Don’t wake the baby! Use Bluetooth headphones with Apple TV

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Use Bluetooth headphones to watch Apple TV quietly.
Use Bluetooth headphones to watch Apple TV quietly.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’re anything like me, you knew that the new 4th-generation Apple TV supported Bluetooth devices like the Siri Remote, game controllers, and even keyboards, but you didn’t twig to the fact that it might also let you use Bluetooth headphones, too.

In point of fact, though, it does support them, letting you watch Netflix or game on your Apple TV without the sound of your activities waking the baby or a sleeping partner. How great is that?

Here’s how to set it up.

To ensure private listening through your Bluetooth headphones, you’ll first want to put them into pairing mode. This will vary with different models, but holding down the power button for several seconds from an off state usually works.

Go to Settings, Remotes and Devices.
Go to Settings, Remotes and Devices.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Once the headphones are in pairing mode, use the Siri Remote on your 4th-generation Apple TV to navigate to Settings, then Remotes and Devices, then Bluetooth. Your Apple TV will look for any nearby devices in pairing mode.

Click on Bluetooth.
Click on Bluetooth.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

You should now be able to see the name of your Bluetooth headphones in the list of available devices. Swipe down and click on their name to pair. You may need to enter a passkey or PIN; check your headphones’ manual for the specific code. Once finished, your headphones will appear in My Devices and be ready to use with your Apple TV.

Apple TV will find any nearby BT accessories in pairing mode.
Apple TV will find any nearby BT accessories in pairing mode.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

To un-pair your headphones, simply go to Settings, Remotes and Devices, then Bluetooth again. Click on the name of your headphones, and then (just like on iOS), click on Forget Device. You’ll need to go through the pairing process again if you want to use these headphones with your Apple TV again.

Now you’ll be able to binge watch Young Justice on Netflix without disturbing the sleeping kids in the next room, or your partner right there next to you in bed while you use your Bluetooth headphones with Apple TV.