Connecting cassette adapters to line-out port

Q: Is there any way to connect a cassette adapter to a dock/line-out rather than to the headphone jack of an iPod? I have come to find the sound quality of anything attached to the iPod headphone jack (besides actual headphones) to be noticibly worse than that from the line out port. It seems there is no way to directly connect my iPod to my 2002 Grand Am, so I’m looking at the cassette deck method as the next best option. I realize that this isn’t ideal for the best sound, but if I can avoid the headphone jack, it can’t be too bad.

– Jill

A: This certainly can be done, and, in fact, it is precisely how we would recommend you connect.

What you need is a simple product that will allow you to convert the 30-Pin Dock Connector into a standard 1/8” headphone jack. There are several products which do just that. The Belkin Auto Kit, for example, simultaneously charges the iPod and provides for the line-out connection with a headphone jack at the cigarette adaptor end of the cable. We have been using this product with a Sony Cassette Adaptor for over a year. Another option is the SiK imp, which is cheaper than the Belkin Auto Kit, and can be used at home as well. One major difference between the two products is that SiK’s imp doesn’t attenuate the line out signal, while Belkin’s Auto Kit does. You may hear clipping in the imp as a result, one reason to prefer Belkin’s solution.

Our reviews page has product reviews for the Belkin Auto Kit, Sik Imp, and a comprehensive roundup of many cassette adaptors.

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