At a Glance
Adapter to play iPod through automobile cassette player
Although the best way to connect your iPod to a car stereo is via an auxiliary-input jack, most car stereos don’t have them. The next best thing, provided your car stereo has a cassette deck, is to use a cassette adapter: You simply connect the adapter’s plug to your iPod’s headphone jack or dock-based line-out jack and then insert the cassette-shaped adapter into the cassette deck. Although a bit of hiss is common, the sound quality is generally much better than FM transmitters, which suffer from radio interference. These cassette adapters are easy to find and inexpensive ($10-$25).
Unfortunately, we can’t recommend Belkin’s take on the cassette adapter. We were unable to get the Mobile Cassette Adapter to work reliably on any of our four test vehicles. On one, a 2005 Honda, the adapter was immediately ejected from the deck; we never got it to stay. On the others, we were able to keep the adapter in the deck, but consistently experienced dropouts, severe static, and odd klunking noises as the deck struggled to interface with the adapter. After reporting our problems to Belkin, they promptly sent us a second review unit, which exhibited the same behavior.
Belkin makes a number of great iPod accessories; unfortunately, based on the two review units we’ve had, this isn’t one of them. We’ve had much better luck with cassette adapters from Coby and MacAlly.–Dan Frakes