How to Use an IPhone on an Old Bose Speaker Station


While many newer Bose speaker stations and audio systems connect directly to your iPhone's dock or Lightning connectors, older Bose systems do not. However, you can still connect your iPhone to your Bose system. In some cases, you can buy a dock connector directly from Bose and, in others, you can use an audio line-in cable to connect to an open audio input on your Bose speaker station.

Adding a Dock Connector

  • Bose sells accessory dock connectors for many of their systems and speaker stations. For example, the Wave Connect kit adds an iPhone or iPod dock to many Bose Acoustic Wave models. It also charges the iPhone and lets you control the it from your Bose remote.

Headphone Jack Connections

  • If your Bose system does not have a dock available, or if you do not want to purchase one, you can also connect your iPhone's headphone jack to an input on the back of your amplifier. You will need to purchase an audio line-in cable that has a headphone-sized 3.5-mm stereo plug on one end and two phono plugs on the other end. The headphone plug goes into the headphone jack on your iPhone and the two phono plugs go into the "Aux" input on the back of your Bose unit. Connect the red plug to the red jack for the right channel and the black or white plug to the white jack for the left channel.

Analog Dock Connections

  • You can also buy an analog output cable for your iPhone's dock connector. These outputs have the benefit of potentially providing better sound quality than the headphone jack, since they bypass the iPhone's built-in headphone amplifier. You'll need to find a line-out cable with a 3.5mm jack and two phono plugs, instead of a standard line-out cable with a 3.5mm plug and two phono plugs to use these outputs, though.

Making the Connection

  • However you make the connection, it's always a good idea to turn your Bose system off and unplug it while you're doing it. If your iPhone is connected to your Bose speakers through the headphone jack, turn it all the way down before you start playing an audio signal. Gradually turn your iPhone up as loud as you can, until you start to hear distortion, then turn it down just a tiny bit from that point. Once you've set your iPhone's volume, you can use your stereo to control the listening volume.

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