Griffin RocketFM Review

By Dave

The Griffin RocketFM is a small USB device that allows you to transmit audio from your PC to a nearby stereo system. When I first thought about the concept, I was all excited. I could use my stereo as a second set of speakers to play my music, as my current speaker setup on the computer is pretty pathetic. I have a pair of Labtec speakers I bought from Staples: Business Depot for like $15.

So I set up the RocketFM, and got it working. The software installation was very simple, and it worked very easily. The software included with the RocketFM allows you to tell the device which FM frequency to transmit the sound on. The whole device lights up when you plug it in and its active. The blue light is a little annoying, but I am sure many will find it cool. A little green LED would have been enough to let me know it was working.

I turned on Windows Media Player and started messing around. The sound quality on my stereo was quite good, but I noticed my speakers on my PC were not working though. I read the instructions and whatnot and realized I can only set one audio output device in Windows. (Anyone know of a way around this?) If you mess around with the sound on your computer or stereo, you can get some fairly annoying distortion noises, but it does not take long to iron out that little wrinkle. The Griffin RocketFM can transmit in stereo or mono, though I can’t really think of why you would want to transmit it in mono.

To change what FM frequency you are transmitting on, you have to open the software, as there are no external controls on the device.

Why would someone want the Griffin RocketFM? Well, it is probably the easiest way to hook up your computer to a stereo, so if you have a really great stereo, with powerful speakers, listening to movies, or music via those speakers could be much nicer than listening to it through your computer speakers. Also, if you are travelling, it is much easier to pack the RocketFM with my laptop and transmit to any radio or stereo available where I am going, than pack up a set of speakers. It is even smaller than most of the compact folding headphones that I have seen, if you ditch the stand.

Specifications:
Compact Size: 4.2� (107.5mm) x 1.2� (31.6mm)
Built-in antenna
Power Requirement: powered USB port, 100mA (low-power)
Modulation: FM Stereo
Frequencies: 87.5 – 107.9 MHz
High stability crystal oscillator, phase-lock loop control
Stereo separation: greater than 45 dB
Signal distortion: less than .5%
Frequency response: 50 Hz to 15 kHz
Operating range: 10-30 feet
FCC compliant
Cable Length: 3â?? (0.9m)

You can purchase the RocketFM from Griffin for $39.99.

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