Got the Sony MDR-DS7500 headphones today. Hooked them up the way I mentioned a few posts back, but to refresh.
*Simple all HDMI cabling: (OPPO BLUERAY ---> ONKYO (TX-NR906) AVR ---> SONY DS7500 ---> HDTV)
I wanted to keep the DS7500 "after" the AVR, not before it, or bypass it. I have all of my other 3 sources directly HDMI cabled to the AVR, (AppleTV, Oppo BlueRay, Panasonic BlueRay, and an old Samsung DVD deck).
The only thing I could not figure out, could not make work, is when trying to route through the DS7500 from the AVR, using the exact same cabling but coming out of the AVR's 2nd HDMI "Output" called "SUB", I do NOT get any VIDEO. But from the HDMI output labeled "MAIN", I get both audio and video. There is no settings on the AVR, other then choosing "Main/Sub/Analog", this under "Monitor Output" on this AVR. Cables were tested, swapped etc., when bypassing the DS7500 box entirely, and going directly from AVR to HDTV from the AVR's "SUB" output, both Audio and Video worked fine. So that was my only unexplained failure, but when I made the discovery below, it ended up NOT mattering, as I can avoid using the "SUB" HDMI output from the AVR totally, I'll explain below.
I guess the main part I, "over" thought, in my longwinded questions in previous posts, were I originally thought I would have to use the 2nd HDMI "Output" on the AVR, called "SUB", to keep the whole DS7500 separate from my 1st HDMI "Output", called "MAIN", as I was assuming the headphone box might be a dead-end, or not pass my AVR's audio codecs etc. from all my other AVR sources. But a welcome surprise is even with the DS7500 in "STANDBY MODE", it works fine as a simple "pass through", I tested using a TrueHD 7.1 BlueRay video/audio source, all audio codec icons and external speakers worked as before. So I can avoid using a secondary cabling system from the AVR's "SUB" HDMI output (didn't work for me anyways as noted above).
NOTE: If the DS7500 is disconnected from A.C. power, there will be NO video feed via it's HDMI connection, routed through the headphone box, though I could still hear "audio". I tried testing the "HDMI Control" switch on the side of the control box, in positions #1, #2, and left it "OFF", as it had NO effect. Therefore, to see video, the DS7500 has to always be powered, even if you are not planning on using the headphones while playing through your normal speaker setup. One could perhaps surmise there could be some extra HDMI video processing, not sure on this, though not concerned myself. BTW: My entire system including cables is HDMI 1.3, NOT the latest 1.4 version, if that makes any difference, I would not know.
Now getting it to actually work:
Well, it took me awhile to figure out that my Onkyo TX-NR906 AVR, needed to have a settings change before I could get the DS7500 to broadcast the audio over the headphones.
On page #118 of the Onkyo AVR manual, I had to turn ON: "Audio TV Out". In case anyone's interested this is what the manual says regarding this setting:
"This setting determines whether audio received by an HDMI input is output by the HDMI outputs. You may want to change this setting to “On” if your TV is connected to an HDMI output and you want to listen to audio from an HDMI component through your TV’s speakers. Normally, it should be set to “Off”.
OFF: HDMI audio is not output (default).
ON: HDMI audio is output."
So for headphone use, I must go into the AVR's menu, about 3 deep, and then turn on "Audio to TV Out", after which the AVR's display says: "HDMI Through", and the "Mute" light activates. I then get the audio through the headphones, not my 7.1 speakers. Even though the above manuals statement discusses the TV speakers, not my interest, once I understood the audio was not being passed back down the HDMI cable to the Sony headphone base station, it made a bit more sense. This is perhaps similar to ARC, but none of my 4 year old HDMI 1.3 gear has ARC, though I believe the AVR has some HDMI CEC controls, but I keep all that stuff OFF.
When reverting back to all external speaker use, I do have to toggle "Audio to TV Out", back to "OFF", as this has a bad effect on external speaker output from the AVR, if this setting were left "ON", while I can still hear audio over the speakers, I lose many of the audio codecs of the AVR, on the video disk, for example the 7.1 TrueHD audio from the BlueRay disk I was testing with. As well as the audio volume being dramatically "reduced". So it's not a big deal at all, and at least everything appears to be working as I had hoped.
I've never been much of a "headphone" person, my best quality ones are actually the Etymotic ER-4 inner earbuds, which are "wired". Nice to cut the cord with these Sony's. As far as audio quality, I did not buy them for music playback, though they sure sound nice to me. Movie playback at night when I can't run the speakers and subwoofer was my main reason, and so far I've played back the cave scene in Iron Man, and the stomping in the cave that would shake the walls with the subwoofer, certainly moved the headphones at near full volume. The volume itself seems fine to me, most likely I'd run them around 8 or 9 out of 10 setting. What is also great, is being able to discern low volume level dialog, which has always been an issue with my weak center speaker. I have not had a chance to do much more listening as of now, lost a lot of time, figuring out the issues I encountered above. From what I have heard so far, movie surround sound playback is GREAT! I believe this product will fulfill my needs, so again THANKS to everyone that helped me with your feedback!