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Help choosing a headphone amp to use with my TV

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello!  I know nothing about audio equipment, and I've been trying to learn about this stuff online and am a little confused.  So, I hope someone here can help me.


I have a pair of Grado SR80i headphones, and I'd like to use them to listen to my TV at night so I don't disturb others.  I have a Toshiba 26HF66 TV from about 2006; it's a tube TV, but HD.  It doesn't have a headphone jack, so I bought an RCA Y-cable to plug the headphones into, and I get no sound doing that.  If I plug the cable into the DVD player and play a DVD I get sound, but it's not loud and I can't adjust the volume.  So, I think I need an amplifier, and I don't know what type to get--there are so many out there.  I'd prefer not to spend more than $70.  In addition, I usually use this TV to watch Netflix movies through my Nintendo Wii, so I don't know if it would be better to connect to the Wii instead, somehow?  At any rate, I'd like an amplifier that doesn't use batteries so I can plug it into the wall and not worry about recharging all the time (but not if those are way more expensive).


I hope I've included enough information!  Thanks for any advice you can give me.

post #2 of 5
Oh boy, we have some work to do... smily_headphones1.gif

First of all, the Grado SR80i is an Open headphone. This means that the back of the headphone is not sealed. You will still be able to hear sounds in the room AND other people in the room will be able to hear what you are listening to.

Secondly, we need to understand what RCA jacks to you using on the TV. Are they Audio Out jacks or Audio In jacks?

Thirdly, How are all of these other devices (the DVD player and the Wii) connected to the TV? Are there also other devices connected to the TV, like a cable or satellite box?
post #3 of 5
OK, so I found this on your TV:

S-Video Inputs - Rear (2)
ColorStream HD Component Video Inputs (2)
RF Input
A/V Inputs - Rear (2)
Front Panel A/V/S Inputs
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)
Video Output
Audio Output (Fixed)

The key part of this is the "Audio Output (Fixed)" This means the volume control will not control the audio coming from those jacks. I'm kind of surprised you couldn't get ANY sound out of those jacks on your headphones, but I suppose it's possible. Are you sure you don't need to enable the Audio Output jacks in the TV set-up? I would look there first.
post #4 of 5
Assuming you get the Audio Output aspect worked out, then I think what I would do is keep it really simple and low cost. You could get a Fiio E6 amp and a male-male 3.5mm (1/8") stereo cable. Plug the RCA->Female 3.5mm cable you already have into the TV, then use the Male-Male cable to plug the Fiio E6 to the TV. Finally, plug your headphones into the Fiio E6. You can then control the volume with the Fiio E6. You are all done for ~$40.
Edited by billybob_jcv - 1/24/14 at 5:42pm
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks for all the information billybob_jcv!  This is exactly what I was hoping for.  Okay, yes the Grados are open, so I know some sound will leak out, but I live in an apartment building with poor sound insulation and I'm a night owl, so it's mainly so my neighbors won't hear the TV, not other people in the room.  I don't think the insulation is SO bad that I'd need closed-back headphones; that would make me want to move right away!


I don't have cable or a dish, just an indoor antenna.  The Wii and the DVD player are all I have hooked up to the TV.  I am planning on buying component cables for the Wii to get a better picture on the TV (I just found out about those), but my Wii can't do hi-def.


When I tried out the Y-cable I plugged it into the RCA jacks on the front of the TV, not the ones on the back... but after doing some online searching now I see they're inputs, not outputs, even though they didn't say so.  D'oh!  Okay, trying again... and, the output ones on the back work!  But the sound isn't very loud, even when turned up all the way.


So, I like your idea for the Fiio E6 and the male-male cable!  Under $40 is excellent.  Thank you so much!!

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