How to Connect an iPod Shuffle to a Car Stereo

Updated June 13, 2017

The smallest of Apple’s MP3 digital music players, the iPod Shuffle, offers maximum mobility to users due to its tiny size. With 1 gigabyte of storage space and a 12-hour battery life, the Shuffle allows users to play a wide variety of songs for an extended period. It is also simple to hook the iPod Shuffle up to your car stereo system and enjoy music on trips.

Purchase an FM transmitter that works with the iPod Shuffle. These transmitters are made by both Apple and third-party electronics manufactures. Price typically ranges from £6 to £19.

Turn on your vehicle and find an FM radio band that is not in use. In most areas of the United States, there is unused bandwidth in the 87.5 to 90 Megahertz range. Experiment until you find a band that is complete static and has no interference from other stations.

Plug the FM transmitter into your car’s 12-volt power socket, commonly called the cigarette lighter socket.

Connect the 3.5 millimetre stereo cable on the FM transmitter to the headphone jack of your iPod shuffle. Slide the iPod Shuffle’s power switch into the “on” position.

Dial in the chosen frequency on the FM transmitter. If your iPod is already playing, you may begin to hear sound at the band directly before or after your chosen band, but be sure you select the exact band your car stereo is set at for maximum fidelity.

Press the play button on the iPod Shuffle if it is not already playing and adjust your car stereo’s volume knob to a comfortable listening level.


The FM transmitter will charge your iPod battery while the car is on.


Ensure you purchase a transmitter specifically designed for the iPod Shuffle.

Things You'll Need

  • FM transmitter
  • iPod Shuffle
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About the Author

Writing professionally since 2005, Ryan Haas specializes in sports, politics and music. His work has appeared in "The Journal-Standard," SKNVibes and trackalerts. Haas holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Illinois.