(Last Updated On: November 12, 2019)

Use this foolproof guide to use your wireless Bluetooth headphones with your TV.

I don’t care what anyone says. Binge-watching Netflix on the TV feels 10 times more awesome than crouching over the 12-inch laptop, or even worse, a palm-sized mobile phone.

But you might be wondering, “Can you use wireless headphones with a TV“?

The answer is an absolutely yes. If your TV has built-in Bluetooth capability, connecting wireless headphones is a matter of on-screen configuration. But if it doesn’t have Bluetooth, you are still able to use wireless headphones with the TV, using the help of third-party devices such as Bluetooth audio transmitter.

This foolproof guide is to help you navigate smoothly through this complicated mess.

Quick Lesson 1: How do wireless headphones work for TV?


To establishing a wireless connection between the TV and your wireless headphones requires just two components:

  1. A wireless transmitter
  2. A wireless receiver

The transmitter sends digital audio signals over to the receiver which in turn converts them into analog signals (sound) that you hear in the headphones.

The wireless headphones is the wireless receiver. However, your TV might or might not be the wireless transmitter.

It all depends on whether the TV has a built-in Bluetooth transmitter. So how do you know if it supports Bluetooth? See Quick Lesson #2.

How to Use This Guide?

To proceed with this guide efficiently, we need you to answer this question:

Does your TV have Bluetooth Support?
If your TV has Bluetooth support, please go ? here.
If it doesn’t, please go ? here.

Quick Lesson 2: How to check if your TV has Bluetooth support?

If you have a Samsung TV, this is the official answer from Samsung:

If your TV came with a Smart Remote, it supports Bluetooth because that’s how it pairs to the TV.

No matter what remote came with your TV, you can still check by looking in your settings menu. From Settings, select Sound, and then select Sound Output. If the option Bluetooth Speaker List appears, then your TV supports Bluetooth.

But if the brand of your TV is not Samsung, you can:

  • Read the user manual. The user manual should state if it supports Bluetooth.
  • Is your TV labeled as “Smart TV”? If it is, it most likely has Bluetooth support. Go to the TV’s service menu and look at the “Audio” settings.
  • What if your TV doesn’t have a service menu? It might have a hidden service menu that television technician used for diagnostic checks. Use this website to find out how to access the hidden service menu.

Yes, My TV has Bluetooth Support.

Congratulations! You are pretty close to the end of the journey.

How to connect Bluetooth headphones to the TV?

  1. Put your headphones into pairing mode. Wireless headphones will have a blue blinking light to indicate that it is in pairing mode.
  2. Enable the Bluetooth function on the TV. Every TV has a different way to access the Bluetooth support. We will show you an example with an LG TV.LG Bluetooth Setup 1
    1. Click on “Setting” or the gear icon on the remote.LG Bluetooth Setup 2
    2. Go to “Sound” mode and select Sound Out LG Bluetooth Setup 3
  3. Once the Bluetooth is enabled on the TV, it will do a scan of the surrounding Bluetooth devices that are in pairing mode.
    1. Select “LG SoundSync/Bluetooth” and click on “DEVICE SELECTION”.LG Bluetooth Setup 4
    2. The TV starts searching for available Bluetooth devices.LG Bluetooth Setup 5
  4. After the scanning is done, you should be able to see your headphones in the list of detected devices. A list of Bluetooth devices in pairing mode will be on the “Available Devices” list. LG Bluetooth Setup 6
  5. Select the pair of headphones that you want to connect to. Once paired, you will see it in the “Paired Devices” list.LG Bluetooth Setup 7

No, My TV does not have Bluetooth Support.

Don’t freak out if you land here. How do you connect your wireless headphones to your TV if there is no Bluetooth?

How to connect wireless headphones to tv without Bluetooth?

You just need some “extra” help. You might be surprised to find that you already own some of these:

Bluetooth Audio Transmitter

Avantree Audikast
Avantree Audikast

If you own a pair of Bluetooth headphones but your TV has no Bluetooth support, you should definitely look into this solution.

Bluetooth Audio Transmitter is an external device that can be plugged into your TV audio output. It enables the transmission of audio via Bluetooth to your headphones. This is a painless and quick way of connecting your TV to your wireless headphones.

Recommended Bluetooth transmitters:

Quick Lesson 3: Checking what audio output is available on your TV

For the transmitter to plug successfully into the TV audio output, you need to understand what type of audio output is available on your TV.

The different types of audio output can be found at the back of the TV. An example can be seen from the above image. All the audio output are in the red box.

  1. The ones labeled “L” and “R” are the RCA jacks
  2. The one labeled “AUDIO” is the 3.5mm headphone jack
  3. The one labeled “OPTICAL” is the optical TOSLINK output

Some of the older TV models do not have the 3.5mm headphones jack and the optical TOSLINK output. They only have the RCA jacks as audio output.

