If you have an older vehicle, you probably envy some of the latest technology in new cars. Though you might not be able, or want, to buy a new car, you do have some options to upgrade your older vehicle. If making hands-free calls and streaming music from your phone are important to you, consider one of our picks for the best FM transmitters.
FM transmitters allow you to play your Bluetooth enabled mobile device audio through your vehicle speakers. The FM transmitter connects to your mobile device through Bluetooth, and then broadcasts the audio from your device over an unused FM frequency on your vehicle’s radio. Making calls and/or listening your favorite tunes and podcasts in your older car has never been so easy!
Unlike a CB radio, you can’t have two-way communication directly over an FM transmitter. You can, however, use the device to transmit sound from your phone for hands-free calling and navigation.
Picking The Best FM Transmitters
When choosing an FM transmitter, look for one with a strong, stable connection. You’ll need to find an unused FM station in your area in order to use your transmitter. Finding a frequency can be difficult depending on where you live. Usually one of the low or high frequencies will be unused, allowing you clean clear audio through an FM transmitter.
Another thing to consider is the compatibility of the FM transmitter. Most cars are compatible with most FM transmitters, however, there are a few exceptions. Be sure you do the research to make sure the FM transmitter is compatible with your car and your phone.
Sound quality is also really important. The best FM transmitters come with noise-canceling technology. Some also come with anti-interference technology to help block out static from the radio.
Finally, make sure the FM transmitter you choose is user-friendly and easy to set up. Most plug directly into your car’s cigarette lighter. Be sure to purchase a transmitter that fits in your car’s space.
The VicTsing Bluetooth FM Transmitter comes with a 1.8-inch color screen and is the updated version of VicTsing’s popular FM transmitter. This transmitter gets additional features like electrical protection against short circuits, over-voltage, over-current, overheating, and overcharge.
It has CVC noise cancellation technology for improved sound quality. And you can play music from U Disk, TF Card, Bluetooth, or an auxiliary port. It also has 5 EQ modes — classical, pop, rock, jazz, and normal — that you can select when you plug in the U disk or TF card.
This FM transmitter features three USB ports. Two of them have quick charge capabilities, and you can play music from the third from a USB flash drive. And it comes with auto station search. Simply plug the transmitter in and press the CH/A button twice, and it will find an unused station for you. All of these features make this the optimal FM transmitter for drivers wanting all the bells and whistles.
The VicTing is one of the best FM transmitters, in terms of features, quality, and value.
Quick charge capabilities
1.8″ LCD screen
3 USB ports—can charge two devices while listening to music through U-disk port
The Anker Roav T2 Bluetooth FM Transmitter is a dependable transmitter compatible with most cars and phones. This transmitter has automatic tuning to quickly and easily connect to an unused FM channel. The noise-cancellation technology and high-performance microphone ensure you can take calls and enjoy music without interruption.
This Anker transmitter has high-speed charging to almost any mobile device. It can charge a phone up to 2.5 times faster than a stock 5W charger. It is easy to use, and the Bluetooth 5.0 will automatically connect to the last paired device.
The Anker Roav T2 is one of the very best FM transmitters you can buy.
The LIHAN Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter is a great upgrade for older cars. This transmitter can play music from three different sources — Bluetooth, USB drive, or TF card — and it supports several different music file types. The transmitter will automatically connect to your phone once you’ve connected it once or twice. It has anti-interference and CVC noise cancellation technology for clear sound.
It has dual USB ports so you can either charge multiple devices or charge a device while also listening to music. The 3.1A port is designed for rapid-charging. The 1.0A port can charge your device and also read a USB flash drive. The built-in microphone enables easy hands-free driving. And when you first turn on your car, the transmitter will show your car battery voltage for three seconds on the LED display. The LIHAN Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter is a great way to upgrade your car without breaking the bank.
Bluetooth, USB drive, and TF card compatible
Supports MP3/WMA/APE/FLAC/WAV format music
Tells you the voltage level of the car battery on startup
Anti-interference and noise cancellation technology
The Nulaxy Bluetooth Car FM Transmitter is a small transmitter that packs a powerful punch. It is compatible with most devices and has advanced noise reduction technology to ensure you enjoy quality sound. This transmitter has a large screen that allows you to see phone calls, music, and even your car’s battery voltage.
It has a USB port so you can charge your phone while still listening to music. This FM transmitter has large buttons and an LCD screen for added safety while driving. It is compatible with Bluetooth, TF card, or aux cord. You can easily answer all your phone calls with the touch of a button.
The IMDEN Bluetooth FM Transmitter is one of the fastest charging transmitters on the market. It comes with 2 USB ports that you can use either to charge your phone or to play music from a USB flash drive. The transmitter has a high-performance microphone for easy and clear hands-free phone calls. And it also has noise suppression technology and echo cancellation for superior sound quality.
It comes with smart voice navigation for hands-free driving. Additional safety features include built-in over-current protection, over-voltage protection, intelligent temperature control, and short circuit protection. The IMDEN FM Transmitter is ideal for anyone that wants to upgrade their car with hands-free calling and streaming music.
