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TuneBase FM – wireless transmitter lets you beam your music easily from phone to car [Review]

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Most of us nowadays keep or stream our favorite music tracks using our smartphones, which is great for carrying around, but it can be a bit of a hassle if you want to play it back easily through your car stereo system. Most modern cars come with fancy connections, but if you’re rocking an older vehicle it can be tricky. Which is where a decent FM transmitter system can help.

The TuneBase FM product is a wireless transmitter system which beams your music from your phone or tablet to your car stereo using the radio. Just tune your radio to the same frequency as the TuneBase box and you’re good to go. We took a look at the product to see how well it performs in the wild.

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First impression
The kit comes in a fairly standard plastic pack, which includes the main unit itself, which fits in the cigar lighter for power, a steering wheel remote control, an additional remote control, a line-in AUX cable and a small user guide. Nothing really fancy, but then again the price of the whole pack is not exactly fancy either. You get what you’d expect. The user guide is adequate (although a very tiny font, so get your reading glasses ready). See our video below for an overview of how it works.

In use
The first thing you need to do is plug the unit into your car power socket, and tune it to your radio, which takes a few seconds to do. After that you need to pair it with your phone via Bluetooth in order to get the cool hands-free stuff for phone calls and controlling the music playback. Again we found it to be very quick and easy, after which you’re set to go.

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Just go to the phone, select the music you want to play and thereafter you can control the playback either through the TuneBase unit itself, with the buttons on the unit, or using the remote control. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the steering wheel remote control – which works off infra-red – to work, which means we were limited to the little silver remote, but that worked fine.


The unit also lets you plug in an SD card to play music of podcasts wirelessly through the car radio, and you can use the line-in socket to plug in any other MP3 player or external audio source. There’s also a handy USB pass-through port on the bottom of the unit which lets you charge your phone while it’s beaming music, which is good for long journeys of course.

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The one sadness is the fact that the infra-red remote control for the steering wheel didn’t work at all. We’re not sure whether we did something wrong or it was just a defective review unit, but we didn’t get the chance to control playback from the wheel, which would have been neat.

The TuneBase FM transmitter is a neat way to beam audio from phone to car with no cable hassles. We found it to work well, although as with all these wireless solutions, you need to be cool with some amount of interference and noise affecting the sound. That’s just the way they are. If you’re not too fussy, then this is probably as good a solution as any, and we liked the ease of set up a lot. The main point is this is a good solution for not a lot of money, so for those on a budget, it’s definitely worth considering.

Price: $19.81 / £13.08

Bluetooth handsfree function, connects to most Bluetooth cellphones
– Flexible neck design
– Fashionable steering wheel remote control included
– FM Transmitter, frequency range: 88~108.0 MHz
– 1.5″ LCD display phone number when there is a call coming
– Bluetooth version: V2.1
– Frequency: 2.4GHz
– Features stereo Bluetooth hands-free
– Support USB / flash drive / SD/MMC card (max 8GB)
– Can play from CD or other MP3 sources
– Support MP3/WMA music formats
– Power-off memory
– Broadcast music stored up by the automobile through car stereo system
– Echo cancellation & noise suppression (CVC)
– Car cigarette lighter power supply (12~24V DC)
– Interfaces: USB + 3.5mm audio + SD
– Package included:
– 1 x MP3 player with car charger
– 1 x Steering wheel remote control (1xCR2025 included)
– 1 x Remote control (1xCR2025 included)
– 1 x 3.5mm male to male audio cable
– 1 x English/Chinese user manual

Dimensions: 3.07 in x 2.17 in x 0.98 in (7.8 cm x 5.5 cm x 2.5 cm)
Weight: 4.20 oz (119 g)


  • I’ve tried several similar devices. Most performed poorly, one did not work at all. Part of the challenge is that the radio antenna is outside the car, and the device is inside a mostly metal shield. I finally installed a FM modulator that was inserted into the actual antenna connection. Works very well, and sounds great.

    Bluetooth would definitely be nice, and if this works as well, avoiding a complicated install would have saved time and money.

    • Nice feedback, thanks. Unless I’m mistaken, a fair number of modern cars have the antenna in the windshield or above? That might make them better? This one seems to work fine though as to the interference and such.

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