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Simultaneous Headphone and Speaker Support for Hearing Impaired

I own the Roku Ultra and I'm very surprised and disappointed that their flagship Roku steamer will not allow simultaneous sound (wireless headphones and speakers to play at same time). My wife has a condition that renders her near deaf. I bought Bluetooth headphones so the entire family can watch programing together. It turns out that when headphones are used no sound to speakers and visa versa. One would think that since this is a common problem for hearing impaired and their families, that a Roku software update or setting selection would allow both. This could be done via update. Or add an optical out on the device itself. Roku you can do better.

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Community Streaming Expert

Re: Simultaneous Headphone and Speaker Support for Hearing Impaired

much requested feature.   Never implemented.  I'd like to have it too.

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Ultra 4800 | Streaming Stick 4K+ 3821 | TCL Roku TV 43S245/C107X
Reel Rookie

Re: Simultaneous Headphone and Speaker Support for Hearing Impaired

So would I. It is not my young wife of 66, but her old husband of 75. Surely this is a common problem. Anyone found a work around??

Reel Rookie

Re: Simultaneous Headphone and Speaker Support for Hearing Impaired

Dear ROKU-

Please consider an option allowing extended listening choices to those dealing with hearing issues.

I am hoping that this will become a very obvious upgrade to our streaming service. It is such a minor option, but, I believe that this option is not an either / or issue, as there are many of us that need to share our viewing experience with those that have full hearing and do not need the clarity and independent volume control that this option would provide.

Yes, I will look for a work-around that will enable a headphone or ear-pod for the hearing impaired while still providing high acoustic fidelity to others in the family.


Roku Guru

Re: Simultaneous Headphone and Speaker Support for Hearing Impaired

You should absolutely have the option of headphone only or headphones with speakers. I have this option on my TV for using the headphone jack on the TV itself. So if TVs can do it Roku can also with an update. This is just another obvious failure by Roku to not have this feature already.

To those wanting this I wouldn't hold your breath, Roku probably doesn't see this as a priority, they are more interested in adding annoyances to the home screen that everyone hates or other useless features while ignoring important ones that should be added, like this.

Reel Rookie

Re: Simultaneous Headphone and Speaker Support for Hearing Impaired

I do tech support for several friends and I can confirm that given the aging community, the simultaneous output to HDMI-ARC (for sound bar) and optical or Bluetooth (for hearing aids) would be greatly appreciated.  Older TVs used to have this feature buried deep in their settings, but this seems to be absent from Roku devices.  Using a streamer is just adding more boxes/wires/complexity while reducing the sound features/quality.


Re: Simultaneous Headphone and Speaker Support for Hearing Impaired

My TV is Roku model # 58R63G.. hopefully your model will be capable.  

We bought Sennheiser RS195 Digital Wireless headphones for TV.  Sennheiser are designed for hearing impaired with higher volume control.

We set the TV audio output to "speakers", note it will say that "Optical Output is always on".  Then set the "digital output format" to "stereo".

We used the digital output connected to the headset base and it works amazing!  

I listen via the speakers and he listens via his headphones! 

It took a lot of trial and error but finally success!  👍

Reel Rookie

Re: Simultaneous Headphone and Speaker Support for Hearing Impaired

Thank you for your input.  I think we are facing the same challenge: having a hearing impaired person and a person with normal hearing listening to the same movie.  In my case, I want to use a sound bar (hdmi-arc) because the TV's speakers are not that good, and a blue tooth transmitter connected to the optical output of the TV but this seems to be technically impossible at this time.  I may have to resort to using the optical output exclusively, with an optical splitter to the sound bar and to the blue tooth transmitter but some people have complained about sound delay issues using this configuration.  Also I would lose Dolby Atmos (my sound bar is a Bose 600).  On the feasibility of using both outputs, I have also read some posts on another forum that reported that it was actually a CEC requirement that the HDMI-ARC and optical outputs be mutually exclusive (maybe to limit illegal copying).  If this is the case it would be up to the sound bar makers and the hearing aid makers to pressure the CEC for a solution.  If I am mistaken in my statements please do not hesitate to correct me.

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