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How to connect Headphones to TV

Ten ways to connect headphones for TV sound

If you or someone in your household has hearing difficulties, using a pair of headphones with localized volume control is a solution to one person not hearing the TV show clearly and the volume being turned up uncomfortably loud for everyone else. Also headphones are a great way to enjoy content without keeping other people awake.

Headphones allow you to listen to your TV without disturbing other people. Wireless headphones are available which allow multiple people to listen through individual headphones so the TV sound does not disturb the baby or the kids sleeping.

Headphones come in wired versions and wireless versions.

Wired headphones should have a volume control and use the 3.5mm (Aux) jack. Plug the 3.5mm headphone cord into the TV 3.5mm headphone output port or use an audio adapter cord to plug into the RCA TV audio output ports. Most modern TVs will use the 3.5mm output while older TVs may have the RCA audio outputs.

Wireless headphones come in different technologies from Bluetooth 2.4GHz low power short range to RF 900MHz to 3.2GHz to 5.8GHz long range.


Bluetooth is the most common type of wireless TV headphone but it requires the headset to be paired to the transmitter. You can connect your Bluetooth headphones directly to your TV if the TV has a built-in Bluetooth transmitter or you can connect a Bluetooth transmitter to the audio out ports on the back of your television. Bluetooth headphones follow an international standard but are the slowest technology because it is heavily encrypted.

Bluetooth technology is constantly evolving. The latest widely available version is Bluetooth 5.0. However, Bluetooth 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 are already available on the newer TVs.

The older Bluetooth 4.2 can hold connection to another device for a maximum of 200 feet although your specific conditions may shorten that distance. With Bluetooth 5.0, the distance is quadrupled to a maximum of 800 feet. With the 5.0 version, you can simultaneously connect two separate audio devices like headsets or speakers to a single audio source. Keep in mind that all your Bluetooth devices must be 5.0 compatible to get the newer features and capabilities. Bluetooth 5.0 does not improve the audio quality over 4.2.

Bluetooth Version History

Bluetooth 5.3 (2021) Released in May 2022
Bluetooth 5.2 (2020)
Bluetooth 5.1 (2019)
Bluetooth 5.0 (2016)
A more robust version with extended battery life, BT 5 increased the outdoor transmission range from 164 to 650 feet.
Bluetooth 4.2 (2014)
Bluetooth 4.1 (2013)
Bluetooth versions are backwards compatible.

How to check if Samsung TV has Bluetooth

To check if your Samsung TV has Bluetooth - go to the Settings menu, navigate to Sound, and then Sound Output. If you can see an option called Bluetooth Speaker List, your TV is Bluetooth-capable.

Also you can check online, find your TV model number and look at the specifications for mention of Bluetooth and version. The owner manual may also give this information or show how to connect Bluetooth devices.

Bluetooth Headphones $20 version 5.0 at Amazon

Radio Frequency (RF) 5.8GHz

5.8 GHz Radio frequency (RF) TV headphones use radio waves to transmit audio from the transmitter to the TV headset. The advantage of these wireless RF headphones is they have the longest range of any wireless headphone technology. The advantage of the newer 5.8 GHz TV Headphones is they do not need to be paired to the transmitter and they support multiple headphones from one transmitter.

Wireless headphones can use a base station to transmit the audio to the headphones or if the TV has built-in Bluetooth technology the TV can transmit the audio directly to Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth earbuds.

Wireless headphones use batteries so they must be recharged. If a base station is used, often placing the headphones on the base station will recharge the batteries when not in use. Wireless headphones may experience audio dropouts, delays or signal interference.

Wireless Headphones

Multiple wireless headphones

Connect the TV audio output to the base station transmitter using an optical audio cable or a 3.5mm male to male aux audio cable. Some older TVs may have the white and red RCA audio outputs. Use an adapter cable to connect 3.5mm aux cable.

Avantree Duet - Dual Wireless Headphones for TV Watching with Transmitter/Charging Stand 2-in-1, Clear Dialogue Mode & Volume Boost for Seniors, Scalable to 100 Headphones.

You can use headphones with your TV in many ways depending on which TV you have. Older TVs and newer TVs have different capabilities and use different connections. There is a solution, even if your TV does not have any audio output.

