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 283 headsets and below are our recommendations for the best TV headphones of 2019. See also our recommendations for the best wireless TV headphones and the best gaming headsets.
The best TV headphones we’ve tested so far are the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless. They’re comfortable, well-built headphones that you can set up with a variety of home theatre systems thanks to their versatile wireless transmitter. They also support Bluetooth, making it extra easy to take a call on your smartphone while remaining connected to your TV.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless have very good sound that is well-suited for not only movies and TV shows but versatile enough for a wide variety of music genres or even audiobooks and podcasts. They come with two swappable batteries so you can keep one battery in use in the headset and the other always charging. The Arctis Pro Wireless last for about 15 hours when their battery is fully charged, but when it finally runs out of power, you just swap it for the other one.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless have poor isolation and don’t mask out much sound. This means they may not be a great choice if you’re trying to watch TV in a noisy room. In this case, check out the best noise-canceling headphones, although it may take some extra setup to get them working with your home theatre system.
If you’re looking for more typical home theater headphones that you want just for watching movies, then get the Sennheiser RS 185. They do not have as many features as the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless but they're easier to use with most home theatre setups. They come with an RF transmitter stand, so they connect immediately without requiring a pairing procedure like the Bluetooth Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2.
Although they do not have the premium look or feel that their price may suggest, they have a decent amount of connection options, and their stand also acts as a charging dock. The stand also provides a dedicated spot to place your headphones when they're not in use, which is pretty convenient.
If you find the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless too expensive, get the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition. They don’t support Bluetooth, but they provide better value for those who don’t need a wireless connection to their mobile devices in addition to their TV. Their wireless USB dongle has both line-in and line-out so for added integration with your existing home theatre setup. They also have a very good rechargeable battery that lasts for 24 hours of continuous playtime, which is more than enough for a weekend movie marathon.
The Arctis 7 don’t sound quite as good as the impressive Arctis Pro Wireless, but they still sound great. If you take the time to configure them in the SteelSeries Engine, you’ll find that you can fine-tune their sound with a parametric EQ, which is a nice touch. If you like being able to customize your headset, make sure to check out the Logitech G933 too. They’re not as well-built as the Arctis 7, but they have tons of customization features that make them a decent choice for TV too.
If you want headphones for your TV but also want to be able 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 Sennheiser RS 185, so they take a bit more effort to set up with most home theatre systems, but with the appropriate dongle, they're a good choice for watching TV. They 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. Although they don’t isolate as much noise as other high-end ANC headphones, you’ll be satisfied with the extra bass they pack, especially during exciting action movies.
Although you’ll have to purchase an aptX Low Latency Bluetooth dongle to get the best latency performance for watching video content, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are one of the most versatile over-ears we’ve reviewed so far. They're a great choice for everyday casual use and offer great performance for their relatively affordable price point.
If you don’t mind a wired design, the best headphones for watching movies in the budget category are the Logitech G433. They don’t have the convenience of wireless headphones, but their low latency wired connection makes them a suitable option for watching a lot of video content.
They Logitech G433 have a casual design that comes with a mobile-friendly cable that you can use with your phone. They have a surprisingly well-balanced sound that's on par with much more expensive headphones, which makes them a good choice for gaming too, especially since they can be customized with the Logitech Gaming Software App.
They also do not feel as durable as the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 and you may need an aux extension cord for your home theater setup, but they’re a good choice for those who are looking for great sound without spending a fortune.
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 Superlux HD 681 are the next best budget open-back option.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones for movies and TV shows 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.