Wireless headphones for TV are the best solution for late-night movie binges. They give you the freedom to watch TV anytime, without waking up partners, children, or neighbors. Besides keeping the house quiet, good wireless headphones can make watching TV sound better than ever, without the need for a surround-sound setup. The standout options are comfortable to wear and offer excellent performance and sound quality. Read on for the best wireless headphones for TV to accompany long movie nights and late-night gaming sessions.
— Best Overall: Sennheiser RS120 II
— Best Inexpensive: Philips Digital Wireless Headphones for TV
— Best Bluetooth: Avantree Opera
— Best Noise-Cancelling: Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless
— Best In-Ear: Avantree HT4186 Wireless Headphones Earbuds
How We Picked the Best Wireless Headphones for TV
We considered over 30 wireless headphones to narrow down the best options for watching TV. We judged each product based on:
Low Latency: With the right setup, pretty much any Bluetooth-enabled headphones can be paired with a TV, but some can have an annoying lag between the on-screen image and audio. To get around this issue, we mainly stuck with headphones that are designed specifically for use with TVs. These devices come with included transmitters, which are made to connect to TVs and have minimal audio delay. To ensure the headphones on this list can back up their low latency and high sound quality claims, we stuck with products from reputable brands.
Performance: When looking at performance, we took into account sound quality, range, battery life, and additional control and convenience features like on-headphone controls and multi-device support. We chose a variety of products to suit different types of users, including options with extra long battery life, excellent range, and convenient volume settings for the hard-of-hearing.
Comfort: A comfortable design was another important criteria point, and headphones with ergonomic and breathable designs came out on top on our list. Most of our picks are over-ear headphones, which are the most comfortable to wear for hours at a time. Learn more about how we test audio gear.
Best Wireless Headphones for TV: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Sennheiser RS120 II
Why They Made The Cut: Excellent sound quality, a handy charging base, and an auto on/off feature make these headphones an incredibly user-friendly choice.
— Connectivity: RF
— Range: 300 feet
— Battery Life: up to 20 hours
— Rich and warm sound quality
— Convenient charging base
— Auto on/off feature
— Great connectivity range
— Hard to distinguish between volume and tuning dials when the headphones are on
User-friendly features and a mid-range price point make the Sennheiser RS120 II the best wireless TV headphones for most consumers. With an RF transmitter that plugs into an RCA or headphone output, these on-ear headphones are compatible with almost any TV. Since these headphones connect using RF technology, they have an impressive interference-free range of 300 feet, working through walls and ceilings for clear reception. In case of interference (like if there are other transmitters in the room), users can take advantage of three selectable transmit channels to find the clearest one.
After 20 hours of use, it’s time for a charge, which is as easy as placing the headphones on the transmitter base. Besides automatically charging the headphones, the transmitter base also automatically switches them on and off alongside the connected TV. The headphones automatically switch on when the TV is turned on, and when the TV is shut off, they’ll power down after five minutes to conserve energy. For multi-person listening, extra headphones can be added to the RS120 II sound system so others can listen to the TV at the same time.
The headphones themselves are lightweight with a sturdy build and comfortable padding. Volume control and tuning dials are located right on the headphones. They deliver the classic warm Sennheiser’s sound quality the brand is known for, with good clarity, balanced sound, and a decent bass response.
Best Inexpensive: Philips Digital Wireless Headphones for TV
Why They Made The Cut: These wireless RF headphones pack premium features into an affordable package, with a breathable design, decent battery life, and automatic charging cradle.
— Connectivity: RF
— Range: 100 feet
— Battery Life: Up to 20 hours
— Long battery life
— Easy-to-use charging cradle
— Auto on/off feature can be finicky
Wireless TV headphones don’t need to empty your wallet, and among affordable options, the Philips Digital Wireless Headphones for TV are high-performing pick. These headphones are budget-friendly, but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking in attractive features. With an over-ear design, they are a comfortable choice that also boasts several convenient functions for their price point.
These headphones deliver great cinematic sound and can also be used as wired headphones; when used as wired headphones, they support high-res audio. A long 20-hour runtime makes these headphones ideal for long listening sessions. Breathable velour ear cushions and a self-adjusting hammock design adds to comfort while listening. One downside of this set is its relatively short range for RF headphones at just 100 feet, but this is still plenty enough for many users.
A few user-friendly features set these headphones apart from other budget sets. Like pricier headphones, this model includes a convenient charging dock and an automatic on/off feature. The sleek charging cradle automatically starts charging when it detects the headphones, while the automatic on/off switches the headphones when you put them over your ears, and switches them off shortly after taking them off.
Best Bluetooth: Avantree Opera
Why They Made The Cut: These low-latency wireless headphones boast no audio delay, a comfortable fit, and a few convenient features for those who have trouble hearing.
