Onkyo DS-A4

iPod®/iPhone® dock

  • Onkyo DS-A4

    (iPhone not included)

  • Onkyo DS-A4


Item# 580DSA4

Review Summary

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Original price $129.99

Our take on the Onkyo DS-A4

by Ralph Graves

The DS-A4 dock gives you a convenient way to connect your iPod or iPhone 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 send music, photos and videos from your player. The DS-A4 can also generate an on-screen menu for browsing through your iPod's contents on your TV.

The DS-A4 connects to the proprietary RI ("Remote Interactive") port found on most current Onkyo receiver models, allowing you to control your player using your Onkyo remote. The dock also comes with its own remote for use with other types of audio/video gear.


  • for docking iPods, including 160GB iPod classic®, 4th generation iPod touchreg; and 6th generation iPod nanoreg;
  • compatible with iPhone®, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4
  • RI input allows iPod control with Onkyo remotes
  • analog stereo RCA (cable included)
  • component video (cable included)
  • RI cable included
  • remote control
  • automatically charges iPod while docked
  • AC adapter
  • 4-3/8"W x 2-1/4"H x 5-9/16"D
  • 10.6 oz.
  • 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-A4 Remote Interactive (RI) Dock for iPod/iPhone
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6.5' DC cor)
  • RC-729E remote control (with installed CR2025 3V lithium battery)
  • 6.5' RI cable (with 3.5mm mono miniplug on each end)
  • 6.5' 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/Limited 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 Onkyo DS-A4 Remote Interactive (RI) Dock for iPod/iPhone provides an interface between an Apple iPod or iPhone and Onkyo audio/video components and systems which feature an RI remote connector. Once an iPod/iPhone is docked in the DS-A4, 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 allows you to view digital photos, video, and the on-screen display so you can navigate the iPod/iPhone's menu. In addition, the dock charges the iPod/iPhone's battery.

System Compatibility: Nearly all Onkyo receivers, home theater systems, and audio systems are compatible with the DS-A4 through their RI (Remote Interactive) port. Because the DS-A4 includes a dedicated remote control and has standard RCA audio/video outputs, it is actually compatible with any A/V system with those inputs.

iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The DS-A4 is designed for use with select iPod/iPhone models having a Dock Connector. The DS-A4 features an adaptor wheel that turns to adjust for the depth of your particular iPod. This add-on dock is "Made for iPod/iPhone compatible" and supports the following iPod/iPhone model functions (as of 9/24/2013):

Apple Device Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
Audio Video Remote iPod/iPhone Artist/Song Text Track Info
video 5th 1.3 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
120GB 2.0.1 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
160GB 2.0.4 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3rd 1.1.3 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
4th 1.0.4 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
5th 1.0.2 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y Y Y Y
7th* 1.02 PC Y N Y Y Y Y Y
touch 1st 2.2.1 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
2nd 4.2.1 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
3rd 5.1.1 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
4th 6.1.3 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
5th* 6.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
3G 4.2.1 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
3GS 5.1.1 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
4 7.0 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
4S 7.0 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
5* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5C* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5S* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
iPad 1 5.1.1 N N N N N N N
2 7.0 N N N N N N N
3 7.0 N N N N N N N
4 7.0 N N N N N N N
mini 7.0 N N N N N N N


  • *The iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), and iPhone 5/5C/5S will require the Apple Lightning to 30-pin adapter or cable (sold separately) in order to make connection with the integrated dock.
  • 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 wait until a newer software update is available.

iPod Audio Playback: The DS-A4 supports audio playback of music, podcasts, and audiobooks stored on your iPod/iPhone through your connected Onkyo AV receiver.

iPod Photo and Video Playback: By connecting a compatible iPod/iPhone model to the DS-A4, you can view movies, music videos, TV shows, and video podcasts on a connected television. Component or composite video connectivity ensures a stable, high-quality video signal output.

  • Component Video Output (480p/576p): The DS-A4 supports 480p and 576p from its component video output when using the iPod classic (3rd/4th/5th gen), iPod nano (3rd/4th/5th gen), iPod touch (2nd/3rd/4th gen), and iPhone (3GS/4/4S).
  • Component Video Output (480i/576i): The DS-A4 supports 480i and 576i output from the iPod touch (1st gen) and iPhone (2G/3G), using the DS-A4's component video output.
  • Composite Video Output (480i): The DS-A4 supports 480i out via its composite video output from the iPod video (5th gen).

