Best way to connect ipod to a stereo system?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by Parallel 01, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Parallel 01 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    #1
    I've read a lot online but I'd like some more opinions. The 3.5mm headphone jack to RCA sucks... I want better sound quality.

    Should I get a composite AV cable (30-pin to RCA)? Or would it be better to get a dock? Any other suggestions?
     
  2. macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #2
    Without knowing how good your stereo equipment is, if you're serious about really, really wanting to improve the sound quality of your music either in iTunes, or from your iPod, check out these links: http://highresolutiontechnologies.com/music-streamer-ii-plus
    http://www.audioquest.com/usb_digital_analog_converter/dragonfly-dac

    Warning: there's no going back, once you've heard these.
     
  3. Stewart21 macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2011
    Location:
    South Yorkshire
    #3
  4. likethesoup2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #4
    Neither of those will work with an iPod touch.

    Best thing to do is get the best RCA cables you can afford, and audioquest makes an adapter to 3.5mm.
     
  5. jtk13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #5
    Have you thought of an Airport Express or Apple TV connected to your stereo? Both offer optical audio out (3.5mm on Airport Express or TOS-Link on Apple TV). So you can plug them into your stereo with an optical cable and have 100% digital audio -- no RCA cables required. The audio quality will depend on the DAC you have in your stereo, which is generally better than the one your iPod Touch.

    Plus, they offer Airplay. I really like the convenience of Airplaying music to my stereo so I can control music from my device in hand, remotely. And it works great with Macs, too (Pro tip: alt-click the volume menu bar item in Mountain Lion or Maverics to route system audio to any Airplay device).
     
  6. Parallel 01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    #6
    how would you connect those to an ipod? Would you still have to get special cables?

    I might eventually get something like that anyway because the sound on my laptop sucks. Thanks for sharing
     
  7. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #7
    The Music Streamer is a USB DAC, won't work with your iPod.

    Cheapest AirPlay device is either the Pioneer A1 (Best Buy $40 if you can find it) or an Apple Airport Express.
     
  8. Parallel 01 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 6, 2013
    #8
    hmm... I'm using an older stereo system so I'm not sure it would work. It doesn't have an optical input :(
     
  9. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #9
    The AppleTV 2/3 use HDMI or optical for audio, the AirPort express uses a normal 1/8" stereo plug or a special optical cable.
     
  10. likethesoup2 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #10
    Already told you: neither will work with your iPod touch.

    Both will work with your laptop.
     
  11. Parallel 01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    #11
    I had no idea what an Airport Express was so I looked it up... seems like a pretty cool product. It's probably unnecessary for what I'm looking for atm though (because of the price mainly).


    yeah, got ya. :p

    Ended up getting a rocketfish 30-pin to component today for about $15. It's kinda bulky but it seems to work well. Are there any benefits of getting the apple version? It looks overpriced...
     
  12. Zmanbaseball2 macrumors 68040

    Zmanbaseball2

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #12
    Use an RCA and plug the aux into this to make it bluetooth.
    Anker® Bluetooth Adapter 3.5mm Audio Music Receiver with USB Wall Charger for Home Stereo Sound System
    http://amzn.com/B00DLZOG2E
     
  13. macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #13
    They have at least half a dozen different models, and the iStreamer is specifically made for iDevices. From their website:

    "The HRT iStreamer-Alternating Current (AC) is a product that makes the music coming out of your iPad, iPhone, or iPod sound dramatically better when connected to a music entertainment system in either a home/office setting or in a vehicle. The iStreamer AC is not designed to be used with PC or Mac computers like the other HRT Music Streamers. Rather, it is a high performance external sound card/audio interface that has been specifically designed to exclusively interface with modern iDevices such as the iPod Touch® (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th gen), iPod Classic®, iPod Nano® (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th gen), iPhone 4®, iPhone 3GS®, iPhone 3G®, iPhone®, iPhone5®, iPhone5S®, iPhone5C®, iPad®, iPad (3G)®, iPad 2®, the New (2012) iPad®, and the iPad Mini®. The iStreamer AC redirects the digital music stream from the iDevice to itself, bypassing the iDevice’s own internal Digital-to-Analog converter (DAC) and uses its own DAC instead, taking over the job of decoding the digital bits into analog music, allowing a far higher level of sonic performance than if listening directly from an iDevice."
     
  14. macs4nw, Nov 8, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013

    macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #14
    No need to buy any cables; all the cables, and even the power supply are included with the iStreamer, which is the specific model for iDevices. Hook-up couldn't be simpler or more straightforward. Here is the specific page for the iStreamer: http://highresolutiontechnologies.com/istreamer Also check the post immediately above this one.

    Glad to help. Happy listening!
     
  15. Parallel 01 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 6, 2013
  16. Thraun macrumors regular

    Thraun

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Abbotsford, BC
    #16
    Why do you think 3.5mm to RCA sucks? Because that's not true. You don't even need to get gold-plated cables or anything, that's largely BS.
     
  17. rdavidharris, Jan 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014

    rdavidharris macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #17
    iPod Touch Gen 4, 32gb here.

    I am testing both cable options right now, and I hear better overall sound quality using the spiffy Apple brand 30-pin to RCA cord ($40 at MicroCenter in Atlanta GA) vs using the 3.5mm headphone jack to RCA.

    The item is called Apple Composite AV Cable. Part number MC748ZM/A. This cable is nifty because you can connect your iPod Touch to a TV and show your photos or videos (or play your mp3's) on any TV (or stereo) that has RCA inputs. And it has a USB cord built-in so you can charge the iPod.

    If you appreciate 'good' sound on a nice stereo, you will hear better quality using the 30-pin output. I definitely hear a difference. It's kind of like comparing a 96k mp3 file to a 320k file. Significant spaciial clarity is how I describe it. Listening to Pink Floyd's "On The Turning Away" the sound is just (oh my) compare to just 'hey neato'. If that makes sense...

    Try it on a nice stereo system, and you will hear it.
     

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