How to Connect an MP3 Player to a Stereo Amplifier

by J.T. Barett

An MP3 player is a personal music device, though you can connect yours to a stereo amplifier and entertain a roomful of guests. This economical arrangement can provide hours of uninterrupted enjoyment of the music of your choice. The player's headphone jack has a standard stereo connector that mates with a cable adapter. One side of the adapter connects to the player's jack; the other fits into your amplifier's inputs.

Turn off the stereo amplifier.

Insert the adapter's phone plug into the MP3 player's headphone jack.

Plug the two RCA connectors into the amplifier's auxiliary RCA input jacks. On most amplifiers, these jacks are located on the rear of the unit. Note that one RCA connector is red, the other is black. The red plug goes to the right stereo channel, the other goes to the left channel.

Turn the amplifier on. Set its input selector to "Auxiliary." Adjust the volume control to a moderate sound level.

Turn the MP3 player on. Select some music and press the "Play" button. Adjust the player's volume control to a moderate sound level.


  • For louder music, adjust the amplifier's volume control and leave the MP3 player's volume setting as is. If you turn the MP3 player's volume up too much, the signal may overload the amplifier's input, producing severely distorted sound.
  • Do not connect the MP3 player to your amplifier's turntable or "Phono" input, as these are very sensitive and easily overloaded.

Items you will need

  • 3-foot adapter cable: stereo 3.5 mm sub-miniature phone plug to dual RCA male connectors

About the Author

Chicago native J.T. Barett has a Bachelor of Science in physics from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing since 1991. He has contributed to "Foresight Update," a nanotechnology newsletter from the Foresight Institute. He also contributed to the book, "Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance."

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