I bought the Belkin TuneBase a little while ago to allow hands free use of my iPhone whilst on the move and to play music. I had read some pretty good reviews and was impressed by the low price and the supposed compatibility with any vehicle.
9 months in, here are my thoughts.
The unit operates by broadcasting an FM signal and you tune your car radio to pick it up.
It is possible to get a fairly good reception, but it is necessary though to retune the device every now and again to ensure clear music. All iPods and iPhones work with the TuneBase and it is possible to plug other devices such as a Sat Nav into it to be charged. Additionally, you can connect the TuneBase to your car audio system via a 3.5 mm jack plug for an uninterrupted signal, which is much better.
The hands free system is good in respect of operation whilst driving, but quite poor when connected to a phone call. Operation is simple to skip track with a push of a single button at the bottom of the phone clip. The sound quality for phones call has quite a bit of echo for the other person on the phone, this is due to the conversation coming out of the cars speakers and causing a bit of feedback.
When using your iPhone as a Sat Nav, it is possible to continue listening to music, the volume is lowered when your Sat Nav friend lets you know about the upcoming action to be taken. It also charges your device ensuring a topped handset where ever you are going.
It is claimed that the TuneBase is compatible with any vehicle; I have not found this to be the case. The flexible arm can be quite obtrusive and can often foul to parts of the cars trim limiting it usage. In vehicles where the cigarette light come out of the dash at 90 degrees in it pretty much impossible to read the TuneBase’s LCD display whilst driving.
Overall I am quite happy with the TuneBase, it is well priced (from around £30), is compatible with a lot of vehicles and offers an iPhone solution to vehicles that might not warrant a full replacement of the audio system. The build quality is up to Belkin’s usual high standard and once set up right, is quite easy to use. As mentioned before it is compatible with pretty much any iPhone / iPod and therefore it would suggest it will be compatible with future version of Apples devices. But I would advise seeing where you 12v outlet is in your car first!