How to Use Headphones with HDMI

by David Lipscomb

High-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) cables are becoming the main interconnect used in home theater systems. Late-night listening often dictates the use of headphones. Fortunately, the vast majority of modern home theater receivers not only have headphone jacks, but allow for an HDMI signal to be transferred to these jacks as well. Using a set of headphones with HDMI, therefore, is just as easy as with an analog audio system.

Examine the tip of your headphones. Snap on a quarter-inch adapter if the end is the 3.5-millimeter variety, used in portable devices.

Find the headphone jack on the front of the receiver. If you don't immediately find it, check behind the sliding or hinged doors on the front panel.

Push the headphone cable into the headphone jack until you hear a relay click. Examine the receiver's display for changes, indicating "Dolby HP" or "Headphones."


  • check A nice feature of home theater receivers is Dolby Headphone. Mimicking a 7.1 surround field environment, this format immerses you in a listening experience using headphones that is nearly as intense as when you're using home theater speakers.
  • check Remember that attempting to use an HDMI cable with a DVI adapter will result in no audio. DVI does not pass audio.

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About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

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