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How to Connect an iPhone to an AV Receiver

Smartphones can replace numerous devices these days. Previously, you had a phone, a still camera, video camera, music player, DVD player, and a computer. However, iPhones can essentially perform all those functions and more.

It’s little wonder, given all that ability, that you might consider wanting to use your iPhone as a media hub. For maximum results, this will involve connecting your iPhone to an AV receiver. It might be quicker and easier than you expect.

So, let’s look at the most common ways on how to connect an iPhone to an AV receiver.

Lightning to HDMI Adapter

HDMI Adapter

Nearly all AV receivers will contain numerous HDMI ports for connecting all your various devices. It makes sense to connect your iPhone using HDMI. But wait, there’s no HDMI output on my iPhone. How do I do that?

You will need what’s known as a Lightning to HDMI adapter. It simply plugs into the charging port on your iPhone. There are a few different options available for these adapters, and I have included my recommendation as an example.

Apple Lightning to Digital AV Adapter – Official Apple Adapter

This is the authentic Apple adapter. Plugging the dongle into your iPhone’s charging port offers an HDMI output port. Additionally, there is a Lightning output port on the dongle, so you can still charge your iPhone while it’s connected.

When connecting an HDMI cable, your iPhone’s content will be mirrored to the connected device. Video will be displayed at a maximum Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution. Both video and audio output are supported.

Koinscon – 3-in-1 Digital AV Adapter for iPhone

Using third-party products can have its advantages. They are usually more affordable and often offer additional functions. This is the case with the Koinscon 3-in-1 digital AV adapter for iPhones.

Not only does it offer the same functions as the official Apple product, but it also has a USB port on the dongle. This allows you to connect other items such as an SLR camera, Go Pro, or even an external storage device.

HDMI MHL Port…

Now that you have your Lightning to HDMI adapter, it’s time to connect your iPhone to an AV receiver. You’ll need your iPhone, the adapter, an HDMI cable, and your AV receiver. Plug the adapter into your iPhone, then one end of the HDMI cable into the dongle, and the other end into the AV receiver.

When plugging the HDMI cable into the AV receiver, you want to look for an HDMI port that supports MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link). Any standard HDMI cable can be used, but the port has been optimized for connecting mobile devices to home theater equipment.

Pros

  • Greater flexibility, having both an audio and video connection through the one cable.
  • MHL technology has been optimized for this specific connection purpose.

Cons

  • You will need to buy an adapter for this connection type to work.
  • More cables will be lying around using this method which can be inconvenient.

Lightning to RCA or Auxiliary

RCA or Auxiliary

If you are only looking to transmit an audio signal without video, one of the easiest ways is using either the RCA or auxiliary input. You should have received an adapter with your iPhone that has a male Lightning jack at one end and a female 3.5mm port at the other.

Simply plug a male 3.5mm to male 3.5mm auxiliary cable from the adapter to your AV receiver’s 3.5mm auxiliary input. If you would like to cut down requiring both an adapter and a cable, there are other options.

WORLDBOYU – Lightning to RCA Cable

The rear of your AV receiver will have RCA inputs available. These are the small round red and white plugs. This cable from WORLDBOYU has a male Lightning connection at one end, plus red and white male RCA connections at the other.

Connect directly from your iPhone’s Lightning port to your AV receiver’s RCA ports. The cable is dual shielded, has gold-plated connections, and has a braided nylon jacket. This ensures a high-quality audio signal using a strong and durable cable.

Thore – Lightning to 3.5mm Auxiliary Cable

Bypass the need for using an adapter with your iPhone and connect directly from the Lightning port to your AV receiver’s auxiliary port. This cable from Thore has a male Lightning connection at one end and a male 3.5mm auxiliary connection at the other.

It is available in four colors, including Black, Gray, Red, and White. The cable is 4-feet (1.2-meters) in length and is reinforced for extra strength. MFI certification ensures that it is compatible with most iPhone, iPad, and iPod models.

Pros

  • All receivers should have both RCA and auxiliary inputs available.
  • Can be connected with a single cable with most auxiliary inputs easily accessible.

