Q: I have been in the market for a docking system for my home theatre. After reading several of the reviews on sound docks and such, I realized that I don’t need an expensive docking solution, but rather just a simple cable that has the iPod connection as the male receptacle on one end, with a set of either RCA outs. Has anyone made such a cable yet?
A: You’re right. For a low-tech solution, if you’re not interested in keeping your iPod standing up and charged while playing to your home stereo, you’re not going to need any sort of accessory outside of a simple 1/8”-to-RCA “Y-Cable” such as this one available for only $8 from XtremeMac.
As you suggest, an iPod-to-stereo cable can lead to superior audio quality; were you to simply plug the above cable into the iPod’s headphone jack, the audio sent to your speaker system would ultimately be amplified twice, which is usually deterimental to the quality of the audio you hear. It’s generally better to connect to your stereo using the iPod’s unamplified “line out” port built into its 30-pin Dock Connector. This line out port is accessible with any of the docking station accessories currently available, or through a smaller, more portable option like SiK’s Imp or SendStation’s PocketDock accessories. Nyko also makes a Stereo Link cable for this purpose.