TV Audio Outputs

Cables used for audio connections

Can I have the TV sound coming from both the headphones and the TV speakers?

YES. Most modern TVs have a sound menu on-screen which allows you to select which audio options you want. Some will have an option to select both TV speakers and headphones such as LG TVs, but if your TV does not, there are a few ways to still get this result.

LG TV sound menu select both TV speakers and headphones

Internal TV speakers plus Audio Out - Sound can be heard simultaneously through TV speakers and external audio devices connected to the Optical Digital Audio Out port.

For a newer Samsung TV, go to
Settings - General - Accessibility - Multi-output Audio

You can turn on both the TV speaker and Bluetooth headphone at the same time. When this function is active, you can set the volume of the Bluetooth headphone higher than the volume of the TV speaker.

If your TV has no option to set both TV speakers and headphones on at the same time, try one of the following:

1. Audio cable Splitter

You can get a splitter which accepts a single audio cable in from the TV such as the optical audio cable, and outputs two audio signals over two audio cables so that you can connect one of them to the headphones transmitter and the other to a soundbar or audio amplifier with speakers.

2. Use two device audio outputs

If you are using a satellite receiver, cable box, DTV box or streaming device, and it has HDMI output and optical output, connect the HDMI cable out from the box to the TV HDMI input and connect the optical out from the box to a soundbar, audio video receiver or headphone transmitter. That way the TV operates as normal with sound from the TV speakers while the optical connection allows headphone operation.

3. Select on the TV on-screen sound menu, headphones, next pair the headphones and establish the headphones connection and then go back and select TV speakers, set to on. This will work on many TVs.

Your setup should fall into one of the following 10 solutions:

1) Wired headphones using TV 3.5mm headphone jack

If your TV has a headphone out jack, you can connect headphones directly to the TV and you do not have to worry about batteries, pairing, drop-outs, audio delay or recharging.

Go to Solution 1

2) Wired headphones using TV analog audio RCA white and red outputs

If your TV has the two RCA audio out jacks, white and red, you can connect headphones to any audio device which accepts the RCA stereo cables as an input. This can be a vintage stereo receiver (use AUX input) or audio video receiver or other stereo unit which has a headphone jack. Volume can be controlled on the stereo unit.

Go to Solution 2

3) Wired headphones using TV Optical digital audio output port

If your TV has the Optical audio out port, you can connect headphones to the TV using a digital to analog adapter.

Go to Solution 3

4) Wired headphones using TV Digital to Analog Converter Box

If you have an older analog TV, you can connect headphones to the TV converter box using RCA white and red audio out ports on the converter box. Additional secondary receiver boxes such as satellite TV or cable TV can be used in the same way.

Go to Solution 4

5) Wireless headphones using TV Bluetooth wireless

If your TV has Bluetooth capability, you can connect Bluetooth wireless headphones.

Go to Solution 5

6) Wireless headphones using external Bluetooth transmitter

If your TV does not have Bluetooth capability, then you can use an external Bluetooth transmitter with wireless Bluetooth headphones.

Go to Solution 6

7) Wireless headphones using TV Streaming device

If you use a TV streaming device, you can connect Bluetooth wireless headphones.

Go to Solution 7

8) Wireless headphones using Infra-red IR setup

Infra-Red IR wireless headphones are less common than Radio Frequency RF and Bluetooth wireless headphones. As with most wireless TV headphones a transmitter is connected to the audio out ports on the back of your television and the audio is wirelessly transmitted to the headset.

Infra-red travels at the speed of light making it the fastest of all wireless technologies, which completely eliminates audio delay. An Infra-red wireless headset does not need to be paired to the transmitter like a Bluetooth headset and an unlimited number of headsets can be received from one transmitter. Bluetooth supports just one headset. IR transmissions will not go through walls like RF does.

Go to Solution 8

9) Wireless headphones using Radio Frequency RF setup

Bluetooth is a fundamentally lossy transmission standard because the audio has to be encoded, compressed, encrypted, and transmitted to the receiving device, only to have the receiving device unpack it all.

RF headphones simply transmit the signal from the base station to the headphones—no compression or manipulation involved. Whatever the audio quality that your TV provides is what you’ll get. RF headphones don’t require pairing like Bluetooth.

