Connecting an iPod to a stereo

Updated
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Q: I need to buy a cord to play my iPod through my home stereo. I have a choice between one that goes into the headphone jack and one that goes into the Dock Connector on the bottom of the iPod. They both have a red and a white RCA plug on the other end to go into the amp. Which method will give me the best sound? Thanks.

– Anonymous

A: Technically speaking you will get better sound quality from the Dock Connector as it provides a straight line-level audio output. Unlike the headphone jack, audio going to the Dock Connector is not amplified nor attenuated by the iPod’s own volume controls.

Although the audio going out both connectors is still analog, the Dock Connector is also capable of providing a better electrical connection than the headphone jack, although this will depend largely on the quality of the accessory being used.

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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.