The 6 Best iPhone FM Transmitters for Your Car in 2021

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The Rundown
Works with virtually any Bluetooth-enabled device, from your tablet to your smartphone.
Offering both 12v and 24v charging for both you and a passenger.
Most Adjustable:
Sumind BT70B at Amazon
A sturdy, 270-degree gooseneck will hold tight in the orientation you set.
Works with all devices that have a 3.5mm headphone jack.
This minimalist FM transmitter from Criacr provides a quick and simple way to link your phone to your car's audio system.

Our collection of the best iPhone FM Transmitters can help fill the awkward silence in any car, old or new. Streaming music from your phone via Bluetooth is a fairly common feature in modern cars, but it wasn't always that way. Thankfully, any car, used or new comes equipped with an AM/FM radio enabling it to pick up signals broadcast on specific frequencies. This is effectively what makes any FM radio transmitter tick, letting you select an unused frequency on the FM band to use for audio transmission via a Bluetooth or wired connection. Set your FM radio to your selected frequency and you're ready to rock.

Beyond just providing you with a seamless way to stream music in your car, many of our top picks like the Nulaxy or Aphaca Transmitters at Amazon provide you with additional USB charging ports to keep your various devices topped off. If you're looking for more ways to round out your car's audio, our guide to automotive audio basics can point you in the right direction before investing in one of the best iPhone FM transmitters.

Best Overall: Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio

Nulaxy Bluetooth Car FM Transmitter
What we Like
  • Very affordable

What we don't like
  • Signal clarity could be better

The Nuxlay works with virtually any Bluetooth-enabled device, from your tablet to your smartphone. The device goes the extra mile with its included 5V-2.1A charging port, auxiliary port and even built-in microphone so you can take incoming calls with a breeze.

Users love the overall power and setup of the Nuxaly, with the most complaints coming from the rare occurrence of a pairing issue.

Built-in Display: Yes | USB Ports: 1 | USB Audio Playback: MP3 | Operating Voltage: 12V-24V

"The Nulaxy Bluetooth Car FM Transmitter is one of the most popular FM transmitters on the market."Benjamin Zeman, Product Tester

Best for Dual Charging: LIHAN LHFM1039 Handsfree Call Car Charger Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Receiver

LIHAN LHFM1039 Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter
What we like
  • Compact size

  • Dual USB charging ports

  • Hands-free calling

What we don't like
  • Slow charging

  • Difficult viewing angle

Want a functional Bluetooth FM Transmitter that comes with two USB charging inputs? LIHAN makes a no-nonsense device that gets straight to the point.

The Hands Free Bluetooth Transmitter by LIHAN features a 3.1A and 1A input offering both 12v and 24v charging for both you and a passenger. This means that your mobile devices can be charged in a jiffy all while listening to your favorite music. Its wireless Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity also offers low power consumption with a 5 percent loss of battery to your device each hour. Like many transmitters on the list, it includes a microphone for hands-free calling.

This product has been praised for its ease of use and adaptability. More critical reviews noted that the connectivity could sometimes be an issue.

Built-in Display: No | USB Ports: 2 | USB Audio Playback: MP3, WMA | Operating Voltage: 12V-24V

"The LIHAN Bluetooth FM Transmitter is a Bluetooth module for the 12V power outlet in your car that comes in a small package."Benjamin Zeman, Product Tester

Most Adjustable: Sumind BT70B Bluetooth FM Transmitter

Sumind BT70 Bluetooth FM Transmitter
What we like
  • Quick charge and standard USB-A ports

  • Large display and buttons

  • Clear audio

What we don't like
  • AUX input doesn't always work

  • Difficult viewing angle for display

  • Gooseneck cable is difficult to adjust

FM transmitters have come a really long way. With Bluetooth capabilities popping up on most cars, manufacturers of old-school-style FM transmitters have to do a lot to differentiate. One of the big issues is the placement of the transmitter itself; so many cars have the cigarette lighter buried under the console or point off at an angle. The Sumind Bluetooth FM Transmitter gives you the versatility to change the angle of the screen with a sturdy, 270-degree gooseneck that will hold tight in the orientation you set. But that’s not where the features end.

