Headphones can be a great addition to your home theater, whether you're looking to simplify your setup or if you want to enjoy movies and TV shows without disturbing those around you. Unlike many headphones designed for casual use, dedicated TV headphones tend to offer audio settings like surround sound and bass control to help you get the most out of your content. They also usually have wireless designs to eliminate audio cables running from the couch to your TV. While Bluetooth wireless headphones can have high audio lag, which can cause your audio and visuals to fall out of sync with one another, many dedicated TV headphones use specialized docks and transmitters to ensure low latency and reduce annoying lip-sync issues.
We've tested over 670 pairs of headphones, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best headphones for home theatres and watching TV. See our recommendations for the best wireless gaming headsets, the best audiophile headphones, and the best wired headphones.
The best wireless headphones for TV we've tested are the Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019. Although they're specifically for gaming, these over-ears have a base station that you connect to your TV to use the headphones wirelessly. With this connection, they have very low audio latency, ensuring your audio and visuals stay in sync.
Thanks to their over 17 hours of continuous playback time, you don't need to worry about recharging them during a long movie marathon. They also have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life if you forget to turn them off. Their well-balanced sound profile is suitable for a variety of audio content too. If you prefer a different sound, their companion software offers customization features you can save to the EQ preset button. They have a fairly open and natural passive soundstage, but sound seems like it's coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you.
Unfortunately, their mic isn't detachable, and like most gaming headphones, they have a bulky frame. They're not for blocking out background sound either, so if you're watching TV near an open window or in a shared space, you'll hear noise around you. These comfortable headphones offer a low latency connection and long-lasting continuous battery life suitable for watching TV.
The best home theater headphones specifically designed for this purpose that we've tested are the Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless. They have a specialized receiver dock that directly plugs into most TVs and lets you use them wirelessly with low audio latency. They're decently well-built and comfortable enough for binge-watching a couple of episodes at a time.
Thanks to their efficient control scheme on the ear cups, you don't have to get up from the couch to adjust the volume or activate features like additional bass or surround sound. Although some users may find their sound profile is a bit bass-heavy by default, it doesn't completely overwhelm dialogue. Their extra thump and boom can also help make sound effects in action sequences seem more immersive. Their continuous battery life is around 24 hours, and they use rechargeable AAA batteries.
Unfortunately, their build quality is just satisfactory as the plastic elements used in their design feel low-grade and a bit cheap. They're also prone to inconsistent audio delivery, and you may especially notice a drop in bass if you wear glasses or have thick hair. They're specifically for watching TV as they offer a low-latency experience, and you can easily adjust them on the fly.
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless are the best Bluetooth headphones for TV that we've tested. Although Bluetooth headphones tend to have high audio lag, these over-ears support aptX-LL, a low latency codec that helps ensure that your audio and visuals stay in sync while you're watching your favorite shows. However, you'll need to ensure you have a Bluetooth adapter or transmitter that supports this codec.
These comfortable over-ears support multi-device pairing, so you can have them connected to your TV and smartphone at the same time. Thanks to their ANC system, you can also block out ambient sound, like chatty roommates for those living in a shared space. Their bright sound profile is well-suited for vocal-centric and dialogue-heavy content too. They have over 21 hours of continuous battery life, and you can use them while charging, which is handy in a pinch.
Their treble delivery is sensitive to the headphones' position and fit on your head. Since they also have a closed-back design, their passive soundstage doesn't seem very immersive or spacious. However, if you're looking for Bluetooth headphones to pair with your TV, they offer versatile performance.
The best headphones for watching TV under $100 that we've tested is the Logitech G433 Gaming Headset. Although they have a gamer-centric design, you can detach their boom mic to help them look more casual. Their wired design eliminates audio latency, so you don't experience your audio and visuals falling out of sync.
These over-ears have a well-balanced sound profile that delivers a touch of extra boom and warmth to mixes, making them suitable for action-packed movies and TV shows. That said, dialogue and instruments still sound clear and full. They also have a comfortable and lightweight fit and come with two sets of ear cup padding, so you can replace the original set if they get worn out.
Unfortunately, they're very prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, so it's important to take the time to adjust their fit, seal, and positioning to ensure a more consistent sound. Although they have a closed-back design, they also have trouble blocking out background sound like ambient chatter. However, if you're on a tighter budget, they're worth checking out.
If you're looking for open-back headphones, consider the Philips SHP9500. Unlike the Logitech G433, they don't block out ambient noise by design, and they leak a lot of audio at high volumes, so they aren't ideal if you like to watch TV in a shared space. However, the open-back enclosure allows sound to leave the ear cups and bounce against your environment, which helps create a more immersive and spacious passive soundstage. While they lack a thumpy low-bass, which is normal from open-back headphones, their mid-range is exceptionally flat and well-balanced, resulting in the clear, present, and accurate reproduction of dialogue and instruments. They also have a very comfortable fit, so you can wear them for long listening sessions without feeling fatigued.
Take a look at the Logitech if you prefer closed-back headphones, which can help cut down ambient sound and leak less audio. However, if you tend to watch TV in a closed-off space and want a more immersive audio experience, check out the Philips headphones.
Apr 26, 2022: We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Feb 25, 2022: Checked our picks for product availability and accuracy. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Dec 21, 2021: Replaced the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016 with the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless as the Sennheiser offer better value to users. Moved the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless to Notable Mentions.
Oct 22, 2021: Replaced the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless with the Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 as the Astro have lower non-Bluetooth latency and are more comfortable.
Aug 24, 2021: Checked that picks still represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones for movies and TV for most people to buy. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones 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 are all our headphone reviews, sorted by their latency with aptX-LL. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones for watching movies or TV shows. Personal taste, media content, home environment, and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you have a lively home or wish not to disturb anyone around you with leakage.