New Samsung TV, can't use headphones and speakers at the same time


I have been listening to TV’s through a pair of Sennheiser wireless headphones for several years now, they are excellent. The base station plugs into the audio output of the TV and sends the signal to the headphones.
This worked fine with our old SONY but SWMBO decided we had to have $K Ultra HD and purchased a new Samsung. The picture is incredible but there is no option to listen to both headphones and the TV speakers, it’s one or the other. If I use my headphones no sound will be broadcast to the speakers.

Any options here? Must I get an amplifier, external speakers and a splitter for the headphones?




You do not give a lot of details here. If the wireless headphones are Bluetooth, most TVs these daya have an optical audio output for a sound bar. Many sound bars today are Bluetooth capable.


I gave you all the details…

“The base station plugs into the audio output of the TV and sends the signal to the headphones.”


Try calling Samsung Tech Support.


It sounds like you were plugged into the audio out jack on your previous TV and you are plugged into the headphone jack on your current one. Do you not have an audio out jack on the back of the new one?


Samsung says their TV shuts off the speakers when the audio output is used. It’s either one or the other.


If that’s the case then it sounds like your options are to rewire your TV or do you as mentioned in your original post–external amp and speakers, or perhaps a sound bar might come with a headphone jack that doesn’t shut off the sound bar? or perhaps a splitter before speakers or sound bar? Likely need to find a good audio shop.


You can use a splitter out of the tv to both sound bar and the headphone base.


All of the home theater receivers that I have looked at have the same problem. The headphone jack switches OFF the speakers if the headphones are plugged in. My problem is that I use the headphone jack for my hearing aids - and I cannot use them if my wife is watching and wants to hear the speakers. I took my receiver apart and wired in a second headphone jack that works along WITH the speaker output. I want this to be a feature on ALL new audio and TV equipment.


You have to buy an aditional D/A audio converter to convert the optical-digital signal to analog signal
e.g this one

or this variation with extra volume knob, alowes adjutung the output volume

on the TV you need to go through the menue and change the audio setting to “audio out” from “TV speaker”
Hope this helps.


I have a Samsung of about 2017 vintage. It doesn’t even have a headphone jack. The solution for me was spdif (optical audio output). I took my issue to a local forum and was told that for most tvs, optical is always on. You wouldn’t guess that from the settings on my tv because you have to choose between tv speakers, hdmi, or optical.

Anyway, optical audio is indeed always on for my tv. I have toslink into a dac which supplies headphone and rac outputs. TV speakers and hdmi are unaffected. No guarantee that it will work for you particular model. It will probably cost you about $20 on ebay to find out.

Edit: Beaten by 3 minutes


I use headphones also, and I plug them into the audio out ports on my cable box instead of the tv.


I have a Bluetooth receiver/transmitter plugged into my TV via optical cable. Speakers stay on and Bluetooth will transmit to two pairs of Bluetooth headphones.


This device will not handle modern audio encodings, as the description says “Supports uncompressed 2-channel LPCM digital audio signal output (Not Support Dolby 5.1 surround )”. You need it to support Dolby Digital Plus and DTS too.


There are no RCA jacks? If so, get a cheap RCA plug to 3.5mm stereo jack adapter.


If you are using Comcast cable, you could connect the headphones to the cable box audio out jack and the HDMI takes the picture and audio to the TV and the TV speakers should work. The sound from the headphones might not be perfectly synchronized with the picture but that shouldn’t affect you unless you lip read. Even then, you should get used to it quickly.

  1. The TV only has an optical audio out that shuts down the external speakers so no one else can hear TV if headphones are are plugged into it.
  2. Plugging into the cable box is not an option when streaming, that would only work for channels coming through the cable box, of which we use fewer and fewer.
  3. The only option seems to be an external speaker device, such as a soundbar, plugged into the optical audio out, that has either RCA jacks or a 3.5mm for the headphone setup.
  4. Forget Bluetooth, the headphone base station can only use RCA or 3.5mm.


That is crazy I have a Sony and I use the optic output for my tv connect to my hearing aids


TV speakers are usually bad. Get a soundbar that has optical input and an RCA output. TV will sound better and headphones will work.


“optical audio out” is not something you plug your headphones into. It’s a small square jack that’s located near your other outputs. The tv manual and Samsung support will probably tell you that using it will turn off your other outputs- and it probably will if you select it from the tv settings. I’m suggesting that it is in fact always on and with the right cables can be used as a defacto headphone jack.