Connecting Your iPod To An Older Vehicle : Many newer vehicles come with options allowing you to connect your iPod or iPhone directly to your entertainment system. Commonly known as an iPod dock, this allows you listen to your favorite tunes while driving and charge the device.
This doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you own an older vehicle that isn’t equipped with this option.
How can you connect your iPod to an older vehicle?
There are several options available to you if your vehicle is not equipped with an iPod dock. Depending on the option you choose you may be sacrificing sound quality for easy of installation.
One of the more popular ways to connect your iPod to an older vehicle is through a wireless FM transmitter costing between $15 and $30. These units are easy to install and are typically plugged into a cigarette lighter or similar adapter for power. These allow you to dock your iPod and contain a small FM transmitter that broadcasts to an open FM station you can receive on your radio.
Be careful when purchasing this type of device. Some restrict the FM frequency you can use and if a radio station in your area occupies this frequency these devices are rendered useless. Additionally, these are not able to deliver high quality sound through your FM radio.
Another option may be to install a wired FM modulator. These devices are wired directly into the vehicles sound system and will inject the signal from your iPod directly into the car stereo. This will involve modifying some wires under your dash but will allow you directly dock your iPod and listen to tunes directly on your FM radio through any frequency you select. These can be found online for $15 to $20 and while installation is a little more complex, they do offer better sound quality over the wireless version.
For vehicles with a cassette player, you can purchase a cassette adapter. These adapters resemble a regular cassette tape and have a jack that plugs into the headphone jack of your iPod. Costing between $15 and $20, these produce good quality sound and installation is as easy as inserting a tape into the deck.
Many late model vehicles may not have a dock but still offer an easy way to connect your iPod. Many car stereos come with an auxiliary port or AUX port. This may also be referred as a “line-in” jack in your owner’s manual. This allows your iPod to be connected using a special AUX cable that plugs into the headphone jack and then into the AUX port. Selecting this as your source on your car stereo is as easy as pressing a button. You will be listening to your favorite tunes in a matter of seconds and the sound quality will be excellent as if you were listening directly from your iPod itself. Cables for connecting your iPod through the AUX port cost between $5 and $10.
The final method of connecting your iPod to your older vehicle is one involving removing the stereo but can give you some of the best listening over any other method. Certain stereos have an RCA jack located at the back.
This type of connection involves connecting a special cable with RCA jacks on one end and a headphone jack on the other. This type of cable is available at most electronics shops and will cost approximately $5.
The red and white connectors on the RCA cable are plugged into the back of your stereo and the other end is inserted into the iPod. Your stereo will have either a line-in or AUX setting similar to those equipped with an AUX port available.
Sound quality using this method is superior to any other but installation is the most difficult.
Just because you own an older model vehicle, doesn’t mean you cannot listen to your iPod while driving. These options offer easy and economical ways to connect your iPod to your older vehicle.