Are There FM Transmitter Apps for iPhones?

By Nicole Martinez

You may have several available options to connect your iPhone to your car's stereo.
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While the iPhone is a capable device that includes internal speakers, the volume might not be loud enough for you to enjoy your favorite music while in your car. Third-party manufacturers make FM transmitters that let you enjoy music from your iPhone through your car's speakers via FM radio, but you might find the faults of most transmitters leave you wanting more. Your iPhone can connect with your car's stereo in other manners, however.

FM Transmitters

A basic FM transmitter connects to your iPhone, usually by the dock connector. Either the device automatically scans for the FM station with the lowest activity to use, or you can manually set the station. You can then tune to that station on your car's radio to listen to content from your iPhone. Dozens of FM transmitters are available by companies such as iCandy, Griffin and Belkin. However, some transmitters are vulnerable to interference from other devices using the radio waves, leading to inconsistent performance and occasional dropouts.


An increasing amount of car stereos now come with Bluetooth functionality, and you might find this a better option. You can pair your iPhone with any Bluetooth-enabled device and use this to listen to music or calls from your car's speakers. If your car's radio is not compatible with Bluetooth technology, you can also buy Bluetooth receivers that plug into your car's auxiliary jack to provide Bluetooth functions. Some, like the AirCast Auto HandsFree from Belkin, also include a microphone to allow you to take calls. JVC and Panasonic also make Bluetooth adapters for your car, which don't suffer from interference that can plague FM transmitters.

USB Connector

Perhaps the most simple and effective way to enjoy music from your iPhone through your car's speakers is with a USB cable. With newer stereos that have USB ports, you may be able to use your regular dock cable between your iPhone and stereo. The CD-IU51V adapter from Pioneer uses an iPhone dock cable to both a USB connector and mini-plug, while others may require you to manually install wires. Regardless of the exact method, you do not have to rely on any radio waves, so interference will not be a problem. Cables can also charge your iPhone while in use.

Cassette Adapter

With so many new technologies, you might have forgotten about cassette adapters. However, they still exist, and you can use one to listen to music from your iPhone in your car. The adapter plugs into the audio jack on your phone, while the other end of the cord is attached to a cassette that you insert into your older radio. The wire can be fragile, so you should take care when handling the adapter.