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I have a monitor that I want to use as my 'TV' for my gaming system. I connect it via HDMI, so sound and video go through the monitor, but I want sound to my headphones, which travels via optical (S/PDIF) cable. The monitor (Dell U2713HM) has a 3.5mm audio jack on it for line out, but I couldn't find anything that simply plugs in an converts the analog audio signal to a digital one so I can plug in a S/PDIF cable. What sort of device do I need to do this? (I am not asking for shopping recommendations, merely what options allow this conversion. I would prefer the smallest option, as space is limited).

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hmm, thats odd - can't recall seeing headphones that use SPDIF... what're they? – Journeyman Geek Jun 24 '13 at 16:04
    
@JourneymanGeek Not simply headphones, but gaming headsets (they combine voice chat and surround sound). I realize I'd probably lose the surround sound capability, but all I really want is the audio – SSumner Jun 24 '13 at 17:19

There's specific converters for that - such as this one - you'll need a 3.5mm to stereo rca cable, connect that into the RCA to spdif adaptor I linkeyou should be good. If shopping around, make sure it takes stereo in, and outputs to toslink since these adaptors don't work the other way

This does seem un-necessarily complicated since most modern PCs have optical toslink, and its a simple matter of picking that as your default sound out from your mixer.

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Thanks! If I was on my PC, I know there'd be no problem, but this is for an Xbox 360, and the optical out has to come from the display (after the HDMI input) – SSumner Jun 24 '13 at 17:21
    
support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-360/audio-video-setup-and-use/… might be of interest as well – Journeyman Geek Jun 25 '13 at 1:29

You can purchase something of the sort like this cable, and then use an RCA to 3.5mm adaptor. I did the same thing when my TV was broken, ran HDMI through my monitor for video and used speakers through that wire for sound.

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