Cons

  • This will only provide an audio signal with no video signal available using this method.
  • Cables are still necessary, even though this is probably the most simple method.

Wireless AirPlay Connection

Connecting anything wirelessly is always going to be the most convenient method. This is, of course, possible with the iPhone. However, you will require an Apple TV set up to take advantage of wireless AirPlay. So, let’s find out how to connect an iPhone to an AV receiver wirelessly.

This method will offer both a video and audio signal to stream directly from your iPhone. First of all, you will need the Apple TV device. It is a small box that will connect to your AV receiver using a standard HDMI cable.

Apple Store – Apple TV

Apple TV

Apple TV is available in either HD with 1920 x 1080p resolution or in a 4K version with Ultra HD 3840 x 2160p resolution. Both the HD or 4K versions have either a 32GB or 65GB storage option too.

The included remote control supports Siri and has a touch-enabled click pad. An onboard A12 Bionic chip gives a boost to audio, video, and graphics. You can, of course, also stream from your iPhone or iPad using AirPlay.

Connecting Apple TV to your receiver…

Your Apple TV will have an HDMI output at the rear of the device. Using a standard HDMI cable, plug one end into the Apple TV and the other end into the rear of your AV receiver. It is preferable to use an HDMI ARC channel if this is available.

Some older versions of Apple TV have both an HDMI output and an optical output. You may wish to plug the HDMI directly into your TV for the video output. Using an optical cable, you can then send only the audio channel to your AV receiver.

Mirror your iPhone’s screen…

Now that you have your Apple TV connected to both your AV receiver and TV, all that’s left is to connect your iPhone. The first option is to mirror your iPhone’s screen to your TV via the Apple TV using AirPlay. Here are the steps:

  • Connect your iPhone to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV.
  • Open the [Control Center] on your iPhone.
  • Tap on [Screen Mirroring].
  • Select your Apple TV from the list.
  • Enter the passcode on your TV screen that appears on your iPhone.

Stream music or video from your iPhone…

If you wish to only stream a particular piece of content, this is also possible. While using your iPhone, you might come across some audio or video content that you wish to stream to your TV so everyone can enjoy it. Here are the steps:

  • Connect your iPhone to the same Wi-Fi as your Apple TV.
  • Find the music or video you wish to stream.
  • Tap the rectangle icon with a small arrow at the bottom.
  • Choose your Apple TV from the list that pops up.

Pros

  • Completely wireless with no need to plug in any cables when ready to stream.
  • Can stream both audio and video from your iPhone or directly from Apple TV.

Cons

  • This is the least affordable option of connecting your iPhone to an AV receiver.
  • Apple TV requires its own power source, making it less energy efficient.

Need Some Speakers for your iPhone and AV Receiver?

We can help you get that sorted. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Wireless TV Speakers, the Best Computer Speakers Under $100, the Best High End Home Theater Speakers, the Best Smart Speakers, the Best Sonos Speakers, and the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 you can buy in 2022.

You might also like our comprehensive reviews of the Best JBL Floor Standing Speakers, the Best Bookshelf Speakers, the Best In-Wall Speakers, the Best 7.1 Home Theater System, the Best Apple AirPlay Speakers, and the Best Ceiling Speakers For Dolby Atmos currently on the market.

How to Connect an iPhone to an AV Receiver – Final Thoughts

As you can see, there’s a variety of options for connecting your iPhone to an AV receiver. There are a few different factors to take into consideration, like what connection options are available on your AV receiver.

You’ll also need to decide if you would like only audio, or both audio and video. The final choice is either a wired or wireless connection. While Apple TV is the least affordable option, it also opens up the most possibilities. No matter which option you choose, there’s an easy way to connect an iPhone to an AV receiver.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Jennifer Bell

Jennifer is a freelance writer from Montana. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and English, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Games and Simulation Design.

Her passions include guitar, bass, ukulele, and piano, as well as a range of classical instruments she has been playing since at school. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, yoga, eating well, and spending time with her two cats, Rocky and Jasper.

Jennifer enjoys writing articles on all types of musical instruments and is always extending her understanding and appreciation of music. She also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories for various websites and hopes to get her first book published in the very near future.

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