how to get from optical to 3.5mm?
December 7, 2010 7:19 AM   Subscribe

I want to get some wireless headphones so I can listen to my TV (A) without waking my son, and (B) while our appliances are running (laundry, dishwasher, etc). Problem: the only audio out connector my TV has is optical. How could I connect a set of 3.5mm or 1.8mm headphones to this port?

I've seen some adapters like optical to RCA while looking online; could I use something like that with an RCA to 3.5mm adapter? I'd be worried about possible signal degradation when daisy-chaining multiple adapters together like that.

I do own a Sony 5.1 stereo system, but we've never had the need to use it (neither me or my wife are particularly concerned about audio quality; as long as we can hear it we're fine) so it's in storage in the garage. I'd have to get it out, trace out the in-wall speaker wires, buy speaker mounts, and hook up the whole shebang. Seems like a lot of work just to get a set of headphones to work.

Alternative suggestions (such as Bluetooth) are welcome.
posted by ChrisLSU to Technology (2 answers total)
Depending on the Sony receiver you have, if it has an optical input, you could plug the TV into the optical input, and then plug your headphones into one of the outputs using something like this (if i has no headphone output, many do). You could probably ignore everything else about the receiver; no need for speakers. That'd probably be the quickest/easiest/cheapest way that I can think of.

Alternatively, if your TV is running from a cable box or TiVo or something like that, you could possibly use one of the outputs on that.

Any signal degradation caused by an RCA/3.5mm adapter is negligible. The biggest issue with signal quality will likely be between the headphones and base station.
posted by Tu13es at 7:40 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ah, thanks. I didn't think to pipe the optical directly to the receiver and connect the headphones to that. That would certainly be the easiest thing to do, and give me the option to install the speakers later on.

posted by ChrisLSU at 8:22 AM on December 7, 2010

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