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Q: Connecting iPod to Sony head unit ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Connecting iPod to Sony head unit
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: luke999-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 09 Sep 2004 20:53 PDT
Expires: 09 Oct 2004 20:53 PDT
Question ID: 399194
How can I connect my iPod to my Sony CDX-CA700X head unit?  I am
imagining something that will give me a generic RCA input to the car
stereo.  Something inexpensive that I can install myself would, of
course, be preferred, but any correct answer will be accepted.
Subject: Re: Connecting iPod to Sony head unit
Answered By: aht-ga on 09 Sep 2004 23:04 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello luke999-ga:

You're not the only person wondering how to connect an iPod to the
CDX-CA700X. For example, check out this thread on

The two main methods for transferring audio from a portable device
like an iPod to a head unit without cassette are via an
auxiliary-input built into the head unit, or with an FM modulator
(that you then tune the head unit's radio to). The audio quality of
the FM modulator approach tends to be below most persons' acceptable
standard, so invariably a direct connection through an auxiliary input
is desired.

The Sony CDX-CA700X does actually have RCA-jack inputs; however, these
are not for "standard" audio input. They are intended for use in
conjunction with an auxiliary Sony UniLink device such as a CD-changer
or XM Radio unit. Without a UniLink device connected to the head
unit's UniLink bus connector, the RCA-jack inputs are not properly

There is hope, of course, as long as your budget can accommodate it.
Sony makes a device, the XA-300, whose primary purpose is to allow
devices that are not Sony UniLink devices to be used with UniLink
compatible head units such as the CA700X:

This device also serves another purpose of course, that is to lighten
your bank account. While it is possible to find it online for just
under $100, this is a lot more than the cost of a FM modulator. You
can see some of the online prices here:

Personally, I'd be very hesitant to pay an additional $100, so that
means the next option is to consider an FM modulator/transmitter:

As you can see from this online search, a good FM
modulator/transmitter, such as the iTrip designed for the iPod, can
still be close to $40. This is probably more than the inexpensive
solution you are looking for. However, given the restrictions on the
Sony CDX-CA700X, an FM transmitter is the most likely solution for
you. A twist on this approach that you might find more appealing is
this one, from

Think of this as a hard-wired FM modulator solution rather than a
wireless one. Instead of using an FM transmitter which can be subject
to performance problems depending on the position of the transmitter
and your car's antenna. With this hard-wired solution, you plug a
cable between the modulator and your iPod's headphone jack, then tune
your radio to one of the two frequencies that the modulator can output
over. While the overall response frequency range of an FM audio signal
is lower than what you can get with a CD, for listening to most types
of music in a car it is 'good enough'. The downside of this unit is
that it does require installation, so if you don't want to go to this
trouble, then even a basic FM transmitter like these ones:

can do the job.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this Answer, I'd be
happy to elaborate if necessary.

I hope this helps!

Google Answers Researcher
luke999-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Not the answer I was hoping for, but well done, thank you.

Subject: Re: Connecting iPod to Sony head unit
From: whot-ga on 10 Sep 2004 00:57 PDT
iPod Stereo Connection Kit with Monster Cable $79

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