How to Connect Android to a Stereo
By Shawn Rosvold
Connecting an Android phone to a stereo enables you to fill the room with your favorite music whether it's time to relax or party. Methods can be as simple as a single generic cable or require docks or transmitters. It all depends on how comfortable you are with technology and how much you want spend. Once you connect the Android, you use it to control music playback.
The sheer variety of Android phones available to you is a nightmare for companies that make apps, phone cases and other accessories. The good news is that getting the music from your Android phone so you can share it through real speakers is possible, no matter what brand or model of phone you own.
The simplest way to connect your Android to a stereo involves a 3.5 mm headphone male to two RCA male Y-cable. This cable will split the outgoing audio signal from the Android into right and left channels with RCA plugs. Plug the 3.5 mm end into the headphone jack on the Android. Turn the stereo off and plug the RCA ends into the red and white audio input jacks on your stereo receiver. Your receiver setup may vary, but the Aux input is usually reserved for connections such as this.
Bluetooth and FM transmitters offer alternative ways to get music from your Android to your stereo, without wires. You can use Bluetooth-enabled speakers to connect directly to your phone, eliminating the need for a home stereo receiver. There are also Bluetooth adapters that attach to your existing stereo, picking up the music from your phone over a Bluetooth network and sending the audio to the stereo's speakers. Another wireless method is to use a low-power FM transmitter, which connects to the telephone's headphone jack using a short cable with a 3.5 mm plug. Just like a radio station, the FM transmitter broadcasts the music from the phone so you can pick it up on every FM receiver in your home. This is particularly useful if you plan on playing music outside on a portable stereo or on multiple receivers. Wireless methods are usually more expensive than using the mini plug to RCA plug.
The 3.5 mm mini phone male to two RCA male Y-cable is inexpensive and widely available from many online sources. When connecting your phone to play music through your stereo, turn your phone volume down to about 50 percent to ensure your music doesn't sound distorted. Plug your phone into a charger while using it as a music source. Playing tunes burns up battery power quickly.
Shawn Rosvold has been a broadcast journalist and news writer for more than 30 years. He studied English at Acadia University.