2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz Radio frequency (RF) TV wireless headphones use radio waves to transmit audio from the transmitter to the TV headset. The advantage of RF headphones is they have the longest range of any technology. Infrared only covers one room and Bluetooth has an average range of 30 feet.

If you want the freedom to walk around while listening to television RF may be the best choice. The advantage of the newer 5.8 GHz TV wireless Headphones is that they do not need to be paired to the transmitter and they support multiple headphones from one transmitter.

Go to Solution 9

10) Wired headphones using HDMI audio extractor

If your TV has HDMI ARC (audio return channel), you can use a HDMI audio extractor unit to connect a 3.5mm wired headphone. Most modern flat screen TVs have HDMI ARC. Connect a HDMI cable from the TV HDMI ARC port to the HDMI audio extractor HDMI input. The extractor has a headphone out jack.

Go to Solution 10


Solution 1 - Wired 3.5mm headphone out jack on TV

Many TVs have a headphone out port, even some of the newer flat screen TV panels. This port is a 3.5mm stereo analog audio output and standard wired headphones will connect using the 3.5mm stereo plug.

For headphones with the 6.35mm or 1/4 in. plug, you can use a small adapter from 6.35mm to 3.5mm. For longer cable runs, you can use a 3.5mm to 3.5mm extension cable.

TV headphone out port on TV rear panel

TV side panel showing headphone out port.

The 3.5mm and the 6.35mm audio plugs

Connection diagram - headphones to TV

For additional headphone connections, use a splitter.

3-way audio splitter 3.5mm

Volume Control

You may be able to select an option on your TV for either fixed or variable volume control. Some TVs output a fixed volume level for the headphone jack, so you may need a volume control for the headphones. Connect headphones, a home theater system, sound bar, or external speaker system to the AUDIO OUT jack on your TV.

Headphones / Audio Out Variable—Select this option to use the remote control to control the audio from headphones, a home theater system, or a sound bar you connected to the AUDIO OUT jack.

Audio Out Fixed—Select this option to use the remote control that came with the home theater system, sound bar, or external speaker system you connected to the AUDIO OUT jack, to control the audio volume.


For wired headphones or earbuds, you can connect directly to the TV audio output if your TV has these RCA analog ports. For more distance from the TV, an audio extension cord can be used. Headphones and earbuds usually have the 3.5mm stereo plug. So if your TV has the 3.5mm audio out, just connect directly or use a 3.5mm audio extension cord.

If your TV has the analog RCA stereo (white/red) audio outputs, use an audio adapter cable which has the two RCA male plugs and a female 3.5mm on the other end to connect your headphones. Mute the volume on the TV for private listening. Audio cable extensions can increase distance.

Extension cable for long distance from TV

Audio adapter cable RCA to 3.5mm

Some TVs have a preset volume level for their audio output ports and the TV volume control will not amplify the sound. In this case you can connect to a stereo receiver or amplifier and control the volume using the amplifier.

Another option is to use a pair of desktop computer speakers with a built-in amplifier and headphone jack. Plug the speakers into the TV and the headphones into the speakers. Then you can control the volume using the amplified speakers. You could also buy headphones with volume control or just buy a simple 3.5mm in-line volume control cord to limit sound that is too loud.

Extra Long Cord Headphones for TV & PC with Volume Control, 18 Feet / 5.5M Extension Spring Coiled Cord, Universal 3.5mm AUX Audio, Wired Over Ear Stereo Headset

Long 3.5mm Extension (16 Feet / 5 Meters) TRRS 4-Pole Headphone Cable Male to Female 3.5mm Audio Cable Crystal-Nylon Braided/ 24K Gold Plated

3.5mm Headphone Extension Cable, 3.5mm Male to Female Stereo Audio Cable Adapter with Gold Plated Connector, 15 Feet

1/4'' to 3.5mm Stereo Pure Copper Headphone Adapter,3.5mm(1/8'') Plug Male to 6.35mm (1/4'') Jack Female Stereo Adapter for Headphone

3.5mm to RCA Stereo Audio Cable Adapter - 3.5mm Female to Stereo RCA Male Bi-Directional AUX Auxiliary Male Headphone Jack Plug Y Splitter to Left/Right 2RCA Male Connector Plug Wire Cord

Headphone Amplifier with up to 4 headphones and individual volume control

Solution 2 - RCA OUT white and red audio jacks on TV

This solution has a number of different possible options. You can connect a soundbar or a vintage stereo receiver or audio video receiver and then use headphones from these secondary devices with volume control. The RCA audio outputs will not be found on very many modern TVs but older TVs may have them on the rear panel.

