How to Connect an External Hard Drive to a Stereo Receiver

If you've recently purchased a new stereo receiver, you may notice a USB port on the back connection panel. This useful feature lets you connect a flash drive or USB-enabled external hard drive to access digital audio files. Now you can play back a collection of MP3 tracks, for example, with a fast connection between the hard drive and receiver. The hard drive files must be stored in a compatible format for the receiver to access the information. Virtually all receivers with a USB port support MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio) files.

USB cable and plug for the receiver connection to the hard drive.

Step 1

Turn off the power to the receiver and unplug the hard drive from the electrical outlet. 

Step 2

Attach one end of the USB cable to the port on the side of the hard drive.  The plug inserts with the arrow side facing up.

Step 3

Push in the plug on the other end of the cable to the USB port on your receiver.  Some receivers are equipped with a port on the front for a more convenient connection.

Step 4

Plug in the electrical cord for the hard drive and turn on the component. 

Step 5

Turn on the receiver and select USB input on the control knob on the front of the receiver, or press the input button on the receiver's remote control. 

Step 6

Browse the stored files on the hard drive using the receiver's LCD display and the navigation buttons on the remote control. 

Things You Will Need

  • USB cable

About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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