Headphones for Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ohsnaphappy, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. ohsnaphappy macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2013
    Hey guys! While I do my work I use an Apple TV to listen to podcasts (most have video) and to watch YouTube channels. Sometimes I throw in Netflix documentaries, educational stuff.

    Right now I'm using GIANT HUGE UGLY tv headphones. They're wireless, you know the kind right? I really want to use my comfy inexpensive bluetooth headphones with my Apple TV so so bad.

    Is there a way to get sound from the Apple TV to a Mac or iOS device?

    I tried a bluetooth converter, hooked it up to the back of my tv, but it was total crap. Half the time it wouldn't connect, and when it did, it often dropped signal. So if you know of a bluetooth adapter for a tv that actually WORKS I'll buy it :)


    Attached Files:

  2. HobeSoundDarryl, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    If your phones have a wired option, consider this…

    I suggest keeping the signal as close to the :apple:TV as possible rather than trying to get pass-through from your television. As such, I suggest getting a Toslink (digital optical) to 3.5mm convertor for about $25 from Amazon. Here's the name of one of them that is listed there: Orei DA21X Premium Optical SPDIF/Coaxial Digital to RCA L/R Analog Audio Converter with 3.5mm Jack Support Headphone/Speaker Outputs

    Plug it into the optical out of the :apple:TV, plug your headphones into the 3.5mm jack. Enjoy.

    By the way, I have one of these to feed analog audio to my Zone 2 inputs on my receiver (which requires analog). Works great!

    There are some bluetooth devices priced towards $100+ but the comments generally talk about issues with latency, implying that music would be OK but keeping spoken words synched with video playback might be an issue.
  3. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    Airfoil will make your Mac into an Airplay receiver. It costs money, so you might be able to use Plex/XBMC instead (turning on Airplay).
  4. ohsnaphappy thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2013
    I don't think Apple TV can send audio out over Airplay. It can receive audio. I'm in the system settings on the Apple TV right now and it says "airplay lets you wirelessly send what's on your iOS device or computer to this display using Apple TV"
  5. ohsnaphappy, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014

    ohsnaphappy thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2013
    Ok I tried AirFoil with AirSpeakers - it works!!! Once I have both running I went to my Airplay settings on the Apple TV and suddenly there was an options to send audio to my Mac. If I shut off Airfoil or AirSpeakers my Mac disappears from the Apple TV. So both need to be on.

    But help! Is there any way to adjust for the lag? The voice and the lips aren't in sync :(

    PS Thank you so so much!!! And I live in Olive Branch ;)

    Edit: On Airfoil I went to source, I guess, and selected Airfoil Video Player, closed the Airfoil video player, and now audio and video seem to be in sync. I don't know if it's because the video has been loading for a long time on my Apple TV now, or if it's because I selected Airfoul Video Player, but who cares, it works :)

    So right now I have YouTube playing on a tv next to my Mac on an Apple TV, but the sound of the YouTube video is playing on my Mac. I'm listening to comfy bluetooth headphones that are connected to my Mac. Hope that makes sense :)
  6. vega07 macrumors 65816

    Aug 7, 2006
    If you jailbreak your iPhone, you can download AirFloat, which also serves an AirPlay audio receiver.

    More convenient and small.
  7. linds15 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    this is what i use, it has its issues every now and again but the convenience definitely is great
  8. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    Glad to hear if worked for you. Nice to see a member from this area, too.

    The interesting thing is Airfoil used to have an app for iOS (non-jailbroken) that turned it into an Airplay receiver for another iOS device. Apple made them remove the feature from future versions. I was able to roll back to a version that worked, but I don't think you can roll back if you buy it today.

    The current version of "Airfoil Speakers Touch" for iOS will accept streams from a Mac, so you might be able to run "Airfoil Speakers" on the iOS device, send audio to the Mac from the Appletv and then back out to the iOS device running Airfoil Speakers. The Airfoil app also has some nifty features that will allow streaming from an iPhone, to a Mac running Airfoil, and out to multiple Airplay devices ( adding multiroom audio to Spotify, Beats, RDio,etc.. from iOS.)
  9. NAYo2002 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2011
    No need to jailbreak. You can download the app called AirMusic Play. It lets you use your iPhone/iPad as an AirPlay speaker. Connect it to headphones and you have AirPlay headphones.
  10. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I'm chiming into to say that I love your set up buddy! Nice :)

    Is the G4 Cube running or just décor?
  11. ohsnaphappy thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2013
    It's fully functional. I keep the brick down on the floor, but it's not plugged in. And the keyboard and mouse are in one of my drawers. It still has all the songs on it from the original owner. It boots up super fast too. Steve was all about the boot times.

    I was 17 I think when I saw the original commercial with Purple Haze and that's when my Apple lust began. I vowed one day I'd be able to afford that cube!!! Haha!
  12. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    Interesting thread.. I've been wanting a way to play audio from my Apple TV to bluetooth headphones. Mainly for when I'm on the treadmill and watching TV. Treadmill is too loud and it's tough to hear audio being played by the TV.

    That AirMusic Player might be a decent way to essentially use headphones for audio from an Apple TV. Was hoping at one point Apple would allow one to pair bluetooth headphones with the Apple TV.
  13. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I know this is a bit off topic but I use an iPad for this purpose. Of course only a 9.7" screen but not bad for a bit of background entertainment. Of course you have many audio options with that. With the rumored iPad Pro 12.9" it would be a nicer option but pretty expensive.

