Using Bluetooth Headphones with Sonos Beam-Equipped Sony TV

  • 14 January 2020
  • 7 replies

I have a Sonos Beam and two Play 1s connected to my Sony Bravia TV. I love it, but it has been a bit of a hassle. For example, I had to use a HDMI CRC Less adapter because my devices were interfering with the Sonos system. This took me a few months to diagnose and sort out (I’m not a tech wiz). 

The Sonos system works like a charm now, but I’d like to have the capability to use Bluetooth headphones with my TV. The TV itself is not Bluetooth headphone equipped. I considered buying a Bluetooth transmitter to plug into my TV, but I fear switching the TV audio settings back and forth (from ‘audio system’ to ‘headphones’) will confuse the Beam again. 

Does anybody have a workaround that would allow me to listen to headphones ‘through’ the Sonos system? Can I tap into it somehow, or do I have to wait for Sonos to release headphones of its own? Neither the Beam nor the Play 1s have an aux port. 

I have seen reference to using a Sonos Connect, but that seams a little excessive (I have a Play 5 Gen 1 and Bridge from years ago in another room getting minimal use already). 


Best answer by ratty 14 January 2020, 17:21

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7 replies

I’d connect the Beam through the optical connection on the back of your TV, connected to the adapter that came with the Beam, and then use the HDMI-ARC for the headphones. That will keep the Beam from interfering with any of that HDMI-ARC stuff.

Thanks for the response, Bruce!

I initially had the Beam set up with optical, but it resulted in a slight audio lag. Is that not normal?

I think I would prefer no lag to headphones, if given the choice. I understand these are real first world problems though... 

Not normal at all…. that implies an issue with your TV set sending the optical signal. Double check all the audio settings on the YV, and make sure the audio signal is untouched/unmodified as possible. Also check to be sure it’s set to fixed, rather than variable. I seem to recall one of my older Sony’s had such a setting. Worth checking the TV for software updates, too, some manufacturers have changed their software to deal with pass through more effectively. Oh, while you’re poking around in settings, double check that all devices connected to your TV are set to send a Dolby Digital signal. 

Light is, as you know, pretty speedy :) And the processing done by Sonos is small enough that it doesn’t add enough delay to be noticeable, probably less than a couple of milliseconds, way too small to effectively measure with your ears and eyes. This points to a delay in you TV somewhere.

If you’re willing to spend $50, I can prove the delay is in the TV set ;) 


Thanks again, Bruce!! I will try and troubleshoot this this weekend if I am feeling patient. 

I’ve yet to meet a Bluetooth transmitter that can be fed using HDMI-ARC. I’d recommend leaving the Beam wired via HDMI and adding an optical-Bluetooth transmitter, preferably aptX Low Latency (which would require the headphones to also support it).

Most TVs wouldn’t need any fiddling in the settings after initial setup, as the optical output should be live all the time. The optical must be configured to send PCM Stereo.

Never looked at bluetooth transmitters at any length, but keeping the two methods of connection separate is, I think, key to not having any issues. If the Bluetooth transmitter only has RCA inputs, then I’d look for RCA outputs on the back of the TV set, and leave the Beam connected via HDMI, as ratty suggests.

Since the OP is talking about purchasing a BT transmitter I’d strongly recommend getting one with an optical input (plus aptX-LL). Why pass the signal through an indifferent quality DAC and ADC when one doesn’t have to?