How To Set Up An iPod Home Stereo Dock

In order to learn how to set up an iPod home stereo dock, you may need more than just the dock. Typically, these docks come equipped with USB ports or onboard speakers, but you will likely need a different configuration if you'd like to run your iPod through the larger, more powerful speakers of your home stereo system. Additionally, the iPod dock offers another advantage in that it charges your iPod while the device is playing music.

You will need:

  • An iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch or other Apple mp3 player.
  • An iPod dock (preferably the Apple Universal Dock)
  • An RCA-to-RCA cable -or- a 1/8"-to-RCA conversion cable
  • A stereo with RCA input jacks
  • External speakers
  • An Apple remote (if included with the dock)
  1. Connect the iPod or iPhone to the dock. Most docks come with a few plastic adaptors that are designed to comfortably rest your iPod in a steady position when connected to the dock. Find the appropriate adaptor for your device, and gently set the iPod upright in place on the dock, facing outward.
  2. Plug the appropriate cable into the iPod dock. If your dock has an RCA output, connect the two color-coded plugs of your RCA-to-RCA cable into the dock's corresponding outlets. If your dock uses a 1/8" output instead—the little rounded outlet usually designed for small headphone cables—plug the 1/8" side of the cable into the dock.
  3. Connect the cables to an auxiliary port on your home stereo. Simply plug the color-coded RCA cable into its corresponding outlets on the back of your home stereo.
  4. Select the appropriate channel on the stereo. Be sure your selected channel corresponds to the appropriate input for your iPod dock.
  5. Select music on your iPod and press the "Play" button. If your stereo is properly configured, you should hear the audio from your iPod playing through your stereo speakers! 


  • Note that not all iPod docks have outputs for connecting to an external stereo or speakers. If this is the case with your dock, you can simply use a 1/8"-to-RCA cable to plug your iPod directly into the auxiliary input on your stereo.
  • For the best quality audio, only rip and download 320kbps or lossless mp3's. This clarity of sound will ensure the best listening experience on a high quality sound system and large speakers.
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