A Novice Seeking help; Requiring a hi res audio set up (DAC?) between TV (Outputs; Toshlink optical and hdmi 2.0 arc) and Headphones?

Nick0slicK

Novice Member
Hello folks. Apologies in advance as my knowledge in audio is basic. It goes about as far as knowing that coaxial has a higher bandwidth than optical. I am seeking a way of listening to hi res audio from My TV (upto 24 bit, ALAC music or FLAC etc, also 4k Blu Ray high quality audio formats like Dolby HD DTS HD etc) My equipment and My outputs available are;

Headphones ; Philips Fidelio X2HR (hi res audio certified)
Samsung QLED QE55Q9FNA TV; Toshlink optical, HDMI 2.0a ARC. The TV has NO HEADPHONE JACK or Coaxial :(
Panasonic UB820 4K Blu Ray player (hi res audio certified) with Optical, HDMI, Coaxial LR front and 7.1 coaxial connections. USB A 2.0 and 3.0. NO HEADPHONE JACK.
Soundbar is a basic 2.1 affair with optical and aux IN. NO HEADPHONE JACK

its plain to see I have no physical way of using my headphones lol apart from Blu Ray use using a LR coaxial to 3.5mm jack female adapter on the Blu Ray player (1. Is that even a valid option for transmitting high bandwidth audio)

2. I need a way to Link my headphones to my TV for everything other than Blu ray (Apple Music HD apps, Tidal, 4k streaming etc)

what is the link between the tv to headphones. Any advice or solution is greatly appreciated.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Although I'm not 100% sure, I suspect the hi-res information via the TV would be piped via bitstream to an AV Receiver via the HDMI eARC settings. Everything else I would suspect would reduce the audio quality to a lesser format

I just wonder if you need something like the Bluesound Node with the 3.5mm jack at the front, or for superia audio, you could also use a headphone amp like the iFi Headphone Amp via the RCA's at the rear

It won't be the cheapest option, but you should be able to stream hi-res music from the Node and maybe bypass the TV altogether if it doesn't work as you expect. But as the Node is eARC ready, if the TV should output everything so long as you use the eARC and set the output to stereo within the TV setting
 

Nick0slicK

Novice Member
Although I'm not 100% sure, I suspect the hi-res information via the TV would be piped via bitstream to an AV Receiver via the HDMI eARC settings. Everything else I would suspect would reduce the audio quality to a lesser format

I just wonder if you need something like the Bluesound Node with the 3.5mm jack at the front, or for superia audio, you could also use a headphone amp like the iFi Headphone Amp via the RCA's at the rear

It won't be the cheapest option, but you should be able to stream hi-res music from the Node and maybe bypass the TV altogether if it doesn't work as you expect. But as the Node is eARC ready, if the TV should output everything so long as you use the eARC and set the output to stereo within the TV setting
Thanks for your reply Shane. An AV Receiver in combo with the whole ARC thing seems to be a solution that my knowledge was lacking. I’m quite good at sources but not the in between bits 😂. I checked online for information and unfortunately for me, only eARC can carry highest quality and lossless audio information. Also, as hdmi 2.0 is the older ARC standard, that avenue is cut off for me. It’s quite the revelation actually that a £1600 TV a few year ago can’t pass that sort of information, gutting! Further, In conjunction with the fact that their are no RCA outputs on the TV, it looks like I’m at an impasse if my assessment of the situation is correct?

I don’t know if this is even a possibility; can a headphone amp upscale audio? Maybe I’m clutching at straws at this point.

It looks like a streamer, as you eluded to, is a solution at least for listening to music. In your estimation, would something like the Bluesoumd node improve the listening experience versus my current method of plugging in the high res headphones to an iPad? Anyhow, AV wise, at least this gives me the excuse to consider a newer TV 🙃 lol.
 
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ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The issue with the upscaling things is that it will alter the sound, but there is no guarantee it will be correct as it’s all about the algorithms and the designers interpretation of how it should sound when it’s going though the R&D stage. I used to upsample everything to DSD many years ago and now I’ve turned everything off as the sound is just far more dynamic to my ears without any extra processing taking place

As for a headphone amp, that will only boost the sound as you’ve already guessed and yes I suspect that there willl be a headphone amp which will have a built in DAC for upsampling, but with HDMI, I think they’re really thin on the ground hence why I suggested the Node as it’s kind of a great all rounder and I’m sure, even if your TV couldn’t output hi-res, the Node has enough about it to play those for you

Best thing to do is have a look on the streaming side of these forums regarding this product. It should give you a real world customer feed back and tell you far more about the product than me rabbiting on

I’m glad you looked at the capabilities of your TV worth eARC as HDMI really is only just getting to a point where things should be settling down, so I didn’t see it as a surprise really and would have been more surprised if It worked as sadly HDCP removes anything simple in the equation as it’s to stop people from copying

If you want to try the optical, do check out the iFi range of products as these are some of the best affordable products around in my opinion
 

Nick0slicK

Novice Member
Thank you, this has been really helpful in improving my understanding. A headphone amp looks like it could be the way forward from a price point perspective as I see for example the IFI Can around £179 which is way more palletable for headphone use mainly. I just need to understand optical a bit more and what they can carry bandwidth wise and all the different connectors. Not easy stuff.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The bandwidth I expect from the TV will will max out at lossless, but I could be corrected though!
 

Nick0slicK

Novice Member
The bandwidth I expect from the TV will will max out at lossless, but I could be corrected though!
Not even the user manual on my TV says what max bit rate is lol! Why do manufacturers make it so damn hard for us?! E.g 24bit/192k It should at least give me 24/96 surely?🤣🧐
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just noticed I’ve wrote lossless when it should have been lossy :rolleyes:
 

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