How to Hook an iPhone to a Stereo Using RCA Plugs

by Michael Cox
Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

The iPhone's Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/AirPlay wireless streaming system and Dock or Lightning connector offer high-tech methods of connecting to a veritable plethora of devices. However, if what you've got to work with is a pair of RCA jacks, you can do that too. With the right adapter your iPhone can still power your party even with an old-school receiver, giving it either an amplified signal from your iPhone's headphone jack or a line-level signal from its proprietary port.

Step 1

Turn the receiver or other device off to prevent loud buzzing or clicking when you connect to the iPhone.

Step 2

Connect the RCA plugs to the jacks on the receiver or other output device. If your plugs are color-coded, connect the red plug to the right jack, and the white plug to the left jack. If you're using an A/V cable, you may leave the yellow video plug unconnected or connect it to the composite video jack on a receiver or TV.

Step 3

Connect the cable to the corresponding jack on your iPhone. You may use either a 1/8th-inch stereo mini-plug to connect to your iPhone's headphone jack, or a Dock or Lightning connector to connect to your iPhone's compatible port.

Step 4

Tap the Music or iPod app on your iPhone and begin playing music. Turn the volume down completely.

Step 5

Turn on your output device and turn its volume down completely. Select the input source connected to your iPhone if necessary.

Turn up the volume in the Music or iPod app to the halfway point, then turn up the volume on your output device. Adjust the volume on the iPhone and the device until it's at a suitable level.


  • To prevent damage to your output device or speakers, always turn the device's volume control down completely when connecting an audio source, and turn the volume up carefully until you're certain of the optimum level.


  • Using the iPhone's headphone jack to connect to an external output device may result in low audio levels or distortion. For best results, use a cable that connects to your iPhone's Dock or Lightning port such as an Apple Composite A/V Cable.
  • For best results when you connect from your iPhone's headphone jack, use a preamplifier to supply a louder line-level signal to your output device.


Photo Credits

  • Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Michael Cox writes about lifestyle issues, popular culture, sports and technology. In a career spanning more than 10 years, he has contributed to dozens of magazines, books and websites, including and "Adobe Magazine." Cox holds a professional certificate in technical communications from the University of Washington.

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