How to Use Headphones with PS4

Are you a happy owner of the PS4 and wonder if your favorite gaming earbuds can be used with this console? Maybe you just don’t want to disturb people around you? That’s feasible, but the procedure might not be straightforward for the particular headphones model. Most probably, you’ll have to adjust settings. You may need to purchase extra equipment, such as a Bluetooth dongle, for some models. Learn how to use headphones with PS4!

How to Connect Headphones to PS4

Some headphones can be simply plugged into your Dualshock controller and transmit the game audio to your ears. However, with many models, that’s not the case. The headphones might feature the incompatible jack configuration or Bluetooth protocol. Besides, the default settings of PS4 can limit the audio output to your cans. Let’s check how to hook up each type of headphones to your PS4.

Compatible Headphones

The headsets that can be used with PS4 in plug-n-play mode can be grouped into two categories:

  • Sony headphones are designed specifically for PS4. They’re usually recommended on Sony’s website.  
  • Headphones by other manufacturers that have the same connection standard.

The audio jack (3.5mm), which is used on the majority of headset devices, has two connecting standards:

  • OMTP standard. It has been used in headphones since 2010. Its wiring goes as follows (top down): left audio channel—right audio channel—microphone wire—ground wire. Not supported by PS4.  
  • CTIA standard. It has been implemented in headphones since the end of the twentieth century. The wiring looks as follows: left audio channel—right audio channel—ground wire—microphone wire. Supported by PS4.

So, now that you know what headphones are compatible with PS4, you can check the headset you have. If it meets the CTIA standard (which should be stated in the specifications), you can use it directly with your PS4 console. For that, follow the guide:

  1. Insert the headphones’ connector into the audio port of the Dualshock controller (at the user-facing side). 
  2. Press and hold the PS menu button in the middle of the controller. A menu has appeared on the screen. 
  3. Using the controller sticks and buttons, navigate to the Adjust Devices submenu and open it. 
  4. Check the Output to Headphones option. If it says Chat Audio, change to the All Audio option. 

Non-Compatible Headphones

If you plug the headset with the OMTP wiring standard into the PS4 controller’s port, you might still hear some sound. However, the volume level will be low and your microphone won’t work.

The solution is to connect your headphones through a converter dongle. The latter transfers the signal from the CTIA connector to the OMTP wiring scheme and thus, makes your headphones accept and output the audio signal. Do the following:

  1. Insert your headphones’ mini-jack into the converter dongle. 
  2. Plug in the converter dongle into your PS4. 
  3. Perform the setting as indicated in the “Regular Headphones” section.

Regular Headphones

If you use regular wired headphones and don’t know their wiring scheme, you might wonder how to use any headphones with PS4. First, check the direct compatibility. Plug the connector into the controller’s port and check the sound. If it’s low or no output detected, use the converter dongle between the headphones and the console. Another option is to connect the headphones to your TV set (there can be a slight delay in the audio signal through such a setup). After you’ve connected in your headphones, go ahead and do the following:

  1. Press the PS4 button located in the middle of the Dualshock controller until the menu will appear. 
  2. Open the Devices submenu (it’s located at the end of the list) and then go to the Audio Devices options. 
  3. Navigate to the Output Device options and select the “Headphones Connected to Controller” mode. 
  4. In the Output to Headphones submenu, select the “All Audio” mode in order to hear all sounds produced by the console. 
  5. Go to the Input Device submenu and toggle it to the “Headphones Connected to Controller” mode.

Bluetooth Headphones

In order to pair your Bluetooth headset to PS4, it should support the specific Bluetooth protocol. If you wonder what headphones work with PS4 chat and general audio wirelessly, visit Sony’s web page.  Most headphones don’t have this feature, but there’s a workaround. You can use a Bluetooth dongle (select a model with the microphone if you plan to chat with other gamers) and plug it into the USB-A port of the PS4 console. If the dongle has a separate microphone jack, insert it into the audio port in your Dualshock controller. Then, perform the setup:

  1. Turn on the PS4 console and see if the Bluetooth adapter goes into pairing mode (usually, it flashes until the connection is established). 
  2. Turn on the headset and activate the Bluetooth. Wait until the devices pair. 
  3. Push the PS4 button and open the menu options. Open the Devices submenu and go to the Audio Devices options. 
  4. Go to the Input Device options and establish the “Headphones Connected to Controller” mode. 
  5. Next, go to the Output Device options and select the “USB Headphones” mode. 
  6. After that, choose the Output to Headphones options and toggle it to the “All Audio” mode.