DLO's well-designed TransPod for iPod Shuffle
DLO's $60 TransPod for the iPod Shuffle is a one-piece device that you plug directly into a car lighter adapter. The adjustable head unit measures about 2 by 1.5 by 1.5 inches and features a blue-backlit LCD. Plug a Shuffle into the USB port, and like a monolith, it stands straight up for easy access, which is further simplified, thanks to the Shuffle's simple big-button design. The TransPod can transmit on any frequency from 87.9 to 107.9 (in increments of 0.1), and the big buttons on either side make it easy to adjust channels while you're driving. You can also save four presets, then shuttle through them by holding both buttons simultaneously.
Typically, we have problems with any FM transmitter that's designed for a single family of devices (see the dock-connector iPod-only). DLO's TransPod for the iPod Shuffle seems one-dimensional as well, with its Shuffle-friendly USB-port design. But you'll find an audio line input and even a line output for cassette adapters and the like on the bottom of the device. Signal strength, even in San Francisco, was not a huge issue. At the 88.1 frequency, we usually had a static-free experience. Sound, though, ranks on the lower side, with lackluster bass and typically AM-like quality, but that's par for the course for most FM transmitters. Still, we love the fact that unit charges the Shuffle--which has a tendency to die when you most need it--and any other device that draws power over USB.