How to Connect an iPod to a Stock Stereo Without a CD Changer

by Jeff Grundy

Home stereos with a CD changer allow you listen to several hours of uninterrupted music without having to constantly eject and insert discs. If your stereo does not have a CD changer, you may find yourself constantly changing discs just to listen to one or two tracks on the album you like. However, if you have an Apple iPod loaded with your favorite tunes, you can connect the device to your home stereo and listen to many hours of music with sound quality that rivals your CD collection. Depending upon the type of amplifier or receiver you have in your home stereo system, there are several ways to connect your iPod and none of them takes more than a couple of minutes.

3.5mm-to-RCA audio cable

Connect the small plug on the 3.5mm-to-RCA audio adapter cable to the headphone jack on the iPod.

Plug the red and white RCA connectors of the audio adapter cable into the matching colored ports labeled “Auxiliary” or “Auxiliary Input.” If you don’t have an Auxiliary input port, you can connect the cable from the iPod into an unused CD or DVD port on the amplifier or receiver. Do not connect the iPod to a Tape, Tape Monitor or Phono input on the stereo, as doing so usually results in distorted sound or no audio at all.

Press the “Aux,” “Auxiliary,” “Auxiliary Device” or other similarly named source button on the front of the amplifier or receiver.

Press or tap the “Play” button on the iPod. Music from the iPod begins to play over your home speakers connected to the amplifier or receiver. Use the volume dial or buttons on the receiver or amplifier to adjust the sound level in your listening room as needed.

3.5mm-to-3.5mm “Aux” Audio Cable

Connect one end of the Aux audio cable to the headphone jack on the iPod, then plug the other end into the “Aux” or “Auxiliary Input” jack on the front of the receiver or amplifier.

Press the “Aux – Front,” “Auxiliary Front” or other similarly named source button on the receiver or amplifier.

Press or tap “Play” on the iPod to listen to music from the device over your home stereo speakers. Adjust the system volume as needed.


Press the “Menu” or “Source” button on the A/V receiver, then select “Bluetooth Devices” or “Bluetooth.” Wait a few seconds for the receiver to display a Bluetooth passcode on the display screen. Record the passcode number.

Tap “Home” on the iPod, then tap “Setings.” Tap “General,” then “Bluetooth.”

Slide the “Bluetooth” switch icon to the right to turn on the option. Wait for a list of “Discovered Devices” to appear on the iPod display screen. Tap and highlight the name of your Bluetooth-enabled A/V receiver.

Tap “Sync” or “Connect” button – depending on your model of iPod – and wait a few seconds for the iPod to sync with the A/V receiver. Enter the Bluetooth passcode from the display of the A/V receiver when prompted, then tap connect.

Verify that the Bluetooth icon appears at the top of the iPod display, then tap “Play.” Music streams wirelessly to the A/V receiver and plays over your home stereo speakers.


  • Depending on the wattage output of your home stereo amplifier or receiver, you may have to set the volume on the iPod to a setting higher than 50 percent to deliver adequate output levels to the receiver or amplifier and attain adequate sound levels from the speakers.
  • The iPod Touch is the only version of the iPod that can connect via Bluetooth.

Items you will need

  • 3.5mm-to-3.5mm audio cable (optional)
  • 3.5mm-to-RCA audio adapter cable (optional)
  • Bluetooth-enabled receiver (optional)

About the Author

Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images