— Connectivity: Bluetooth
— Range: 164 feet
— Battery Life: Up to 35 hours
— Excellent battery life
— Low latency
— Pass-through feature
— All-plastic build feels cheap
Bluetooth TV headphones use a familiar technology and they’re also very versatile — they can pair with a range of other Bluetooth-enabled devices apart from the TV. Low-latency picks like the Avantree Opera are the best choice for TV viewers.
These over-ear headphones include a Bluetooth transmitter which allows it to pair with any TV. With the designated Bluetooth transmitter, Bluetooth 5.0 technology, and aptX support, these pre-paired headphones are easy to set up and don’t have an irritating delay between the image on screen and the audio. A decent 164-foot range and an impressive 35-hour battery life make these headphones an attractive choice for many users.
One standout feature of these headphones is the pass-through feature. This function allows the headphones to work with existing compatible sound systems to play the TV audio through the headphones and through the speakers. Since this feature has independent volume controls, it’s useful for those who like to listen to the TV louder than everyone else in the room — just pop on the headphones and crank up the volume.
A few on-board features make these headphones even more fun to use. A lightweight design and memory foam earpads make them comfortable overhead. The headphones also have two equalizer presets designed to improve the listening experience; one preset that emphasizes speech for the hard-of-hearing, and one that emphasizes music for a balanced sound.
Best Noise-Cancelling: Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless
Why They Made The Cut: Active and adaptive noise canceling help to adapt to environmental sounds and reduce background noise for even better listening.
— Connectivity: Bluetooth
— Range: N/A
— Battery Life: Up to 30 hours
— Active noise-cancelling
— Sleek design
— Does not include Bluetooth transmitter
Noise-cancelling headphones help shut out the world around you for a better listening experience. The Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless headphones feature excellent sound quality and active noise cancellation for a more tuned-in audio experience.
These over-ear headphones feature active noise cancellation, which means they actively reduce ambient sounds and background noise. The Adaptive Noise Cancellation feature automatically adjusts to suppress background noise, or users can select their own preferred settings if they prefer.
While these headphones aren’t specifically made for TV listening, they are Bluetooth 5.0-compliant and support aptX and aptX Low Latency for lag-free listening. Users without a Bluetooth-enabled TV or streaming device will need to buy a Bluetooth transmitter (not included) to use these headphones with their TV.
That said, these headphones aren’t designed only for TV use, and they have a few additional convenient features. A 30-hour battery life and rotating ear cups makes these headphones extra portable with the compact carrying case (as well as easier to store at home). A touchpad on the right earphone makes it simple to play, pause, stop, skip media, and adjust the volume at the tap of a finger.
Best In-Ear: Avantree HT4186 Wireless Headphones Earbuds
Why They Made The Cut: An included Bluetooth transmitter, straightforward setup process, and the option to add a second pair of headphones makes these headphones a simple solution for casual users.
— Connectivity: Bluetooth
— Range: 30 feet
— Battery Life: 20 hours
— Simple setup
— Includes Bluetooth transmitter
— Can pair with up to two Bluetooth headphones
— Relatively short range
In-ear headphones are popular for their small form factor. While they often aren’t as comfortable as over-ear options, they’re ideal for casual and light-duty users since they’re lighter, more portable, and easier to store than over- or on-ear headphones. The Avantree HT4186 Wireless Headphones Earbuds offer a high-quality in-ear option for TV use.
These in-ear Bluetooth headphones include a Bluetooth transmitter which allows for lag-free performance. Since they come pre-paired, setup is easy: just plug the transmitter into the TV’s audio output and a power source, and the headphones will pair automatically. Users can also add a second pair of Bluetooth headphones to the system to accommodate two listeners at once.
These headphones feature a neckband design to keep them in place during use. With a 30-foot range and 20-hour runtime, they’ll cover the needs of most movie and TV show bingers. A volume control button makes it simple to make adjustments without the remote. Plus, since they’re Bluetooth headphones, these earbuds can be used with other Bluetooth-enabled devices — not just the TV.
Things to Consider Before Buying Wireless Headphones for TV
The best wireless headphones for TV can make viewing shows and movies all the more entertaining. To find the ideal wireless headphones for your needs, consider connectivity options, performance, sound quality, range, battery life, and comfort.
Wireless TV headphones can connect to the TV a number of ways. Technically, any wireless Bluetooth headphones can be paired directly with Bluetooth-enabled TVs (or some attached streaming devices). However, connecting to the TV via Bluetooth can sometimes result in a lag between the display and audio. To lessen the chance of lag, consider one of the best wireless headphones and make sure both the headphones and TV have the latest in Bluetooth technology (preferably 5.0 or sooner). Even better, look for devices that support a lower-latency Bluetooth codec (like aptX and aptX Low Latency).