TV rear panel shows RCA audio OUT, white and red, in the bottom right corner.

RCA audio cables

TV audio out to audio receiver with headphone jack. For headphone use only, the speakers can be switched off or even disconnected. Adjust volume on receiver. Be sure to select the input to which the TV audio is connected on the audio receiver.

Solution 3 - Optical audio OUT on TV

If your TV has the optical audio out port, and most modern TVs do have this audio output, then you can connect headphones to the TV using a number of devices that support an optical cable input.

Optical digital audio output port (SPDIF) on TV rear panel

The optical audio cable, sometimes called TOSLINK, is used to connect the TV sound output to a device with an optical input port. This can be an audio video receiver or an adapter with a headphone output. The optical out is a digital sound format so it must be converted to analog before going to headphones. The AVR or adapter must have a DAC or digital to analog converter.

You may need to navigate to your TV SOUND menus so that the optical output is enabled or setup. Every TV has different menu navigation but basically go to SETTINGS, then SOUND and find the OUTPUT settings. You may need to set the audio output to PCM LPCM instead of Dolby Digital.

Optical audio cable

optical DAC adapter with 3.5mm headphones output

Connection diagram - headphones to adapter

Volume Control on DAC

Digital to Analog Audio Converter with Bass and Volume Adjustment, Digital SPDIF/Optical/Toslink/Coaxial to Analog Stereo L/R RCA and 3.5mm Jack

You could also connect headphones to stereo receiver or AVR

Converter box with only 2 analog audio connections. This box does not convert the optical digital audio so you have to be able to set the TV to PCM/LPCM for 2-channel audio.

Go into TV menus and set optical sound output to PCM for headphone use.

Navigate to TV SETTINGS then SOUND and set optical sound output to PCM.

Digital to Analog Audio Converter DAC Digital SPDIF Optical to Analog L/R RCA Converter Toslink Optical to 3.5mm headphones

Supports Uncompressed 2 channel LPCM or PCM Digital Audio Signal Output; Note: Digital 5.1 channel is incompatible, please set the audio output to PCM or LPCM on the TV.

Audio converter box which takes optical input and outputs 6 channel analog audio.

If you only have a stereo amp, only connect the FL (front left) and the FR (front right) cable connections.

Convert digital optical(Toslink,SPDIF),Coaxial signals to 6 RCA /5.1 channel analog sound surround audio and 2.1 CH (FL,FR,SW) stereo, including LPCM,support Dolby, DTS /AC-3 audio decoder conversion for Home Theater. One key switch 5.1ch and 2.1ch mode

Optical Audio Cable, 6ft Optical Cable [Braided, Slim Metal Case, Gold Plated Plug] Digital Audio Fiber Optic Cable Toslink, Compatible with Sound Bar, TV

If your TV only has the digital optical audio output, there are a few considerations which complicate a headphone connection but it will still work for most TVs. The digital audio output (OPTICAL) is present on most HDTVs. This audio output should be able to send digital PCM stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound (when available).

For a headphone connection, you need an audio converter which can accept the optical cable connection from the TV and the analog stereo connection to the headphones. The audio converter will be of two kinds. One kind of converter can only convert PCM stereo. The other kind of converter can convert PCM stereo and decode and convert Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

Although expensive, there are wireless headphones with the capability to connect to the TV using a direct optical cable connection. The converter is built-in to the base unit. This setup is easy because you just plug an optical cable into the TV's optical audio out and into the optical audio input on the wireless headphone base unit. The Sennheiser RS-175 is one example of this type of headphone to TV hookup.

You need to look up your TV's audio output capabilities online or in your owner's manual to find out if your TV has the ability to set audio output to PCM. If your TV cannot output PCM audio, you will probably need to buy the more expensive audio decoder/converter which can convert Dolby Digital surround sound to analog stereo for headphones. Another problem is the FIXED volume level many TV sets have on their audio outputs. The fixed volume may be too loud or not loud enough. The headphone amplifier solves this problem. 

