Introduction: $1 Ipod to Stereo Connection

Picture of   $1   Ipod to Stereo Connection

For some reason people are surprised when I tell them this, so I decided I'd post it for all. This works for anything that has a headphone jack (e.g. laptop or desktop computer, cell phone, walkman, etc).

You just have to buy a $1 cable from a dollar store.
Picture 1

Plug one end into your ipod's earphone jack, the other end into your stereo's "aux in" or "video aux in" jacks (red and white).
Pictures 2 and 3

Then click your stereo buttons to put it into "aux mode" and press play on your ipod.
Picture 4



cmartí (author)2014-03-15

I would improve this by using an LOD cable or LOD to female 3.5mm to female 3.5mm adapter.

Amplifying fro the headphone jack will cause unnessesary distortion and artifact in the music.

te101 (author)2012-04-29


guitarman63mm (author)2008-06-26

Good lord. You need to learn a thing or two about a thing called impedance. This is why you shouldn't dabble in electronics if you don't have a clue about it.

leevonk (author)guitarman63mm2008-06-27

are you talking to me? I trust no

guitarman63mm (author)leevonk2008-07-16

I was referring to people who plug any electronic device into their instrument's amplifier. It's not meant for that kind of load.

leevonk (author)guitarman63mm2008-07-16

_what isn't made for _what kind of load? what's the 'instrument' your talking about? are you on drugs?

guitarman63mm (author)leevonk2008-07-16

Looks like my statement does apply to you!

There are quite a few people out there who are using this simple jack to play their music NOT through their auxilary stereo input, but rather an input jack on an amplifier (I've seen more than one supporting this usage on a guitar amplifier) I was just clarifying that point, as it can destroy expensive equipment.

As for that last bit, I'm sober, as of right now.

leevonk (author)guitarman63mm2008-07-17

electric guitars can output over 1V from their pickups, so if you don't turn the volume up on your ipod should be fine (to keep the ipod output well below it's 5v max). Even if you turn the ipod volume up all the way (so that the loudest music causes 5V output) should be ok as each of those 5v pulses are very short (just the very short crest(s) of a sinusoidal sound wave). I agree there is a possibility (although slight) of damaging your guitar amp if you're using it in that way.

guitarman63mm (author)leevonk2008-12-08

It's not about voltage, it's about the impedance. Very big difference.

leevonk (author)guitarman63mm2010-01-08

actually V=IR   and impedance is closely related to resistance, so it is indeed about voltage too. So the fact that ipods can vary their voltage output (by adjusting volume), should matter. This webpage ( seems to corroborate this and mentions that in addition, modern amplifiers solve most problems of impedance matching. Is your background in electrical guitar use? Cause as far as I know their voltage output ranges can't be adjusted, also I'm not sure on how much current they are capable of outputting,..


7654321 (author)leevonk2011-03-21

V=IR means voltage = current times resistance (I in this case stands for current not impendance)

leevonk (author)leevonk2010-01-08

btw, I'm not trying to argue, I'm actually interested in this and making sure we both understand it fully in the end

gernboken (author)guitarman63mm2009-07-16

your comment is old but you seem like you know what you're talking about, so i hope you see it and respond. can you point me in the right direction to figure out how to make a jack to connect my ipod to my car stereo, which as far as i know doesn't have any sort of external input jack? i think i can buy the connectors to connect another stereo to my car's speakers, and i imagine i can buy or rig up a splitter, but i don't know how to connect my ipod to that jack without messing up my car speakers or my ipod.

guitarman63mm (author)gernboken2009-07-16

True, it is old. In reality, I'm just a guy with an interest in electronics, but I do happen to know a bit (more than the o/p and the 12-year-old kids that post on here, at least). Unless you have a newer car, the chances of you having an auxiliary jack in your vehicle are pretty slim. This limits your choice to essentially two options. One is a common cassette tape adapter that you simply plug in, and will run you about $20 US. The other is a wireless one that plugs into you you cigarette lighter, and changes a specific frequency to whatever it chooses (say, 88.7 is your ipod). Then you simply tune to that. Probably $20. Good luck.

baneat (author)guitarman63mm2008-12-08

It sounds so bad that noone really would use it anyway, luckily.

djmelton9 (author)2010-01-08

Sorry but this is not an "Instructable"...This is just saying go buy the cable.

