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Laptop speakers not loud enough. What can I do?
zeke
I cannot hear the voice prompts while driving. Very aggravating. I have the volume on full, unless I am missing something. I hooked up a pair of mini external speakers. I could hear but I have speakers, wires and netbook were cumbersome in the vehicle, as you can imagine. Not the answer. Any suggestions? Does anyone else have this problem?

Thanks in advance

Zeke
tcassidy
This is a common problem with laptops.
Several choices come to mind:
1. An external 12v amplifier and speaker
2. If you have an input jack on you car radio, run a wire to that
3. Use a small FM transmitter and receive the signal on your FM car radio
4. Headphones

Terry
Marvin Hlavac
Often Streets & Trips users say the program is not loud enough. Once I actually did a side-by-side comparison of DeLorme Street Atlas and Microsoft Streets & Trips. SA is so much louder than S&T. Other programs seem to be louder than S&T, too.

The above aside, Terry has very good suggestions.

There are also differences between laptops. Some are louder than others.

Recently at least two different manufacturers announced netbooks which will include an FM transmitter, so users will be easily able to wirelessly connect them to the speaker system of their cars or trucks.
zeke
Thanks Terry & Marvin,
I appreciate the suggestions on my audio problem.I do have a good set of headphones so I will probably resort to that {Terry's suggestion 4} as I don't have an input jack on my vehicles's radio.
I wish my netbook included an FM transmitter.
I was interested in Terry's suggestion about using a small external FM transmitter.How,exactly would that work?I know nothing about this stuff.
Also,Marvin,which netbooks include an FM transmitter?
Thanks again guys

zeke
tcassidy
The choice of the term headphone was probably inappropriate. Using ones that could block out other sounds could be dangerous, and possibly illegal. Since you only need to hear a direction every once in a while, a single earpiece might be a better choice.

There are a variety of small 12v or battery powered FM transmitters available these days due to the popularity of mp3 devices. I have several including one from Canadian Tire built into a light duty invertor.

Generally you plug the laptop sound output into the transmitter, set the frequency to something unused in your location and tune your car radio to the same frequency. If you are in a large city, it might be difficult to find an unused frequency. Also, as you move from one location to another, you may have to change the frequency as other stations appear on your FM band.

Terry
Ken in Regina
Hi Zeke,

I bought a Belkin similar to this one. It will run on batteries and it also comes with a 12V adapter to plug it into the car.

...ken...
Marvin Hlavac
...which netbooks include an FM transmitter?
There were two announced recently. One is going to be Asus EeePC T91, a 12" touch-screen, built-in GPS receiver, TV tuner, and an FM transmitter.

The second one might have been a Dell mini laptop, but I don't recall exactly.
Gordon Kerr
Another way - Belkin makes tape deck adapter with a jack that goes into your laptop/MP3 etc. If you have a MACHO stereo in your vehicle, hang onto your shorts because this baby really works! MP3 FM digital sound is phenomenal.
Gordon Kerr
Musta hit the wrong button!
If you play a DVD movie on your laptop and plug this puppy in your Macho stero - Presto - Theatre Sound Surround ! Cost of cassette adapter - $19.95 @ WallMart.
Cost of FM adapter - $68 to $99. Your choice!
Gordon Kerr
On further thought:

If your vehicle has an input jack you will need a cable/cord with jacks on both ends- one for laptop and one for vehicle - Now there's something to source out.

Let's call it a JackJack!
Ken in Regina
Musta hit the wrong button!
If you play a DVD movie on your laptop and plug this puppy in your Macho stero - Presto - Theatre Sound Surround ! Cost of cassette adapter - $19.95 @ WallMart.
Cost of FM adapter - $68 to $99. Your choice!
I had one of those cassette adapters. On a long trip the clicking drove me crazy after a few hours, so I tossed it in the trash at the next fuel stop. That was a few years ago so maybe they've figured out a way to stop that clicking as the capstan in the tape deck spins.

Of course my vehicle now has a CD player in it so a cassette adapter wouldn't work anyway. The Belkin FM unit I have now was Cdn$32 and does a nice job.

The problem with either of these is that you can't listen to the radio. That's okay if you would rather listen to MP3s off the computer, but if you really want to listen to the radio you're out of luck.

...ken...
tcassidy
And the problem with listening to audio files is they don't pause when the GPS program has information. So you might not hear it anyway. I'm sure there is a way around that but haven't found it yet.

Terry
Gordon Kerr
Okay

Now what about a Jack/Jack ?
Marvin Hlavac
And the problem with listening to audio files is they don't pause when the GPS program has information. So you might not hear it anyway. I'm sure there is a way around that but haven't found it yet.
There is a software solution for this, I just don't remember the name of the program. I came across it a couple of years ago. People in CarPC communities use it to automatically mute MP3 player(s) while navigation software is giving voice directions prompts.
Mandolin Guy
The earphone idea is best, in my opinion. You don't need to spend the big bucks. Get a small in-the-ear earphone and only wear it in one ear. You can even take it out a great deal of the time because your program can tell you how far til the next event. When you're getting close, put the earphone in. You certainly don't need it on long stretches with no turns, etc. You probably already have a single earphone around the house somewhere. If you spend more than about $2.00 for one, however, you've spent too much.

Wearing headphones that go on the ears or cover the ears can be dangerous. You need to be aware of sounds around you.


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