If you want to immerse yourself in your favorite movie or TV show, your home theater headphones should be comfortable to wear for hours and have the lowest possible latency. They should also have enough range so that you can comfortably sit on your couch while still enjoying a lag-less viewing experience. Sound quality, isolation, and leakage are also important based on the content you’re going to be watching and your home environment.
So far, we've reviewed 238 headsets and below are our recommendations for the best home theater headphones of 2018.
The best TV headphones are the Astro A50. The features that make them great for gaming also make them a good option for watching movies. They have a low latency wireless connection with a good range, a sturdy build quality and a comfortable design that's decently breathable.
The included base station provides a bunch of connection options that will work with your TV and home theater system. They have an optical, USB and regular line-in so you can use a regular AUX cable plugged into your TV or speaker. They also have dock charging which makes them a bit more convenient than the SteelSeries Arctis 7 or the HyperX Cloud Flight, especially if you want to display them next to your console or TV.
If you want a more typical home theater headphone that you will strictly use for watching movies, then get the Sennheiser RS 185. They do not have as many features as the Astro A50 and do not look as premium or feel as well built for their price. But on the upside, they're easier to use and have a decent amount of connection options, including RCA inputs (not available on the similarly designed, closed-back RS 165). They also come with an RF transmitter stand so they connect immediately without requiring a pairing procedure unlike Bluetooth headphones like the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. The stand also acts as a charging dock, so you have a dedicated spot to rest your headphones when they're not in use, which is pretty convenient.
If you're looking for a more versatile pair of headphones that you can also use outdoors with your phone, then the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are your best option. Unlike the Astro A50 or the Sennheiser RS 185, you will need to purchase an external Bluetooth dongle with Aptx low latency if you want the best experience when watching movies and videos. But on the upside, the Plantronics are one of the most versatile wireless over-ears, especially for their price to performance ratio which makes them a great choice for most use cases.
They're sturdy, comfortable, easier-to-use and sound a lot better than the Turtle Beach Elite 800, delivering an exciting bass-rich sound that's good for movies and music. They also have an excellent wireless range and a great 30-hour battery life that you won't have to recharge as often as the other headphones on this list.
If you do not mind a wired design, the best budget TV headphones are the Logitech G433. They won't be as convenient as the wireless headphones on this list since you may need an AUX extension cord for your home theater setup. They also do not feel as durable as the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 or the Astro A50.
On the upside, they have a surprisingly well-balanced sound that's on par with much more expensive headphones, and their low latency wired connection makes them a suitable option for watching a lot of video content. They also have a casual design that you can take outdoors and come with a mobile-friendly cable that you can use with your phone.
Overall, the G433 are a great, budget gaming headset, with an excellent mic, and a versatile design that is also suitable for watching movies and outdoor use.
If you're looking for a budget open-back alternative to the Logitech G433, then get the Superlux HD 681. They won't be as practical for other use cases except critical listening and home theater like the G433 or the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. But on the upside, they have a good sound quality that caters well to music, audio theater, and movies. They're also very affordable and have zero latency since they're wired.
Unfortunately, this also means that unless you have "1/8" or "1/4" TRS extension cord or sit relatively close to your TV, the HD 681 may be slightly limiting. They also don't have the best build quality or comfort level so they won't be the ideal choice for the home theater use case. The Philips SHP9500 would be a better option overall but they are discontinued or very hard to find so the Superlux HD 681 are the next best budget open-back option.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best home theater headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones that are good for Home Theater use. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones for watching movies. Personal taste, media content, home environment, and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you have a lively home or wish to not disturb anyone around you with leakage.