TVs & Home Theaters forum


Connecting 3.5mm headphones via R/L Audio Out

by Seacaps / May 22, 2013 5:17 AM PDT

I know the answer to this is already somewhere on the internet but I've spent hours trying to figure out exactly what cables/adapters I need where as it seems to vary per TV and I'm never sure if the given solution actually works as the asker never follows up.

I have a Phillips 42PFL6704D/F7 (picture of inputs: ; manual here: ), it has a headphone jack but for some reason sound is no longer outputting through the jack properly (I can't hear voices during movies), how can I use the audio ports on the back/side to output sound to 3.5mm headphones? I want to use headphones for both a bluray player and a Wii.

I would really appreciate it if someone could please tell me exactly what products I need to buy, thanks for reading.

Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Connecting 3.5mm headphones via R/L Audio Out
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Connecting 3.5mm headphones via R/L Audio Out
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
by sunwatcher / May 22, 2013 10:20 AM PDT

This would be a fairly inexpensive solution:

Headphone Amp

RCA Audio Cable

1/4" to 3.5mm adapter

If you have an audio receiver with RCA inputs and a headphone jack, you could use that instead of buying an amp, but you didn't mention any other a/v gear that you might possess.

Collapse -
Why do I need the amplifier?
by Seacaps / May 23, 2013 3:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Solution

I don't understand why I need an amplifier or a audio receiver?

Collapse -
by Pepe7 / May 24, 2013 12:30 AM PDT

Most folks won't take the time to explain why but simply recommend items in this forum, which can be confusing. Let me translate.

The RCA outputs in back you see won't work properly with headphones since they are designed to be connected to either an amp or AV receiver. OTOH, what was suggested is not the correct type of headphone amp (1/4" instead of 3.5mm), and it lacks RCA inputs anyway. Whoops.

If you went with a simple $50 stereo receiver with RCA inputs (sometimes even less in garage sales/closeouts online), you could gain a more flexible & capable device than a headphone amp. A $.50 3.5mm to 1/4" headphone adapter would be the other item needed if you went that route.

Collapse -
Will this work?
by Seacaps / May 24, 2013 2:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Translation
Collapse -
by sunwatcher / May 24, 2013 5:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Will this work?

You need an amp because the RCA audio out from the TV is likely a line level output and there will be no volume control to your headphones from this output. The line level out is not designed to drive speakers or headphones directly.

There are many other products to choose from. I only provided suggestions of what will work.

Collapse -
by Seacaps / May 24, 2013 11:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Because...

With what you suggested I would need 2 adapters which you did not specify, the "Will the following work?" that I posted above is precisely what you suggested but with an additional adapter.

Also, right now when I use [RCA to 3.5mm cable >> 3.5mm extender >> My headphones] I get no sound at all from my headphones and I assume the line level that you're saying I should experience would be above 0. I was initially under the impression that the sound would need to be converted from digital to analog but no one seems to be suggesting that?

Collapse -
by sunwatcher / May 24, 2013 3:23 PM PDT
In reply to: But

Okay, yeah you would need an extra adapter, but that's evident. Again, the products I listed were suggestions only. You can do research on your own for headphone amps, but you could buy a cheap desktop audio system with RCA inputs and headphone jack and just be done with it. Check out some yard sales for some if you're so inclined. You should be able to tell exactly what cables and adapters you need by examining the product images/specs.

There are probably a couple of audio outputs from the TV. Most HDTVs have analog and digital outputs. The red and white RCA jacks you typically see are analog, so there is no digital to analog conversion. There will usually be a single digital audio out, but let's not even go there.

Collapse -
This 'works'
by Seacaps / June 8, 2013 11:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Okay...

So I bought all of the stuff and your solution does work to output sound through HDMI, however, the sound output is the same as through the headphone jack ie: I can't hear voices.

I did find the real solution though, I went through sound settings (I know, this should have been step #1) and all I had to do was change right/left stereo output bias in either direction (either all of the way right or all the way left) and that fixed the problem, output through the headphones remains perfectly even, no idea why that works but it does so I'll stop asking questions for now.

Collapse -
Add to what Pepe7 said;
by Oldartq / May 24, 2013 1:48 AM PDT
Collapse -
by Seacaps / May 24, 2013 2:34 AM PDT
Collapse -
(NT) Yes, that's how I would do it.
by Oldartq / May 24, 2013 12:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Clarification
Collapse -
Change right/left stereo output
by Seacaps / June 8, 2013 11:29 AM PDT

Changing the right/left stereo output in settings to either all the way right or all the way left fixed the sound output for the headphones, I can hear voices now.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

Coming soon

Get behind the wheel with Roadshow

Love cars? Climb into the driver's seat for the latest videos, reviews, shopping advice and picks by our editors delivered to your inbox every week.