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connecting ipod to car stereo

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Brooktop, Oct 26, 2005.

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  1. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    I've just bought an itrip mini and am not really that impressed. Although it works, the sound quality is below radio quality. It could be that, being in Nottingham, virtually every band has something, or if not, something next to it. I will try and get 87.5 from Griffin, but don't think it will make that much difference.

    I'm toying with the idea of getting a new head unit that plays MP3 and has an rca input for my ipod mini. My question is, do you know where I can get a cable to go from the ipod to the rca (aux) input on the front of the stereo. I believe the quality should be better if I go from the dock connector rather than the headphone jack, but can't find anything suitable - just home cables (ie split to L and R).
     
  2. mick's cat

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  3. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    Thanks Mick

    I think I'd also need a splitter because the input on the unit is only single. I'm thinking of getting a head unit with usb input (about £75 delivered) because I can use my USB cable from the dock connector - ie a better signal than from the headphone jack, plus it will charge my mini at the same time!

    Unless anyone has a better suggestion....
     
  4. mick's cat

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    Not sure what you mean by needing a splitter. The Maplin dock connector provides a stereo output, which the head unit should accept. If you need to charge the iPod at the same time as listening, then you may need something like this:

    http://www.sendstation.com/us/products/pocketdock/lineout-usb.html

    which gives a USB input (for charging purposes) and line out for audio.
     
  5. Brooktop

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  6. mick's cat

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    Looks good. Does the iPod actually play its audio via the USB connection, or is the USB just for charging the iPod and you still need a line out cable too?
     
  7. hornydragon

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    some in car units have special docks for ipods and comapys like connects2 make generic ones check them out.........
     
  8. Brooktop

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    good point Mick. The seller claims that it will play from the dock connector...but then again, they could just be saying that!

    HD - glad to see you visit this forum...after all the top advice you gave me on my plasma screen!

    The blurb on this stereo says that all ipods and mp3 players can act as a source (although there's no details in the user manual pdf). Is there any reason why the dock connector won't provide a signal out?
     
  9. mick's cat

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    It's not that the iPod's dock connector won't provide a signal out (it definitely does, a line out analog signal, and a USB-based in/out digital signal), the question is whether the head unit knows what to do with the iPod's USB signal. As hornydragon says, some makers have a proper iPod dock connector, and allow full iPod control from the head unit's controls, but I rather suspect this one doesn't - I'd have thought it would have been advertised as being so if it had, whereas all it mentions is an auxiliary input for iPod. This probably means just a line in, from the iPod's line out. So, the iPod with one of those SendStation devices could use a USB cable via the head unit's USB port for charging, and the iPod's line out to the Aux input of the head unit. Maybe some of the other buyers of the product, or the ebay seller, could clarify this for you.

    I don't want to put you off the head unit, but it does seem very cheap for what it says it can do. And sometimes, you just get what you pay for...
     
  10. Brooktop

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    you could be right Mick and I would generally agree. I could get the JVC KD-G611 which has an aux in (about £110).

    I'm not worried about being able to control the ipod from the head unit, because generally, I'll just put it on shuffle and leave it. I just want the most convenient (and cheapest to a point cos it's a company car anyway) way of hooking them up. I'm assuming that with an aux in, like on the JVC, I could just use the headphone jack connector cable that comes with my portable speakers (3.5mm phono to 3.5mm phono?). I just thought that if I'm going straight from the dock to the USB, it should be a better signal.

    Although in most instances I go for big brand names, sometimes non-OEM stuff can be ok. In the case of this Virtual Reality Soundlabs they make stuff for Wal Mart in the USA. I think they're American rather than Far East.

    The feedback from 2 people I've contacted said it was good (but perhaps not for an audiophile). The carbasse that is in my clio is ok, but certainly not earth shattering, so I'd be happy with something on a par.

    Oh....what to do????
     
  11. Uridium

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    If you just want a cheap way of getting your iPod outputting through your car stereo have you thought about using one of the cassette adaptors? Assuming your head unit has a casssette slot that is?

    Even decent quality Belkin/Sony ones are only about £10

    Works for me anyway
     
  12. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    I don't have a cassette. I've got an itrip and it's ok...but saps the battery (I know...get a car charger!) and is not ideal...but it is better in the house.

    I just want to hear from someone who has connected up an ipod to a USB in on a car stereo. People with mp3 flash players have done it, so I'm assuming an ipod should work...but I'd like to hear it from the horse's mouth.
     
  13. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    Update:

    This is the response from the manufacturers customer service dept:

    You will be able to connect your iPod Mini using the dock connector to
    USB cable that came with the iPod, but be aware that by going through
    the USB port on the VRCD-300USB, it will only play MP3 music files (no
    AAC or WMA).

    If you connect the iPod Mini to the VRCD-300USB via an audio cable to
    the AUX input jack, the iPod Mini will act as the decoder, and you will
    be able to hear any music stored on the Mini.
     

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