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 725 pairs of headphones, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best headphones for watching tv. See our recommendations for the best wireless gaming headsets, the best audiophile headphones, and the best wired headphones.
The best wireless TV headphones we've tested are the Sennheiser RS 195 RF Wireless. These dedicated home theater headphones have a specialized receiver dock that directly plugs into most TVs and lets you use them wirelessly with low latency. The buttons on each ear cup allow you to easily adjust their volume and toggle between music and speech modes to help improve audio quality. They have 'Personal Hearing' profiles that the manufacturer advertises to enhance your listening experience by matching the EQ to your personal preferences. Their bass-heavy sound profile provides extra thump and rumble, making sound effects in action sequences feel more immersive without drowning out the dialogue. They're prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, though, and you may experience a drop in bass if you wear glasses or have thick hair.
These over-ears have a comfortable fit but don't distribute pressure well, so some places where they contact your head, like below the earlobe and on top of the head, can get sore after a while. On the upside, they're well-built, and their stand acts as a charger when you're not using them. They last around 19 hours continuously and use rechargeable AAA batteries. However, they take more than eight hours to charge fully, which might be a deal-breaker if you want to use the headphones again later in the same day.
In the upper mid-range price point, the Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless are the best wireless headphones for TV. They're part of the same lineup as the Sennheiser RS 195 RF Wireless and offer similar performance at a lower price. Like the RS 195 RF headphones, their bass-heavy sound profile can make action-packed movies and shows seem more immersive. Their receiver dock easily connects to your TV and provides a low latency connection, so your audio and visuals don't fall out of sync. Compared to their pricier sibling, they aren't as sturdy and are missing a few extra features, including the RS 195 RF's 'Personal Hearing' profiles. Fortunately, their control scheme is easy to use, and they have a physical button on one ear cup that you can use to add more bass or activate surround sound.
While they can't passively isolate you from the level of ambient noise found during a commute, they can cut out a fair amount of noise at home, like background conversation, which is nice when you're watching a movie in a shared space. Their rechargeable AAA batteries provide about 24 hours of continuous playback but take more than eight hours to recharge, which can be a problem if you forget to charge them overnight. You don't have the option of using them wired if the battery is dead. Their sound depends more on their fit and positioning on your head than the RS 195 RF, so adjusting them is important to get a consistent sound. However, you may notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or wear glasses.
Although the Avantree HT5009 Wireless are less comfortable or well-built than the Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless, they're still worth considering if you want something easier on the wallet. Their unique sound profile is designed with TV and movie content in mind, as they deliver serious bass that'll make explosions in action-packed scenes feel exciting. At the same time, vocals and instruments are crisp to stand out from the extra thump, rumble, and boom, but sibilants like cymbals are piercing. Unlike the previous picks, they don't have any sound customization features to help you adjust their sound. They're also very prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, so it's important to take the time to adjust their fit, positioning, and seal each time you use them.
These over-ears have over 34 hours of continuous battery life, so you don't have to recharge them often if you use them every day, and if you forget to turn them off, they go into standby mode to help conserve battery life. Their wireless transmitter also has low enough latency to ensure minimal lip-sync disruption. The transmitter also allows you to connect another pair of Bluetooth headphones to your TV if you want to watch a movie with someone else. Unusually, they have an integrated mic, which is handy if you want to use them to make a call. However, the mic offers a disappointing overall performance, and it can be challenging for others to hear you well.
If you want the best headphones for TV at the lowest price, the Logitech G433 are worth considering. This budget-friendly gaming headset can are well-suited for TV watching. They're wired, which might be a concern if your TV is far from your couch. However, their analog connection eliminates latency, so your audio and video stay in sync. Their sound profile lacks some low and mid-bass, meaning they won't add extra thump and punch to action scenes. However, your audio has warmth and fullness, and instruments and voices are clear and detailed.
Their companion software includes a graphic EQ and presets, so you can customize their sound to suit your taste. You can also customize the surround sound feature, which can help make movies and TV more immersive. Unfortunately, the headphones are prone to inconsistent audio delivery, so you need to take the time to adjust their fit and positioning to get the same sound every time you wear them. The earcup padding seems prone to wear and tear, but the headphones come with two pairs of padding. Their boom mic is also detachable, which is nice if you just use them to watch TV.
The Shure AONIC 50 Wireless are the best Bluetooth headphones for TV we've tested. Although Bluetooth headphones tend to have high audio lag, one way of countering this issue is using a different Bluetooth codec than the standard SBC. Not all headphones have additional codec support, though. Enter the Shure: they support aptX-LL, a low latency codec that helps ensure your audio and visuals stay in sync while watching your favorite shows. However, you'll need to ensure you have a Bluetooth adapter or transmitter that supports it.
These over-ears have a great build and are comfortable enough for long listening sessions, which is handy as their battery lasts over 17 hours continuously. Their excited sound profile adds extra boom to TV shows and movies while dialogue is bright and present. Unlike other picks on this list, they also have a noise cancelling (ANC) system. While it offers a passable overall performance, it can still help reduce sounds like ambient chatter and the hum of an AC unit so that you can focus on your media. If you want better noise isolation performance, try the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless. Although their next generation has replaced them, they're still around and block out even more ambient noise than the Shure. However, if you want to use them wired, they still need battery life remaining, which can be inconvenient if you forget to recharge them.
May 31, 2023: Replaced the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless with the Shure AONIC 50 Wireless and the Sony WH-CH710N Wireless with the Avantree HT5009 Wireless as the Sennheiser and Sony are no longer available. We also replaced the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless with the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox, which are their successor.
Mar 28, 2023: Checked that the picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
Jan 25, 2023: We've replaced the Astro A50 with the Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless and made the Sony WH-CH710N Wireless. Text overhaul for clarity and flow.
Oct 28, 2022: Updated text and checked that products are available in the right price range.
Aug 17, 2022: We've rehauled this article to improve its quality. We've added the following picks: the Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless, which are often compared to the Sennheiser RS 195 RF Wireless, and the Sony WH-CH710N Wireless, which are more affordable Bluetooth headphones that work well if you have a newer Sony TV. We've also updated our Notable Mentions and removed old and out-of-date picks.
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.