Onkyo DS-A3

iPod® dock

  • Onkyo DS-A3


  • Onkyo DS-A3


Item #: 580DSA3

Review Summary

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Original price $129.99

Our take on the Onkyo DS-A3

by Ralph Graves

The DS-A3 dock gives you a convenient way to connect your iPod to Onkyo components and systems, as well as other brands of audio/video gear. An included audio/video cable connects the dock to your receiver to transmit music, photos and videos from your player. The DS-A3 can also generate an on-screen menu for browsing through your iPod's contents on your TV.

The DS-A3 connects to the proprietary RI ("Remote Interactive") port found on most Onkyo receivers currently available, allowing you to control your iPod using your Onkyo remote. The dock also comes with its own remote for use with other types of audio/video gear.

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  • for docking iPods, including 160GB iPod classic, 3rd generation iPod touch and 5th generation iPod nano
  • RI input allows iPod control with Onkyo remotes
  • audio/video cable
    • analog audio (stereo RCA)
    • composite video
  • component video (cable included)
  • RI cable included
  • remote control
  • automatically charges iPod while docked
  • AC adapter
  • 4-3/8"W x 2-3/16"H x 5-5/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • DS-A3 Remote Interactive (RI) Dock for iPod
  • AC adapter with attached 6.5' DC output cord (DC output: 5.0V/1.5A)
  • RC-729E wireless remote control
  • CR2025 lithium battery (installed)
  • 6.5' RI cable (with 3.5mm mono miniplug on each end)
  • 5.5' A/V patch cable (with stereo male RCA and composite video plugs on each end)
  • 6.5' Component video cable (with component video RCA connectors on one end and 3.5mm video connector on other end)
  • Instruction Manual (English)
  • Instruction Manual (Fre/Spa)
  • Product Registration/Warranty card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.



Overview: The DS-A3 Remote Interactive (RI) Dock for iPod provides an interface between an iPod digital media player and Onkyo audio-video components and systems which feature an RI remote connector. Once an iPod is docked in the DS-A3, you can control basic functions such as volume control, play, stop, and skip via the Onkyo system's RI-compatible wireless remote control. The dock also charges the iPod's battery. The dock allows you to view digital photos, video, and the on screen display so you can navigate the iPod's menu.

System Compatibility: Nearly all Onkyo receivers, home theater systems, and audio systems are compatible with the DS-A3 through their RI (Remote Interactive) port. Because the DS-A3 includes a remote control and has standard RCA audio and video outputs, it is actually compatible with any A/V system with those inputs.

iPod Compatibility: The DS-A3 is designed for use with iPod models having a Dock Connector. The DS-A3 features an adaptor wheel that turns to adjust for the depth of your particular iPod. This add-on dock is "Made for iPod compatible" and supports the following iPod model functions (as of June 2010):

iPod/iPhone Model Generation Media Type  Control Type Display Type Charge
Audio Video Out Remote iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Text Track Info
dock connector 3rd N N N N N N N
4th Y N Y Y TV TV Y
mini 1st Y N Y Y TV TV Y
2nd Y N Y Y TV TV Y
video 5th Y Composite
classic 80GB Y Composite
120GB Y Composite
160GB Y Composite
 nano 1st Y N Y Y TV TV Y
2nd Y N Y Y TV TV Y
3rd Y Composite
4th Y Composite
5th Y Composite
6th Y N Y Y TV TV Y
touch 1st Y Composite
2nd Y Composite
3rd Y Composite
4th Y Composite
iPhone 2G Y Composite
3G Y Composite
3GS Y Composite
4 Y Composite

Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the device and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to revert to the older software version or wait until an newer software update is available.

On Screen Display (OSD): The DS-A3 comes with an on-screen display (OSD) mode that enables you to view track lists (artists, albums, songs, genres, composers, movies, podcasts) on your connected display for easy navigation and selection. In OSD mode, you can browse your iPod using the keys on the dedicated remote controller. You can choose from four page modes (Small, Medium, Large and Page) that let you move through your iPod's music library in progressively larger steps. The OSD also displays information about the track being played such as playback status, shuffle mode, playback time and total time.

IR Wireless Remote Control: The DS-A3 comes with its own wireless IR remote controller to control all basic playback functions of the unit and your iPod. With its simple layout and easy operability, this palm-fitting remote controller is particularly handy for navigating and selecting your music through the unit's OSD. The remote controller also brings one-touch control for random playback of songs or albums; a resume function that will return to the track being played when the iPod is stopped or removed from the Dock; and a repeat function for one track or all. The remote controller can also be used to set its own ID (an option when you have multiple remote controllers as part of your system) or to select NTSC or PAL for video playback.

