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Best Wireless Headphones for TVs: Reviewed and Ranked

Wireless Headphones for TV: Your Complete Buying Guide

When it comes to enjoying your favorite shows, movies, or video games on your TV, having great sound is just as important as picture quality. While the latest 4K and 8K TVs deliver stunning visuals, their built-in speakers often leave much to be desired in terms of audio.

One of the best solutions is to use a pair of high-quality wireless headphones specifically designed for TVs. Not only do they provide a far superior listening experience compared to your TV‘s tinny speakers, but they also offer several unique advantages.

Benefits of Using Wireless Headphones for TV Viewing

First, wireless TV headphones give you complete freedom of movement. You‘re no longer tethered to your TV by a cord, so you can sit back, relax, and find the most comfortable viewing position from anywhere in the room. Need to get up to grab a snack? No problem – your audio comes with you.

Second, wireless headphones allow you to watch TV without disturbing others. Whether you have sleeping family members, roommates studying nearby, or just want to keep the noise down for neighbors, you can enjoy your audio at any volume without bothering anyone else. They‘re perfect for late-night binge sessions.

Third, many wireless TV headphones support simulated surround sound modes and other audio enhancements to really elevate your content. With features like virtual Dolby Atmos, DTS:X 3D audio positioning, customizable EQ settings, and more, you can achieve a cinematic experience that rivals a high-end home theater setup.

Finally, wireless headphones are a great option for those with hearing impairments. Many models feature technology like "Voice Mode" that boosts dialogue and vocals frequencies. You can also easily adjust the volume to your ideal level without affecting others.

Types of Wireless Headphone Technology

When shopping for wireless headphones for your television, you‘ll encounter a few different connectivity options. Here‘s a quick breakdown:

Bluetooth: The most common wireless standard that‘s widely supported by TVs, media streamers, and gaming consoles. Bluetooth is easy to use but sometimes has noticeable audio lag.

Radio Frequency (RF): Connects over the 2.4GHz frequency for an extended range up to 328 feet and minimal latency. Requires a dedicated transmitter that plugs into your TV‘s audio output. Great for larger spaces.

Infrared (IR): An older wireless standard that requires line-of-sight with the transmitter. Signals don‘t pass through walls. Less common today but still an option on some headphones.

While RF headphones offer the best range and lowest latency, Bluetooth is the most convenient as it doesn‘t require any extra equipment besides your TV. Many newer TVs have Bluetooth built-in, or you can use an inexpensive Bluetooth transmitter to add wireless functionality.

What Features to Look for When Buying

When evaluating different wireless headphones for your TV, there are a few key factors to consider:

Sound Quality: The most important aspect of any headphones. Look for large, well-tuned drivers (40mm or bigger) and support for high-quality Bluetooth codecs like aptX-LL or aptX-HD and AAC. Bonus points for virtual surround sound.

Comfort: Since you‘ll likely be wearing these for extended viewing sessions, make sure they have a lightweight, adjustable design with soft earpads and ample cushioning. Over-ear styles are generally more comfortable.

Battery Life: Aim for headphones that can last through at least one full-length movie – preferably much longer. 20+ hours of playtime is the sweet spot. Some have quick charging to rapidly juice up during intermissions.

Range: Consider how far away from your TV you‘ll be sitting and choose headphones with enough wireless range to cover that distance with a stable connection. Most Bluetooth headphones work well up to about 30 feet. RF models extend that to 100 feet or more.

Latency: Bluetooth sometimes suffers from minor audio lag. To avoid lip-sync issues, look for headphones with low-latency codecs like aptX-LL and "FastStream" technology to stay synced up with on-screen action.

Controls: Decide if you want headphones with buttons on the earcups for adjusting volume, activating virtual assistants, taking calls, etc. Some feature touch sensors or allow voice commands.

Noise Cancellation: If you want to block out all external distractions to focus on your content, consider headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC). Beware that using ANC reduces battery life.

Now that we‘ve covered the basics, let‘s dive into our picks for the 10 best wireless headphones for TV use. We‘ve selected high-performing options at various price points so there‘s something for every budget.

The Best Wireless TV Headphones of 2023

  1. Sony WH-1000XM5 – Best Overall

  2. Sennheiser RS 185 – Best RF Headphones

  3. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Best Noise Cancelling

  4. Avantree Opera – Best for Watching with Others

  5. SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless – Best for Gaming

  6. Sennheiser PXC 550-II – Best Bluetooth

  7. Philips SHP9600 – Best Open-Back

  8. Avantree Aria Me – Best on a Budget

  9. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 – Best Splurge

  10. Astro A50 Gen 4 – Best Wireless Surround Sound

These headphones all offer fantastic audio quality optimized for TV viewing along with the convenience of wireless connectivity. We‘ve tested them extensively and can confidently recommend each one. Here‘s a closer look at their standout features:

The Sony WH-1000XM5 tops our list thanks to its pristine sound, remarkable ANC, LDAC hi-res audio support, high-quality microphones for voice assistants, and 30-hour battery life.