TV audio adapter sends optical audio from tv into 3.5mm headphones, RCA stereo sound.

Use an audio converter. This solution involves an audio converter box which you will need to buy. Cost can be from $20 to $50 or so. These small devices will accept the optical cable connection from your TV and allow the stereo analog RCA output connection to your headphones, amplifier or other device.

There are some considerations here, such as:

Does the converter box actually convert the digital audio to analog or just pass whatever the TV is sending out from the optical output? Some converter boxes actually convert the digital bitstream to analog audio but others will only pass a PCM 2-channel signal to the analog RCA output.

If you see a warning regarding the audio converter box you intend to buy such as the example below, be sure your TV can output 2-channel stereo and not just surround sound 5.1 signals.

IMPORTANT NOTE! This device will NOT decode 5.1-channel signals. It will ONLY convert 2-channel digital stereo (PCM) input signals to analog stereo output. This will not work with TVs that only output 5.1-channel digital signals!

The best converters will convert surround sound to 6 channel analog audio. Look at the audio converter box. Does it have 6 RCA output jacks or just 2 RCA outputs?

The reason this is important is because some TVs do not have the option to output their audio as 2-channel PCM over the optical out, only as Dolby Digital 5.1, which needs to be decoded. Go into your TVs audio menu to check which audio output options are available.

If your TV has the option to output sound as 2-channel PCM or Dolby Digital 5.1, then you can buy a converter box with only 2 RCA outputs (although you may want to buy a box with 6 analog outputs). Set the TV to output PCM audio and connect a standard stereo RCA cable to the converter box RCA outputs and then to your inputs on a stereo receiver or other sound device.

If your TV can only output Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, then you need a converter box which can decode the optical bitstream to 6 channel analog audio.

There are also soundbars with optical inputs and wireless headphones with optical inputs that may offer a solution. Soundbars for your TV will give you some enhanced sound while headphones will allow private TV listening. You could also buy a home theater in a box system from Samsung, Sony, Onkyo or Panasonic. These have optical inputs and give you richer sound from loudspeakers. Just connect an optical audio cable from the TV to the sound system and start enjoying better sound than your TV speakers can produce.

Wired Headphones from TV without headphone jack

The trend is to eliminate the headphone jack on newer TVs. There are many reasons for this including the availability of wireless solutions and the consumer preference for wireless. However, some people prefer the wired headphones because they do not need recharging and there are never any issues with sound quality such as dropouts, delays, interference or connection problems.

For a TV without a headphone jack you will need to connect the optical audio out or the HDMI ARC port to a soundbar or a receiver. An audio video receiver such as the newer models from Denon, Sony, Pioneer, Yamaha and others will provide a headphone out jack. Usually this headphone jack is the 6.35mm so an adapter is used to connect your 3.5mm headphone.

Many older audio video receivers (AVR) offer the same headphone jack. Just be sure the one you choose has the audio inputs you need such as optical. One example of an older model is the Pioneer VSX-520. Often these are available on E-bay for much less than the new models.

Connection diagram - Optical audio cable - TV to AVR

Switch the AVR to the correct source input. Adjust volume on the AVR.

Solution 4 - TV digital receiver converter

You may receive your TV signals over-the-air using a VHF/UHF antenna for local channels or you may have cable TV or satellite TV which uses a converter/decoder box. These receivers usually have optical or RCA audio outputs. This solution would work for a TV without any audio output such as an older analog TV.

Any receiver/decoder box that offers the yellow, white and red analog audio outputs could be used to connect an audio video receiver with headphone out jack or stereo receiver with a headphone jack or simply a direct connection using RCA and 3.5mm cables to a headphone. Adjust volume using the receivers remote or volume control knob.

For the DTV over-the-air converter boxes you can connect headphones or earphones to the RCA white and red output ports. Adjust the volume using the remote control for the DTV converter box.

Connection for headphones to DTV converter box

There are a number of options for the audio cables.

Using a 3.5mm female to female audio adapter, you can connect the 3.5mm headphone or earphone plug.

RCA audio cable with female 3.5mm end for headphone input

Digital TV converter box - Headphones or earbuds connection using 3.5mm audio cables
Private listening with volume control using remote control of converter box.

