OK, so here’s my optical-to-BT device:
I paid $35 CAD.
Very compact; supports 2 simultaneous headset devices and low-latency aptX BT protocol (if headset does as well). No built-in battery, no power or input selector switches, no alternate inputs: essentially an in-line LED and button on a cable that runs from the SPDIF-out to a USB port for power (including the TV’s USB port, as power requirements are minimal. Therefore, ideal for a simple fixed TV installation (rather than moving from place to place as-needed where more flexibility would be required). No battery, unlike many similar devices and no BT reception functionality so it’s not a multitasker. Also no optical pass-through; for that, the larger, flat, square devices like this are required for about $57 CAD:
Also, a 3.5mm analog version is available instead of optical in the same device format - so you can pick optical or analog, but not both in the same device for sake of reduced size.
You can run the cable so that the device is conveniently positioned in front of your TV for pairing new devices, or if you keep one headset permanently paired then the device can just “dangle” behind the TV (I found that this does not affect range too much given that I still want to be within line-of-sight to see the screen).
It works perfectly well with Bluetooth headphones and my Phonak Audeo Paradise HAs, individually or at the same time. However, because my Phonaks do not support aptX, there is a noticeable but slight lag that’s especially evident during rapid dialogue. This may be tolerable depending on your personal sensitivity but if you tend to notice lag while “lipreading” from video then I suspect you will not want to use a BT streamer with Paradise HAs and should use the Phonak TV Connector instead.
Personally I will continue to use my Phonak TV Connector on our “main”, home theatre TV and will likely use headphones with our secondary, bedroom TV when needed since we don’t use of often and by then I have typically taken my hearing aids out for the night. This device will be acceptable for music, spoken-word content that’s less rapid or not as visually demanding (or when I’m not “really” watching the TV but still want to hear it, as when doing chores and so forth).
However, I would still keep in mind the usefulness of this option for circumstances where a TV Connector is unavailable. I could tolerate the slight lip-sync lag now and then if using Bluetooth while visiting friends or family. Some of my older family members have asked about setting up Bluetooth headphones, so I might well use theirs at some unspecified future date when visiting becomes a thing again post-COVID.
HA support for aptX or other, future, low-latency and ideally lower-power BT protocols is the real key to broad compatibility with consumer electronics without reliance on proprietary streaming devices. Here’s hoping that comes in the near future. It would be unfortunate if these features could already (or soon) be made available, but HA makers don’t want to undercut the proprietary device ecosystem…?
EDIT: I didn’t want to promote any particular retailer by linking directly lest this antagonize anyone, but the prices I’ve quoted above are from AliExpress. Note that the “guts” of these devices - especially the square ones - are fairly generic and you will likely find quite similar ones from other manufacturers for around the same price (although probably $10+ more if you buy from a retailer in the West).