How To Set Up A Compact Stereo Receiver
Traditional stereo receivers require a basic knowledge of audio equipment, speakers and various cables and inputs, but if you prefer a simpler configuration, you need to know how to set up a compact stereo receiver. Typically, compact stereo receivers differ from other stereo receivers because they consolidate the functions of larger sound systems. This makes them ideal for kitchens, bedrooms and any other place where you want music but lack the space. Also, because many compact receivers come equipped with a simplified speaker connection (if the speakers are even external), you'll avoid a significant portion of the headache which comes along with connecting speakers to a stereo receiver (cutting speaker cables, etc.). Unfortunately, the compact setup often means that your soundsystem will have more limited functions and inputs. However, such limits are easily corrected with various conversion cables and other products.
- Inspect the receiver to determine what sorts of inputs and functions are possible. Small, color-coded inputs marked "Aux" are RCA inputs. Smaller headphone jacks are known as 1/8" (eighth-inch) inputs. Additionally, take note if your stereo receiver has any cassette decks, CD players or iPod docks.
- If you simply wish to use one of the basic functions of your device, plug it into an outlet. Press the power button and select the function you wish to use. For example, if you want to play a CD, select the CD function. Insert a disc, close the tray and press play. You may also need to connect speakers to the device (if they are not a part of the stereo itself). Most compact stereo receivers use native cables wired with 1/8" jacks to connect the speakers.
If you want to connect an iPod or some other external audio, you will need an auxiliary input of some kind. If the stereo has RCA inputs, connect the external device to your stereo using an RCA cable. Many contemporary devices (such as iPods and other mp3 players) use an 1/8" jack for audio output, so you will likely need an RCA-to-1/8" conversion cable. These are available at most electronics retailers and department stores.
- If you do not have RCA inputs, don't worry. If your receiver has at least one cassette deck, it can be used as another input (with the help of a car cassette adapter). Connect the cassette adapter to your iPod's headphone jack. Insert the cassette adapter into the receiver's cassette deck. Select the "Tape" or "Cassette" function on the receiver, and press play on the deck. Press play on your iPod as well, and you should now be able to hear any of your mp3's on your compact stereo. This is not an ideal solution because the adapter's cable will need to be squeezed when the cassette deck closes, however, it is easy to accomplish this configuration without actually damaging the cable. Just be mindful of the sensitivity of the cable.