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Griffin Technology iTrip PSP review: Griffin Technology iTrip PSP

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MSRP: $49.99

The Good The Griffin iTrip PSP transmits sound from your PSP to any audio system with an FM radio. The iTrip matches the PSP perfectly, yet doesn't add much bulk or hurt ergonomics for gaming. In addition, the transmitter automatically turns off after two minutes if the PSP isn't emitting any sound.

The Bad The iTrip PSP isn't immune to static, and it needs its own batteries.

The Bottom Line If you want to bulk up the sound of your PSP without running cables to your stereo or a set of powered speakers, Griffin's iTrip for PSP is a nice--though slightly pricey--solution.

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6.9 Overall

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Griffin Technology has been making wireless FM transmitters for the iPod for the last few years. Now the same type of product is available for Sony's PSP in the form of an accessory called the iTrip PSP ($49.99) that clips onto the bottom of your portable gaming rig. The general concept behind the iTrip is that it lets you wirelessly stream audio from your PSP to a decent audio system--even your car's--thereby improving your audio experience whether you're playing games, listening to music, or watching movies. (Griffin also makes the iFM PSP, but that's simply an FM radio that doubles as an in-line remote for your PSP.)

The iTrip takes two included AAA batteries. It easily snaps onto your PSP and replicates the headphone and AC-power jacks on the bottom of the unit. Griffin says you can get a minimum of 8 hours of streaming from two AAAs. That isn't terrific, so it's probably a good idea to get a set of rechargeables, although they won't recharge in the iTrip, even if you have the PSP power adapter attached.

Once connected, the iTrip fits with your PSP snugly and simply ends up looking like an extension of the device. To stream wirelessly, you need to pick an open FM frequency; you can toggle through three presets for optimal reception and switch between LX (stereo) and DX (mono) to fine-tune the connection. It's important to note that you're more likely to get a "quieter" connection when you go with mono sound because it's less susceptible to static.

We tried the iTrip with several audio systems and got mostly positive results. We had the best luck connecting to FM radios with digital tuners, since their numeric displays made it easier to match frequency numbers (87.9, for example). That said, we dialed in a reasonable signal with the Tivoli Audio iPAL, which has an analog tuner.

If you can tap into a set of good speakers, such as the pair of NHT ST-4 towers we used in one test, you'll be hit with decent and fairly big sound. We watched Spider-Man 2 and played several games, and as one might expect, the sound was far superior to the output from the PSP's tiny built-in speakers. We suspect that some people will use the iTrip with smaller audio systems, such as the iPAL, a boombox, or a minisystem, but even those speakers should be better than the PSP's built-in speakers. Of course, because it uses an analog radio transmission, the iTrip isn't immune to static or hissing noises, and depending on your movements and where you're standing, you'll most likely experience some interference from time to time. But overall, if you're looking for an easy and relatively affordable way to stream audio to a home or car stereo, the Griffin iTrip is a good solution.

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