I have a TCL 49S517 Roku TV, and its a great TV except for the mediocre speakers, which I wanted to upgrade with a soundbar. I got the Vizio SB362An-F6 with optical and 3.5mm in (no HDMI ARC)
I would like to be able to watch TV with audio in one of two ways:
Audio from the TV (soundbar or TV)
Wireless headphones with no sound from the TV.
I know of the headphone option from the roku app, but I would rather not use my phone just for the sake of audio, which is why I got a bluetooth transmitter and headphones, which is far more convenient than fiddling with my phone everytime I want to use headphones.
I plugged the bluetooth transmitter into the optical out and it was working great. I can use the headphones whenever I wanted or the TV speakers controlled by the roku TV remote.
The problem is when adding a soundbar. If I connect the soundbar to the headphone out, the Roku disconnects the audio from the optical out and I can't use my wireless headphones anymore. If I setup a optical splitter and connect both the headphones and soundbar to optical I can no longer control the audio coming from the soundbar with the roku TV remote. If I connect both to the headphone jack then muting the TV will also disable audio to the bluetooth transmitter.
Is there a way to either
Don't disconnect optical audio when a sound source is plugged into the headphone out.
Use the Roku TV to control the volume of my soundbar.
I bought a headphone splitter from Amazon for $5.99. I plugged it into the TV headphone jack. I then plugged my wireless headphones (RS175 Sennheiser) into one of the cable ends and the sound bar into the other cable end. I can use both the sound bar and the headphones at the same time or I can turn off the sound bar and listen only through the headphones. Or I can turn off the headphones and turn on the sound bar and listen through the sound bar. It all depends on which device I turn on as to which I hear the sound from. On my Samsung TV which doesn't have a headphone out port, I can use an optical splitter ($9.96 at Amazon) and do the same. I have to use the RS195 Sennheiser headphones for that TV but so far haven't purchased a sound bar for it.