Piggyback audio cable with 3.5mm male

For headphones and TV speaker at once, use a piggyback audio cable

Cable TV Set Top Box

If you use a digital TV cable box or satellite set top box for TV programs, the set top TV unit should have the white and red audio output ports on the rear of the box. Plug in RCA adapter cable with the two RCA plugs on one end and a 3.5mm female jack on the other end and then your headphones to the female jack. Then just mute the TV sound using the TV remote. An audio extension cord can be used to extend the distance from cable box to headphones position. You could also use the cable box RCA audio output to connect to a stereo amplifier for loudspeaker or headphone listening using the audio receiver's headphone jack. This would also give you volume control.

Wireless TV headphones - Satellite, Cable or DTV set-top-box

Satellite TV

Some older TV sets may not have a headphone jack. Connect RCA audio cables from satellite receiver white and red audio outputs to the audio inputs of a receiver such as CD. Switch the audio receiver source to the audio port where the white and red RCA cables are plugged into. Connect the video to the TV. TV volume can be muted. Plug in headphones to audio receiver. Adjust volume on audio receiver. Also, loudspeakers connected to the audio receiver can enhance the sound from satellite TV programs.

Solution 5 - Bluetooth TV wireless headphones

LEVN Wireless Headphones for TV Watching, TV Headphones Wireless for Seniors with TV Transmitter Charging Base, Hearing-impaired, No Audio Delay Blutooth Headphones.

Bluetooth wireless headphone - TV has Bluetooth built-in.

Using wireless Bluetooth headphones is one option if your TV has Bluetooth capability and many modern TVs do have this built-in, however some do not. Most Samsung, Sony, and LG smart TVs have Bluetooth but Vizio, Hisense, TCL may not.

If you have Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, you already have Bluetooth built-in. To setup go to the home screen, go into the Settings menu and select Controllers & Bluetooth Devices. Choose Other Devices, then Add New Device. Put your Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode and select them when they appear on the screen. Your Fire TV should begin to stream audio to your headphones once the connection completes.

The process is the same for both Android TV and Google TV. From the home screen, go to the Settings menu and select Remote & Accessories. Choose Add Accessory and put your Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode. Finally, select the headphones in the menu when they appear.

If your Roku remote has a headphone jack on the side, just plug your headphones into the jack. The connected TV automatically mutes and the sound starts to output to the headphones.

LG TV's webOS and Samsung TV's Tizen OS both support Bluetooth headphones and headsets.

TVs can connect to a variety of Bluetooth devices, including speakers, soundbars, headphones, keyboards and mice. Setup requires a procedure called PAIRING. This process connects the TV with the headphones. Each TV is different but basically you navigate on the TV on-screen menus to the area where BLUETOOTH audio pairing is selectable.

A PASSKEY or code may be required before pairing occurs. Follow these basic steps:

Turn on Bluetooth pairing mode on your headphones.

Go to the TV Settings using the TV remote.

Go to Sound Output.

Navigate to Speaker List > Search & Select.

Select the device you wish to pair to the TV

note: if your audio device does not appear, make sure it is switched on and is in pairing mode. If your device still doesn't appear, try turning both devices off and then on again.

Select Pair and connect

Headphones should now be paired and can communicate.

Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Headphones
USB-C Charging

Headphones too bulky? Use earbuds instead. Bluetooth wireless earbuds just pair with Bluetooth capable TV, then sit back and enjoy.

Do Smart TVs have built-in Bluetooth audio output?

Yes, many do, but not all. If your TV has built-in Bluetooth capability, connecting wireless headphones or earbuds is a matter of on-screen configuration. But if the TV does not have Bluetooth, you are still able to use wireless headphones or earbuds with the TV, using the help of third-party devices such as a Bluetooth audio transmitter.

How do you know if your TV has Bluetooth?

Each major TV maker such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio, Hisense, TCL has some models with Bluetooth but to check, go to the TV SETTINGS menu. From Settings, select Sound, and then select Sound Output. If the option Bluetooth Speaker List appears, then your TV supports Bluetooth.

How do I know if my LG TV has Bluetooth?

Open the SETTINGS with your LG TV remote.
Find SOUND MENU and select SOUND OUT.
If you have Bluetooth pairing capabilities, it will be on this list.

