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?

Mel

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 InnerFidelity.com 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.

If you have an A/V question, please send it to askscottwilkinson@gmail.com.

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