This article is about the kind of cable you need to plug your iPhone or iPod or laptop into a stereo.
If you look on any iPod, or the back of a Mac mini, or the side of your Apple laptop you will see a round hole where you can plug in headphones. iPhones unto the iPhone 6 have a headphone socket as well. For later iPhones (the iPhone 7 and 8) you just need this adapterÂ which turns your lightning connector into a headphone socket, and then the rest of this article applies to you as well. If you get a dock for any model iPhone including 7 and 8 it will also have a socket like this on the back.
The technical name for this socket is a 3.5mm or 1/8 inch stereo jack.
You can see one of these on the left of this iPod dock below:
This is the kind of cable that plugs into it, a 3.5mm stereo plug. Also called 1/8 inch TRS (tip ring and sleeve). It has 3 sections on the plug , to carry the left and the right signals and third one called ground.
To plug your iPhone or computer into a home stereo you need a cable with one of those connectors at one end.
On the other end of the cable there are various Â options for what kind of plug you will need depending on what you want to plug into.
To a car stereo.
If you are plugging into a car stereo, Â the most common connector is exactly the same one as on the iPhone. In other words Â on the front of your car stereo you may see a little hole that looks like the headphone socket on your iPhone and it will say something like ‘aux in’. Â If that is the case then you will need a cable with aÂ 3.5mm (1/8 inch) stereo jack at each end.
This link will take you to a Â search on ebay for a Â 3.5mm ANKER lead with such a jack on each end.Â It will connect your iPod or iPhone headphone jack to your car stereo.
To a home stereo.
If you are Â wanting to plug your iPhone or iPod into your home stereo, Â most likely you will need 2 RCA plugs Â which look like this:
These are called RCA plugs – Â male. You need two, one for left and one for right.
I talk more about the technical details of connecting to a home stereo in this article.Â
Bluejeans cables have a page where you can pick the exact connector that you need, Â and choose the exact length of cable that you need. Â They make up the cable with very top-quality connectors. Â And they are reasonably priced.
I am not connected to them in any way!
The link to their website is here:
On their page you will find a list of the available connectors like this:
For ‘end A’ choose ‘1/8 TRS Male.’ This Â will connect to to your iPhone.
For ‘end B’ you will need to choose a plug according to what you are going to plug your iPhone into at the other end.
The Â first choice, 1/8 TRS Male, is Â what you would use to plug your iPhone into your car stereo. Some home stereo’s or portable stereo’s also have a 1/8 TRS input. For example my Marley Get Toegther takes one of these.
The 3rd choice, 2 x RCA MaleÂ is what you would use to plug your iPod or iPhone into your home stereo.
The 5th choice 2 x 1/4 TS MaleÂ is what you would use to plug your iPhone or iPod into a mixing desk like you might find at a professional theatre or church or school. They look like a guitar lead.
I won’t go through all the other options, the chances are if you need one of them you will already know what you need it for.
iPhone to home stereo needs 1/8 TRS Male to 2x RCA Male.
iPhone to car stereo aux input normally needsÂ 1/8 TRS Male toÂ 1/8 TRS Male.
If you’d like to read some more, this article talks about the difference between line out and headphone out, whether to use a dock, and which input to plug into on the back of your stereo.