For a rock-solid, low-latency connection, the Sennheiser RS 185 uses a lossless RF signal for CD-quality audio with a range up to 328 feet along with automatic on/off when you take them on and off.

If you need peace and quiet, the Bose QuietComfort 45 will block out all distractions with the most advanced noise cancellation so you can immerse yourself in your TV completely.

Want to watch with a partner? The Avantree Opera uses a unique 1-to-2 wireless transmitter so two people can listen together via individual headphones. Perfect for couples.

Those who like to kick back with a gaming session on their big screen will appreciate the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless with its lossless 2.4GHz connection, premium hi-res speakers, and swappable battery with 20 hours of playtime.

The Sennheiser PXC 550-II leverages the latest high-quality Bluetooth 5.0 tech like aptX-LL for perfect lip sync along with Sennheiser‘s signature sound and ergonomic design.

Open-back headphones provide a more spacious sound compared to closed-backs. The Philips SHP9600 lets you experience an expansive, speaker-like presentation.

On a tight budget? The Avantree Aria Me offers shockingly good performance for the price, covering all the basics like hi-fi sound, long range, great comfort, and 24-hour battery.

Have some cash to splash? The ultra-premium Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 pampers your ears with beautifully balanced, refined sound along with luxurious materials and craftsmanship.

The Astro A50 is the ultimate for positional audio to immerse you directly inside movies and games. 7.1 Dolby surround and 20 hours of wireless play will really level up your Netflix binges.

Some Helpful Buying Tips

Stick to well-known, reputable audio brands that specialize in headphones and have a proven track record
Make sure your headphones of choice are actually compatible with your particular TV‘s audio outputs and wireless connectivity
Over-ear headphones are generally best for long-term comfort and will have bigger drivers for better sound than on-ears
Avoid using Bluetooth headphones not optimized for video as the lag will result in annoying audio sync issues
You can always add Bluetooth to a non-Bluetooth TV using an aftermarket transmitter that plugs into the TV‘s audio output
Choose headphones with replaceable/swappable batteries or that charge via USB-C for the most convenience
Look for headphones that come with multiple device pairing so you can quickly switch between your TV and smartphone
If you wear glasses, make sure the headphones you choose have deep earcups or eye glass friendly temple reliefs to avoid discomfort

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I connect any Bluetooth headphones to my TV?
In most cases, yes – as long as your TV has Bluetooth A2DP support built-in. Otherwise, you‘ll need to buy a separate Bluetooth transmitter that plugs into your TV‘s audio out.

Will wireless headphones work with my older TV?
Whether Bluetooth or RF, wireless headphones can work with any TV that has an analog or digital audio output. Older TVs might require using a 3.5mm or optical to RCA adapter.

How many headphones can I connect to my TV at once?
This depends on your TV or the wireless transmitter you‘re using. Most Bluetooth allow 1 connection at a time. Some RF transmitters support up to 4 simultaneous connections.

Do I really need "low latency" wireless headphones?
If you want to avoid annoying delays between the audio and video that can ruin the experience, then yes. Headphones labeled as "aptX Low Latency" or "FastStream" eliminate perceptible lag.

Will wireless headphones work with my set top box or streaming stick?
Yes, you can use wireless headphones with any device that outputs audio from your TV, including cable boxes, streaming players, or gaming systems. Pair with the TV or plug a transmitter into the TV.

How long do wireless headphone batteries last?
This varies considerably depending on the model and features being used. Most premium headphones today offer an impressive 20-30 hours of listening time per charge. Some can quick charge several hours of playtime in just a few minutes.

Can I use a smartphone app to control my wireless headphones?
Many newer wireless headphones from brands like Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser offer free apps for Android and iOS that allow you to tweak settings, activate sound modes, and update the firmware. Check the specs to see if your headphones have app compatibility.

The Bottom Line

Wireless headphones are a fantastic way to upgrade your TV viewing experience with high-quality, immersive sound. You‘ll wonder how you ever lived with those lame built-in TV speakers. With so many excellent options available covering all the bases from budget to premium, there‘s never been a better time to cut the cord.

By prioritizing the features most important to you – whether that‘s pure audio performance, range, comfort, noise cancellation, or price – you‘re sure to find the perfect pair of wireless TV headphones from our curated recommendations. Happy listening!