Can You Put an FM Modulator App on Your iPhone?

By Jen Udan

An FM transmitter will let you play audio on your iPhone through your car radio.

FM modulators, more commonly known as FM transmitters, allow you to play audio from an external device such as an iPod or iPhone over a low frequency radio station. Many people use FM transmitters to play audio through their car radios, typically if the car does not have an auxiliary output or Bluetooth-compatible radio.

Playing iPhone Audio on Your Radio

There are several iPhone apps that work with FM transmitters, but you will need to purchase an FM transmitter before you can use these apps. There is no way to convert your iPhone into a transmitter without additional hardware. Alternatives to FM transmitters are auxiliary cables or Bluetooth-enabled radios, which may be better options for you.

Buy an FM Transmitter

In order to play audio from your iPhone through your car radio or portable radio, you will need to purchase an FM transmitter. You can find FM transmitters in any electronics store or online. They typically range in cost from $15 to $100. Make sure that the FM transmitter you purchase is compatible with your iPhone, as some transmitters will work with only certain models.

Search for Apps Related to Your FM Transmitter

Once you've found an FM transmitter that works with your iPhone, visit the App Store to search for apps related to your brand of FM transmitter. Griffin and Belkin are examples of companies that both manufacture FM transmitters and offer a related iPhone app. The app will let you control both the audio tuner, which scans for the clearest station to play your music, and the music on your iPhone.

Use Third-Party Apps

If you aren't able to find an app made specifically for your FM transmitter, you can search for third-party apps, such as ClearFM or TuneFREQ. These apps should work with any FM transmitter and will let you find the clearest station on which to play your music.