TV Headphone Listening

I own a Sony KDL-40V4100 LCD TV, and I need to use headphones when I watch TV at night, but the TV doesn't have a headphone output. How can I connect headphones to the TV?


The TV has a pair of analog-audio outputs on the back, which are RCA jacks color-coded red (right) and white (left). The first thing I would try is an inexpensive adaptor that has two RCA plugs on one end and a stereo headphone jack on the other end; Radio Shack undoubtedly carries such an adaptor. Connect the RCA plugs to the TV's RCA audio outputs and your headphones to the adaptor's headphone jack. Go into the TV's Sound Settings menu and set the Speakers parameter to "Audio System," which disables the internal speakers, and Audio Out to "Variable," which lets you control the volume with the TV's remote.

This may or may not work, depending on how much power the TV provides to those analog outputs. If it doesn't work, you'll need to connect an external headphone amp to those outputs. There are many good headphone amps available; Tyll Hertsens at our sibling site recommends the Matrix M-Stage ($250) and Musical Fidelity V-Can ($200, shown here). Steve Guttenberg, aka The Audiophiliac, likes the Electric Avenues PA2V2 ($60), TTVJ Slim Portable ($350), and Bottlehead Crack ($220), which is a DIY kit.

In this case, you should set the TV's Audio Out parameter to "Fixed" and control the volume from the amp. Also, you might need an adaptor to go from the TV's RCA jacks to whatever input connector the amp uses.

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gunhed's picture

The specs on the Sonystyle website suggest the audio out is fixed. Have you looked at wireless headphones ? They all accept a fixed audio output and amplify the signal. I have found philips good as their units have discrete selectable frequencies which tends to avoid distortion.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
According to the V4100 manual, the audio output can be set to Fixed or Variable. Wireless headphones is a good idea; thanks for suggesting it!
capkingy's picture

I have the same problem with my living room Vizio tv. It does not have a headphone jack. I was using my first stereo system I bought as a kid. It had an aux in and I took the RCA Stereo out from the tv to the stereo. Sadly that stereo died and I finally pulled the trigger to get a new 2011 model Onkyo TX-NR 609 receiver.I could only afford one receiver. Luckily my Vizio tv has a Fiber optic(TOS)audio output. I bought a 35ft TOS cable so I could have the receiver in my bedroom to use with my tv and drilled some holes in my floor and basement so I could run my TOS cable,network and hdmi cable to the receiver in my bedroom. I hooked up the TOS cable to my Receiver and then ran a 25ft headphone cable under the floor and this works great. This allows me to turn off the vizio speakers while watching at nite. This onkyo Receiver has an iphone wifi remote app so I can even control the receiver from the living room. If you are in the market for a new surround sound receiver this would be the perfect solution for you. I hooked up the tv this way because I only use it at night and wanted to take full advantage of my receiver in my bedroom. I am saving up for my hdtv and will get that soon hopefully. This receiver also has DNLA and Internet radio support. It also just got Spotify support today.

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