Remote Interactive (RI): Remote Interactive (RI) is an exclusive Onkyo control system that allows RI-compatible Onkyo audio components to be controlled with a single remote controller. In addition, all components can be turned on or off together, and the amplifier will automatically turn on and select the appropriate input source when playback is started on a source component. You can control your iPod using the Tape or HDD/Dock input source and remote control mode. You must first switch the RI mode switch on the back of the dock to the input source/remote control mode you plan to use. Onkyo's RI system allows you to use your amp's remote controller to control the basic functions of your iPod, such as Play, Pause, Fast Forward, Fast Rewind, Next Song, Previous Song, etc. Depending upon the model of your amp and generation of iPod, you may also be able to use some of the following advanced functions through Onkyo's RI system:

  • System On/Off: When you turn your amp on or off, the RI dock and your iPod will turn on or off accordingly.
  • Auto Power On: If you press Play on the remote control while the amp is in Standby, your amp will automatically turn on and select your iPod as the input source, then, the iPod will begin playback.
  • iPod Alarm Clock: Use your iPod's Alarm Clock function to automatically turn on your iPod and amp at a specified time, the amp's input source will automatically be set to the input to which your iPod is connected.
  • Direct Change: If you start iPod playback using the remote control while listening to another input source, your amp will automatically select the iPod as the input source.
  • Timer Play: You can use your amp's Timer function to turn on your amp and iPod and start playback at a specified time.
  • Advanced Playback Functions: Shuffle, Repeat, Backlight, Playlist/Album mode, Next/Previous Playlist, Next/Previous Album.

Note: In most cases, to use these functions, your iPod must be in the RI dock, and the RI dock must be connected to your amp with both an RI cable and an audio cable. An RI (3.5mm) cable is supplied.

iPod Photo and Video Playback: By connecting a compatible iPod model to the DS-A3, you can view movies, music videos, TV shows, and video podcasts on a connected display. Component or composite video connectivity ensures a stable, high-quality video signal output. The DS-A3 supports 480i and 576i output from the iPod touch (1st/2nd/3rd gen.), and 480p and 576p from the iPod nano (3rd/4th/5th gen.) and iPod classic (80/120/160GB) using the DS-A3's component video output.

Note: A component video and composite AV cable is supplied. The album cover art which displays on the iPod screen cannot be made to display on the TV.

Screen Saver: You can set the time at which the screen saver is activated to any on of the following four options: 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or Off. When the screen saver activates, the onscreen display on your TV disappears. Press any button on the remote controller to cancel the screen savers and resume the onscreen display.


Top of Unit: iPod dock connector

Back of Unit:

  • RI: 3.5mm (1/8") mini jack for supplied RI cable (mono mini)
  • Component Video: A 3.5mm component video output jack for supplied component video cable
  • Composite Video: Composite video jack for supplied AV cable
  • Audio Out: Left and right RCA jacks for supplied AV cable
  • DC In (5V/1.5A): Round DC power connector for supplied AC adapter
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Onkyo DS-A3 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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4 out of 5

Onkyo DS-A3

Written By Anonymous, Youngwood, PA on Friday, February 18, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I bought this to go with my Onkya system; however; the day I ordered it, my receiver quit
working. This dock works well with my other brand receiver that I am using now. The
remote is a bit on the plane side, but it works.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
5 out of 5

Onkyo DS-A3

Written By JC, Columbia, MO on Sunday, February 06, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Love it. I was looking for the cheapest receiver I could find that had iPod
compatibility. The Onkyo Tx-8255 was what I came up with, and this iPod dock
seems to work smoothly with that reasonably-priced receiver to deliver great sound.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
5 out of 5

Finishes the job

Written By Tom, Wayne, PA on Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I am not on the cutting edge of the audio and video revolution but Crutchfiled has guided me
through the installation of surrond sound while I was building my house from the selection of
speakers and componets to actual placememnt of everything properly. We were very
pleased with the result. The Onkyo DS-A3 was the last component added to the system and
it may be the best. I can barely operate an ipod but the video menu on the TV makes it easy
for me to learn and use the remote and select the music we want. It was a Christmas
present for my wife and it made the party Christmas evening go on well into the night. At first
she did not know what it was but in just the first month of she she is happy to have "Her"
music at her disposal throughout the house. No more messing with CD'or DVD's just the
IPOD dock.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Onkyo DS-A3, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_580DSA3/Onkyo-DS-A3.html ).