Some TV is even more troublesome and only has optical TOSLINK as the only audio output. You will need something like the Prozar DAC where it converts the TOSLINK into 3.5mm and RCA audio output.

Make sure you physically check your TV audio output. Don’t take it for granted or you might be spending unnecessary cash on buying plug adapters.

Media Streamers

Apple TV 4K
Apple TV 4K

Media streamers are set-top boxes that allow you to watch shows from the internet on your TV. Some of these streamers provide a nifty Bluetooth interface that allows your wireless headphones to be connected.

Amazon Fire TV Cube (Check Price)

  1. Go to Fire TV’s service menu and select Settings > Controllers and Bluetooth Devices
  2. Choose Other Bluetooth Devices.
  3. Wait for your Bluetooth headphones to appear in the Discovered Devices section.
  4. Once it appears, select it and wait for pairing to be successful.
You can accomplish the same thing at a much cheaper price: Fire TV Stick 4K

NVIDIA SHIELD TV (Check Price)

  1. Go to SHIELD TV’s service menu, then select Wireless and Networks / Connected Devices.
  2. Turn it on and wait for your headphones to be discovered.
  3. Once it appears, select it and wait for pairing to be successful.
If you want to switch back to the main audio output, you have to unpair your headphones first.

Sling AirTV 4K (Check Price)

  1. Press and hold the Remote button on the top of the AirTV Player until the pairing screen displays
  2. A “Searching for accessories” screen will appear.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the pairing of the device to the AirTV Player
You can see picture references from the official guide

Xiaomi Mi Box (Check Price)

  1. Go to the Mi Box’s service menu.
  2. Select Remote & accessories > Add accessory.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the pairing of the headphones.

Roku

To connect your Roku products to wireless headphones requires additional Macgyver-level configuration.

All of the Roku products (Ultra, Premiere+, Streaming Stick+) follow the same bluetooth connection method via Private Listening. This requires a third party device (phone or tablet) to work, and requires your Roku streamer and phone/tablet to be on the same wifi network to do so.

  1. Download the Official Roku app on your Android or iOS phone/tab.
  2. Make sure your phone and Roku streaming device are connected to the same wifi network.
  3. Connect your Bluetooth headphones and phone/tab by selecting your headphones on the list of detected devices on your phone/tab.
  4. Launch the Roku app, then tap the Remote tab at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Activate your Bluetooth headphones’ pairing button AND your Bluetooth connection on your phone/tab.
  6. On the Remote screen of the Roku app, press the headset icon. You can now stream audio from your Roku streaming device to your wireless headphones.
Audio-Video desync may happen from time to time. This may be caused by the saturated bandwidth of your wifi connection between the Roku streamer and your phone, or the inherent delay from the Roku>phone>headphones transmission, factoring in Bluetooth and Wifi latency.

Apple TV 4K (Check Price)

  1. From the Apple TV Home screen, go to Settings
  2. Click on Remotes and Devices.
  3. Click on Bluetooth.
  4. Let it search for Bluetooth devices.
  5. When you see your headphones pop up, choose them from the list.
  6. Some Bluetooth accessories require a PIN. If Apple TV prompts you, type in the PIN.

Dedicated Wireless TV Headphones

Dedicated wireless tv headphones are headphones that come with a base station. The base station acts a transmitter that is connected to the TV which will then transmit the audio signals to the headphones.

The base station is rarely disconnected from the TV, hence, the term – dedicated. The upside of having a dedicated headphone is that you have immediate access to a wireless audio connection to the TV.

Dedicated wireless headphones come with different types of wireless connections. Other than the familiar Bluetooth connection, there are Radio Frequency (RF) and Infrared (IR) options. We have stated the pros and cons of Bluetooth, RF and IR headphones below.

Recommended Bluetooth Dedicated Headphones:

Recommended RF Dedicated Headphones:

Recommended IF Dedicated Headphones:

Quick Lesson 4: The benefits and downsides of Bluetooth, RF and IF connections

Bluetooth Connection

Pros:

  • »Easily pair with any Bluetooth headphones
  • »You have the flexibility to change your Bluetooth headphones
  • »Better connection stability than RF and infrared

Cons:

  • »Slower transmission speed than RF and infrared
  • »Might cause laggy-ness or delay in audio transmission
  • »More setup steps required
If you are worried about the laggy-ness of the Bluetooth headphones, look out for Bluetooth transmitter that offers aptX Low Latency support. When paired with headphones that offer aptX Low Latency support, you can achieve synchronize audio experience with the TV.

Radio Frequency Connection

With RF, the listeners can transmit audio at a longer range (up to ~328 feet or ~100 meters) than what a Bluetooth connection can offer.

But it doesn’t come without a downside. The quality of the RF connection can be interfered by other electronic devices such as microwave and mobile phones. Any device that uses the same frequency (from 900MHz – 3.2GHz) as an RF headphone will add noise to the connection.