QC 3.0 speedy charge port
2 USB ports for charging more than one device
Bluetooth and USB compatible
Buttons/controls can be hard to reach when plugged in
Small display is difficult to read
6. Anker Roav SmartCharge F0 Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The Anker Roav SmartCharge F0 Bluetooth FM Transmitter streams music straight from your phone via Bluetooth. The transmitter’s static and echo cancellation give you clear sound and high audio quality. It also comes with a user manual and a 12-month warranty, so you shouldn’t have to worry about any issues.
This transmitter has Bluetooth 4.2, which gives you better hands-free calling due to the stable Bluetooth connection and clear audio. The transmitter also has two USB charging ports for dual high-speed charging, though Qualcomm quick charge is not supported. This way both you and your passenger can charge your device on the go. This is a good FM transmitter for drivers looking for superior sound quality in a compact transmitter.
Two rapid-charging USB ports
Static-cancellation and echo-cancellation technology
The VicTsing V5.0 Bluetooth FM Transmitter is small transmitter with a lot of power. It comes with an advanced Bluetooth V5.0 chip for a fast, stable connection. This transmitter has a compact design and fits in almost all cars and trucks. The transmitter has a high-performance microphone, and you can use voice commands through your phone’s assistant.
This VicTsing transmitter has two USB ports. One port charges up to four times faster than a standard charger, while the other can be used as a U disk port to play music from a USB drive. The second USB port can also be used as a standard charger. It also comes with noise suppression technology for clear audio quality. This VicTsing transmitter is a versatile option for a driver wanting a slight upgrade from a basic FM transmitter.
Compatible with most vehicles
Supports voice commands using Siri or Google Assistant
The AINOPE FM Transmitter Bluetooth for Car has Bluetooth 5.0 technology which allows you to connect two times faster with a more stable connection for full stereo sound. And you can enjoy clear, hands-free calls thanks to the built-in microphone and noise suppression technology. You can play music via U disk, TF Card, or Bluetooth. This transmitter also supports five different music file types.
The AINOPE transmitter also has QC efficient charging. The most unique thing about this FM transmitter is the seven-colored LED strip. You can choose from the different colors for a fun, customizable display. It also comes with a voltmeter so you can monitor the status of your battery and an included extra-durable USB C-C cable for added convenience.
The IMDEN Bluetooth 5.0 FM Transmitter has three USB ports. You can use it to quickly charge two devices simultaneously while listening to music from a USB flash drive on the third port. The transmitter features a high-performance microphone with noise suppression technology for crystal-clear sound. The transmitter even has a bass sound enhancement feature so you can adjust the bass depending on what type of music you are listening to.
The hands-free technology seamlessly switches between incoming calls and music, helping you drive safely and distraction-free. You can also use voice navigation from your phone. You can play music using either a USB flash drive or a Bluetooth connection. The transmitter also has several safety features including built-in over-current protection, over-voltage protection, intelligent temperature control, and short circuit protection.
The ZEEPORTE Bluetooth FM Transmitter has a lot of high-tech features. It has incoming call announcements, the ability to fast-forward and rewind, three USB ports, five EQ music play modes, four ways to listen to music, and quick charging abilities. It has a 1.8-inch color LCD screen that shows your phone calls, music, and car battery voltage. The neck of the device is flexible and can be moved easily, allowing you to position the device where you want it.
You can listen to music via Bluetooth, TF card, U disk, or auxiliary input. The transmitter supports two different file formats—MP3 or WAM—through U disk or TF card. The three different USB ports let you charge two devices while still listening to music. When you are listening through the USB drive or TF card, you can change the five EQ music play modes. The ZEEPORTE Bluetooth FM Transmitter is a nifty transmitter that has a lot of top of the line features.
1.8-inch color LCD screen
360-degree swivel metal neck
5 EQ modes
Bluetooth, TF card, U disk, and aux input compatible
Quick select and auto-scan features
Has power-off function
Hands-free calling can be finicky
The large screen can be distracting at night
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I change the frequency of my FM transmitter?
This depends on the FM transmitter, but usually, there is a button or nob on the transmitter for you to change the frequency. You will want to make sure that your radio and the FM transmitter are on the same frequency. Some FM transmitters have an auto-scan feature to help find an unused frequency. Refer to your user manual to see how to change the frequency on your particular device.
Do you need the radio for an FM transmitter to work?
Yes, you will need a radio. The way an FM transmitter works is by transmitting through an unused FM radiofrequency. When you plug it in, the transmitter broadcasts over an unused FM frequency so you can play on from your Bluetooth enabled mobile device on that frequency.
What is the least used FM frequency?
The lowest and least-used FM frequency is 87.8. However, most car radios can’t go lower than 88.1. If you are looking for an unused FM frequency, most unused frequencies can be found in the low or high end of the FM range of your radio. These tend to be the best FM frequencies to use with your FM transmitter.
Haley is a writer, reader, and life long learner. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In her free time, you can find her reading the latest book, discovering new hobbies, or running in the desert.