Created: May 13, 2017
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Infrared headphones can be used for listening to music or television cordlessly. The headphones utilize a transmitter that connects with audio cables to the audio source, such as a home entertainment center. The transmitter utilizes light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to direct a focused beam of invisible pulsating light towards a receiver built into the headphone set. The pulsations act as ON/OFF signals that are translated digitally by the receiver into audible sound waves. Most infrared headphones have an effective range of about 30 feet (~10 meters) or less, and require a clear line of sight between transmitter and receiver.
Sound comes out of the stereo system through audio cables and into an infrared transmitter. The transmitter turns the sound into a series of pulses. The pulses work like bits in a computer, digitally capturing the sound information. These pulses are then sent to an infrared LED.
For the transmitter side, an audio input from PL1 frequency modulates the VCO section of a HEF4046BT PLL chip. The VCO output drives Q1, a switching transistor. Q1 drives two IR LEDs. The signal produced is around 100 kHz, FM carrier VCO sensitivity is around 7.5 kHz/V.
See also: Wireless Headphone Receiver