Radios are a classic. Just like anything else that’s classified as “classic,” these are highly appreciated. The matter may differ, though, if we’re talking about the radios in cars. These days, cars are all about going techy, going digital, and being more blended with artificial intelligence.
But let’s face it, not everybody can afford the latest units, and not everybody wants them either. The struggle is real, however, when your smartphone meets your outdated car radio.
If your car has Bluetooth or auxiliary/USB input, then good for you. If not, there’s the FM modulator.
If your car has Bluetooth or auxiliary/USB input, then good for you. If not, there’s the FM modulator
The classics will always give you a unique vibe that modern cars can’t deliver. But this can also restrict you of a few features you may end up loving. If you still don’t have a wireless music connection via Bluetooth, then you’re completely missing out.
The good news is that there are modern solutions like the FM modulator we mentioned earlier that can make in-car entertainment more enjoyable for you. You won’t only be keeping up with the current tech. You’d also still get to keep your classic car!
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What are in-car FM modulators?
FM modulators for your car are like handy radio frequency modulators that are designed specifically for in-car use.
These modulators allow your external component to be compatible with home radios, TVs, and even vehicle head units. These can be bought both in physical and online stores that feature car electronics and accessories.
FM modulators for your car are like handy radio frequency modulators
How do these modulators work?
The RF modulators for home use work by adding video or audio signals to the carrier wave. These signals are processed by a head unit (or in some cases, a TV). It’s as if they’ve been received from an over-the-air (OTA) broadcast.
But if you have a piece of reasonably old equipment with you, you’ll find that FM modulators aren’t such a necessity when it comes to home setups.
The modern audio equipment of today is created from scratch with RCA, optical, HDMI as well as other connections. Since most vehicles are created with FM radios, this makes them an ideal partner for FM modulators.
The RF modulators for home use work by adding video or audio signals to the carrier wave
The broadcasting basics you need to know about
Television broadcasts and AM and FM radios work in the same way. If you’ve ever been on a television or a radio station and took a good look at the operation, there is a video or audio programming added to the carrier wave.
This is done either via frequency modulation (or FM) or amplitude modulation (AM).
The altered carrier signal is then broadcasted OTA towards every direction. When any of these carrier waves are picked up by your antenna, the signal will be demodulated by the hardware on your radio or TV.
Modulators were first developed to help the connection between analog sources as well as digital media players
This reconstructs the original signal that was received from your modulated carrier wave. This allows you to display it on TV or play it on the radio.
Modulators were first developed to help the connection between analog sources as well as digital media players. This greatly helped the TV sets that lacked A/V inputs.
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How to trick your tuner using an FM modulator
Radios are originally designed to catch signals that are released from a particular range that’s within an electromagnetic spectrum.
Once you tune your car radio to a particular channel, you are actually scanning the spectrum to find a broadcast on a particular frequency.
When in use, FM modulators use that in order to trick your unit to playing locally broadcasted signals instead.
You can still opt to tune your radio to a frequency you like
You can still opt to tune your radio to a frequency you like, but it refuses to find the closest radio stations. Instead, it will find the signal coming from your digital device that’s inserted by the FM modulator.
This is the same method that allows users to connect their DVD players, video game consoles, and Blu-ray players to TVs that don’t come with A/V inputs.
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FM transmitters and car FM modulators
You may have noticed how transmitters and FM modulators are more than in one way similar. But their key difference is in the way that the head units receive the signal. The FM transmitters in cars are usually low in power.
But they are capable enough to transmit between the few feet, which separates it from the car antenna. This weak signal, however, can be easily drowned out by stronger OTA broadcast signals.
This is also the reason why they work best when other frequencies have little to no reception at all.
Other possible problems are that FM modulators do still suffer interference problems
Other possible problems are that FM modulators do still suffer interference problems. Aside from that, it can hardly compete with the sound quality that an actual auxiliary port can provide. But they are still a good workaround if you happen to have a head unit with no auxiliary ports.
If you’re looking for a few suggestions on FM modulators, you’ll find plenty in leading online shops. You may also find new or used ones being sold by people in locations near you.
But if you’re not fond of risking your cash on used merchandise, here are some of our suggestions that can do just the trick:
Baseus Car Kit FM Transmitter
This kit from Baseus may not be the modulator you were looking for, but it can get the job done right for you. It can be plugged into your cigarette lighter socket and has everything you need for the modern-day.
It comes with Bluetooth 2.0 capability and 2 USB port chargers. It’s also supported by Qualcomm Quick Charge so you won’t only be listening to music, you also keep your phone charged.
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VICTSING Car FM Transmitter
This device provides the user with 4 different ways to play music. These are namely by Bluetooth, by TF card, by U Disk, and by Aux Input using the 3.5 mm audio cable.
This device provides the user with 4 different ways to play music
It has a great display where you can see the volume, FM frequency as well as the current car voltage. The buttons are also very easy to understand, and the controls are easy to use.
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