Tired of fiddling with tape adapters, FM transmitters, and iPod remotes? Dension’s IceLink Plus lets you actually replace your car’s CD changer — it’s compatible with dozens of different car makes and models — with an iPod. Since your iPod is wired in directly, the IceLink offers far better sound quality than FM transmitters or cassette adapters, and it powers and charges the iPod, too. If your steering wheel has audio controls, you can even use those to control your iPod.
Instead of selecting different discs in the changer, your stereo’s disc controls let you choose from five specific iPod playlists that you’ve previously created. Although this is convenient if you’ve remembered to update your these playlists with the music you want to hear, it makes it difficult to hear music not in these playlists. (You can flip the iPod into manual mode for more control — Dension offers a line of mounts to place your iPod within arm’s reach — but the Dension menus on the iPod are slow and a bit difficult to read.)
You can have the IceLink Plus professionally installed so that your iPod is mounted in your glove compartment or on your dashboard. However, I found that the IceLink’s true calling is really as a CD changer replacement; I pulled my old changer out of the trunk and replaced it with an iPod mini, and driving has never been the same since. I didn’t need a professional to install it in place of my CD player, and by hiding the iPod away in the trunk, I can leave it there at all times — something I couldn’t do if my iPod was plainly visible through one of my car windows.–Jason Snell