Using Bluetooth headphones with a TV, adapting an old DVD player to a new TV (Week 7, 2022)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 7, 2022

Q. I looked at the ZVOX AccuVoice AV52 headphones and love the features and $69.00 sale price, reduced from $199.99. I have an older Panasonic HDTV. What do I need to add Bluetooth so I can send sound to the headphones? My wife is anxious to get good TV sound again, and these headphones with dialogue improvement look like the answer!

-R.B., Brookfield, WI

A. You need a Bluetooth transmitter connected to the TV’s optical output. My top recommendation is the $45 Anker Soundsync A3341, which has low latency to avoid lip-sync problems. There are other transmitters available for as low as $30. As long as it has an optical input and promises low latency it should work for you, but the Soundsync should be a sure thing.

If you already have something connected to the optical input (like a soundbar or audio system) you can use an optical splitter ($10 to $20) to make two connections from the TV output. If you get the Anker it has optical pass-through, so you will not need a splitter.

You will find the transmitter useful for more than sending TV sound to your wife’s headphones. Preparing dinner in the kitchen, with the TV in view but too but far away to hear comfortably? Pair a Bluetooth speaker to the transmitter and you have TV sound in another room.

Please note the AV52 sale price ends on February 28th.

Q. I recently purchased a Sony KD-55X85J television. Upon installation I could not get the signal from my Sony DVP-NS715P DVD player to display. The people from Best Buy suggested using an HDMI converter ($60 plus HDMI cable) connected to one of the HDMI ports. A comment was made that there was something “special” about Sony’s A/V jack and when I contacted Sony, they said there was no approved HDMI converter and the only “approved” connection for devices with RCA outputs was their conversion cable ($38.95.) What should I do?

-G.T., Milwaukee, WI

A. It is silly to spend $60 on an HDMI adapter for an obsolete DVD player, or even $39 for a special connection cable when you can get a new Blu-ray player or DVD player with HDMI for around the same amount or less.

A new Sony Blu-ray player (which plays DVDs as well as high-definition Blu-ray movies) is under $75. This is what you should be looking to buy, at a minimum. As I detailed in a recent column, DVD resolution is only 5% that of a 4K television. Blu-ray is a much better match to your television’s potential image quality.

Even if you do not buy a Blu-ray player, an upconverting DVD player with HDMI is $35, less than the cost of the Sony cable. HDMI adapters are cumbersome and can be unreliable. Best to avoid them when possible.

Hanasco toothbrush is back: This one will make a lot of readers happy because I sure received a lot of emails about it! The Hanasco sonic electric toothbrush package with travel case and 8 brushheads is back in stock on Amazon. The price at my deadline was $34.99, a few dollars more than the last time but still a great deal on a nice toothbrush with enough brushheads to last at least two years. The pink version of the toothbrush with three brushheads and charging stand (the charging stand is not included in the black version) is also back in stock for $27.99.

The columns about personal care products have been extremely popular. I will have more neat products to share soon, stay tuned!