Connecting iPod to 5.1 system (how to split audio signal?)

Posted on 2006-05-30
Last Modified: 2010-07-27
I want to connect my portable iPod music player to my 5.1 speaker system. But my speaker system has 3 connectors (colours are: orange, green and blue) but my iPod's got only 1 "hole".

I am forced to only plug in 1 connector into the iPod and when I play music only the front speakers have sound. (side and rear speakers are silent!)

Is there any hardware I can purchase to be able to split it into 3 "holes" so I will be able to use all the connectors, so all my speakers will have sound?

If there is no hardware that can split the connection 3 ways, is there one splitting to just 2 ways?

Any help is appreciated,
thank you very much!
Question by:doreg28
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    I think you can easily buy a simple jack-splitter (or two), but I'm not sure if it will give the desired sound quality.

    If you look at the 3,5 mm jack, you can see three parts.
    The top is ground, and is used on both channels. The lowerd and middle each stand for a channel, left or right.
    If you start to solder your own plug, make sure that you give each connection a ground.

    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    On the following website there's a picture of a simple audio-jack splitter. Maybe combining two will give you the desired result.

    the image is

    There are also split-plugs available specially for the IPod, but off course at a much higher price.


    Author Comment

    I don't know much about hardware and I wouldn't dare start to solder my own plug.

    The jack splitter looks promising. But does plugging my sound system to a jack-splitter, which is plugged into another jack-splitter, and finally plugged into my iPod significantly decrease the sound quality?

    Is there a hardward which will split 3 ways?
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    I will look if I can find a three way splitting jack, but it isn't very common.

    And yes, the sound-quality will decrease with these splitters, but it won't be that bad.
    usually the most problems with splitting audio comes when the ends go into different audio-systems.
    One to a receiver, one to a computer , one to headphones ect ect.

    I'll try to find out more, and post.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    Your home stereo system should have 2 connections, a left and right . The music coming out of the ipod is only 2 channels (left and right)

    You will need an ipod to stereo converter cable like this;

    If the 5.1 data is encoded in your music, the home stereo will send it to the proper speakers.

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment


    i've been unable to find any cheap solution to split ipod-audio to three different inputs.
    Only combining two simple splitters, to make three out of one.
    Like I've mentioned before, it will however not give the desired sound-quality.

    Expensive solutions would provide you with a stereo-set that has its own signal-processor and converts audio to different channels.
    I'd think that some of these devices can be found at a car-stereo-supplier.

    thats all I can think off it at the moment.

    Author Comment

    thx maduropa ill think ill try ur solution wif the 2 jack spliiters, hope it comes out alright!

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