How to Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp

Two Parts:Setting Up Your EquipmentPlugging In Your Media Player

You can plug an iPod or MP3 player into the amp of most stereo systems by using a standard auxiliary cable and an adapter. An amp serves to amplify the sound signal from your portable media player for broadcasting on a stereo system.

Part 1
Setting Up Your Equipment

  1. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 1
    1
    Discern the type of amp you have. Most modern amps have standard RCA audio inputs (similar to the red and white inputs on a television) on the back. Both these and the output on your iPod or MP3 player are 3.5 millimeters, so they'll work with standard auxiliary cables.
    • Some old models of amps have 6.35 millimeter inputs, which match 1/4 inch headphone adaptors. These won't accept standard 3.5 millimeter auxiliary cables.
  2. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 2
    2
    Purchase a male RCA to male 3.5 millimeter cable if you don't have one. You can find these on Amazon or in any electronics store, like Radio Shack or Best Buy, for about $5.00. This cable allows you to attach your MP3 player or iPod to the "left" and "right" audio inputs in the back of your amp.[1]
    • If you have an amp with a 6.35 millimeter input, purchase a 3.5 millimeter auxiliary cord and a 3.5 millimeter to 6.35 millimeter adaptor. You can also find these on Amazon--they start at around $4.00.[2]
  3. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 3
    3
    Attach the 6.35 millimeter adaptor to your 3.5 millimeter cord if your amp requires it. The RCA to 3.5 millimeter cable you'll use for a modern amp should already be assembled.[3]
  4. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 4
    4
    Make sure your amp is connected to your stereo system and a power source. This way, you won't encounter any electrical issues while trying to play your iPod or MP3 through your amp.
  5. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 5
    5
    Make sure your iPod or MP3 player is nearby. You are now ready to plug your media player into your amp!

Part 2
Plugging In Your Media Player

  1. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 6
    1
    Connect the 3.5 millimeter end of your cable to your media player. This cable should go in the same output as your headphones would.
  2. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 7
    2
    Connect the other end of your cable to your amp's audio input(s). Though the input location will vary based on your model and style of amp, it will normally entail two 3.5 millimeter input holes--one red and one white, to match the RCA cables--under a name such as "AUX-IN" (for auxiliary). You can also plug into the "CD" or "VCR" inputs if there is no "AUX" option.[4]
    • If you're working with a 6.35 millimeter input, the large end of your cable should plug into the headphones jack in the front of the amp.
    • Make sure you're plugging your cable into an input slot, not an output slot.
  3. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 8
    3
    Turn on your amp and any connected stereo components. Make sure everything is on before turning on your iPod or MP3 player.
  4. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 9
    4
    Turn on your iPod or MP3 player and select a song.
  5. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 10
    5
    Adjust your media player's volume level accordingly. If you can't hear anything initially, turn the volume up on your iPod or MP3 player before cranking the volume on your amp.
  6. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 11
    6
    Adjust your amp's volume once the media player's volume is all the way up. Do this gradually so you don't hurt your ears.
  7. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 12
    7
    Adjust any additional amp settings as you listen. For example, if your amp has a distortion feature or a bass-boost, turn these down or off to ensure the clearest audio signal possible.
  8. Image titled Play Your iPod or MP3 Through an Amp Step 13
    8
    Enjoy your music. Your iPod or MP3 should now be playing through your amp!

Tips

  • Consider turning the amp's volume down before turning on a song, then gradually increasing it.
  • This will work for anything with a 3.5 millimeter audio output--a computer, for example.

Warnings

  • Having the bass too high will damage your speakers.

Things You'll Need

  • RCA to 3.5 millimeter cable OR 3.5 millimeter auxiliary cable with 6.35 millimeter adapter
  • MP3 player, iPod, or similar media player
  • Amp or stereo unit with input ports

Article Info

Categories: Portable Media Players