The Good The Gogroove Smartmini BT exceeded my expectations for FM transmitter clarity when tested via San Francisco's crowded airwaves. A powered USB port keeps devices charged, and 3.5mm input and output connections give users more options.
The Bad Sound quality of calls and music is limited by the relatively poor FM band connection. Microphone quality is highly dependent on the placement of the host car's power point.
The Bottom Line The Gogroove Smartmini BT is a multifunction audio bridge and hands-free calling device that performs only one of those functions particularly well: FM transmission.
Wireless receiver connects new phones to old cars
I know what you're thinking, because I'm thinking it too. "It's 2013 -- are FM transmitters even still relevant?"
Well, yes...kind of. Cars have a much longer shelf life than your average consumer electronic product, so there are still thousands of cars on the road that lack the 3.5mm analog auxiliary input or Bluetooth wireless connection that we here at Car Tech have come to know as ubiquitous. For drivers of these cars, the only way to get their increasingly digital music library on the road is to either replace their car stereo or pick up an inexpensive FM transmitter like the Gogroove Smartmini BT.
In design, the Smartmini is similar to the that we've reviewed previously. It uses a similar control scheme consisting of a control knob that can be twisted and pressed like a button. Around this controller are buttons for Play/Pause, Skip Forward, and Skip Backward. To the right of the knob is a simple red LED display for readouts, on either side of which you'll find a phone button, one red, one blue, which we'll address in a bit.