To avoid a lag altogether, it’s best to look for headphones specifically made to connect to TVs. These headphones connect to the TV via a transmitter or base station that plugs into the TV’s RCA output or headphone jack. The transmitter then sends audio to the headphones via Bluetooth, RF (radio frequency), or IF (infrared frequency). A few of the best smart TVs and popular gaming consoles also have a USB slot so users can watch TV using wireless gaming headphones, which usually connect via a USB transmitter.
Compared to Bluetooth headphones, RF headphones tend to have the least lag and longer ranges, but they are susceptible to interference which can affect audio quality. Bluetooth and IF headphones have fewer issues with interference and audio quality degradation, but have shorter ranges.
Performance and Sound Quality
Tinny audio can put a damper on any show or movie. One of the most important features to consider in wireless headphones is sound quality. Reputable brands have made a name for themselves for good reason, and shoppers can expect a decent sound quality from recognizable companies.
For an even better audio experience, look for compatibility with surround-sound technologies like Dolby Atmos. These headphones can put the experience of surround-sound right into your ears. Some headphones also feature settings to boost bass or dialogue for easier listening.
Noise-canceling headphones help keep noise out so you can focus on the TV instead of background noise. For easier control, some headphones include controls right on the headset to change the mode or volume right from the headphones.
Some wireless TV headphones offer multi-headphone support. This feature means you can connect more than one pair of headphones at once, perfect for a movie date night when everyone else is in bed.
The headphone’s range describes how far you can walk away from the TV without the headphones cutting out. For those who like to pop on the TV while doing chores around the house, this is an important metric. Headphone ranges can vary from around 30 feet to upwards of 300 feet. Bluetooth and IR headphones tend to have shorter ranges than RF headphones. IR headphones also need to be within the line of sight of the TV to work.
Wireless headphones need occasional charging. The less frequent, the better (this means the less often you’ll reach for the headphones just to realize they’re out of juice). Many of the best options will run for around 12 to over 30 hours before they need a charge — enough for most movie watchers. When you’re ready to upgrade, find out how to recycle electronics.
When evaluating comfort, consider the headphone type, which can include over-ear, on-ear, or in-ear headphones. Over-ear headphones are the most common for TV headphones and tend to be the most comfortable, but are more bulky to wear and store. When shopping for over-ear headphones, consider the headphones’ size and weight; bulky and heavy headphones can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods.
In-ear headphones are the lightest option and can have excellent sound isolation, but are less comfortable. Regardless of the headphone type, an ergonomic design is an appealing feature for regular users.
Q: How much do wireless headphones cost?
Wireless headphones can range in cost from around $20 up to a few hundred dollars. Expect to spend between $50 and $200 for a good pair of wireless headphones for TV. You don’t need to splurge too much to enjoy high-quality audio, but similar to other electronics, pricier wireless headphones can come with some performance perks, including better sound quality, ergonomic designs, and better brand recognition.
Q: How do I connect my wireless headphones to my TV without Bluetooth?
There are several ways to connect wireless headphones to a TV that doesn't have Bluetooth. One option is to add a Bluetooth transmitter to the TV to enable it to connect to Bluetooth devices. Some Bluetooth headphones for TV include a transmitter. Another option is to forgo Bluetooth technology entirely and opt for an RF or IF wireless TV setup. Instead of Bluetooth, these wireless headphones include a transmitter that uses radio frequency (RF) or infrared frequencies (IF) to connect to the TV.
Q: What is the difference between Bluetooth headphones and wireless headphones?
Wireless headphones refer to any type of headphone that can connect wirelessly. Bluetooth headphones are a type of wireless headphones that use Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly. All Bluetooth headphones are wireless headphones, but not all wireless headphones are Bluetooth headphones. Other wireless connectivity options include radio frequency or infrared frequency.
Q: Do you need a smart TV to connect wireless headphones?
No, you do not need a smart TV to connect to wireless headphones. Wireless headphones can connect to dumb TVs using a transmitter (like a Bluetooth, RF, or IR transmitter) or via compatible streaming or gaming devices (like a streaming stick or a gaming console).
Q: How often do wireless headphones need to be charged?
Many of the best wireless headphones for TV have a battery life of at least 12 hours, with some lasting over 30 hours on a full charge. Depending on how often and how long you use your wireless headphones, you’ll need to charge them every few days to every few weeks.
Q: How long do wireless headphones for TVs last?
Like any electronic, the better you treat your wireless headphones, the longer they will last. The average lifespan for wireless headphones is around two to four years. Since wireless headphones for TV will rarely leave the house, they’re likely to last longer than the headphones you carry around on your commute.
With rich sound quality and user-friendly features, the Sennheiser RS120 II are the best wireless headphones for TV bingers. The comfortable design, convenient charging base, and auto on/off feature make these headphones a pleasure to use.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.