How to Connect an iPod in Your Car

We live in a digital age. The majority of us do not carry cases of cassettes or CDs around in our cars anymore. Instead we are using digital forms of music, namely the Apple iPod. This revolutionary portable music player has forever changed the way that music is played in the car. In this blog we will outline a few ways in which you can listen to your iPod in your car.

USB Port

Front USB on the JVC KD-R810

The best way to connect your iPod to your car is through a USB Port on an aftermarket car stereo. This digital interface allows the music from the iPod to be played through the car speakers. In most cases the iPod can be controlled with the interface on the car stereo. Using an Car Stereo with a USB connection allows the iPod to be connected and stored in a location that is out of site, such as a glove box or center console. One of the many benefits to using USB is that the iPod will be charged while it is connected. USB also allows for other digital devices (such as a thumb drive, flash drive, etc) to be connected to the unit. A iPod connected via USB typically has better sound quality over other methods.

Auxiliary Input

Clarion CZ500 with Front Aux

Many aftermarket car stereos feature a front 3.5mm mini-jack auxiliary plug. By using a standard auxiliary cable, the iPod’s headphone output is connected to the stereos auxiliary input. This is the simplest way to listen to the iPod through the car speakers. When this method is used, the iPod must be controlled using the iPod itself.

Wireless A2DP Bluetooth Streaming

USB Bluetooth Adapter for A2DP Audio Streaming
JVC KS-BTA50 Enables A2DP Audio Streaming on Select JVC Stereos

For those that have an iPhone, wireless audio streaming is a great option. Using the A2DP Bluetooth profile on the iPhone and the compatible Bluetooth car stereo, the audio from the phone can be streamed wirelessly to the stereo and be played through the car speakers. This method requires more specific equipment and does not have the pure sound quality of a wired connection, but the convenience makes it very popular.

OEM Integration

DICE Electronics DUO-100-BMW: iPod Integration for Select BMW Vehicles

For those that do not want to install an entire new car stereo interface, there are OEM integration solutions. These systems will keep the factory stereo in the car, while enabling the music from the iPod to be played throughout the car speakers. The DICE DUO-100-BMW is a great example of iPod integration kit for select BMW vehicles.

For more information about connecting your iPod to your car stereo, visit the Sonic Electronix Knowledge base and read the article 7 Ways To Connect Your iPod To Your Car.