and you get a new playlist called "iTrip Stations"- on your iPod you select the station in the list (87.7 to 107.9) and press play, the LED will blink a few times, press play again (to pause) and then your iTrip is set to broadcast on that station.

Griffin's site also offers a station finder for your particular area to get the best station in over 240 cities; they also offer European frequencies, odd and even iTrip station files from 88.0 to 108.0 as well as 76.0 to 90.0. These files will enable you to tune your iTrip mini to radios in most other parts of the world.

Tech specs 

  • Compact Size: 2" x .945" x .5"

  • Built-in antenna

  • Power Requirement: None (it's powered by the iPod)

  • Modulation: FM Stereo

  • Frequencies: 87.7 - 107.9 MHz

  • High stability crystal oscillator, phase-lock loop control

  • Stereo separation: greater than 45 dB

  • Signal distortion: less than .5%

  • Frequency response: 50 Hz to 15 kHz

  • Operating range: 10-30 feet

  • FCC compliant (FCC PAV4014ITRIP)

  • International frequencies software selectable

Final verdict
The iTrip mini is one of the best accessories for your iPod mini, if you have a lot of FM devices around this is the quickest best way to get your music on them, end of story. For $39 it's not a bad deal at all.

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