Using iPod’s line out to connect to your stereo

Q: When I plug my 20 GB iPod into my Sony home theater system, I have to turn the iPod volume to its highest setting as well as turning up the volume on the Sony amp in order to hear only a moderate increase. What’s wrong?

– Jeffrey

A: There are a few things to know about using the iPod with a stereo. First, the iPod’s volume from the headphone jack is attenuated; if you have a Dock, it is best to put the iPod in the Dock, then connect it to the stereo using the line-out jack. The Dock’s output gives you a higher level of volume, though you won’t be able to change the volume from the iPod; it is fixed, and adjustable only through your stereo at that point.

Second, make sure you have connected your iPod to a low-impedance input on the stereo, such as the AUX or Phono input. These inputs expect lower power than from, say, a CD player or a tuner, and amplify the sound more.

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage. His blog, Kirkville features articles about the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X and much more.
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