Can You Patch an iPad Into a House Stereo?

by James T Wood

Apple's iPad has a wealth of connection options that allow it to be connected to most home stereo systems with the addition of an adapter. Unless your stereo has integrated Bluetooth, you'll need an accessory to translate the audio from your iPad to your stereo receiver. The simplest setup is probably an AUX cable, which converts the headphone output on the iPad into a stereo input. With an adapter, you can use the video and audio on the iPad and connect through an RCA, Component or HDMI connection. An iPad dock or Bluetooth receiver also allows you to connect your tablet's music to your home stereo speakers.

Plug an AUX cable into the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPad. Connect the other end to your stereo's AUX input. Most modern stereos have a 3.5mm input available, but older stereo receivers use the quarter-inch connection. Check your stereo before buying a cable.

Connect the 30-pin plug to the port on the bottom of your iPad and the other end of the adapter into your stereo. The iPad supports various adapters that connect to the 30-pin port, which is also used on iPods. You can use a composite adapter, which is RCA, or the higher resolution HDMI. All the adapters give the option of outputting audio and video. HDMI is found on the Apple Digital AV adapter, which requires a separate HDMI cable.

Plug a Bluetooth receiver into your stereo and then pair the receiver to your iPad as an external speaker. Using the Settings on your iPad, switch on the Bluetooth radio, if it isn't already on, and then pair with the receiver. You'll only need to pair the iPad to the receiver the first time.

Use an FM Transmitter to wirelessly beam the audio from your iPad to your stereo receiver. Plug the transmitter into the headphone jack on your iPad. Follow the instructions that came with the transmitter to select an unused FM radio station. Tune your stereo's FM receiver to that radio station and play the music on your iPad.


  • Plug any of the adapters into an iPad dock and use the dock to hold your iPad and charge it while it plays music or video through your stereo receiver.
  • Don't forget to switch your stereo to play the input to which your iPad is connected.


  • Dock and other charging adapters designed for the iPod don't provide enough power to charge the larger iPad.

Photo Credits

  • Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News/Getty Images