How to Connect Wireless Headphones to TV Without Bluetooth

Updated On February 9, 2021
By Harry Singleton

In Guides

You may be thinking, why would I ever want to connect headphones to my TV? Well, for many reasons actually. You might want to watch something without everyone else that you live with hearing, you may want to watch an action movie whilst the kids are in bed or your headphones might be better quality than your TV speakers. Sometimes headphones feel more immersive than just your TV speakers so it is definitely something to try if you haven’t before.

But can you connect wireless headphones to your TV? Although the obvious answer might be no because that’s how most headphones connect to devices, you actually can. At first, it might seem difficult, but keep reading to find out how to seamlessly and easily connect your wireless headphones to your Television set, with and without your TV having Bluetooth. Wearing headphones while watching your favourite movies can provide a unique audio experience so be sure to check out our guide to see how to connect your headphones to your Television!

First Tip: How do wireless headphones work with a TV?

Wireless Bluetooth headphones work the same as other Bluetooth devices you may have come across. Wireless audio devices use radio waves to communicate with a receiver by sending the data required to allow the Bluetooth device to work as intended. An extremely small microchip inside the headphones or output device contains the Bluetooth transmitter which is used to send the radio waves through to the connected device. The data is converted to audio and your audio output device, Bluetooth headphones, in this case, will then play the related audio. Sound quality and your listening experience will not be affected by this, in fact, it can actually be enhanced if your Bluetooth headphones are of decent quality.

My TV has Bluetooth Support – YES

If your TV does have Bluetooth then you are in luck as the next few steps are fairly straightforward and will get your Bluetooth wireless headphones connected with ease.

  1. The first part to setting up any wireless headphones system is to check that your headphones are in pairing mode. This will allow your headphones to be detected by other Bluetooth devices and allow you to form a connection. Most headphones will use some form of light system, such as blinking lights or a particular color to indicate that your device is in pairing mode. If you are ever unsure on how to do this check out our guide on pairing headphones!
  2. Once your headphones are in pairing mode, you then need to check that your TV is ready to receive Bluetooth connections. There are a variety of different methods, however, most TV’s will typically use a similar way. We will try to generalize this guide so even if it doesn’t fully suit your TV you should be able to extrapolate what you need.
  3. Most Bluetooth options can be found in your TV settings menu, To get to this you will typically press the Menu button on your TV remote and access the settings menu by highlighting that option and pressing the OK button.
  4. Inside the settings menu, you will usually find either a wireless or sound section depending on your TV model. Highlight this using your TV remote and click the OK button, this should bring you to a new bunch of settings.
  5. You should now be able to find a bunch of Bluetooth settings, whether that’s finding a new Bluetooth device, or switching the Bluetooth on on your television. For connecting headphones you will need to scan nearby Bluetooth devices and find the name of the device you are wanting to connect to, this may take a few seconds.
  6. Once this has been found, simply click OK and wait a few seconds for your TV and headphones to sync up. This should then appear in the “Paired Devices” or similar section.

Second Tip: How to make sure your TV has Bluetooth support?

A tried and tested way to check if your TV has Bluetooth support is to search the TV model on the internet and check if it mentions Bluetooth in the device specifications. If you are totally at a loss you should visit the TV brands site or ask other users if they have been able to connect Bluetooth headphones to their TV.

Another way to check for Bluetooth is to search through your TV’s service menu to see if there is a Bluetooth or wireless setting. This can be done by pressing the menu key on your remote control (this will differ per models so it’s best to look for either a key that says “Menu” or a cog icon). This should open up the service menu and from there you can simply look out for a Bluetooth setting.

If you discover your TV does not feature Bluetooth you may have to resort to using a wired connection or potentially purchase a dedicated wireless headset that uses its own receiver. Another strategy to use Bluetooth on a device that doesn’t feature support is by purchasing a Bluetooth transmitter. If you are unsure what exactly one of these devices are, then be sure to read on!

