How to Play an iPhone Through a Sound System

by John Papiewski

You can play music from your iPhone through a sound system, providing entertainment for parties or for your own listening enjoyment. The iPhone's audio jack can drive a stereo amplifier's auxiliary input. When you connect your iPhone to a stereo, the amplifier and speakers can fill the room you're in with music. An audio adapter cable, costing only a few dollars, connects the iPhone to the sound system.

Step 1

Check the type of input audio connector your sound system uses. Many receivers and amplifiers have RCA jacks in the back, though some have a 3.5 mm stereo jack for audio input. Obtain an audio cable with a 3.5 mm stereo connector for your iPhone and connectors at the other end to match your sound system. See your sound system's owner's manual to discover what kind of connectors it will need.

Step 2

Turn the sound system off and turn its volume control knob all the way down. This will prevent the loud electrical "thunk" noise when you connect the iPhone to the stereo. This noise has the potential to damage your speakers.

Step 3

Connect the 3.5 mm stereo plug into the iPhone's headphone jack.

Step 4

Connect the other end of the audio cable to your sound system. If your sound system has RCA jacks, one of the pair will be red. Plug the red male RCA connector into the corresponding red jack. This ensures the left and right stereo channels are correct. Set the system's source selector to "Auxiliary" or "Line In."

Turn the sound system on. On the iPhone, tap the "Music" application and tap on a song. Put the volume control on the sound system to about 40 percent. Adjust the volume on the iPhone so the sound coming from the speakers is reasonably loud.


  • If you don't hear sound from the sound system, or if you hear sound from one speaker only, check to make sure the adapter cable connectors are firmly seated in their sockets.
  • The turntable input on your sound system is too sensitive for the iPhone's audio signal; a connection there will result in distorted, excessively-loud sound. Always connect the iPhone to a line-level input.

Items you will need

  • Audio cable: 3.5 mm stereo plugs at both ends or 3.5 mm stereo to dual RCA male plugs

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