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

On Screen Display (OSD): The Onkyo DS-A4 features an on-screen display (OSD) mode that enables you to browse your iPod/iPhone's music (playlist/artist/album/song/genre/composer) and video (movie/music video/TV show/Video Podcast/Rental) by category on your connected television for easy navigation and selection. In OSD mode, you can browse your iPod/iPhone 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/iPhone'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 Onkyo DS-A4 comes with its own wireless IR remote controller to control all basic playback functions of the unit and your iPod/iPhone. 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/iPhone 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/iPhone, such as Play, Pause, Fast Forward, Fast Rewind, Next Song, Previous Song, etc. Depending upon the model of your amp and generation of iPod/iPhone, 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/iPhone 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/iPhone will begin playback.
  • iPod Alarm Clock: Use your iPod/iPhone's Alarm Clock function to automatically turn on your iPod/iPhone 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/iPhone playback using the remote control while listening to another input source, your amp will automatically select the iPod/iPhone as the input source.
  • Timer Play: You can use your amp's Timer function to turn on your amp and iPod/iPhone and start playback at a specified time.
  • Advanced Playback Functions: Shuffle, Repeat, Backlight, Playlist/Album mode, Next/Previous Playlist, Next/Previous Album.

Note: To use these functions, your iPod/iPhone 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.

Charging: The Onkyo DS-A4 will charge your iPod/iPhone's battery while docked.

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.

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Onkyo DS-A4 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

17 people say:

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Filter by rating:
5 out of 5

Onkyo Receiver

Written By Jimmy Goodtimes, Manhattan, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
The Onkyo is a superb receiver. I play I-Pod and CD's through it to high quality bookshelf speakers. Acoustic Jazz Trios and Classical music sound uncolored and beautifully balanced. Pop and Rock sound great and I may turn up the Bass and Treble just a bit when I play loud music.
Just a great audio receiver, nothing fancy, solid performance. Works great with optional Onkyo I-POD docking unit.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
5 out of 5

Onkyo DS-A4

Written By BBB, NYC on Thursday, June 20, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Purchased with Onkyo TX-8255, easy to setup and my kids love it. Excellent purchase at a reasonable price.
Charges you IPOD as you play your music, works well with receivers remote. Awesome sound
None to date.
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4 out of 5


Written By TC, Richardson, TX on Monday, June 17, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Hook-up is simple and if the correct mode is selected, it works well. More status indications would be helpful.
Simple set-up. Nice package. Technical support.
Documentation needs improvement.
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3 out of 5

Onkyo DS-A4

Written By WaltS, Columbus, OH on Monday, February 25, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I purchased the docking station specifically because it was made for Onkyo components. So far, I have been unable to get the OSD (On Screen Display) to work with my Onkyo 709. I have called 3 times and the tech support guys are trying to be helpful, but it stops working after a day. Several configuration attempts, using a variety of settings and all the cables supplied, both component and composite cables. The Onkyo video makes it look easy, so far, no luck.

I can get the functionality to work with the iPhone, the sound is good ( I expected better sound translation through the receiver), but it still maybe a final setup for the audio.

I have tried different cables, iPhones, settings, input connections, a direct connection to the component RCA connections in the TV, no consistent luck. I will give the tech guys another try, then I am asking for a replacement.
Sound quality decent (still not better than ear pods), customer support is accessible, the receiver remote works with the iPhone, the Onkyo 709 receiver is great (also purchased from Cruchfield).
Difficult to install, on screen display not working consistently.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

A great addtion

Written By J.O., Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday, February 02, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
A great addition to a conventional audio system. Hooked up to an older Onkyo receiver and the TV. Use the dock with both a 4th gen. I-Pod for music, and an I-Phone for music and video. Makes the CD collection sort of redundant. Instructions were fairly clear, and hook up took less than ten minutes. On screen display characters are very readable, although sort of primitive. Remote works well at fifteen feet, and the button layout is fairly good.
Works as advertised. Easy to use. Saves space (we packed the CDs away).
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5 out of 5

Awesome !

