Tuesday, October 6, 2015

So, you want headphones with that Stick?

The Intel Compute Stick doesn't come with a headphone jack connector ( or many others for that matter ) but that shouldn't stop you from cordless listening of that movie you're watching late night. Connecting a corded pair of headphones to your TV ( if it provides such a connection ) is one way to go but if your TV is far from your couch or you don't want cords messing your living room you can go cordless using a Bluetooth Stereo Headset.
The idea for the bluetooth headset came to me after reading that the new Apple TV will support such devices. Knowing that the Compute Stick has Bluetooth capabilities I went on to connect my Nokia BH-111 Stereo Bluetooth Headset ( currently retails for 22,00 € on Amazon ). 

The steps needed to connect your headset on Windows 10 are as follows :
1. Make your headset discoverable (usually by pressing the power button extensively)
2. Open windows notifications and select "Connect" 

3. On the top of this window your headset will appear and you hit connect once again and you're done.

Now if you right click the speaker icon on your taskbar (next to notifications) and you select playback devices your headset should be listed. If you choose to playback a movie you can mute your TV's volume now and listen through your headphones.

One flaw to point using this method is that Bluetooth Audio Streaming has some 200ns delay so in order to watch movies or shows without this delay you will need to tweak your video playback software to give the audio stream a head start. VLC does this by going to Tools > Track Synchronization and modifying the Audio Track Synchronization setting. Kodi ( ex XBMC ) also gives a setting while you play back a movie on it's Audio Settings menu by selecting the Audio offset control. After making the adjustment you can hit back for the top mounted audio delay slider to disappear and enjoy your movie.

Since my TV is a fair distance from my couch this cordless solution is a lifesaver. To be fair there were a couple of times that I would have to reconnect the headset after being idle for some time but that was a minor annoyance.

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