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Looking for advice connecting wired headphones to my Samsung TV

W_P_K

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Hi. Hopefully this is the right place to post this. My parents recently purchased a new TV (Samsung #UN43TU69OT) without an easy way for me to connect my wired headphones. I have been made to understand that I need a DAC to do so. I purchased a rather cheap one off Amazon and the optical port fell out of the device within 2 weeks. I am looking for a reasonably priced DAC with a remote that I can use solely to watch TV late at nite without waking my family. Any ideas?
 

DVDdoug

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Are there analog audio outputs? If so you can get a headphone amplifier (or an amplifier/receiver with a headphone output). My cable box has analog outputs but that would only work with cable, not DVD or Blu-Ray.

A USB DAC probably won't work. I think the USB port is an "input" for a thumb drive, etc.
 

staticV3

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Hi @W_P_K! First of all, welcome to ASR.

I have two possible solutions.
First, the least expensive, good quality DAC+Headphone Amp combo unit with Toslink input and remote-controlled volume that I know is the SMSL M300 SE.
While the built-in Headphone Amp is not the most powerful thing in the world, it should be plenty loud enough for 98% of headphones.

Second, as an alternative, consider the Qudelix 5K.
You'd connect it to your TV via Bluetooth, then take it to your couch and plug your headphones in. It's very small, lightweight, and battery-powered, so should be much more comfortable.

And as a serious bonus, it has EQ built-in, with easily selectable presets for thousands of different headphones (or manual control If those don't do it for you). That feature can drastically increase the sound quality of your headphones.

You can even listen to movies from your TV, and simultaneously control the EQ from your phone via their App.

Bluetooth does come with some downsides though. For one, depending on how well Bluetooth audio is implemented on the TU690T, it may not sound as good as via Toslink, and Bluetooth may introduce noticeable delay between image and sound, so I'd make sure that the TV has a setting to adjust A/V sync.
 
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W_P_K

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Are there analog audio outputs? If so you can get a headphone amplifier (or an amplifier/receiver with a headphone output). My cable box has analog outputs but that would only work with cable, not DVD or Blu-Ray.

A USB DAC probably won't work. I think the USB port is an "input" for a thumb drive, etc.
It would need to be connected via optical. No analog outputs.
 
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W_P_K

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Hi @W_P_K! First of all, welcome to ASR.

I have two possible solutions.
First, the least expensive, good quality DAC+Headphone Amp combo unit with Toslink input and remote-controlled volume that I know is the SMSL M300 SE.
While the built-in Headphone Amp us not the most powerful thing in the world, it should be plenty loud enough for 98% of headphones.

Second, as an alternative, consider the Qudelix 5K.
You'd connect it to your TV via Bluetooth, then take it to your couch and plug your headphones in. It's very small, lightweight, and battery-powered, so should be much more comfortable.

And as a serious bonus, it has EQ built-in, with easily selectable presets for thousands of different headphones (or manual control If those don't do it for you). That feature can drastically increase the sound quality of your headphones.

You can even listen to movies from your TV, and simultaneously control the EQ from your phone via their App.

Bluetooth does come with some downsides though. For one, depending on how well Bluetooth audio is implemented on the TU690T, it may not sound as good as via Toslink, and Bluetooth may introduce noticeable delay between image and sound, so I'd make sure that the TV has a setting to adjust A/V sync.
Yeah. I don't use Bluetooth for television. Nothing like coming home from work at 1am and not being able to pair a device. And while I'm sure the SMSL M300 SE would work fine it's incredibly expensive for me. Which is concerning since you called it the least expensive. Is there a maybe a choice available for poor people?
 

staticV3

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Yeah. I don't use Bluetooth for television. Nothing like coming home from work at 1am and not being able to pair a device. And while I'm sure the SMSL M300 SE would work fine it's incredibly expensive for me. Which is concerning since you called it the least expensive. Is there a maybe a choice available for poor people?
There may well be some Amazon or eBay noname products that can do it, but with unknown functionality, reliability, and quality, you'd be on your own.

If you can find a cheap, used headphone Amp with RCA input on eBay, then you could pair that with an SMSL PS100.
Connected to the TV via HDMI (ARC), you could then use the TV's own remote to control volume.
 

kemmler3D

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The Creative G3 has optical input, and headphone output, and is less expensive. I am not sure if it works without being connected to a USB host, though... worth looking into, perhaps you can find a review or testimonial online that covers that use case. It's designed for game consoles and PCs.

I have used one to get the optical output of my TV into my PC for over a year and no complaints, really. It's a solid device for the money. The headphone output probably doesn't sound amazing, but it should work OK.


You might want to give Bluetooth another chance, also. Half-decent-for-the-money BT headphones can be had for $50-100 these days and the connection should be reliable enough even to a TV. Just make sure you get the right output on the TV before you crank the volume. ;)

Also, welcome to ASR! This is a great place to ask questions about audio, but unfortunately it's geared more towards high end stuff than budget stuff. reddit.com/r/budgetaudiophile tends to focus more on deals if you don't get a good answer here.
 
