How to Plug an iPad into the Car Speakers

by Jeff Grundy

The Apple iPad gives you most features of a full-fledged laptop computer without the bulk or weight. With the iPad, you can take pictures, surf the Internet, read your favorite e-books and even manage your music collection with iTunes. Like the iPhone or iPod, the iPad supports multiple connection options for streaming music to an external player such as a car stereo. Regardless of the type of stereo you have in your automobile, you can connect an iPad and stream music over your car speakers in a matter of minutes.

3.5mm-to-3.5mm Audio Cable

Plug one end of the 3.5mm-to-3.5mm audio cable into the headphone jack on the iPad. Connect the other end of the cable to the “Aux” or “Aux In” port on the face of the car stereo head unit.

Press the “Source” or “Mode” button on the car stereo, then select “Auxiliary” or “Aux In.” Alternatively, press the “Aux” or “Auxiliary” button on the face of the car stereo if it has one.

Launch iTunes on the iPad. Select music you want to listen to and tap the “Play” button in iTunes. Alternatively, open your iTunes library, and tap the “Play All” button. Music from your iPad streams over the speakers.

FM Transmitter

Connect the 3.5mm cable from the FM transmitter to the headphone jack on the iPad.

Plug the FM transmitter power supply into the cigarette lighter adapter receptacle. Select the FM frequency on the transmitter you want to use to stream music from the iPad to the car stereo.

Press the “Radio” or “FM” source button on the car stereo. Tune the radio to same FM frequency you selected on the FM transmitter.

Open iTunes on the iPad and begin playing music from your library. The music streams through the FM transmitter and plays over the car stereo speakers.

Cassette Adapter

Insert the cassette head of the adapter into the tape deck of the car stereo. Connect the 3.5mm attached to the cassette head to the headphone jack on the iPad.

Press the “Tape” source button on the car stereo.

Launch iTunes and on the iPad and play music from your library.

Press the “Play” button for the cassette deck in the car stereo. Music from the iPad streams over the speakers connected to the car stereo.

A2DP Bluetooth

Press the “Menu” button on the AD2P Bluetooth-enabled car stereo, then select “Bluetooth Devices” or “Bluetooth.” Note the Bluetooth passkey on the car stereo display screen.

Tap “Menu,” then “General” on the iPad. Tap “Bluetooth,” then select “Bluetooth On.” Tap “Sync,” then enter the Bluetooth passkey from the car stereo screen. Tap the “Connect” button and wait a few seconds for the iPad to sync with the car stereo.

Select “Discover Device” or “Add Device.” Press “Source,” then select “Bluetooth Audio.”

Launch iTunes or another audio application on the iPad. Music streams through the Bluetooth connection from the iPad to the car stereo and plays over the speakers.

Items you will need

  • 3.5mm-to-3.5mm audio cable (optional)
  • FM rransmitter (optional)
  • Cassette adapter (optional)
  • A2DP bluetooth enabled car stereo (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

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