Solution 6 - External Bluetooth Wireless Transmitter

If your TV does not have built-in Bluetooth, use a Bluetooth transmitter for wireless headphones

1Mii B06TX Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter for TV to Wireless Headphone/Speaker, Bluetooth Adapter for TV w/Volume Control, AUX/RCA/Optical/Coaxial Audio Inputs, Plug n Play, aptX Low Latency & HD

How to Setup a Bluetooth wireless transmitter

3. SET


Connect Bluetooth transmitter to a power source with power cable, Plug/Connect the Bluetooth adapter with 3.5mm AUX, RCA or OPTICAL audio cable to your TV. For example if your TV has an optical audio output, use an optical audio cable to connect TV output to Bluetooth transmitter optical port.


Press the Bluetooth button on Bluetooth adapter to pair with your Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

TV Settings

Make sure to set TV audio output format to PCM or Stereo. Go into TV menu SETTINGS, AUDIO or SOUND, OUT and set to PCM or Stereo.

Digital TV flat panels often have limited audio outputs. Some have the old style analog RCA stereo (white and red), some have the 3.5mm analog stereo output while others will only have the digital optical audio out.

Headphones are analog stereo. If your TV has analog stereo audio outputs, either the two RCA white and red ports or the 3.5mm single audio out port, consider yourself lucky because plenty of HDTVs have only the digital optical audio output which requires an optical audio cable and for headphones, a converter (DAC or digital to analog converter) from digital PCM audio to analog stereo.

The digital optical audio output on the TV should be able to output Dolby Digital 5.1 to a surround sound system, home theater, or Dolby Digital audio/video receiver for multi-channel sound. However, most HDTVs have the ability to change over to PCM. The TV menu typically has an audio output option where you can switch back and forth between PCM and Dolby Digital. The Dolby Digital option may not be available until you connect to a surround sound setup.

What is PCM?
PCM is the same digital audio format as on a compact disc CD, two channel uncompressed stereo.

What is Dolby Digital?
Dolby Digital 5.1 is compressed 6 channel audio. This audio needs to be decoded, uncompressed by a device such as an audio/video receiver or DAC and converted to analog audio before you can hear it.


The Audio Out section shows three options, analog RCA, analog 3.5mm and digital optical.

Internet TV

Headphone listening is easy if you have a TV stick with Bluetooth. Use Amazon Fire TV stick, or ROKU TV player or Apple TV. Just plug in your TV streaming player to TV HDMI, pair on Amazon Fire TV stick or plug headphones into remote on ROKU and you get private listening.

Solution 7 - Wireless headphones using TV Streaming device

Bluetooth streaming media devices are devices that allow users to stream music, videos, and other media content wirelessly. ROKU, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and more have models with built-in Bluetooth capability. So if your TV does not have Bluetooth, you could connect one of these streaming devices and use wireless headphones for content from internet.

How to setup Wireless Bluetooth headphones on Amazon Fire TV Stick

Go to Settings on the Fire TV stick menu, then select Controllers and Bluetooth Devices, then Other Bluetooth Devices
Put Your Bluetooth Headphones or Speakers in Pairing Mode.
Select Your Device from the ‘Discovered Devices’ List

How to pair Bluetooth headphones or speakers to a Fire Stick. Now you can watch on the big screen without annoying anyone.

How to pair connect Bluetooth headphones to Fire TV

Before pairing a Bluetooth device with Amazon Fire TV.

Bluetooth connection range is often limited to 32 feet.
A distance less than 12 inches can also cause issues.
Physical obstacles, like walls, drastically reduce the Bluetooth signal strength and range.
Electronic interference like radio and microwave signals are causes for connection issues.

Enjoy channels like Sling, Hulu, Netflix, and Prime Video that launch in a snap on the fastest, most powerful Roku player ever. Enjoy fast, smooth TV streaming in any room in the house with Wi-Fi or connect with a wired Ethernet cable. 4K and Dolby Vision picture plus immersive Dolby Atmos sound.

Find your lost remote: Simply press the button on your streaming device and your Roku remote will play a sound. No more juggling remotes: Power up your TV, adjust the volume, and control your streaming device with one Roku voice remote. Voice search & control: Quickly search, play entertainment, and control your streaming device with the Roku voice remote. Private listening: Plug headphones into the Roku remote with headphone jack or use a wireless pair with the Roku mobile app to listen without disturbing others.

