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 more detail: Wireless IR Headphone Transmitter