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How to Use Portable Music Players with Home Audio Systems

by Staff Writer

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MP3 player

Things You Need:

  • Portable music player
  • Home audio system
  • 3.5 mm to RCA transfer cable

Portable music players are great for taking your music with you anywhere, making it convenient to listen to what you want, when you want to. You can increase the usability of your portable CD player, or other music player, by connecting it to your home audio system. Many newer stereos have a dock, a place to connect an MP3 player. If your home audio system isn't capable of one of these connections or if you aren't using an MP3 player, follow these steps to find out how to connect your music player.

Connecting to Your Home Stereo:

  1. Make sure that your home audio system is equipped with an auxiliary or "aux" mode. In some cases, your home audio system "AUX" mode might be labeled as "Line In" or "MP3 Input." Be sure to turn down the volume on both your stereo and your music player before you connect them and make sure they are both turned off. Make sure your music player is fully charged or has new batteries. Read through the user manual for you home audio system to learn how to switch between input modes.

  2. Connect you music player to your home audio system. Plug the 3.5-mm end of the transfer cable directly into your "Line Out" or "Headphone Output." Because music players are so compact, you may see a symbol, usually little headphones, instead of text marking the headphone output.

  3. The RCA side of the transfer cable will have two ends, usually red and white. Plug these into the AUX input on your home audio system. Your home audio system may have color ports matching the cable. The red one is for your right speaker, and the white one is for your left (mono) speaker. Once everything is plugged in, power on both devices.

  4. Adjust your home audio system output mode to "AUX" or "Line In." If your home audio system has a remote control, press the input button to cycle through your various input options until you get to AUX. If your stereo doesn't have a remote, look for a button (or buttons) labeled AUX, Tape and CD.

  5. Tune your music player to any song and press "play" to test the connection. Slowly increase the volume control on each device until you reach your desired volume level.

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