Pros:

  • »Fast transmission rate
  • »No delay in audio
  • »Very long range
  • »Fast and easy setup.

Cons:

  • »Prone to noise interference with other RF devices
  • »Make sure your TV is in an isolated room
  • »RF headphones can’t be easily used for other audio devices like PC and smartphones

Infrared Connection

Infrared is the technology that powers our remote control and it also used for wireless TV headphones.

Unlike the RF, the quality of the connection is not hampered by neighboring devices using the same frequency. It is also said to be able to deliver better sound quality to the headphones than Bluetooth.

However, an infrared connection works on “line-of-sight” technology. Any obstruction between the transmitter and receiver will cause the connection quality to deteriorate. You will see this with your remote controls. Just block the remote with your hand and you will not be able to switch your channels.

Another thing about infrared is that its connectivity range is even shorter than Bluetooth.

Pros:

  • »Fast transmission rate
  • »No delay in audio
  • »Supposedly best sound quality

Cons:

  • »Line-of-sight technology means there must be absolutely no blockage between the TV and the headphones
  • »Short-range

Gaming Consoles

Sony PS4
Sony PS4

The options for Bluetooth support on gaming console are not great. For example, Xbox One doesn’t even allow wireless headphones to be connected. Even though Sony PS4 does provide Bluetooth connectivity, not all Bluetooth headphones are supported natively.

Sony PS4 Pro / PS4 Slim (Check Price)

  1. Go to PS4 Settings > Devices > Bluetooth Devices.
  2. Select the name of your headset to connect.
  3. If it connects successfully, you can try to play games now with your Bluetooth headset.
Bluetooth audio devices are not supported by the PS4.
Bluetooth audio devices are not supported by the PS4.

However, this might be not successful. If you will see the above error message, or “Cannot connect to the Bluetooth device within the time limit” pops up, try the alternative steps below.

You will need a Bluetooth USB adapter for this method.

  1. Insert the USB adapter to the PS4 USB slot.
  2. Turn on your Bluetooth headset.
  3. Go to PS4 Settings > Devices > Audio Devices.
  4. Click Output Device, and select USB Headset.
  5. Click Volume Control, and adjust it to medium or louder.
  6. Click Output to Headphones, and select All Audio.
If you own a PS3 instead, you can follow the steps here.

Nintendo Switch (Check Price)

Even though Switch has Bluetooth support, it is used solely for the wireless controllers. They do have 4.0.0 patch that allows wireless headphones connection via USB dongles.

Switch has a limited list of tested compatible headphones, so don’t expect every wireless headphone to work with it. See this website for a list of tested headphones.

There are two connection modes for the Switch – docked and undocked.

When docked,

  1. Put your wireless headphones in pairing mode.
  2. Plug the dongle into one of the USB ports on the side of the Switch’s dock.
  3. Wait for the on-screen prompt of the USB volume control. You can now use your wireless headphones with your Switch.

When undocked,

  1. Put your wireless headphones in pairing mode.
  2. Plug the USB-to-USB-C connector into the USB-C port on the bottom of the Nintendo Switch.
  3. Plug the USB dongle for your wireless headset into the connector.
  4. Wait for the on-screen prompt of the USB volume control. You can now use your wireless headphones with your Switch.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How to Connect Wireless Headphones to TV Without Audio Output?

For most modern TVs, it is almost impossible for a TV to not have ANY audio output at all. It is more likely that you cannot identify the audio output.

If you can connect your TV to an external speaker, it most definitely at least has one audio output
  • How Do I Play Sound from Both the TV and Headphones at the Same Time?

This is highly dependant on the TV models itself and unfortunately, not many models support such a feature. Many TVs including Samsung TVs will mute their internal speakers once you connect your headphones to the TV.

From Samsung Support

However, it is said that LG TV does support this feature. If you are an LG TV owner, you are in luck. See if the below steps works for you.

From LG Support

Unfortunately, this above steps only worked for me to a certain extent. My TV only has support for simultaneous audio support for Internal TV Speaker + Wired Headphones. It doesn’t work for wireless headphones.

So what if you do not want to fork out the price of a brand new TV just for this simultaneous playback feature?

There is a simpler and cheaper solution and it comes in the form of Avantree Oasis Plus.

The Oasis Plus allows you to play audio through an external speaker like soundbar and also wirelessly to your headphones at the same time.

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? 🙂

  • What Are the Best Wireless Headphones for TV?

So with all the knowledge you learned, you can now be the go-to source for anything headphones and TV-related. But what about the best wireless headphones for TV?

Best wireless headphones for tv

No worries, we got you covered with this compiled list of best wireless headphones for TV.

It has a good mix of Bluetooth and RF headphones with varying prices and design. You will bound to find something that you like.