Capt. Fat (author)2009-03-31

What if you have a micro stereo with no video aux

gernboken (author)Capt. Fat2009-07-16


Capt. Fat (author)gernboken2009-07-17


do u have a mp3 line on the stereo

no, micro stereos don't have them ports on them

bduffman (author)2007-07-14

hay when i saw this i remember i have one of these but it has a video cord also ( dose not work into my tv but dose into my sterio ) tryed it with my laptop as my ipod is flat

othertonywilson (author)bduffman2008-02-22

You need to use the yellow instead of the red... Apple tried to prevent people from playing movies on their television with out their special cord. So they switched the red and yellow on the headphone jack... I think someone should do an instructable on that. I would, but I no longer have an iPod capable of playing video.

baneat (author)othertonywilson2008-12-08

The most stupid marketing scheme, ever. seriously, switching the colours? HAH!

van johnson112 (author)baneat2009-05-16

your right but they got me...i bought the cable hahaha

theduke2011 (author)2008-01-08

unless you are to cautious at "messing things up" and never tried plugging things into A/V jacks, i to, believe it to be common sense, and to theRIAA, it works with anything that has a headphone jack as told above, and i think iPods are overrated, they are basically another mp3/media player that just has a fancy name, they're nice and all, but are not "All That", there are many others, just like them

baneat (author)theduke20112008-12-08

Just wondering, what exactly did you want your mp3 player to do except play MP3s? kind of strange for people to expect otherwise.

baneat (author)2008-12-08

I recommend getting a higher quality cable than this. It's just a 3.5mm stereo to LR phono. Belkin do a good one so do JVC. This is good too for a quick fix but for something more durable you want better.

MonkaySquad (author)2008-11-01

Yes! People have no idea, but the dollar store has GREAT things cheap! Not only do they have the cord this poster shown, they also have one that has the (red/white) audio cord -- and the other end has a hole for stereo jack - headphone jack, which the dollar might sell as well. The process is almost the same, I do it all the time.

I hook up mine to my stereo receiver and blast my ipod music on it =D

theRIAA (author)2006-10-05

aww does it only work with ipods...

Suicide_Mouse (author)theRIAA2008-09-22

No, this will/should work with any MP3 player.

bduffman (author)2008-02-23

yea thats all well and good peoples but im wanting to no how to conect my ipod video 30gig to my tv and watch wats on my screen how do i go bout doing that i have the ssame cord as him but has a video bit also but dose the ipod video work out of the audio jack or will i need to mod a iput for the bottem of the ipod

joejc (author)bduffman2008-08-14

Get a video plug like for a video camera and connect the camera end to the Ipod and other end to tv (i think you need to put them in a weird order, just Google it) or buy the one apple made for like $30

Sandisk1duo (author)2008-06-26

just don't charge your ipod/computer/whatever while your connected to the amp you might short it out (either the amp or ipod) this has not happened to my yet but it is a thing to watch for

rockybob300 (author)2008-06-10

I tried this and it worked ;-)

proffesor cuddles (author)2008-03-24


barry505 (author)2006-10-06

Anyone that's too stupid to figure this out for themself, doesn't deserve to know.

inahurry (author)barry5052007-02-25

No one knows everything. Sometimes it's nice to let someone else figure out problems when you have other more pressing problems.

plzspoilme25 (author)inahurry2008-03-07

yes indeed, kinna the whole point for this type of site......but i agreed with ikarias too...its kinna nice for ppl to think i'm a genius for doing something so simple and "comon sense to most of us" I'm a left brain thinker i miss some simple things on the other side of the realm......i can think the whole thing out and draw the perfect blue print....but i have 4 project here that should be my head it why are they not maybe i should pack up all my supplies ship them to u u can assemble them and ship back....LOL

stncilr (author)barry5052007-11-30


Swert (author)barry5052007-06-14

I have known about this for a while but didn't know that the cords could be found at the local dollar store, i just always went to the garage to get mine. (I don't know why we have them but we do).

ikarias (author)barry5052006-10-07

I dont agree. As long as there are "Less knowlageble" people in the word, the smarter we look. A lot of people think im brilliant when i show them [windows+d] to minimize all windows for instance. Or, when it comes to work, people love me when i explain the function of an (dont know the english word) aardlekschakelaar. (the switch that pops in in your fuse-box then a faulty device connects top earth). As long as there are stupid people in the world, we look smart.

leevonk (author)ikarias2006-10-07

I didn't know the windows+d thing, that's nice, I always just click on the little desktop icon next to the start button which does the same thing.

In english it a "breaker", still I think people just put "Ipod" in their titles to boost page views from the hipster doofus crowd.

nascarwizard (author)2008-03-04

You my friend are a genius.

csshih (author)2008-02-21

lol. Some stereo systems don't have an aux in.

connorcancount! (author)csshih2008-02-21

if they are that old, they usually have a tape player, and you can find cheap tape cassette converters that look like a cassette with a headphone jack coming from it. thats what i use for my old ghettoized stereo!

Korey (author)2008-01-16

You would be surprised! I still laugh whenever i see someone spending hundreds of dollars on some stupid iPod dock that sounds like crap because they think it's the only way to listen to their iPod without headphones.

VIRON (author)2006-10-08

Ipods are really lame compared to walkmans.

ikarias (author)VIRON2006-10-08

Wow. i didnt even know walkmans still existed. I mean, a protable cassette player. damn. Second: the reason the ipod is all but lame, is because, if you have one, youre a little more "the man" then those who dont have one. So, per definition, it is the exact opposite. (and no, i dont own an ipod, the company, or have shares in it )

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