Macally FM Cup


I am going to sound like a broken record when I say (yet again) that the
thing I enjoy most about iPod ownership is that so many accessories are custom
made to fit this digital music player. Granted, I bought my 4th generation model
right before the latest incarnation, the iPod Video was introduced, but there
are still plenty of accessory manufacturers making goodies that will fit my
particular iPod.

Today I am going to tell you about an iPod accessory that has quickly become
a personal favorite, the Macally
FM Cup. Sure, there
are plenty of other FM transmitters available for all of the various iPod
incarnations, but this is the one that meets all of my wants and does
what I need it to do flawlessly.

Available in black or white plastic to match all iPods, the Macally FM Cup measures approximately 3" tall x
3.25" deep. The FM Cup is made to
sit in a vehicle’s cup holder as it charges the iPod and transmits the iPod’s
audio over any FM setting between 88.1 and 107.9. The FM Cup is a true
all-in-one solution.

(Cue Introduction
from Richard Strauss’ Thus Spoke Zarathustra)

Included in the package are the FM Cup, the cigar lighter charging cable,
three docking inserts for various sized iPods, a 3.5mm Line-In cable and

The FM Cup came with the 4G dock in place, so getting set up was virtually
painless. In front of the dock are (from left to right) the On / Off switch, an
LCD which displays the transmitting frequency, Channel – and + buttons for
selecting a free FM channel, and a QS button which when pressed will change the
radio frequency from 88.1 to 94.1 to 100.1 and to 106.1.

The back of the FM cup has the Audio -In jack for using the included 3.5mm
Line-In jack with non-iPod audio devices, a sliding release for the
interchangeable docks and the plug for the power cord.

These are the other two included docks, which will accommodate other
generation and smaller sized iPods. 

So that the FM Cup will fit in virtually any cup holder, there are four
spring loaded grippy-sides.

The sides will contract or expand as needed.

Even with its GelaSkin installed, my iPod Photo fits in the dock perfectly.
The FM Cup is designed to accept the dock shipped with the iPod Video and the
iPod nano.

When plugged into a power source and turned On, the FM cup will charge the
connected iPod and transmit to whichever FM frequency is specified in the LCD.

Here is a shot of the Macally FM Cup in my ranch truck. It fits perfectly in
the cup holder, and the power port is conveniently located directly behind. The
green LED on the charging cable indicates that the truck’s power is on. The
removable charging cable is 17" long without stretching its coiled midsection.
The cable should reach from even the most oddly placed power point to a nearby
cup holder.

I really like the fact that the FM Cup provides a place to keep the iPod in
view, as well as a method for charging and transmitting. There really are no
caveats to this product – unless you don’t have a vehicle with a cup holder…

The Macally cup is reasonably priced, easy to operate, and it charges the
iPod while keeping it in a convenient and out-of-the-way place. It’s my favorite
iPod accessory so far. :0)


Product Information

  • A digital music player with a 3.5mm jack, but works best with iPod nano, iPod 5G, iPod Photo, iPod with color display, iPod 3G, iPod 4G, and iPod Mini
  • A power port
  • All in one solution
  • Works with all iPods
  • Will work with other audio devices
  • Charges and transmits
  • Provides a place to keep the player
  • None
Posted in: Audio, Video, TV
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Lowretta March 26, 2009, 2:58 pm

    I have found more highly rated reviews for this FM transmitter, however, because of the earlier release date I am wondering how it still compares to others, such as the Griffin iTrip, Belkin TuneBase, XtremeMac Incharge, and Digiana Audiax DGT-301? Or something else?

    (I have a Volvo V50 ’06 and plan to purchase a Nano 4th).

    Which do you think is the best now?

    • Julie March 26, 2009, 3:14 pm

      @Lowretta I still recommend the Digiana. Their FM transmitters seem to be better than most.

  • Lowretta March 30, 2009, 9:40 am

    Thanks for the recommendation Julie, but I have bad news. I had concerns about purchasing from Merconnet after reading many online complaints about their business practices, so I tried to contact them before completing my online purchase. After trying a bogus “toll-free number” I finally reached someone via chat. According “Lucia” at Merconnet although they continue to list this product as “in stock and ready to ship,” Digiana went out of business 6 months ago. This item is really not in stock but their system will let you place this item in your card and complete the purchase…then you have to try to get a refund or pick another product. This is bait and switch tactics…shame on them. I will be passing on my chat transcript to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority (BPCPA) of British Columbia.

    What is your 2nd recommendation of FM Transmitters? (:

  • Max August 12, 2010, 5:08 pm

    I’ve been having a very serious problem with my fmcup. It gives me the most annoying digital audio feedback ever. It’s like this loud, multi-frequency squealing that randomly shifts from high to low to high and is going whenever there is an iPod on the dock.
    I have a 3rd gen iPod touch, and it does it with my brother’s 1st gen iPod touch does it too. It started doing this a few months after I got it, and it’s been getting worse ever since.

  • Kody April 10, 2012, 7:58 pm

    I am looking for a good ipod transmitter for my 05 mustang, I want a good one without any distortion and give me a good sound quality, without and fuzzyness, help me out guys im 17 years old and need something quick i cant last any longer, 🙁

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