Attaching an iPad to a Stereo Receiver

by Jason Artman

    The iPad's built-in speaker and headphone jack allow you to enjoy your music anywhere, but at home you might prefer to listen to music on the higher-quality speakers of your stereo system. Many stereo receivers have USB ports and docks to accommodate the iPad. If your stereo receiver isn't designed for iPad compatibility, you can still attach an iPad by connecting a cable to the iPad's headphone jack.

    Minijack or "Y" Cable

    Step 1

    Check the back of your stereo receiver to determine which audio connections it supports. If the receiver has an "Aux" or "Line In" jack with a single hole resembling the iPad's headphone jack, purchase a cable with a 1/8-inch connector on both ends. If the receiver has two input jacks color-coded red and white, purchase a "Y" cable with a 1/8-inch connector on one end and two RCA connectors on the other end.

    Step 2

    Turn the iPad's volume down using the buttons on the right side of the iPad before connecting it to your stereo receiver. You can raise the volume to the desired level after you connect the iPad and begin playing a song. If you have the Apple iPad Dock, skip this step as the Dock has a line-level output that requires no volume adjustments.

    Step 3

    Attach one of the cable's 1/8-inch connectors to the headphone jack on the top of the iPad. Alternatively, dock the iPad and attach the cable to the "Line Out" jack on the back of the Apple iPad Dock. The Dock can charge the iPad while you listen to music if it is connected to an outlet. If you don't own the Dock, the iPad will run on battery power unless you connect it to a power outlet via its charging cable.

    Step 4

    Attach the other end of the cable to the 1/8-inch or RCA inputs on the back of your stereo receiver. Note the label of the input you're using, such as "Aux" or "Line In."

    Step 5

    Use the receiver's controls to switch to the input to which the iPad is connected.

    Step 6

    Play a song on the iPad. If you attach the iPad to one of your stereo receiver's audio input jacks, you'll need to keep the iPad within arm's reach as the receiver's remote control will not allow you to switch between songs.

    Step 7

    Adjust the iPad's volume using the receiver's remote control if you have connected the iPad via the "Line Out" jack on the back of the Apple iPod Dock. If you have connected the iPad via the headphone jack, adjust the volume with the buttons on the side of the iPad after setting the stereo receiver to a moderate volume level.

    USB Port or iPad Dock

    Step 1

    Turn your stereo receiver off or lower the volume fully to prevent pops and other noises when you connect the iPad.

    Step 2

    Connect your receiver's iPad dock to the port with a label such as "iPad" or "Dock." If your receiver uses a USB connection rather than an iPad dock, connect the cable to the USB port.

    Step 3

    Connect the other end of the cable to the dock connector on the bottom of the iPad.

    Step 4

    Turn the stereo receiver on and press the "iPod" or "iPad" button on the remote control. The iPad's screen should now indicate that the device is connected to a power source; you can now control the iPad using your receiver's remote control.

    Step 5

    Use the remote control to select and play a song. After the song begins playing, adjust the volume to the desired level.


    • Some iPad cables, such as the one included with certain Pioneer home theater receivers, have two connectors that must attach to the receiver: a USB connector and a composite video connector. The ports for these two connectors are side by side on the receiver. The other end of the cable attaches to the iPad Dock Connector as described in this article.


    • The iPad runs Apple's iOS operating system, which is not the same as the operating system found on older devices such as the iPod Classic. Some stereo receivers with USB ports may have iPod support but may not work with the iPad. In addition, some stereo receivers may be unable to charge an iPad via the USB port.

    Required Items

    • Minijack or "Y" audio cable or stereo receiver with iPad support

    About the Author

    Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.

    Photo Credits

    • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images