With the digital music industry exploding, it’s no surprise that traditional car stereos have gone completely out of style. Who wants a CD player—or worse, a cassette player—in their car when you can play thousands of songs, on-demand, from a single device? Fortunately, there are several ways to configure your iPod to play your favorite tunes through your car stereo.
Auxiliary Cable: A Cheap, Easy Solution
Image via Flickr by juanpol
An auxiliary cable is an affordable and easy solution if your car’s stereo has an AUX input dock. An auxiliary cable will plug into the dock, which looks like a headphone jack, at one end and into your iPod’s headphone jack at the other end. Auxiliary cables cost between $10 and $20.
iPod Dock: A Wireless Option
Image via Flickr by Vintuitive
If you don’t like the idea of connecting your iPod via wires, or if your stereo doesn’t have an AUX input dock, an iPod dock is a perfect solution. It is expensive to have an after-market iPod dock installed if your car doesn’t already come equipped with one, but certain models allow you to control your iPod using the radio controls instead of the iPod itself, making driving a little safer.
Cassette Adaptor: For Old-School Car Stereos
Image via Flickr b#mce_temp_url#y PhotoDu.de / CreativeDomainPhotography.com
If your car stereo is still living in the dark ages, it might have a cassette player built into the stereo. If that’s the case, it might be time to get a new set of wheels from Arrigo of Ft. Pierce New Cars. In the meantime, buy a cassette adaptor to hook up your iPod. This consists of a cassette that you insert into your cassette player with a cord that plugs into your iPod’s headphone jack. This is also an affordable option, running between $15 and $30, on average.
CD-Changer Port Adaptor: For Great Sound Quality
Image via Flickr by juanpol
Most stereos, including both factory and after-market models, are equipped with a port that allows you to connect an external CD changer. This same port can be used to connect your iPod using a CD-Changer Port Adaptor, and it offers a cool bonus feature—you’re able to control your iPod using the controls on your steering wheel and stereo.
Bluetooth-Enabled Car Stereo: The Ultimate in Integration
Image via Flickr by JVCAmerica
Many newer cars come with built-in Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stream audio from your iPod to your stereo. The problem is that iPhones don’t support Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)—which is what makes it possible to stream audio. To make this work with an iPod or iPhone, buy a Bluetooth adaptor, which will plug into your iPod’s docking port. A Bluetooth adaptor costs about $75.
Whether your car’s stereo is factory or after-market, brand new or refurbished from the 1980s when compact cassettes were all the rage, you can configure your stereo to work with your iPod. Several adaptors and configurations are available to make your iPod work with practically any existing car stereo setup.