Line out vs aux vs 3.5mm audio vs pre-out

Davefromlondon Newbie
Apr 5, 2021
Dallas, TX
I thought I knew my audio but apparently not. I am posting on another thread about connecting an old school cassette deck to a new screen aux in , this is a related but different, more detailed question.

I'm very familiar with home audio say a cd player with line out into receiver line in, receiver is both pre amp with volume control and power amp to speakers. Cd has no volume control , line out is fixed.

I'm familiar with iPhone audio out to ear buds with volume control , I also believe you can use iPhone audio out into an aux in of a pre amp so is audio out and aux in essentially the same. ?

I see an old Sony walkman offering both headphone audio out Jack 3.5mm AND a line out jack also 3.5mm. I assume this line out makes the walkman like the above cd player ie line out into receiver line in but using a 3.5mm audio jack into L and R CA .

I see an old school cassette sony xk8d that has no amp , just cassette play into a seoerate car cd radio head unit using aux in. I'm unclear exactly what output jack the xk8d uses. Is it 2xrca line out or 3.5mm audio .

Did old school car cassette decks , that had built in amplifier, did they also have " rca pre out " and if so , was the cassette deck also the volume control / pre amp , therefore a pure power amp is needed .

Then there are line out converters LOC , to take speaker level out and reduce to line level. I assume these become essentially pre out, ie the speaker out volume has volume control. What is the skund quality of doing g this

I realize line out is a fixed signal on a device that is not volume control and pre out is volume controlled by same device ie pre amp.

I guess I'm just confused on term aux out / aux in ......., is it essetially the same as headphone audio out , line out/in , pre-out/ pre-in ?

I researched but still confused and it is much appreciated.

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