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Visiting the Vatican and St. Peter's - guided tour vs. admission ticket

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My husband and I will be in Rome in a couple of weeks and I'm trying to plan our visit to the Vatican and St. Peter's, including climbing or taking the elevator to the dome. We're really aiming to avoid the inevitable long lines at each of these stops, and I know by taking tours or purchasing advanced tickets this is usually possible.

From the Vatican Museum's online ticket office, there are Admission Tickets and Guided Tours for Individuals available:
http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?action=booking

The guided tour for individuals of just the Vatican and Sistine chapel is available for our desired date (the one continuing on a tour of St. Peter's is fully booked, but we don't feel a tour of the basilica is necessary as we'd prefer just to walk around on our own). I know that from the Sistine chapel there is a door that takes you directly into St. Peter's, and if you view the Vatican on your own you can often tag along with a tour to take that shortcut.

We're a bit inclined to take the group tour of the museum for some additional perspective (we're not especially well read on the art and history etc), but the tour offered from the above site of just the Vatican and Sistine Chapel requires us to pay for "Group Tour - Earphones" (I'm not sure why these are necessary when we'll also have a guide?). If we do this, when we get to the Sistine Chapel / the end of the tour, will we be ferreted back to return those earphones or could we be prevented from going right into St. Peter's? Does anyone know?

We could instead purchase the admission ticket without a guide, which the website claims will allow us to skip the line, and then try to go straight through that door from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter's. But again, a guide or audio tour would be preferable.

It would be great to either take the guided tour or just get admission tickets and rent headphones, view the Vatican, go straight from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter's, climb the dome, and if necessary return the headphones at some point by the end of the day.

Any insight would be much appreciated. A Walk of Italy Tour is also available that does exactly what we want. We'd like to avoid the extra cost, but would rather not spend hours in lines.

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