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Wireless headphone connection to multiple components?

I purchased the Panasonic SE-DIR800C wireless headphones. There are three input jacks: one optical, one digital, one analog. I would like to use the 'phones to listen to my DVR and DVD components. Problem is that neither of these units have unused optical outlets. And, moreover, I have only one optical input jack.

I'd like to find a way to use the headphones similar to a wired set: i.e. plug into one place on my receiver so that all attached components would be audible via the wireless set. My home theater system is a Denon AVR 3805. There are plenty of unused optical jacks in the back (opt 3, 4, 5, etc.), but I do not know how to...or if I even the output jack to the headphones.

At this point, all I can come up with is the idea of splitting the optical input from the back of the wireless set, and then splitting each optical output from the components. But that would mean 3 splitters and 6 cables and surely there must be a better way.

Any help and advice would be fantastic. Thanks! --alias4cat

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  • alias4cat Jan 07, 2009

    That was a fast answer; thank you mikeymiddles. I'm a newbie and darned if I am still a bit befuddled. I previously tried connecting to "optical 3" and received no headphone sound in return. Of course, I didn't know how to assign "optical 3" to the headphone, so that may have been the problem. Currently, I have connected via a digital coax to the DVD (which is the only unassigned jack left on the unit). The audio is pretty good.

    Are you suggesting I use the analog jacks? What about the quality of sound difference between analog and digital optical cable connections? I purchased the headphones to lessen arguments over late night (loud) DVD viewing, but I don't wish to lessen the quality of sound I've become accustomed to either.



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Cat,    Splitting an optical output is not recommended.  In fact it would require an optical patch bay, which would be overkill. You could use the headphone output on the front of the Denon AVR3805.    Because this output is behind a door it might be a cleaner looking set up to use the optical output on the top left looking at the back of the unit.  Because those two optical outputs are labeled "optical 3 and 4" they are zone outputs, they should work without having to "map" or patch them internally. The outputs here will be controlled independently as zones from the receiver's remote.      The easiest option looks to be the analog "pre output" located in the middle of the back of the receiver.  The left-most two rca jacks you want to use are labeled "front" and are white over red.  This output will work fine.  Control of the volume will be from the headphone unit and not the receiver.          

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

  • Michael Mittelsdorf
    Michael Mittelsdorf Jan 07, 2009

    The analog connection should work fine. With analog connections there is the possibility of the sound quality suffering, but not if you set proper levels. Remember before 1988 there was no digital audio. There was still amazing quality of sound given the proper gain structure with good components.

    The primary differences with digital and analog audio in consumer audio products is the lack of signal degradation through the signal path (analog:lots of patching = more signal loss) and with digital it is not as necessary to carefully match input and output gain because the gain level is encoded in the digital signal. Note that your headphones are made with an analog amplifier and transducers (speakers). Less expensive digital audio products can contain cheap, low quality digital to analog converters... these can really diminish audio quality. With an analog signal it helps greatly to use heavy cables with gold plated connectors to achieve the highest quality audio possible.

    If you use 5 as an average setting (on a scale of 1-10) for digital gain, and 7 or 8 as an average for analog gain you should not have a problem. Listen carefully to different program material and you will arrive at a good level and your audio quality will not suffer.



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