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Photo Review: Griffin DirectDeck

Griffin's DirectDeck for Zune is a cassette adapter that lets you listen to your Zune through your car's cassette tape player.

This is a great solution for playing Zune in your vehicle if you happen to have a tape player installed. At $14.99 (or potentially less on Amazon)it's far cheaper than an FM car transmitter. I received the DirectDeck as a Christmas present from my wife, and have used it the past few months. I've been pleased with the DirectDeck's convenience and sound quality.

As the packaging indicates, for best audio results you may need to tinker with the setting of the Zune's volume controls and the tape player's volume controls. In my case, I set the Zune's volume at about mid-range (a volume setting of 8 to 12), and adjust my Explorer's car stereo volume as desired.

No batteries or AC adapters are needed. Just plug the 1/8" headphone jack into the Zune's headphone port, and slide the cassette adapter into the player. My Explorer and my wife's Toyota Sienna both have side-loading tape players (pictured below) - you insert your cassettes into the player with the cassette in a sideways position.

Griffin DirectDeck for Zune

I've also used the DirectDeck in another car tape player that accepts cassettes lengthwise - where the open side of the cassette with the exposed tape is inserted first. I've found that the DirectDeck works fine with either setup.

After using it for several weeks in my Explorer, and being pleasantly surprised with the sound quality, I was concerned to hear distortion and low sound volume when first using it in my wife's Sienna. We rarely use that tape player in the Sienna, and we must have built up a lot of dust in the player. Running a cassette head cleaner through the player solved the problem.

The adapter cord is long enough that, in my Explorer, I can pass the Zune to my girls in the backseat, and they can control the music using the Zune player. Another 12" or 18" of cord length would be nice, but others might prefer the cord length as it is for the more typical front-seat use.

  Company: Griffin
  Model: DirectDeck for Zune
  Price: $14.99
  Amazon link: Griffin DirectDeck Universal Cassette Adapter
Recommended. A useful, low-cost Zune accessory that does its job well.

Zune accessory - Recommended by Zunerama


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