View Full Version : iPhone dock or audio/charge cable for the stereo?

Matt Meiser
09-13-2012, 5:07 PM
Anyone have a recommendation for one that works? I just discovered that if I plug my phone (iPhone 4) into the shop stereo, not only can I play or stream music, but I also hear if my phone rings. But doing so for long periods runs down the battery so I also need to plug in a charge cable. Thinking a dock or a cable with the dock connector, RCA's and a charge connection would work but some get mixed reviews. Figure the average visitor here is a little more savvy than the average Amazon reviewer.

Lee Ludden
09-13-2012, 6:15 PM
I just spent an extra $10 or so for a spare wall charger from a retailer and use that to keep my iphone charged while I play music through speakers attached to the headphones jack. For the house, we have one of the Bose docking stations, which is a bit too nice for the shop.

Eric DeSilva
09-13-2012, 6:26 PM
Search Amazon for "ipod line out" and you should get a collection of devices that will work--both charge the iPod and give you a 1/4" stereo audio line out. I can't find the one I use in my car, but it is has an Apple 30 pin connector on one end and two cables--one USB/A and one 1/4" headphone jack. I would note that if you use the audio out from the 30 pin jack, the benefit is that you get a true fixed volume line out that doesn't go through the iP4 headphone audio amp. While it isn't a bad amp, there is a limit to the audio quality you can achieve in that form factor.

Jason Roehl
09-13-2012, 6:55 PM
Just a side note. Streaming music will kill your battery--just playing it via the audio jack shouldn't use much juice at all.

FWIW, I'm on my second iPhone (4, first was a 3G), and my wife has a 4 also. I've had mine for 3.5 years and she's had one for 2. In that time, we've bought 2 extra off-brand AC chargers and one sorta died (the Apple connector pushed into the housing--I probably could still fix it). One of our original Apple charger cables is starting to come apart near the connector--just the rubber insulation is split, still works fine. I wouldn't hesitate to get an extra off-brand charger cable and leave that in the shop, then connect to the headphone jack.

Matt Meiser
09-13-2012, 7:39 PM
With 5 iDevices between three of us I buy charge cable by the 6's to replace lost and broken ones. And my daughter isn't the one who breaks them--the ones I travel with take a beating.

Something that just uses the dock connector would be my preference for ease of use, especially if I need to answer a call.

Bruce Page
09-13-2012, 8:10 PM
I have the Onkyo dock both in the house and in the shop. I've been very pleased with them.

Ben Hatcher
09-13-2012, 8:18 PM

I had the one for my 3G. It worked great. The phone dropped in perfectly every time...no wiggling around trying to get the slot lined up like I have to do with my motorola dock.

Eric DeSilva
09-14-2012, 8:59 AM
Remember, if you choose to buy an expensive dock, that it is already outmoded. Apple's newly announced devices, like the iP5, use an 8-connector "lightning" cable that replaces the 30 pin connector used on the iP4 and other models. While adapters are available at the low, low Apple price of $30 each, those adapters will NOT work for audio docks, since the new lightning connector does not have audio line out or video out support.

Brian Kerley
09-14-2012, 9:14 AM
With that many iDevices, it may be a better idea to get Airplay compatible equipment. Then you can stream straight to the speakers without cables, and leave your phone charging. You should even be able to leave the iPhone indoors out of the dust and stream the music to your speakers. And, as Eric mentioned, your connector is obsolete as of 2 days ago. Airplay is not and all new devices have it. Or, you could also go for bluetooth speakers and stream your audio that way too. Or, just use the headphone jack and stream it out that way.

Matt Meiser
09-14-2012, 9:18 AM
Great. So how do you get audio/video out of the iPhone 5? The audio jack using that special audio/video cable?

I have an Airport Express, but if I'm not mistaken, you can only play iTunes through that. If you connect to the headphone port (or I think the Dock) all the sounds the phone makes (i.e. the ringer and audio from Pandora) come through the speakers.

Edit: Based on Erics search suggestion I found this (http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Meters-Composite-Cable-iPhone/dp/B004SBBDD0/ref=pd_cp_e_0) at Amazon. On the way! I'll have to re-figure it out when I get an iPhone 5. But since I've barely had my 4 for a year...

Brian Kerley
09-14-2012, 9:33 AM
Great. So how do you get audio/video out of the iPhone 5? The audio jack using that special audio/video cable.

Airplay, bluetooth, headphone jack, or Lightning-compatible dock (of which there are 0 right now). The new connector is digital only, so there is no longer an analog out that can be accessed through the dock cable.

Never having played with an iPhone for more than about 10 minutes, I can't say for certain how the headphone jack works, but all audio should come out of it, even ringers, etc. Airplay docks won't be cheap (like a couple of hundred bucks). Or, with your airport express, you can run audio out form it, but your airport device is probably no where near the speakers you are trying to get audio out from in the shop. According to Pandora's website, you can do Pandora over Airplay as well.

Cheapest option: Headphone jack as an Aux-out ($5 cable)
Not quite as cheap: the now obsolete dock with speakers ($30 dock)
Bit more expensive: Bluetooth compatible speakers ($150 speakers)
Wicked expensive: Airplay system ($300 unit)

Matt Meiser
09-14-2012, 9:36 AM
Man I looked everywhere for a way to do Pandora on to the Airplay devices and didn't find it. Of course I never Googled. Turns out its right there! But I still think I'll use the cable since that will charge and play the ringer too.

Eric DeSilva
09-14-2012, 12:34 PM
the new lightning connector does not have audio line out or video out support.

Turns out the web page for buying the lightning adapter was incorrect, at least according to a new Apple report:

"The things that the dock connector adapters let you do: . . . Analog audio output to stereos, docks and anything else that uses a 30-pin cable of any sort to send audio."


Don Jarvie
09-15-2012, 6:17 PM
If you buy a 1/8 line with a connector that the line plugs into that will let you plug the connector into the cassette jack in the back of the stereo you can run the phone through your stereo. The just the your phone into the wall to keep it charged. Works fine for me. I think the connector and cord was 20 bucks at target.