No headphone jack on TV. How to connect headphones to Speaker Out ?

I have an old TV set. It has no output headphone jack. I like to listen to TV loud. Others like to sleep.

The TV has speaker out connections at the back. 4 output jacks for the main speakers. 2 for left speaker, 2 for right speaker.

Main Speakers
L - Black / Red
R - Black / Red

Surround Speakers
L - Black / Red
R - Black / Red

Currently, the main and surround speakers are connected to these outputs. And everything is working fine. Except…

I want to connect my headphones/earphones to this TV. Is it possible ? How ? What wires, connections, extensions etc. would I need ?

I can buy wires. I can follow diagrams. I can read instructions. I can solder.


      • Well, the way to do it is to use a pair of matching transformers on the stereo channels (the “main” speakers) that has a 1:2 ratio. The “1” side hooks up to the TV’s speaker-out connections, and the other coil would hook up each to one channel on the headphone jack–by whatever means necessary (IE, put a 3.5mm socket on there or whatever).
  • This is assuming that the TV’s speaker-outs are around 4-8 ohms, which most usually are. Most home-stereo speakers are 8 ohms, and most small component system speakers (such as the surround ones that come with many TV sets these days) are usually 4 ohms–but the audio circuits can handle a small range of impedance, so anything from 4 to 8 ohms is acceptable (and even a bit beyond those limits, really). If you are going to use cheap headphones assume that they are 16 ohms impedance; if you are going to use expensive studio-style headphones assume that they are 32 ohms impedance (unless you know that they are more–some really expen$ive headphones are rated much higher, up into the hundreds of ohms).

  • But the concept here is that your TV output’s impedance is one value, and your headphone’s impedance is another value. And so you need a transformer for each separate stereo channel, because two different signals can’t be sent through one transformer at the same time, that won’t work. And both those identical transformers have two coils on them, and the ratio of those coils should match the ratio of the two impedance values. So you assume your TV is 8 ohms, and the cheap headphones are 16 ohms, then you need an audio transformer with two coils in a 1:2 ratio… and you hook the TV to the “1” side, and the headphones to the “2” side.
  • Or you could just go to the electronics store and ask if there’s an adaptor and if not, if there are transformers sold for this already. There might be.

You may want to look again for a headphone jack. Normally TV’s that would go to the trouble of having speaker out connections with surround capability will (usually) have a headphone jack hidden somewhere, sometimes behind a hidden flip down panel.

They did used to make what you are looking for some some ago. it was a 1/4 headphone jack that would plug into a speaker connections, however, I haven’t see one in ages.

Another thing to look for are RCA audio outputs. Get a Y-adapter for RCA plugs to 1/8" or 1/4" (depending on your headphones) stereo jack. Add an inline volume control if the audio out level is not adjustable. Radio Shack sells both. (And if the audio out level is adjustable, make sure you can mute the speakers without muting the audio out.)

This looks like a possible solution. The TV does have RCA audio out.

I don’t have Radio Shack here, so I’ll have to look around for the wire.

If that doesn’t work, I’ll have a go at DougC’s excellent suggestions. Thanks.

astro, I looked all over. I’m surprised myself that the TV’s got surround out, RCA out and in, and no headphone jack.