iPhone users are always looking for ways to integrate their iPhone into their vehicles. The obvious advantage here is having access to your entire iPod library in your car without the need for CD’s. There are many in-car solutions for the iPhone and today I will spotlight one from MediaGate calledÂ The iKit.
The iKit is a Hi-Fi FM Transmitter and car charger for your iPhone. The device actually supports many iPods as well including the iPod Touch, Video, Classic, Nano 1G/2G/3G and Shuffle but we will focus on the iPhone end of things here.
The iKit features a Digital FM Frequency Display where you will tune into a clear, unused radio station on the cradle and then the same station on your vehicle radio. From there, the iKitÂ has a USB port on the right side for charging other USB-enabled devices and on the left side, a 3.5mm audio jack.
As mentioned, the iKitÂ is a Hi-Fi FM transmitter transmitting at 88.1 – 107.9 MHz which means that you can listen to music or have a hands-free phone call through a radio station, however the best sound quality comes from a clear, little static, unused station.
This is advantageous for iPhone owners that do not have auxiliary ports in their vehicles, but you do lose some sound quality using the radio, as the occasional loud static can emerge. However, the iKit includes a 9-inch 3.5mm male to male audio cable that you can use if your vehicle does have an auxiliary port. This allows you to bypass the FM transmitter feature completely and simply use the cradle as a holder for the iPhone and the auxiliary port in your vehicle for sound, which provides greater sound quality than the FM transmitter.
The front and side of the cradle for the iPhone is wrapped in a high quality silicone gel to protect your device from damage. Flexible clamps also hold the iPhone securely in place. The bottom of the cradle features adjustable stoppers to prevent the iPhone from falling and an attached Dock Connector to keep your iPhone charged.
Along the back of the cradle is attached a flexible goose-pipe that makes it convenient to find the best adjustable position for you in your vehicle. The goose-pipe, once adjusted into place should stay in its position, but I found that once you put the iPhone in (I was using an iPhone 3G) the goose-pipe did not do such a great job. The entire cradle would fall over sideways causing periodic readjustment. The end of the goose-pipe plugs into your vehicles DC outlet and this is where you get the charger for your iPhone.
Overall the iKitÂ is a little bulkier than most FM Transmitters for iPhone but does include a cradle. I like that you can have the option of using the FM transmitter or the auxiliary jack (if your vehicle supports it), as the FM transmitter does suffer some loss of sound quality. I also like the inclusion of the 3.5mm audio cable. The goose-pipe provides a lot of flexibility but did not hold up the iPhone very well for me, however it is convenient that the iKit includes a charger.
The MediaGate iKitÂ is scored a 3 out of 5.
The iKitÂ is available online from QCS Accessories for $33.99 with free shipping within Canada.
If you use promo code ‘CANUCK‘, you receive 10% off your purchase.