The lovely Mrs. Cheapskate has a smartphone, but her minivan lacks a stereo input jack. Thus, there's no easy way for her to listen to her playlists, podcasts, Pandora stations, and the like.
A new breed of FM transmitters promises to solve that problem. Like this one: Today only, 1SaleADay has the Livio LVC02A Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit for $29.99, plus $4.99 for shipping. It's new, not refurbished, and it sells elsewhere (like on Amazon) for at least $76.
Update: Sadly, but unsurprisingly, this is now sold out.
Update No. 2: Back in stock!
The gadget plugs into your car's cigarette lighter and pairs via Bluetooth with your smartphone or tablet -- though it also has an aux-in jack for devices that lack Bluetooth. Then it broadcasts your audio (music, Audible, NPR, or whatever) to an unused FM frequency on your car stereo, which it automatically scans to find.
In addition, the LVC02A includes a noise-canceling microphone for hands-free calling, with the other party's voice coming through your car's speakers -- a huge improvement over your handset's own speakerphone and mic. It has a USB charging port so you can keep your phone topped off, and there's even an aux output you can connect to your car's aux input (if it has one) for a Bluetooth-without-FM setup.
Livio also offers a free companion app that provides access to tens of thousands of Internet radio stations and beams artist/title information to car radios that support RDS. Cleverly, that app can launch automatically when you start your car.
In short, this is a pretty feature-packed solution for bridging the gap between your phone and your car stereo, one that offers plug-and-play simplicity. All for 30 bucks.
By the way, I've never been a fan of FM transmitters, which tend to have insufficient output strength to override ambient FM signals, but products like this one and the GoGroove FlexSmart X2 (which I own) seem to work a lot better. Worth a try!
Bonus deal: Alkaline batteries? How 20th century. Rechargeables are the only way to go, especially when they're this cheap: Today only, and while supplies last, Woot Tech has a 12-pack of Duracell AAA rechargeable batteries for $14.99, plus $5 for shipping. The average four-pack sells for around $17, so this is a deal indeed.
Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.
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