    But you do have a pretty sweet setup. I assume you want the headphones because others are in the house. Too bad you can't just use speakers.
  14. HS68 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2009
    Seems to work with Sound output selection

    I've managed to send video to a TV through the apple TV and then audio to bluetooth headphones. It seems like it can be done by selecting the 'Connect to Airplay' which sends the video, and then go into 'Apple>System Preferences>Sound>Output and then select the bluetooth device you want to send the audio to.

    I've used it with an app called 'TrainerRoad', but haven't tried it with iTunes yet.
  15. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    Lol, same here. Been using an iPad for a few years on the treadmill. There's a space where it sits perfectly and I use bluetooth headphones with it. I routinely watch full movies on weekend runs like this, it does work quite well.

    It's in an open area of a finished basement. There's a large TV & sitting area about 30 feet away. The TV is big enough that it's easy to watch, but to get enough sound it'll be heard on all floors, and during the week the kids are still sleeping when I'm running lol.

    I guess you're referring to using a Mac? That's actually a pretty interesting idea since Airplay from the Mac can be video only and sound output set to the headphones. My only problem is I use an iMac and it's elsewhere in the house.
  16. kds1 Suspended


    Feb 17, 2013
    New York, New York
    I can't find that app. Is that the correct name? Who is the developer?
  17. achavik macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2014

    Thanks a ton airfoil is a great solution.!!! Working flawless :)
  18. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I think the app is gone from the App Store now. I had a feeling that it wouldn't last long. If you see something similar in the future download it immediately.

    Glad it worked for you.
  19. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Just wanted to say your setup looks really nice!
  20. diazj3, May 22, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015

    diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Interesting thread.

    I also wish Apple would enable A2DP on the Bluetooth chip that's ALREADY IN THERE!!!! I mean.... How hard is this, so people can watch their TV without disturbing their partner or whatever.... Or for those who love to listen to the TV very loud without disturbing anybody... And using the same headphones used with any other audio device.

    Seriously, this is another classic douche move by apple IMO. Same goes for installing a toslink optical connection, instead of the same dual analogue/optical 3.5mm jack connection the Airport express has (as well as most macs) .... so people with sound systems without a toslink input, or even without optical input, like analogue stereos, could connect them to the Apple TV.... Stop forcing users to buy a digital-analogue converter, and if the problem is that most systems use toslink, just sell the $2 toslink to 3.5 optical jack adapter.

    My guess is that by implementing such easy, inexpensive features, it would help apple sell more apple tvs... And yet, they don't give a damn about what might really help customers. Ah! But the iPhone, iPad, iMac are a little thinner now!

    Seriously Apple.... Who are you trying to help here....? I'll never understand the way Apple tries to serve its customer. Kind of a passive-aggressive attitude sometimes.....
  21. Mackinjosh macrumors 65816

    Aug 21, 2014
    I just run the optical out into my Astro A50 receiver and listen to it wirelessly.
  22. canman4PM macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2012
    Kelowna BC
    Perhaps it never occurred to them, or they thought no one would need it. I never would have thought of it myself. I have my ATV hooked to an A/V receiver via HDMI and all audio is handled by it, allowing me to then send it out as I see fit. I guess most users would either do this, or hook 'me directly to their TV, using the TVs sound, or a soundbar hooked to the TVs audio out.

    There is another option for you: IF you're in the market for a soundbar, look for one with Bluetooth out...

    ...if there is such a thing...
  23. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Yeah, I know, you know...

    But most people don't know any of that. I do know most new A/V sound systems handle audio over HDMI, via the audio return channel, and even some have multiple toslink inputs. Some of them can even handle bluetooth or wireless headphones.

    My point is towards all those people that have older but perfectly good sound systems or TVs that do not have any of those, or those those that aren't as tech savvy as most people in this forum to find out what they need and how to connect it.

    Adopting an Apple TV shouldn't mean having to buy new crap just to get the basic potential out of it. Specially when the technology involved - like the Audio line out/headphone minijack (digital/analog) combo has been present in so many apple computers and devices for so long. They even ditched the toslink connector from the new Mac Pro in favor of the 3.5 jack combo, leaving only the ****** Apple TV using it.

    And the Apple TV already has a bluetooth chip on it... why not enable A2DP on it - or install one that can handle A2DP instead, as all other apple devices have???

    Personally, I don't buy the idea that perhaps they haven't thought of implementing such things. I think Apple's greed and arrogance are more reasonable explanations... They want people to use Airplay, buy airplay devices, and force them to buy an Airport Express if what they want is to listen to music wirelessly on an analogue stereo. And regarding the bluetooth/headphone option, perhaps they just don't give a damn what some want or need because that's not how you should use their products.

    Yet another example of Steve Jobs' reality distortion field still being alive in Apple culture IMHO, with the old motto that customers don't know what they want. And in the end, same as with Microsoft, this arrogance and greed will eventually take down apple as well.

    Hopefully they change.
  24. dan mccoy macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2015
    I think you have all lost it.....trying to get headphones on your apple tv...have you not heard...apple is doing a car...they could care less about your silly problem of headphones on your apple tv. What the other thousands at Apple are doing is not yet clear...picking their noses or watching porn or dreaming of new watch bands.??
  25. bleachy dude macrumors newbie

    bleachy dude

    Sep 21, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Would have been cool if you would have been able to just plug headphones into the Siri remote.

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