Stereo, AUX Cord Question

I would like to hook up my ipod to my stereo with a AUX cord. The problem is I don’t have a AUX jack. I’ve been told that you’re able to plug it into a headphone jack, but I want to be sure before I buy one. Google hasn’t been helpful.

Is it possible? All I know about my stereo is it is hifi, able to play mp3’s,cd’s and tapes. I think the brand is Colbolt.

The headphone jack is an output, you cannot plug your iPod in there. (or you could, but it wouldn’t help)

Does your stereo have any sort of input on the back or front, or is it a packaged system that works out of the box? In the last case you might be out of luck. Your description is, unfortunately, not very telling.

look for an input marked " aux "; you can get a minijack adapter, if needed.

If the CD and tape functions are jacked in you can just unplug one of 'em and stick the ipod in there.

If it is a solid unit you are shit outta luck.

If worse came to worse you could use a cassette adapter but the sound quality would not be so great.

You just need this $0.01 cord:

What inputs do you have on the back? Sometimes they are labeled differently like CD in.

On the front, I have a headphone jack and a microphone jack and on the back it only has speaker connections.

There you go. You just need a minijack to microphone jack adapter. Should be $4 at Radio Shack

You don’t have an auxiliary input. You can’t plug your ipod directly into your stereo.

You can take a headphone output and plug it into an auxiliary input, but you have to have an auxiliary input of some sort to plug it into. In other words, if your stereo had AUX jacks on the back, you could buy a cable and connect the ipod’s headphone output to the stereo’s AUX input.

I am surprised that it has a mic input but no auxiliary input. That seems a bit odd to me. The headphone output of the ipod will be at too high of a level for the mic input. Don’t try to plug it in there.

What engineer_comp_geek said. While it is possible to make a cord that will do it, it involves measuring the output level of the iPod. You do have a digital multimeter, don’t you? And know how to use it? Then you have to look up what level the mic input needs, and calculate the size of the resistors you need to put into your home-made patch cord. Don’t know the equations to use? Need to look them up, too. Etc. Etc…

It’s not a job for non-techies, and even techies won’t bother, because you can go to Walmart and get a cheap stereo with an AUX input for less than your cost in time to do the work, even assuming you value your labor at minimum wage. And the do-it-yourself cord will look ugly, what with the electrical tape wrapped around the resistors spliced into it, and be unreliable, since modern patch cords like what you need use ridiculously thin wires which are hard to solder, and will keep breaking on you as you use the thing.

ETA: What Munch said is a great way to fry the mic input of your stereo. As ECG said, the output level of the iPod is too high.

If your stereo has no inputs of any type on it (look in the front and back) then I’d get an FM transmitter for the iPod. Then your iPod can transmit on a FM frequency. The quality varies, I’d go to Amazon and be sure you’re getting one that works with your particular iPod and read the reviews. The bonus of getting an FM transmitter is that it will also work with any FM radio, including those in cars.

The FM transmitter is the best you can do. Your stereo has no input connector, only output connectors.

There should be RCA jacks on the back of the stereo. Line in is what I’d use.
You need a RCA to stereo mini plug cord

I keep the volume on my mp3 player about half way. Otherwise the signal is too strong and overloads the line in jack (distortion).

As has been stated there are no input jacks. There are stereos that don’t have input jacks.

The only FM transistors I’ve seen are 12volt. I bought one for the car last summer. Works well once I found an unused frequency.

They make 120AC to 12v DC power supplies (with the cigarette lighter jack) for the home.

But the expense isn’t worth it. You are looking at $35 for the FM and $30 to $40 (or more) for the power supply. You can buy a nice bookshelf stereo for under $100 from Ebay that has jacks.

They’re not all 12 volt. Many are powered by the iPod itself. This seems to be less common with iPod Touch transmitters, but they still make ones powered by the iPod. The downside of course is that your battery life will be shorter.

If you’re only using your FM transmitter in the car then a 12V-powered transmitter should be fine.

The one I linked to uses a couple batteries and sells for $10.85.

It’s possible to get either an attenuating patch cord or a patch cord with its own volume control, plug it into the MIC jack and verrrrry carefully jiggle the volume control on the iPod (and/or patch cord) until you get a proper signal level. But, take it from me, it won’t be worth it. You’ll never be happy with the volume, the amount of distortion, and probably not even the tone quality. MIC inputs are designed for microphones, and trying to put anything else through them is a poor compromise.

For very little more money, and much less grief, you can get a pair of powered speakers like these and have much better results.

It is a great way to fry the input, but it isn’t so ridiculously sensitive that you WILL fry the input. Yes, you’re feeding speaker level sound into a line level input, but you can, CAREFULLY. Crank your volume on your ipod way down and go ahead with the micropone input adapter, letting the stereo do any necessary amplifying. You’d be following the same precautions using the 1/8 stereo miniplug to R&W RCA Plugs adapter suggested.

Agreed, though: An FM transmitter is way overpriced for this problem, AND very weird that you have NO R&W RCA input jacks. Freaky.

ETA: Kunilou makes a good point; doing this will not provide you with spectacular sound quality or volume control. A full size real life stereo reciever is $99. Moving up to the right box for the job might make sense if you see yourself building a nice component system eventually.