Connecting your MP3 player or iPod to your car stereo

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The good thing about MP3 players is that they are small and portable and hold a lot of music - this makes them ideal for taking in the car! But how to connect the two? Hopefully this simple guide will help.

Connecting your MP3, MP4 player or iPod / iPhone to your car stereo

 We will be using the same output you normally plug your headphones into and linking it to your car. Firstly we need to look at your car stereo.

Cassette Radio

If you have a cassette radio in your car the best way to connect your MP3 player is by a cassette adapter - these are quick and cheap and do the job. They look like this:


You insert the "cassette" end into your car stereo as you would a normal cassette and then plug the 3.5mm jack into the headphone socket of your MP3 player and you're done. Play your music as you normally would. Set your MP3 player volume about half way then use the cars stereo volume as normal.

CD Radio with front AUX In

If you have a jack input on the front of your stereo with AUX IN or LINE IN. You can just buy a lead to go from your headphone socket to the AUX IN socket and connect it that way. It will look something like this:


So you would need a double ended lead to connect the two like this:

Put one end into your car stereo and the other into your headphone socket. Set your car stereo to AUX and play your music as you normally would. Set your MP3 player volume about half way then use the cars stereo volume as normal.

CD Radio with rear AUX In

If you dont have a front 3.5mm jack with AUX in you may have the facility to add an input into the rear of the car stereo. If you scroll through the options on your stereo and find an AUX or LINE IN you should have one on the back. This would be identical to a home stereo PHONO connection if you are familiar with that. You should find RED (right) and WHITE (left) inputs which look like this:

In this case you can buy a lead to go from the two rear input on the car stereo to a 3.5mm jack for your MP3 player. If you feed the lead round you could bring it into your glove box so its out of the way. You would need a lead like this:

Plug the red and white phono plugs into your car stereo and the other into your headphone socket. Set your car stereo to AUX and play your music as you normally would. Set your MP3 player volume about half way then use the cars stereo volume as normal.

CD Radio with NO AUX Inputs

If you have no inputs what-so-ever the only option you are left with is a short range FM transmitter. This transmits on a FM radio frequency that you tune your car radio to and you listen to your MP3 player over that. They are quite cheap and look like this:

You select the frequency you want (normally the choice of four frequencies) and tune you car radio accordingly. They run off batteries or a car cigarette adapter, I'd opt for the car adapter as the batteries seem to run down quickly.

You can also get ones that plug straight into your cigarette lighter they look like this:

They normally have a lead that goes to your MP3 player or a USB port on the front. So just set your car radio to the appropriate radio frequency and play your music on your MP3 player as you normally would. Set your MP3 player volume about half way then use the cars stereo volume as normal.

I hope this has got you and your music moving! Please vote "YES" below!


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