iTrip PSP Full Review
-By Chris Glass-
-Always tuned in.-
-Posted 11/17/2006-

iTrip PSP
From: Griffin Technology
MSRP: $49.99
Available: Now
For: PSP

In a delicious wrapper.
It is hard to not draw parallels between the iPod and the PSP. Both are flashy media gadgets that people care about. The most popular iPod accessory is easily the iTrip, an FM broadcaster for the iPod that allows you to use it in any radio equipped vehicle. It's sleek design and ease of use made it far superior to the other FM competitors.

Now Griffin Technology has introduced an iTrip for the PSP. I was excited to try this out, imagining the possibilities of it. However, Griffin needed to make a few sacrifices to make the device. Because the PSP is infamous for a low battery life, Griffin chose to do two things to compensate. First, they made the iTrip self powered. Second, they reduced the broadcasting strength.
The change to disposable batteries is a bit disheartening, but I quickly learned to live with it. It runs off of 2 AAAs that go inside the main shaft of the device, and a set is included inside the package. They have lasted for hours and hours, which is something that pleasantly surprised me.

But the other change may have something to do with that.
To make the batteries last as long as possible, the signal strength has been reduced compared to the iPod iTrip. I compared it against 3 FM radios.

My computer has a capture card with an FM radio included.
The iTrip PSP struggled to get reception there. I finally managed to find a comfortable spot to listen, but it also required me to switch to DX Mode. (Monaural broadcast, doubles the strength/quality, but loses the stereo effect.)

I next tried it on my stereo system near my tv. For that to work I had to drag the loose antennae near the beanbag. Even then, I could not get rid of a low humming noise.

Finally, I went to where the iTrip was intended for, the car.
Inside it worked. LX and DX mode both were crystal clear. I could not distort the signal and the music surrounded me. I stayed far longer than I should have inside a parked car playing on a handheld, but the experience was a bit euphoric. Having it work there more than made up for the other issues.

So we know it works, but what about the design?


Like the iPod iTrip, the iTrip PSP was designed to
seamlessly integrate with the host device. The iTrip is almost perfect. It snaps onto the bottom, into the headphone and AC ports, allowing pass-throughs for both. (You can charge the PSP with the cable, but not the iTrip, sadly.) Griffin even saw fit to include a soft case that fits the PSP with the iTrip equipped. There is a minute wiggle to the iTrip when plugged in, but not enough to bother, even when in a heated race in Burnout Legends.

Is it worth the money?
(MSRP: $49.99) If you are going to be using a PSP in a vehicle, especially watching movies with your friends, then this is a must have. But if you don't travel a lot, it is hard to justify a purchase.

In a delicious wrapper.
What comes in the box!

+ Simple use
+ Great design
+ Includes batteries and softcase
+ Great in vehicles
- Battery powered
- Lower signal strength

Final score:
(The lower strength made it hard to justify non-travelling use. But in-car, it sounds beautiful.)

-Chris Glass

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