So if you live with other people or spend any amount of time with other people whatsoever, which describes most of us, then there are probably going to be times when you want to watch something on TV but the other people around you just don’t.
Maybe they want to watch something completely different, or maybe they’re just not in the mood to watch anything at all.
Maybe they’re trying to sleep and don’t want to be bothered by the noise of whatever you’re watching.
Nothing wrong with that, it happens. But it can be tricky to find a compromise, and if this is a frequent problem, then we don’t blame you for looking for a permanent solution, and that’s what we’re here to give you.
This article will explain how to use headphones to watch TV without disturbing others. Pretty self-explanatory.
These are relatively tech-forward solutions, so if you’re still watching TV on an old CRT monitor, you might run into issues, but for everyone else, at least one of these solutions should work for you.
Smart TV Apps
Ok, so many of us probably have smart TVs at this point, i.e. TVs that have streaming apps integrated into the TV’s operating system. In fact, most TVs sold today boast some type of streaming app integration.
Even if you don’t have a smart TV, as long as your TV uses HDMI inputs and you have access to an internet connection, you can easily simulate the smart TV experience by buying something like a Roku stick, which plugs right into an HDMI port and connects to your WIFI to give you access to various streaming apps. These adapters are not expensive, so consider grabbing one if your TV isn’t all that smart.
So where does this get us? Smart TVs still output sound through built-in speakers or an external speaker set up, right?
Yes, that’s true, unless your TV also outputs Bluetooth audio, which we’ll be talking about in a second, but even if the TV only handles traditional output, you should check your TV’s or streaming stick’s associated smartphone app.
Why? These streaming apps sometimes offer the ability to only output audio to the app on your phone, rather than through the television set.
We know for a fact that Roku’s app offers this private listening option. And since we assume you already have some way of using headphones with your smartphone, this is a great option for keeping the audio of your program just to yourself, allowing the other person or persons in the room to do whatever.
It’s pretty simple to set up, and it provides a great solution to this particular problem.
Bluetooth headphones are a pretty obvious solution to the problem as well. If you can just find some way to connect a pair of Bluetooth headphones to the sound source, probably the TV in most cases, then you’re good to go.
We’ve already talked about one way to connect headphones to your TV, which is via app audio output from a smart TV.
But you can also look for a way to pair your headphones directly to the TV. Obviously, whether you can do this right out of the box depends on the TV you’re using. Unfortunately, quite a few smart TVs still don’t offer Bluetooth connectivity, which seems like a missed opportunity, and it’s something we hope to see corrected in the near future as TVs and their designs continue to progress.
However, as long as your TV has a standard 3.5mm audio output jack, then you can indeed connect some Bluetooth headphones using one extra piece of hardware.
Bluetooth transmitters and receivers are little devices that do just that: transmit and/or receive Bluetooth signals.
With one of these plugged into your television, the audio will be output as a Bluetooth signal, so as long as you have a pair of Bluetooth headphones ready to go, then you can get connected and listen to the audio coming from the TV no problem, and meanwhile, the TV won’t be outputting audio to speakers.
Pretty good fix, right?
The prices of these transmitters vary quite a bit, but we’ve found that even the cheaper options work just fine, though you might get a bit of audio lag by adding Bluetooth into the chain.
Watch/Listen on Separate Device
If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to use the solutions we’ve just talked about above, then we have a final suggestion for you that’s a bit of a sidestep.
Instead of watching a show or movie on your TV, just watch on another device where you can easily connect some headphones.
If you have any kind of smartphone or tablet, you can stream to it. Just download whichever app will let you access the content you want. Simple.
Ok, but what if you want to watch and listen to some live TV? That’s not something you can do through your phone or tablet, right?
Actually, you can. We live in the future now.
A large number of streaming services now offer live TV services, for a premium, of course. As long as you have a stable internet connection and don’t mind paying a decently high monthly subscription fee, then one of these services could be perfect for you.
Just take a look around at the options available in your area and consider the pricing/plans you could afford on a monthly basis.
And that brings our article to a close. Hopefully at least one of these solutions will work for you and your specific situation. And hey, if you’re feeling annoyed that someone around you is always trying to blast the TV when you don’t want to hear it, feel free to share this article or these ideas with them to find a compromise that works for everyone.
Also, feel free to check out some other articles here on the site. We talk about media, art, and technology all the time, and we’re happy to have you here.