The Best Way to Listen to an iPod in a Car

by Jared Huizenga
It's possible to listen to your iPod over your car speakers.

It's possible to listen to your iPod over your car speakers.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When it comes to listening to your iPod in the car, how you go about doing it will depend on your car stereo. Many stereos in newer cars have auxiliary audio ports that allow you to connect an iPod using an auxiliary audio cable and then play the iPod through the car's speakers. In older cars with stereos lacking this feature, you can still listen to your iPod through the car speakers by using a cassette adapter or an FM transmitter. Ultimately, the best method for listening to your iPod in the car is the one that matches the capabilities of your car stereo.

Listen Using a Car Audio Cable

Step 1

Insert one end of the audio cable into the headphone jack on your iPod.

Step 2

Insert the other end of the audio cable into the auxiliary jack on the front of your car stereo. Depending on your stereo, this jack may be labeled "Aux In," "Audio In" or something similar.

Step 3

Press the "Source," "Mode" or similarly labeled button until the car stereo displays "iPod," "MP3 player" or a comparable setting. Much like the audio jack, both the button and display readout will vary by the model of your stereo.

Step 4

Turn on the power to your iPod.

Step 5

Select and play music on your iPod just as you would if you were listening to the device with headphones.

Use an FM Transmitter

Step 1

Connect the 3.5 mm jack -- the one that resembles a headphone jack -- from the FM transmitter into the headphone jack on your iPod.

Step 2

Tune your car stereo to white noise (a frequency between radio stations where you only hear static).

Step 3

Use the "+" or "-" button or the "Up" and "Down" arrows, depending on your transmitter, to tune the transmitter to exactly the same FM frequency as the car stereo.

Step 4

Make sure your iPod is powered on and awake.

Step 5

Select music and press the "Play" button on your iPod just as you would when using headphones.

Use a Cassette Adapter

Step 1

Insert the 3.5 mm jack from the cassette adapter into the headphone jack on your iPod.

Step 2

Insert the cassette end of the adapter into the cassette player on your car stereo with the cable facing outward.

Step 3

Make sure your iPod is powered on and awake.

Step 4

Select and play music on the iPod just as you would when using the headphones or docking station.

About the Author

Jared Huizenga is a journalist living in Minneapolis where he works for one of the nation's largest weekly newspaper groups, covering city government and school news. While in college he managed two weekly entertainment newspapers in central and southern Minnesota and has contributed to many entertainment websites. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communication.

Photo Credits

  • Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images