iPod Home Stereo
Get the iPod playing through your home system
One of the best ways to enjoy your iPod is on the home stereo or Home Theater system. The home system can really highlight the true attention to audio quality that separates iPod from the knock offs and imitators. All it takes is a line out to an open line in on your stereo receiver. This would be in the form of a stereo RCA jack. The RCA jack coming from the iPod can be accomplished in two ways- the right way and the wrong way.
Clearly the wrong way to get a line out from the iPod is to use the headphone jack. The headphone jack will give you an amplified signal. The size of the signal sent to your receivers amplifiers will be variable by the iPod's own volume control. This can be dangerous to your home equipment, not to mention the iPod, so it's best to use the docking port. There are several companies that make docking port to RCA jack adaptors for the iPod.
Beware of the iPod AV cable. This is designed to connect from your headphone jack to the TV. The use of this iPod peripheral assumes you know to keep the volume turned way down before you connect it to your TV's speakers. This can conceivably be used for the stereo system but again, it's less than optimal. The XtremeMac iPod Audio Kit is an acceptable all-in-one option with sturdy lines that will give you a good signal connection from the iPod docking port. This ensures the cleanest, flat, un-amplified signal possible.
Remember the basics, you want to use the docking port on the bottom of your iPod to connect to your home stereo. Avoid any peripheral that only uses the headphone jack unless of course you're actually using headphones. Mini speaker systems are great portable devices to give you full sound. But they'll have to be plugged into a power source to give you full sound making them a little less than portable. Using any portable radio with an available auxiliary input is enough to provide all the portability and power you need. Then you're looking for a convenient iPod dock to RCA connector which can be found at your local retailer for very cheap.