Bluetooth Not Supported – NO

If your TV doesn’t feature internal Bluetooth support then you may need to purchase a Bluetooth transmitter or similar device. These are fairly cheap so there’s no need to stress about spending a lot more to upgrade your TV or even buying a new TV just to provide Bluetooth connectivity. You can also opt to purchase a small USB device, such as a Chromecast, to add ‘Smart’ features to your TV such as media streaming and Google voice assistant capabilities.

Most of these devices can be found either on Amazon or directly from the manufacturers themselves and will typically cost between $10 – $40 depending on which device you opt for. A Bluetooth transmitter will be the cheapest, so if you just want Bluetooth support then consider purchasing just a transmitter. These devices will commonly use a 3.5mm headphone jack or a USB connection. Most modern TV’s will feature this somewhere, but it’s best to be sure what audio outputs are available on your TV before making a purchase.

Third Tip: Checking what audio output is available on your TV

Before you try to connect your wireless headphones to any of the many TV models available today, you should double-check what audio output is available. As some televisions will not allow you to connect wirelessly, then you should always ensure that your television is compatible with wireless connection’s. This can save you a lot of unnecessary hassle.

There are a variety of different output choices that you will commonly come across at the back of your TV for things such as a speaker set up and headphones. The most common ones you will find are:

  • A 3.5mm headphone jack, this one is usually used for wired speakers and wired headphones. You can find this one by looking for an output that is labelled “AUDIO”. This connection method is extremely popular and can be found in a lot of audio devices.
  • The second type of output you are likely to come across is are the RCA Jacks. These are usually colored red and white to help distinguish which wire goes where. You will also easily be able to spot these as they commonly have an “L” and “R” marking to help deduce which side delivers a specific audio output.
  • Although slightly less popular than the previous ports, you may come across a square-shaped port which is known as the Optical TOSLINK. This is commonly used in CD players and DVD systems, but if however, you have no use for it, you can purchase a DAC to convert it into an RCA and 3.5 headphone jack. This can be spotted by looking out for the “OPTICAL” marking.

Always make sure to familiarise yourself with the audio outputs you can find in the back of your TV as this can help prevent you from purchasing adapters or devices which simply aren’t compatible. It can also be useful to know which output is used for specific devices so if you need to use multiple audio connections you won’t have to share a port.

How can I connect my Bluetooth headphones to my TV without Built-In Bluetooth?

Some headphones that you may be considering using won’t utilize a wireless connection method which can confuse potential users. However, you shouldn’t worry too much as most headphones, regardless if they are wireless, will offer a wired connection method. This will mean you will have to get closer to your TV than you are comfortable with, but as long as you stay a decent distance this shouldn’t be an issue.

if however, you are wondering how to add Bluetooth functionality to a Non-Bluetooth TV then you will require some form of third party output that can support Bluetooth. The best devices for this are Bluetooth audio transmitters and smart TV additions such as an Amazon Fire Stick and a Chromecast. These devices tend to provide in-built Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to sync up a pair of wireless headphones via Bluetooth.

How do I watch Netflix on a Non-Smart TV?

One of the biggest advantages of purchasing a Smart TV is that it allows you to get on to streaming sites such as Netflix and Youtube without needing to use a computer or similar device. However, what if you want to access these sites on your TV, but your TV doesn’t offer smart features?

There are two fairly simple solutions to this, each one of them coming with their own advantages and set price tags. If you are at all curious about this be sure to check below:

Video Game Consoles: Although these may be considered an unconventional technique, video game products can be extremely effective in achieving what a smart television can. If you connect your system up to your internet you can most things that you could on a smart TV such as Youtube and Netflix.

Most gaming products such as the Sony Playstation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One also offer Bluetooth meaning you can hook up your wireless headphones and other wireless Bluetooth devices. Catch up on all your favourite tv shows by using your gaming console as a streaming device.

You should consider how much you are willing to spend as such products can be fairly pricey. If you are only interested in the smart capabilities of gaming consoles then perhaps consider purchasing devices like Amazon Fire TV stick or similar USB dongles. If however you already own a gaming console then this is a cheap and effective way in which you can provide Bluetooth functionality to your TV.

