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How to connect a wireless headset to a TV that does not support Bluetooth

Sophia Gill

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Today’s smart televisions have numerous capabilities and functionalities that allow access to a multitude of content on the networks but also connect with the different equipment that we have at home such as sound systems, players, consoles, computers, etc.

One of these functions that can be very useful is the transmission of the sound from the TV to a wireless headset using the Bluetooth interface built into both computers. But what if our TV is older and does not have this feature? Can’t we do it? Is there a way to upgrade without spending a fortune?

The answer is yes. Fortunately, there are small devices on the market that function as Bluetooth receivers and / or transmitters and are designed precisely for these cases in which we have old televisions, players, mini-systems and even headphones without Bluetooth.

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of this type of adapter is its ease of use . Although there are models of all kinds, most are very easy to install and use. In general, it is enough to plug them into the electrical current, to a USB socket or directly have an internal battery, connect them to the TV through a 3.5 mm jack cable, analog RCA or even digital optical , and that’s it.

The equipment usually works autonomously, without requiring configurations or software installations of any kind, since they take the sound output signal from the TV (for example from the headphone port), transform it into digital if necessary and the they send via Bluetooth to the headphones that we have in the room.

In addition, these types of adapters also usually offer the option of working as wireless receivers instead of transmitters, simply and usually by pressing a simple button on their housing. With this we have the reverse functionality. That is, we can convert a wired headset or sound equipment into a wireless one to receive the signal that we send from a smartphone or from a television that this time does have a Bluetooth interface.

The main drawback is the dreaded Bluetooth connection delay , which can reduce the user experience in some cases. The problem with these computers is that they work independently of the TV , so they cannot adapt the sound output to the image emission as it happens in the integrated equipment or in the PC adapters.

For this reason, and despite using the latest standards, it is frequent, especially in the cheaper models, that we find a small delay in the sound with respect to the image that produces a more or less pronounced desynchronization. Is too much visible? Well, in the models that I have tested in the worst case it was around half a second and in the best case half of that time.

It is something that the TV also influences, since if it is very old it may itself apply a slight delay in some of its sound outputs to which we connect the adapter, for example in the digital or RCA ones. This minimum delay is not noticeable on its own, but it is multiplied with the one applied by the adapter, especially if it is a cheap model with little processing capacity.

In the market you will find a multitude of more or less complex models that have varied features, but there are some that we have to pay special attention to. To begin with, if they have the option to function as a receiver and / or transmitter . This will allow us greater flexibility of use in the future.

You also have to look at how we should feed the team . There are models with input to external power sources, others that have a built-in lithium battery with a certain duration, models that can be useful if we only use them occasionally. And there are also computers that are powered from a USB port , so we have to see if we have one of these sockets nearby.

Another point to assess is related to the ability to send the sound signal to more than one headset . For example, there are models that allow it to be sent to two or more helmets simultaneously , which enables us to listen to TV programs by several members of the family at the same time using headphones and completely turning off the TV speakers.

Finally, an important point to look at is connectivity . There are basic models only with a 3.5 mm jack sound input that we must connect to the TV headphone output. But there are also more advanced adapters with stereo RCA ports or even digital optical ones. The latter will give us the best sound quality, although we probably have to select the output in the TV menu for them to work.

This ELEGIANT Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter model is one of the simplest equipment on the market, designed for televisions and other equipment with a 3.5 mm jack connector . It has the advantage of incorporating the latest version of the Bluetooth standard, 5.0, and an Aptx LL low latency mode both in reception and transmission.

It has a battery for about 10 hours of autonomy , LED status lights and the ability to send sound to two headphones at the same time. Its price is around 19.99 euros .