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 148 headsets and below are our recommendations for the best home theater headphones of 2017.
Best TV Headphones
TV Headphones in this price range have the lowest latency for watching movies and videos. They’re well-built, comfortable and have a good range. They also have a good audio reproduction that is suitable for watching movies and listening to music or podcasts.
The best TV headphones we have tested are the Sennheiser RS 165. They're above-average sounding headphones with a dedicated transmitter stand. This gives them a couple of advantages over Bluetooth as they immediately connect with their stand without requiring a pairing procedure. They also have very low latency that's better suited for watching videos wirelessly.
More Comfortable Alternative
If you want a more comfortable and better sounding variation of the Sennheiser RS 165, get the Sennheiser RS 185 instead. They're equally great for watching videos, thanks to their low latency, and they have slightly more range.
However, they are more expensive than the RS 165 and they have open ear cups, which means they will be a bit more distracting to anyone around you.
More Versatile Alternative
If you're looking for a more versatile headphone that's not strictly limited to home theater use, 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 deliver 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 or transmitter that supports aptx-LL for watching movies, since their base latency is relatively high.
Best Budget TV Headphones
Budget TV headphones are typically wired since there are very few RF or low latency wireless headphones at this price range. They should still be comfortable to wear for long periods of time and have a good enough sound so that movies and music are accurately reproduced.
For a budget option, we recommend the Philips SHP9500. They are one of the best sounding budget headphones that we've reviewed so far. They're comfortable enough to wear for hours and they have a well balanced, open sound that caters well to music and movies. They also have 0 latency since they're wired. Unfortunately, this 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.
- 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 RS 165 if you have a home theater set up compatible with the USB transmitter. See our review
- Oppo PM-3. Great wired sound quality and a long cable is included in the box. A bit too expensive for this use case. 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 line up. Versatile headphones for most use cases. Requires aptX/aptX-LL enabled Bluetooth transmitter for best viewing experience. See our review
- Samsung Level Over Wireless. Good sound and decent build quality. Slightly bulky and cumbersome. See our review
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.