Personally, we would recommend a Sony Playstation 4 or the Microsoft Xbox one as the new generation of gaming consoles are just around the corner meaning you can save a lot of money purchasing an older model. Both these systems also come with a wireless controller that can be used alongside your wireless headset offering a unique process of connecting Bluetooth headphones to your Television.

Media Streaming: An extremely popular choice today is to purchase a USB device that can provide smart capabilities to your TV with little cost. You simply plug these into a USB port that is found on most modern TV’s and you will be able to browse your favourite streaming sites in seconds. If however, you find that your TV doesn’t contain a USB slot you may need to purchase an additional USB adapter. These are pretty cheap and shouldn’t set you back too much.

A media streaming device, such as an Amazon Fire TV stick, will provide a new interactive home screen to your TV that can be used to access streaming sites using a remote control. In terms of wireless connectivity for headphones, most USB devices such as these will also provide a Bluetooth connection that can be used to connect your wireless TV headphones through.

Media streamers aren’t too pricey and are generally universally compatible with most TV models, but if you have any doubts be sure to check if your TV is compatible with such Bluetooth devices. Most media streamers supply plug-and-play methods of use, meaning you simply pop it into your TV and you are ready to go.

How do wireless headphones work without Bluetooth?

There are a few variants in terms of using your wireless headphones without directly utilizing a Bluetooth connection. One of the most common options is by removing the wireless functionality of your headphones through the use of an audio wire. Most wireless devices will come with a wire that can provide an alternative manner in which you can use them, however, this isn’t ideal as it removes the ability to use wireless technology – which is the main reason you will purchase wireless headphones in the first place.

If you aren’t a fan of Bluetooth connections or want to try something different then there are wireless headphones on the market suited for you. Dedicated wireless headphones (RF headphones) will come with their own wireless base station that can be plugged into a compatible television and connected to it through a specific frequency. Headphones with a base station are slightly less common than your typical Bluetooth headphones but are also a very good alternative.

As RF wireless headphones come with their own unique base station they tend to suffer minimal interference and thus the audio quality can be greater than through Bluetooth. These stations are usually plugged directly into the compatible hardware, a TV in this case, through the use of a 3.5mm analog jack, which most TVs will provide. This can offer an alternative to TVs that require a Bluetooth adapter and can even save you money in the long run.

On the topic of money, the difference in cost between dedicated wireless headphones and Bluetooth audio devices is often marginal. You may have to pay slightly more for the dedicated option as it comes with a unique wireless transmitter that you will be expected to pay for. You should also be sure not to lose this wireless transmitter as they are synced up with a specific pair of headphones.

Dedicated wireless headphones will usually offer a range of up to 300 feet, which is far superior to the Bluetooth headphones range average of 30 feet. Although this may not be necessary as this article is focused on connecting your wireless headphones to your TV. The larger the range, the further away from your audio device you can be before the quality of the audio begins to drop, so if you are one to potter about the house while listening to a podcast then consider opting for RF headphones instead.

All-in-all, if you are looking for an alternative to Bluetooth headphones then a dedicated set of headphones is an extremely promising alternative. RF headphones have both benefits and negatives, but if your TV doesn’t have Bluetooth support they can be an incredible alternative. Be sure to browse before making a purchase to see what hardware is the most suited to you!

Can Bluetooth wireless headphones work with TV?

Bluetooth headphones can definitely work with your TV and are a wonderful addition to any audio setup. If your TV has smart capabilities then you are more than likely good to go as most smart television will offer built-in Bluetooth. Hook up your headphones and get ready to experience some of the best sound quality there is.

