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Updated , Jean-Simon Bonneterre

The 5 Best TV Headphones - December 2018
Reviews

Best TV Headphones
285 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 284 headsets and below are our recommendations for the best TV headphones of 2018. See also our recommendations for the best wireless TV headphones.

  1. Best TV Headphones: Astro A50

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.5
    TV
    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 make them a good option for watching movies and regular TV shows. 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 Logitech G933, especially if you want to display them next to your console or TV. 

    See our review

  2. 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 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. 

    See our review

  3. More Versatile Alternative: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

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

    If you want headphones for your TV but also want them to be versatile enough for outside use and to connect them to your phone from time to time, then get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They don’t have a dock like the Astro A50 or the Sennheiser RS 185, so they won't be as convenient. You also have to purchase an aptX Low-Latency Bluetooth dongle to get the best latency performance for watching video content. However, on the upside, they're a great choice for everyday casual use and offer great performance for their relatively affordable price point.

    Unfortunately, they don’t isolate as much noise as other high-end ANC headphones, but you’ll be satisfied with the extra bass they pack, especially with exciting action movies. They also have a great 30-hour battery life that will last you a few days, and a comfortable and durable build that's easy to use with intuitive controls. 

    Overall, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are one of the most versatile over-ears we’ve reviewed so far and with the appropriate dongle, they're a good choice for watching TV.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget TV Headphones: Logitech G433

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

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

    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.

    See our review

  5. Open-Back Alternative: Superlux HD 681

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

    If you’re looking for an open-back alternative to the Logitech G433, get the Superlux HD 681. By design, they won’t be as versatile in everyday casual uses since they barely isolate noise and leak a lot, but they are still a great budget choice for critical listening and watching TV. Since they are wired headphones, you won’t have any latency issues while watching video content and they perform very well considering their low price.

    Unfortunately, they feel cheaply made and you will be limited by the range of their cable, so you might have to buy an extension cord if you can’t sit close to the TV. The ear padding might also be a bit stiff for long watching sessions. Overall, the Philips SHP9500 would be a better choice but they are discontinued and very hard to find at the moment, so the Superlux681 are the next best budget open-back option.

    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 G933. Great alternative to the Astro A50. Doesn't have dock charging but the USB transmitter offers a line-in and they are cheaper headphones with lots of customization options. 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 TV 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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