How to Set Up Wireless Headphones to Your TV

Updated April 17, 2017

If you want to watch television without disturbing other people, wireless headphones are an excellent option. Wireless headphones work by receiving radio signals from a small transmitter plugged into the audio device. There's only one problem: Most TVs do not have the kind of 3.5mm output jack that wireless headphone transmitters need. With the right adaptor cable, however, setting up wireless headphones on your television is a snap.

Plug the wireless transmitter into a power outlet close to the television.

Connect the RCA plugs on the Y cable to the "audio out" jacks behind the television, red to red, white to white.

Plug the 3.5mm plug from the transmitter into the female jack on the Y cable.

If your wireless headphone set supports multiple frequencies, make sure the headphones and the transmitter are set to the same channel.

Switch on the headphones, then switch on the headphone transmitter.

Switch on the television. You should be able to hear the TV's audio coming through the headphones.


If you have cable television, this set-up ought to work regardless of whether your cable converter box is connected through the television or through an external device like a DVR. Using wireless noise-cancelling headphones will reduce distracting external noises like refrigerator hum. Most Y cables are fairly short, so make sure you can plug your headphone transmitter in close to the television. Don't forget to have fresh batteries (usually AA or AAA) in the headphones themselves.


Adjust the headphone volume to a low setting before switching on the television. A sudden loud blast of audio can damage your hearing.

Things You'll Need

  • Wireless headphones
  • Headphone transmitter
  • Television with RCA (white and red) audio output jacks
  • Stereo RCA male to 3.5mm female Y cable
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About the Author

Scott Knickelbine began writing professionally in 1977. He is the author of 34 books and his work has appeared in hundreds of publications, including "The New York Times," "The Milwaukee Sentinel," "Architecture" and "Video Times." He has written in the fields of education, health, electronics, architecture and construction. Knickelbine received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in journalism from the University of Minnesota.