There are two USB output ports for charging phones, including a 2.0 smart port and a 3.0 Quick Charge port. There’s a super-bright 1.7-inch LCD screen that shows song and phone info but will also display the car battery level. There are three means of connecting audio here, too: your phone’s Bluetooth connection, a standard aux cable, and even the capability to read a microSD card. Unlike some of the lower end transmitters, it supports more lossless audio than MP3 including FLAC, and with support for A2DP and headset protocol, it’s the perfect phone accessory for cars that are lacking some modern AV.

Built-in Display: Yes | USB Ports: 2 | USB Audio Playback: MP3, WMA | Operating Voltage: 12V-24V

"The BT70B has good noise- and interference-reduction technology and it’s evident in the high-quality audio."Benjamin Zeman, Product Tester

Best Budget: JETech Wireless FM Transmitter Radio Car Kit

What we like
  • Sleek design

  • Low price

  • Simple interface

What we don't like
  • Lacks multiple USB ports

  • No way to play audio files through USB

When it comes to FM transmitters, there’s not a huge price difference between the top-of-the-line and the budget. In fact, it might only come down to a few dollars. But the JETech Wireless transmitter will save you a few bucks while still getting its job done. To use it, simply connect your device via its 3.5mm headphone jack, set it to a random FM channel and tune your radio to that channel. (Remember that it won’t work with newer iPhones that don't have headphone jacks.)

The transmitter has an easy-to-read display with intuitive buttons for adjusting frequency. It also comes with an extra USB port, so you can charge devices while driving. For best performance, we recommend using lower channels in the 80s and 90s.

Built-in Display: No | USB Ports: 1 | USB Audio Playback: N/A | Operating Voltage: 12V-24V

Best Lighting: Criacr V5.0 Bluetooth FM Transmitter

What we like
  • Durable and compact

  • Fast pairing

  • Multiple charging ports

What we don't like
  • Mic isn't great

  • Limited controls

This minimalist FM transmitter from Criacr provides a quick and simple way to link your phone to your car's audio system. Besides allowing you to pair with a variety of devices via Bluetooth, this transmitter also features the ability to play music from a 32GB flash drive or microSD card.

The Criacr FM transmitter also features a pair of USB charging ports to keep all your devices topped off, as well as a trio of multi-function buttons for hands-free calling and music controls. Perhaps the coolest feature, however, is the built-in LED lighting strip that can bet set to six available colors or cycle through them to provide some necessary flair to your car.

Built-in Display: No | USB Ports: 2 | USB Audio Playback: MP3, WMA | Operating Voltage: 12V-24V

Final Verdict

Without a doubt, our top pick for the best FM transmitter you can buy is the Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio (view at Amazon). A full-screen LED display, quickly turns your car into something reminiscent of The Jetsons. A quartet of multi-function buttons allow for quick and easy control, and the articulating armature ensures that the Nulaxy is always within arms reach.

FAQs

Does the iPhone 12 have an FM transmitter?
The iPhone 12 does not have an FM transmitter, most phones tend not to have this feature built-in and none of the iPhone models have ever had an FM receiver. That said, there are internet radio apps that you can use for the iPhone 12, but you won't be able to listen to actual live radio station broadcasts without using one of the transmitters on this roundup.

How to connect the FM transmitter to your iPhone?
An FM transmitter for the iPhone works by transmitting audio from FM frequencies to your phone. Most FM transmitters are Bluetooth-enabled. All you need to do is plug the transmitter into your car socket, pair your device, and you can start listening to radio wherever you are. With most phones starting to get rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack, you're not as likely to find wired FM transmitter solutions anymore.

Is there an FM transmitter app for iPhones?
There are FM transmitter apps for the iPhone like ClearFM. It lets you listen through the radio over your iPhone or iPod, giving you a list of music stations that are the clearest for your FM transmitter. That said, you will still need an FM transmitter since the app alone won't be enough.

What to Look for in an iPhone FM Transmitter

Display

The most basic transmitters don’t have displays, but units with screens are easier to set up and use. Some even have caller ID or can show other important information when connected to your iPhone.

Connectivity

FM transmitters use audio jacks, USB, and Bluetooth to connect to phones. If you have a newer iPhone that doesn’t have an audio jack, make sure to get a transmitter that has a USB port or Bluetooth that’s compatible with your phone.

Hands-free calling

If you go with a Bluetooth transmitter that has a hands-free mode, you’ll be able to make and receive calls without taking your hands off the wheel. Transmitters with this feature are also capable of muting or pausing your music during a call and starting it back up again when you’re done.

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