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The 5 Best TV Headphones - Summer 2018
Reviews

Best for Home Theater
256 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

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 216 headsets and below are our recommendations for the best home theater headphones of the summer of 2018.

  • Best TV Headphones: Astro A50

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches: test

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.5
    Home Theater
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best TV headphones are the Astro A50. The features that make them great for gaming also makes 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. 

    See our review

  • Easier-to-use Alternative: Sennheiser RS 185

    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Open-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : No
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a more typical home theater headphone that you will strictly use for watching movies, then get the Sennheiser RS 185. They perform as well as the RS 165, but they are open which gives them a better sound quality but also a bit more leakage. On the upside, they have multiple connection options, including RCA inputs, not available on the 165. 

    They have a dedicated RF transmitter stand which gives them a couple of advantages over Bluetooth headphones. They immediately connect without requiring a pairing procedure, and the stand acts as a charging dock, so you have a dedicated spot to rest your headphones when they're not in use. This makes charging the RS 185 very convenient and they also have low latency which is necessary for watching a lot of video content.

     The Astro A50 perform a bit better overall but they are also more complicated to use since you may need a PC to adjust and set up the headphones. 

    See our review

    More Versatile Alternative: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    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. They're practical and sturdy Bluetooth headphones that perform well for most use cases.

    They sound better than the Turtle Beach Elite 800, delivering an exciting bass-rich sound that's good for movies and music, and they have an excellent wireless range. Unfortunately, they require a Bluetooth dongle/transmitter that supports aptx-LL for watching movies, since their base latency is relatively high. 

    See our review

  • Best Budget TV Headphones: Logitech G433

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches: test

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.0
    Home Theater
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a budget headphone to watch TV with and do not mind a wired design, then get the Logitech G433. 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 have a casual design that you can take outdoors and use with your phone. They also have an excellent boom mic which makes them a great option for gaming on consoles. 

    Unfortunately, the provided audio cables are fairly short so you may need an extension cord if you want to use them with your TV. 

    See our review

  • Open-Back Alternative: Philips SHP9500

    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Open-Back
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : No
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you're looking for an open-back alternative to the Logitech G433, the Philips SHP9500 are a good option. They are one of the best sounding budget headphones that we've tested, and they're comfortable to wear for hours, unlike the Superlux HD 681.

    They have a decent build quality, a well-balanced sound that caters well to both music and movies and 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 SHP9500 may be slightly limiting.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • SteelSeries Arctis 7. A great gaming headset with a comfortable design and low latency. Multiple connection options but no convenient dock like the Astro A50. See our review
  • TurtleBeach Elite 800. A bulky gaming headset with overly sensitive controls but lots of connection options and low latency. See our review
  • Sennheiser RS 165. Good home theater headphones with a decent sound and a closed design. Cheaper than the RS185 but not as many inputs. See our review
  • Bose QuietComfort 25. Wired and comfortable noise canceling headphones. A bit too expensive for what they offer. See our review
  • Logitech G930. The best alternative to the Sennheiser RS 185 if you have a home theater setup compatible with the USB transmitter. See our review
  • HifiMan Sundara. A good critical listening headphone with a long, low latency wired connection for watching movies. Not as convenient as the wireless designs. See our review
  • Jaybird X2. Versatile Bluetooth headphones. Strickly Bluetooth design can be limiting for this use case. Relatively high latency. See our review
  • Polk Audio UltraFocus 8000. Great, wired sound quality with a rich and deep bass that's good for action movies. Limited range due to a wired connection. See our review
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Excellent and well-balanced sound quality. Multiple cables included in the box. Limited range due to the wired connection. See our review
  • Plantronics Backbeat Pro. The previous iteration of the Plantronics Backbeat lineup. Versatile headphones for most use cases. Requires aptX/aptX-LL enabled Bluetooth transmitter for the best viewing experience. See our review

All Reviews

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.

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