If however, your TV features no such Bluetooth connection then you may be required to purchase one of the many Bluetooth transmitters on the market. These provide your TV with Bluetooth technology and allow audio streaming through your Bluetooth headphones. This is a cheap process in which you can add an extra layer to your TV and is required for TV’s that don’t provide Bluetooth support. You should check your TV before making a purchase as these transmitters will typically require USB ports to plug into. There are various connection methods on the market if your TV doesn’t have a USB slot, such as 3.5mm analog jacks and RCA ports. Ensuring the correct connection is available is an important step in the process.

RF Headphones or Bluetooth Headphones: What are the differences?

Finding the right set of headphones for you can be fairly tricky as you want to make sure that they offer everything you expect for the price you are paying. In the world of headphones however you will typically come across two types, Dedicated headphones (RF) or Bluetooth headphones. So what exactly are the differences? Take a look below to see a break down of what you can expect from each type:

Connection Range: When it comes to wireless audio devices and similar hardware that use radio waves, the distance they can be from the output device can make a large impact on a purchase. Bluetooth headphones will commonly offer a range of up to 30 feet, which is more than suitable for In-house use. If you plan on travelling a fair distance from the output, then you may want to consider Radio frequency head phones. RF phones tend to offer an audio transmission distance of up to a whopping 300 feet, which is more than enough for most tasks. If the connection range is a massive consideration for you, then radio frequency phones are the headset choice for you.

How much Your Headphones may Cost: The cost of an audio device can play a large role in which bit of technology you plan on choosing. Bluetooth headphones will tend to cost less than Dedicated wireless phones as they do not require an additional piece of hardware to work as intended. The price jump can be fairly large if you are looking at premium headphones so if you are on a budget then headphones that support Bluetooth will tend to cost you slightly less.

Compatibility: Both types of headphones offer stellar compatibility as most audio devices will support Bluetooth in some capacity. If some of your products are slightly older however and they don’t offer this support, you may need to purchase a third-party transmitter as a solution. This solution can increase the cost of your Bluetooth headphones by quite a fair amount. Radio Frequency headphones on the other hand are universally compatible as they use their own audio transmitter. Therefore, if you are looking for the most compatible recourse and don’t mind paying a slightly more, then you may want to purchase a dedicated pair of headphones.

If you are planning on using your headphones with a games console then you will be happy to know that both the Sony Playstation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One should be compatible with most products you are interested in. If you ever need to check a pair of headphones compatible devices check out their specifications or contact the seller for the most accurate answer!

Comfort: There tends to be little difference when it comes to which type of headphones are more comfortable. Both RF and Bluetooth devices come in a multitude of different models the will offer varying levels of comfort. A lot of dedicated headphones however will be slightly bulkier than your typical Bluetooth headset. This can mean that some people may find RF headsets to be slightly less comfortable. If possible the best procedure in which you can find the most comfortable headset for you is to simply try them on. You sadly can’t do this when it comes to online purchases. A good idea to fix this is by visiting your local music store and seeing if they have the headset you are interested in purchasing. You can then try it on and see if it is the right fit for you.

Ease of Use: Thankfully both types of headphone are incredibly easy to use once you have familiarised yourself with them. You can find out how exactly to connect your Bluetooth headphones to your TV whether or not it features Bluetooth support by checking out our walkthrough featured in this article. If you run into any issues be sure to check the users guide as this will offer the best technique of ensuring your product runs with zero issues. Always check that your TV headphones are fully charged and in pairing mode before you try to connect them to your TV.

Dedicated options too are also extremely easy to use, you simply need to connect the base station to your chosen device, such as your TV, using the connection provided. Once this has been done and both the output and your headphones are switched on, you are ready to go!

Final Thoughts

In the world of music and technology headphones are one of the most popular ways in which you can enhance your overall experience. Whether that’s due to their incredible sound quality or the convenience of a wireless technique of watching your favourite movies. Hopefully, we have answered any questions you have about how to connect your wireless headphone to your television regardless of whether it offers Bluetooth support.

Always make sure a product is the right one for you before making a purchase and you are sure to find something to love about it. Check out our other related headphones as we have a whole plethora of different features and reviews for you. Who knows, you may find your next favourite set of headphones or Bluetooth audio device today!