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W_P_K

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The Creative G3 has optical input, and headphone output, and is less expensive. I am not sure if it works without being connected to a USB host, though... worth looking into, perhaps you can find a review or testimonial online that covers that use case. It's designed for game consoles and PCs.

I have used one to get the optical output of my TV into my PC for over a year and no complaints, really. It's a solid device for the money. The headphone output probably doesn't sound amazing, but it should work OK.
This seems like it would work but I would have to get up and go to the back of my TV anytime I would need to change the volume.
 

kemmler3D

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I would have to get up and go to the back of my TV anytime I would need to change the volume.
It adds a little to the budget, but an inline volume control and a M-F 3.5mm TRS extension cable solves that problem with whatever you end up with. Can be done for maybe $10-15.

419XG4XlHBL._AC_UY218_.jpg
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W_P_K

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The Creative G3 has optical input, and headphone output, and is less expensive. I am not sure if it works without being connected to a USB host, though... worth looking into, perhaps you can find a review or testimonial online that covers that use case. It's designed for game consoles and PCs.

I have used one to get the optical output of my TV into my PC for over a year and no complaints, really. It's a solid device for the money. The headphone output probably doesn't sound amazing, but it should work OK.


You might want to give Bluetooth another chance, also. Half-decent-for-the-money BT headphones can be had for $50-100 these days and the connection should be reliable enough even to a TV. Just make sure you get the right output on the TV before you crank the volume. ;)

Also, welcome to ASR! This is a great place to ask questions about audio, but unfortunately it's geared more towards high end stuff than budget stuff. reddit.com/r/budgetaudiophile tends to focus more on deals if you don't get a good answer here.
Thank you for the welcome. I spent the past 2 weeks posting on every Reddit sub I could find and all I got back was good luck with your problem you should probably get Bluetooth headphones. Problems with Bluetooth: Pairing, latency, and charging. I have no desire to deal with any of it. Modern technology sucks. Oh well thanks for your help.
 

Sputnik

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What you need is a dac & headphone amp combo. Finding one with a remote for far less than the suggested SMSL will make you end up with another crappy thing that falls apart, like the one you tried.

BUT you could just pick up any 2nd hand AVR. It can even be partly broken (speaker amp broken for example). Only requirement is that it has a headphone out (almost all have it). If it has hdmi, that is even more convenient than using optical. They always come with a remote. i just found several for around 20-25€ with a 2 minute search.
 
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W_P_K

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What you need is a dac & headphone amp combo. Finding one with a remote for far less than the suggested SMSL will make you end up with another crappy thing that falls apart, like the one you tried.

BUT you could just pick up any 2nd hand AVR. It can even be partly broken (speaker amp broken for example). Only requirement is that it has a headphone out (almost all have it). If it has hdmi, that is even more convenient than using optical. They always come with a remote. i just found several for around 20-25€ with a 2 minute search.
Not to sound stupid but I don't know what an AVR is. I googled and found microcontrollers.
 

Sputnik

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Not to sound stupid but I don't know what an AVR is. I googled and found microcontrollers.

1695849267925.png

1695849367815.png

Something like this, an audio-video receiver.
It is used to make the sound from all your devices (tv, dvd, cd, streamer,...) come out of your speakers, or surround system. A good new one is expensive, but an old one will fit your use perfectly, and is very cheap.
 

Sputnik

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You're welcome. Connecting it over hdmi would be better than optical, because the sound will only come out of your headphones when you turn it on, and will revert back to the tv speakers when you turn it off. Perfect. You can even use the tv remote volume for your headphones.
Optical requires a bit more fiddling for the volume (turning down the tv speakers, changing output settings), because it can not see if the avr is on or not. But both work.
 

kemmler3D

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Agree that 2nd-hand AVR is also a good option as long as it has HDMI inputs. Generally you can find lots of those on local 'classified' sites. I would go for anything I can find for $50 that has HDMI and headphone out. Takes up more space on the shelf but should work well.
 

antcollinet

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Yeah. I don't use Bluetooth for television. Nothing like coming home from work at 1am and not being able to pair a device. And while I'm sure the SMSL M300 SE would work fine it's incredibly expensive for me. Which is concerning since you called it the least expensive. Is there a maybe a choice available for poor people?
OK - not sure where you are located. I just did this search on amazon uk. You could do similar on whatever is your local amazon.

These are going to be variable quality - in many cases no better than the one you've returned. I've had good results from buying "Amazon's choice" - or see if you can find something from a reputable seller (Preferably sold or at least shipped by amazon).

You may need to try and return a few before you get one worth keeping.


OR
This one that will accept EARC (HDMI) which means you don't have to worry about shoddy toslink connectors.
 
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