Back in September of ’04 I reviewed the Digiana AudiaX model DG101. The new, upgraded DGT-202 was recently released, and I decided to put them head-to-head to see what has changed, and if the changes were for the best or not.
The first difference you have to notice is the basic design. It is a little silver bullet-shaped device not much bigger than a cigarette lighter plug. It’s still tiny, but the LCD is bigger and more readable, and it has an overall much sleeker design and feels more solid than the previous version.
What’s In The Box?
The package contains the AudiaX itself with coiled cord ending in a 1/8″ plug, a AAA battery and a cigarette lighter power adapter.
How does it work?
It functions exactly the same as the previous version: There are up and down buttons on the front of the unit for selecting frequency and a power button between then. Just plug it in to your audio source — CD player, MP3 player, 8-track, whatever — and tune it and your radio to the same frequency. Then adjust the volume on your audio device so it doesn’t sound distorted through your radio.
To get the best quality, you have to find a spot on your dial that doesn’t have a signal, and that doesn’t have a signal on either side. While there are probably a decent number of usable places on your FM dial, you might notice that on some you’ll hear a high-pitched whine or lots of static. You just have to keep experimenting until you find one that works. The other factor affecting the quality of the sound is the distance of the unit from the receiver — the closer the better, of course.
How Does It Compare To Version 1?
If you look at my review of the previous model, you’ll see that I have three big gripes: Backlight, signal dropouts and lack of external power. I was quite pleased to learn that all three of these issues have been addressed.
Backlight: While the new model’s backlight isn’t perfect, it is still leaps and bounds beyond the old one. You can actually see the numbers in the dark. Part of it is the backlight, and part of it is the staggering difference between the LCDs. You can see a head-to-head comparison below:
Signal dropout: I couldn’t find any specs on the previous model to be able to tell if the transmitter is more powerful in the new one or not, but I noticed a whole lot fewer signal dropouts with it. I followed roughly the same route in the same car as when I performed the mobile test previously and was pretty pleased with the quality and strength the whole time. It was a whole lot more reliable, and the kids didn’t miss a second of Mulan II. If that sounds trivial, then you don’t have kids.
External power: Even though the battery life was really good on the old model, I hated the idea of forgetting to turn it off and burning through AAAs. This one comes with a cigarette lighter adapter, so you don’t even need to worry about batteries. You could also presumably use a 12-Volt wall wart if you planned on having this in your home or office full-time. That’s a very good feature.
What’s Good About It?
It is an improvement over the old model in all the important ways. Even if I hadn’t seen the previous one, I would still like the readability of the LCD. Oh, and it’s shiny. Shiny gadget good.
What’s Bad About It?
There’s really nothing lacking, considering what this thing is supposed to be doing. Station presets would be nice, but it’s easy enough to use the up/down buttons to get where you want.
If you’re someone who needs to connect a portable device to a stereo that doesn’t have a line-in, this will do the trick for you. It’s sensible and reliable and quite affordable compared to lots of the alternatives out there.
The Digiana AudiaX 2 FM Transmitter is available at Merconnet