Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Using headphones with old TV that does not have headphones jack ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Using headphones with old TV that does not have headphones jack
Category: Science > Technology
Asked by: laurie88-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 05 Mar 2006 12:22 PST
Expires: 04 Apr 2006 13:22 PDT
Question ID: 703907
We have an old Sony TV that we would like to use headphones with.
There is no headphone jack on the TV, but there is a red and white
audio out jack on the back of the TV.  How can we use the audio out
jack to connect to headphones?  I tried tuning in the TV audio via an
FM radio that gets TV stations, hoping I could then just plug
headphones into the radio, but there is a delay in the audio that
doesn't match what's on the TV, I'm assuming as a result of our
having digital cable?   Is there something I can buy that I could
connect to the TV's audio out jack and then plug headphones directly
into that device?  Thanks for your help.  We also have a Tivo box
connected to the system, if that matters.
Subject: Re: Using headphones with old TV that does not have headphones jack
Answered By: juggler-ga on 05 Mar 2006 12:50 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

It sounds like you need an adapter.

The red & white audio-out jacks are called "RCA."

Get one of these....

"Stereo Female Mini to 2 RCA Male Plugs" - $5.99 at

You can then plug your headphones into the stereo female mini jack.

search strategy:
RCA Male Mini Stereo Female

I hope this helps.  If I've misunderstood the situation, please let me
know via the request clarification feature.

Request for Answer Clarification by laurie88-ga on 06 Mar 2006 21:27 PST
I've tried this and it does not work.  When you plug the headphones in
to the adapter, no sound comes out of them.  I've been told something
more is needed, some kind of receiver or amplifier.   The comments
subsequent to your answer bear this out, but I'm not sure I understand
what they mean--would I need to buy the same kind of receiver you buy
for a stereo system, or is there a smaller version of this type of
device that will work?

Clarification of Answer by juggler-ga on 07 Mar 2006 11:07 PST
I'm not sure that the comments below "bear out" the idea that NO sound
will come out.  If you're getting no sound at all, there may be some
other problem with your set-up.

Is there an option on your TV's electronic menu to direct the audio to
the audio output jacks?

See this discussion:

"Having worked at Sears in the electronics department, I can tell you
that pretty much any TV with an "audio output" on the back (which will
be the typical red/white RCA jacks) will have an option in the menu to
disable the internal speaker and use only the audio output jack. This
may be labeled as "INTERNAL SPEAKER: ON/OFF" or "AUDIO OUT: ON"."
laurie88-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks--the electronic menu was the key to solving the problem--I had
asked this question in various online forums, etc. and no one brought
this up until you did.

Subject: Re: Using headphones with old TV that does not have headphones jack
From: 00000000000000000001-ga on 05 Mar 2006 16:16 PST
Hm this also requires matching the impedance of the headphones to the
output jack impedance.

I guess all that would happen since headphones ussually have larger impedance then
speakers is that the max volume would be lower.

Perhaps an auddio transformer can macth impedances, say 8 ohms to 32
ohms if this is the impedance of your headphones.
Subject: Re: Using headphones with old TV that does not have headphones jack
From: markvmd-ga on 05 Mar 2006 19:55 PST
Juggler's method will work but the RCA plugs output only a level
signal, not related to the volume setting. Any "real" TV shop (not one
fo the faceless big box stores, but a neighborhood repair place) can
install a headphone jack in this TV for a few-- probably less than
60-- bucks.

Alternatively you can buy a used receiver or integrated amp, run the
audio signal from the TV to the amp and plug headphones into that. I
just got a nice used amp on Craigslist for ten dollars, and I ignored
the cheaper ones!
Subject: Re: Using headphones with old TV that does not have headphones jack
From: mtardy-ga on 11 Mar 2006 09:31 PST
You can also buy a set of Sennheiser Cordless headphones at some place
like circuit city.  The base unit (transmitter) for this type of head
phones comes with the capability of installing to RCA plugs.  Then the
base unit sends the signal to the cordless headphones. Problem solved.
 I tried many things with adapters, etc...  I found the cordless
headphones to be the least expensive, easiest solution... the
headphones cost me approx $ 89 at Circuit City.

Hope this is helpful

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy