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post #1 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm sure this has been asked but my brief attempts to search out answers has not produced the results I'm seeking.

I am looking for a solution under $150.

I just purchased a Pani 50" plasma HDTV, it is replacing my 42" Pani HDTV, in our main room with the HD home theater setup. The 42" is in family room, I have no plans of adding a AVR at this time using only TV speakers. However this area is shared and so we want to listen with headphones in the family room 42" which has no headphone jack. In addition I would like to have the headphone a surround sound experience when either watching a 5.1 HD broadcast or Blu-ray DVD.

The 42" has Optical Audio OUT (dolby digital / PCM), and RL RCA type OUT. Pani TH42PZ77U

What is the best way to take either the digital Optical or the RCA and get surround sound either virtual or real through headphones with the budget I listed above.

One extra feature, the headphone amp have min. 2 headphone jacks 4 would be better.

Do I need a Headphone Amp that incorporates Surround Sound Processor with DSP/DAC (digital sound processor / digital analog conversion), plus a matching headphone that can reproduce the 5.1 or 71 sound?

I read the following article that indicates there are two approaches,
Headphone Surround Sound

1st use a DAC or headphone amp that employs one of the following : Dolby Headphone, SRS Headphone and SRS CS Headphone, Yamaha Silent Cinema, and any decent headphone can virtually reproduce the surround sound? (Make use of digital sound processing (DSP) technologies that can be used with any pair of headphones.)

2nd is to have special headphones that can create a surround sound listening environment with any amplifier or receiver with a headphone connection, regardless if the amplifier or receiver is equipped with dedicated DSP technology for surround sound headphone listening.

Would option 1 be generally the least expensive approach?

I have looked at some of the following for a DAC but am confused, these are designed for gaming using either a PC or Xbox, so I'm not sure they would work straight off TV optical output?


Matched with a headphone set with "Dolby Headphone technology" ( I need a recommendation for such a headphone under $100)

Ear Force DSS 7.1 Channel Dolby Surround Sound Processor
Matched with a headphone capable of hearing the created 7.1 (need recommendations).

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with THX SB1240
Matched with the right headphone (not sure if this is standard headph or something special?)

Diamond External Xtreme Sound 7.1-Channel USB Audio Device
Again what type of headphones?

Why isn't there a product that addresses this problem designed specifically for HDTV's without headphone jack that can provide 5.1 at least?

All help is appreciated?
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 08:48 AM
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Quote:


The 42" has Optical Audio OUT (dolby digital / PCM), and RL RCA type OUT. Pani TH42PZ77U

What is the best way to take either the digital Optical or the RCA and get surround sound either virtual or real through headphones with the budget I listed above.

To answer this question we would need to know what headphones you are looking at. There are two types of surround headphones, true 5.1 and simulated. True 5.1 will obviously need a digital connection, either optical or coax, which it looks like your set has. Simulated 5.1 headsets will just take a stereo output and simulate the surround effects, using a 2 channel rca output, which your set looks to have as well.

Quote:


One extra feature, the headphone amp have min. 2 headphone jacks 4 would be better.

I dont think I've ever seen a pair of wireless headphones with 4 outputs.

Quote:


Do I need a Headphone Amp that incorporates Surround Sound Processor with DSP/DAC (digital sound processor / digital analog conversion), plus a matching headphone that can reproduce the 5.1 or 71 sound?

If you want True 5.1, then yes. But again, there are heaphones that will just simulate 5.1 as well, that are less expensive.

Quote:


I have looked at some of the following for a DAC but am confused, these are designed for gaming using either a PC or Xbox, so I'm not sure they would work straight off TV optical output?

Those will work just fine with your tv. However, keep in mind you will only get 5.1 output out of your optical port for the internal tv tuner (i.e. channels off an antenna or QAM). For anything connected via hdmi, you will only get 2 channel out of that port, so if you want 5.1 you will need to connect the optical directly to the source device (.i.e. dvd player).

Quote:


Ear Force DSS 7.1 Channel Dolby Surround Sound Processor
Matched with a headphone capable of hearing the created 7.1 (need recommendations).

That is just a processer to be used with any set of normal headphones. If you are looking at the 5.1 headphones, they will already come with a device similar to this.

Quote:


Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with THX SB1240
Matched with the right headphone (not sure if this is standard headph or something special?)

This has nothing to do with your situation. This is only for computers, to get 5.1 sound out of a computer that doesn't already have a 5.1 output.

Quote:


Diamond External Xtreme Sound 7.1-Channel USB Audio Device
Again what type of headphones?

Again, not what you are looking for. This is only for computers, and all it does is split the 5.1 signal to 3 connections, for use with certain computer speaker systems.

Quote:


Why isn't there a product that addresses this problem designed specifically for HDTV's without headphone jack that can provide 5.1 at least?

There are lots of them:

http://www.amazon.com/Chimaera-Wirel.../dp/B004TP9RN8
http://www.amazon.com/Force-Wireless...ref=pd_cp_vg_2
http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-Preci.../dp/B0017IUFAE
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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sitlet, thanks so much for the input, I'm a bit clearer, I think.

I think what I want is a dolby capable headphone amp and either a matching dolby capable headphone.

I came across this product but it isn't produced any more, it has 2 headphone jacks, digital input, it seems like it would be exactly what I am looking for..


[quote=sitlet;21609957]. There are two types of surround headphones, true 5.1 and simulated. True 5.1 will obviously need a digital connection, either optical or coax, which it looks like your set has.[/qoute]

Can you give a couple of examples of true 5.1 headphones (wired type not wireless) so I am not mistaking simulated vs true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

Simulated 5.1 headsets will just take a stereo output and simulate the surround effects, using a 2 channel rca output, which your set looks to have as well.

I think I want true 5.1 or 7.1/surround headphones.
If a headphone amp had dolby headphone (output) then a standard headphone will simulate dolby is that right?
Also if the headphone amp has dolby then would a true dolby headphone then reproduce the surround sound better than the dolby amp > standard headphones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

I dont think I've ever seen a pair of wireless headphones with 4 outputs.

I really don't want a wireless setup. I have had two sets of wireless headphones given to me as a gift, and have taken them back, each were around $100 so they were not exactly cheap.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

keep in mind you will only get 5.1 output out of your optical port for the internal tv tuner (i.e. channels off an antenna or QAM). For anything connected via hdmi, you will only get 2 channel out of that port, so if you want 5.1 you will need to connect the optical directly to the source device (.i.e. dvd player).

This is confusing to me. I thought by using HDMI from Comcast box to AV REceiver, HDMI from Blu-Ray Player to AV Receiver, then HDMI from AV Receiver to HDTV, 5.1 or 7.1 was being pumped through my 5.1 speaker system. Your comment implies that Blu-ray connected to AV receiver via HDMI is only Stereo???? Or Comcast HDbox to AV Receiver via HDMI is also just 2 channel? Do this mean I need to add additional connections to my AVR using optical?

I appreciate the links, however these are wireless I am trying to avoid wireless.
Also these are gaming headsets with mic. I would prefer headphones no mic.

What do you think of this setup? Asus HP-100u
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-08-2012, 09:05 AM
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Quote:


This is confusing to me. I thought by using HDMI from Comcast box to AV REceiver, HDMI from Blu-Ray Player to AV Receiver, then HDMI from AV Receiver to HDTV, 5.1 or 7.1 was being pumped through my 5.1 speaker system. Your comment implies that Blu-ray connected to AV receiver via HDMI is only Stereo???? Or Comcast HDbox to AV Receiver via HDMI is also just 2 channel? Do this mean I need to add additional connections to my AVR using optical?

Ok, I didn't know all your devices go to the receiver first. If that's the case, then yes, you are getting 5.1 from your devices through the receiver. I thought you were talking about all the devices going to your tv, and then wanting to use the tv's optical output to go to the headphones.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-09-2012, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually your right, my age is starting to show...

The TV in the family room which I want headphones has no AV Receiver, so yes, the comcast HD box and the blu-ray player feed directly into the HDTV.

So your saying then that both the comcast & blu-ray even though they are connected via HDMI to the TV are only stereo?

Also I think what I have decide to do, is for the family room is get a headphone amp that has dolby headphone, and use decent headphones but not true 5.1 headphones. My wife mainly watches this one and isn't that discriminating regarding the audio, so there is no need to overkill.

However in the main room which has my HD home theater setup, I will add a true 5.1 headphone and it's matching amp, since this would be mainly for me late at night.

So recommendations are welcome for family room the TV no AVR, seeking a dolby amp (hopefully with 2 headphone jacks, and decent headphones?

Budget $150
(Are there headphones that are engineered to deliver better Dolby sound provided the audio signal is dolby headphone?

Would SRS headphone amp & headphones be equal to dolby or better? If better what amp & headphone?

For Main Room with HDTV + home theater setup with 5.1 surround sound. I'm seeking recommendations for true 5.1 surround headphones with matching amp. Budget approx $150.

I appreciate the help. I have spent hours looking at different stuff but am very interested at what others would choose for bang for buck in the two categories I am requesting.

Preferences:
Wired not Wireless
Headphones not headset unless mic is removable or is stand alone.
I would prefer a amp that looks similar to equip amp instead of a game accessory.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-09-2012, 08:46 AM
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Quote:


So your saying then that both the comcast & blu-ray even though they are connected via HDMI to the TV are only stereo?

Through the TV, yes, since the tv only has two speakers. If you were to add a receiver or 5.1 headphones through the tv's optical output, you would still only get stereo, as tv's don't pass 5.1 from hdmi through the optical port. The optical port on tv's only outputs 5.1 through the internal OTA tuner or the QAM tuner. You would have to use the optical output of either the cable box or the blu-ray directly to get 5.1.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-10-2012, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I am still struggling, I would really like to get something similar to, but this product is discontinued. Can someone point me to something similar?


I like the looks of the amp, it looks like an amp not a toy. This comes with 2 headphone jacks, it has remote control, digital/optical input, and wired headphones. Here is the spec.

The above appears to claim it is true surround using their special headphones.
I really don't need for the family room true surround sound, I have decided to go with some kind of amp with built in dolby headphone, and a nice headphone.

However in the main room with complete home theater setup, I do want true surround sound headphone, with a nice looking headphone amp, wired headphone, remote control, the features I mentioned in previous post.

BTW the reason I want wire vs wireless, I haven't used a wireless set that either sounded as good as wired, or lasted more than a year. I don't want to spend $150 for a true 5.1 wireless headphone and have to replace it in 18 months. I have old sony headphones I have used for 10 years, I have even wired one up with the mic from an old gaming headset and used the mic on the old headphone, it it works great.

again thanks for the help
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-11-2012, 07:35 PM
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That looks to be exactly what you want then. I've never really shopped or looked around for them much, so I'm not sure what brands are out there. Amazon seemed to not have too many when I looked the other day. Definitely try Monoprice, or maybe even BHPhotoVideo.
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