Solution 8 - Wireless headphones using Infra-red IR setup


Wireless headphones use various transmission technologies (Bluetooth, Radio Frequency, Infrared) from the base unit, connected to the TV, to the headphones. Be sure to check the distances you want to be able to use your headphones before buying a setup. Some units can go 300 feet and more.

The base unit connects to the audio converter box in the case of TVs with only digital optical audio outputs. The headphones need batteries to work. Some are recharged as they sit upon the base station. Most wireless headphone systems give you some audio adapter cables for RCA and 3.5mm connections. 

Bluetooth is being revised over time and has undergone several versions which have increased capabilities. Older versions of Bluetooth may only be useful up to 100 feet while Bluetooth 5.0 can be used well over that distance. Bluetooth can suffer from audio lag. RF has better distances and does not suffer from audio lag.

IR (infra-red) headphones are line-of-sight only and use invisible light to transmit audio to the headphones. The advantage here is no interference from other RF devices.

Wireless headphones connection

The sound is output from the TV to the base station and the base unit sends the stereo sound out to the headphones which can be hundreds of feet away.

Some TV has only optical audio OUT. Make sure the unit you buy has an optical input if this is your case. Use an optical audio cable to connect TV to base unit.

Solution 9 - Wireless headphones using Radio Frequency RF setup

RF wireless headphones can connect to the TV using an optical audio cable or a 3.5mm audio cable into the base unit which contains the transmitter. The headphones are battery powered for wireless reception. When not in use, the headphones rest on the base station for battery recharge. RF headphones can be used up to around 800 feet. Set the TV sound output to PCM/LPCM.

Each TV maker will have a slightly different on-screen menu for sound but the basic functions are the same. You can set the sound output format and control how audio is sent from the TV.

For headphones, set to PCM for 2 channel stereo.

RF wireless headphones connection

Solution 10 - Wired headphones using HDMI audio extractor

What is an HDMI Audio Extractor?

An HDMI audio extractor is a device that is used in your Audio Video setup that splits your HDMI signal, which contains both video and audio signals. It allows you to separate and direct the audio signal into a new analog or digital source through analog audio jacks or a digital SPDIF jack, so you can send that audio signal to a separate device. Some HDMI audio extractors have a 3.5mm headphone output jack.

Most HDMI audio extractors will just have one HDMI input port. If you have several devices you wish to connect, it’s best to choose an audio extractor that can be connected to a number of devices. With an HDMI audio extractor, you get the benefits of retaining the video signals from your HDMI cable while also converting the audio signal to a compatible signal for your audio needs.

The HDMI audio extractor accepts an HDMI input from a HDMI source device and outputs the video to a TV via HDMI while also converting the digital audio to 2-channel analog for RCA and 3.5mm audio outputs. You have to get the correct HDMI audio extractor in order to be sure the video will be unaltered and compatible with your TV.

HDMI Audio Extractor - Headphone connection

Any HDMI output from a HDMI source device can be listened to silently using headphones.

1080P HDMI to HDMI + Audio (SPDIF + RCA Stereo) Audio Extractor Converter

4K 60Hz HDMI Audio Extractor Splitter Converter, HDMI to HDMI +Optical +3.5mm AUX Audio Adapter Supports HDMI 2.0,18Gpbs Bandwidth,Dolby Digital/DTS,PCM HDR10

Audio/Video Receiver
Another option to connect headphones is to use an AVR. These can decode Dolby Digital and have optical audio inputs and a headphone jack with volume control. Most have HDMI to connect video to the TV so you can hookup all your source devices such as cable TV box or satellite TV and games, turntable, CD, DVD, iPod and so forth and listen using headphones. This is the way most people listen to their TVs surround sound. Hookup an optical audio cable from the TV's digital optical output to the AVR's optical audio input and you get audio, either from loudspeakers or the headphone jack on the AVR.

Multiple Headphones with Volume Control
Want to have up to 4 people able to listen using headphones and have volume control to silence commercials?

Headphone Amplifier and volume control

This stereo headphone amplifier powers up to 4 headphones each with volume control.

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