Written By Herb M, Lodi, CA on Sunday, November 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Great product, works great and easy to hook up and use.
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5 out of 5

I Pod Dock

Written By Tim L., Richmond,Va. on Friday, November 09, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I didn't know what I was missing till I set this up to my surround sound system! Works great!
It took a few calls to the helpful people at Crutchfield to get it hooked up. They have to be hired based on patience with product knowledge second.
I got the on screen display to work when I was talking to the product specialist , but that was the only time. I'll live without it.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Onkyo DS-A4

Written By SteveY, Puyallup,WA on Thursday, July 12, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This unit was easy to hook up, easy to set up and easy to use. It took me just a few minute to figure out the remote.
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5 out of 5


Written By killerk95, Iowa on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Very Nice unit and a great addition to my stereo! I needed something to connect my IPOD to an older Yamaha component system, and it had to be able to connect with RCA cables. The Onkyo is a sweet little dock and couldn't be any simpler to connect and get her going. The sound is excellent thru my old Kenwood 888's and I couldn't be happier with the purchase. Jeremy from customer service talked me into this item based on what I was needing, and it is exactly what I needed. Thanks Jeremy!
Ease of connecting and setting up to play was simple as well.
None that I can see, awesome dock!
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5 out of 5

Great Accessory

Written By Les, Denver CO on Monday, March 12, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Very easy to install and setup.
Love how it controls my IPhone for watching Movies and music. Great item to have!
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5 out of 5

Works perfectly

Written By rek, Boston, MA on Sunday, January 29, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Product was easy to install and works perfectly with our Onkyo receiver.
Reasonable price, easy to set up, easy to use
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4 out of 5

Excellent Product

Written By DonH, Springfield, VA on Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
With the superb assistance from a Crutchfield advisor I selected this IPod dock for my Onyko 709 Receiver - seamless integration - works great. My biggest challenge was programming my universal remote to operate the dock - but figured it out and everything works flawlessly.
Installation a snap!
Would be nice if it had an HDMI connection, on screen display looks dated, but does the trick.
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5 out of 5

easy to use

Written By kkd, Baltimore, MD on Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
We use these Onkyo iPod docks in a dance studio so lots of different people use them with different iPods, iPhones, etc. It works great with all of them and is so easy to use. It's also very easy to hook up.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Operation is obtuse.

Written By Lowery, Oklahoma City, Ok on Saturday, August 20, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
The sound thru my Onkyo receiver is excellent. However, there is no interaction on the TV when listening to the Iphone4 radio via wireless internet. In other words the screen is blank. This is also true when viewing pictures. There is interaction on the TV screen when listening to playlists from iphone4(the mode button controls this). This interaction between the remote and the unit is at best average. To date, I have been unable to see any Settings from the remote. Very average setup. The instructions that come with the unit are poor.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

IPOD add-on

Written By Joseph R, Warwick RI on Sunday, August 14, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I am using this unit for wholehouse music. Purchased it along with a 160GB Ipod classic. Works great.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

ipod dock

Written By sjk, pittsburgh, pa on Sunday, July 03, 2011
hooked up to a Onkyo TX-8555 receiver, very easy to operate, excellent sound quality, the quality of the docker is great, charges the ipod, can be operated by the receiver remote and the remote that came with the docker system, excellent choice, i would recommend a buy.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sounds Really Good!

Written By Rebug, Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
It sounds really good. I'm using this with the 160 Gig IPod Classic. I have a Onkyo TX-NR708 receiver and a 7.1 speaker setup using Polk Tsi300 speakers as my fronts, the Polk CS10 as my center, Polk Tsi100's as my surrounds, Polk OWM3's as my rear surrounds and the Yamaha SW315 Sub- Woofer finishing off the setup. I mention the speakers that I am using with the IPod to let you know just how good a docking station this is and that it has the ability to bring out great sound.

I am impressed with the sound that I get while using the IPod on this docking station. It's great to use when I have my family over and don't want to take the time out to change CD's. The sound is crystal clear, the highs are high, the mid- range is very good and the base is ridiculous and I always use the All Channel music sound choice.

I initially set it up so I could use the on-screen display but I turned that function off just as a personal preference. It worked perfectly well but I have the docking station placed in such a convenient place that there is no need for me to use it. I like to play it with the TV off. The remote that comes with the docking station works really well so that is what I use instead. No need for the on- screen display. I can't speak about how well it works for the I Phone because I don't have one. This is a good product that should complete anyone's audio setup and I highly recommend it.
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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