How to Hook an iPad to a Stereo

by Nick Davis
Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Like the Apple iPod, your iPad includes a headphone jack for connecting a set of earbuds or headphones to the tablet computer. The feature is handy when you want to listen to audible business books, music and other audio without disturbing others. The headphone jack also lets you connect your iPad to a home or office stereo system and broadcast the audio to a larger audience. You don’t need a special adapter to connect a stereo cable to your iPad, and you don’t need a third-party application to make the connection work.

Step 1

Turn off both your iPad and your stereo. Turn the stereo around so the back of the unit is facing you.

Step 2

Plug the 1/8-inch connector on the 1/8-inch to composite stereo cable, available at electronics and retail superstores, into your iPad’s headphone jack on the top of the tablet.

Step 3

Plug the cable’s white composite connector into the “Aux,” “Tape-In” or “CD-In” “Audio – Left” jack on the back of your stereo. Plug the cable’s red composite connector into the “Aux,” “Tape-In” or “CD-In” “Audio – Right” connector on the back of your stereo.

Step 4

Press the “Aux,” “Tape-In” or “CD-In” button on your stereo to activate the composite jacks. If your stereo contains a dial selector instead of a button, switch the dial to the “Aux,” “Tape-In” or “CD-In” setting.

Turn on your stereo, and then turn on your iPad. Adjust your iPad’s volume to a level less than its maximum output – approximately 50 percent. Adjust your stereo’s volume control to your liking.


  • Connecting the 1/8-inch to composite stereo cable to your stereo’s “Phono” or “Phono-in” jack results in a loud buzzing sound emitting from your stereo’s speakers. This sound can damage the speakers. The “Phono” or “Phono-in” jack is designed for use with a turntable and not external devices like an iPad or iPod.


Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.

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