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If you live with roommates or partners who have a different work schedule, it can be hard to find time to watch TV shows or play video games without disturbing them.
Finding the perfect volume level — one that immerses you in your media without interrupting other people — can be tough, but you can solve that problem entirely with a pair of TV headphones.
TV headphones have two pieces: The headphones themselves, and a receiver that gets connected to your Television’s headphone jack. The receiver gets an audio signal from your TV, and sends it to the headphones over a wireless connection.
You can control your TV’s volume using its normal remote, and won’t need to adjust any settings on your TV. All you need to do is connect the receiver, and turn on the headphones. When you want to use your TV’s original speakers, sound bar, or A/V receiver, simply pull the receiver’s cable out of your TV’s headphone jack.
What Are the Best TV Headphones?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best TV headphones for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Style: Most TV headphones are overhead models because they create the most home theater-like experience possible.
Compatibility: These headphones are designed to work with any TV that has a headphone jack regardless of who makes it or when it was produced.
Battery Life: All of our TV headphones recommendations last between 16 and 20 hours per charge. The amount of use you get per charge will depend on your listening volume.
Range: Some of the headphones in this guide connect to their receiver using RF (radio frequencies), which allows them to maintain a connection from up to 300 or more feet away. Others use Bluetooth, which reduces the range to about 33 feet.
1. Sony RF995RK Wireless Home Theater Headphones
Sony’s latest set of home theater headphones are our top TV headphones because of their audio hardware, range, and long battery life.
The over-ear headphones use large, 1.57 inch drivers to deliver cinema quality sound. Their voice mode button boosts dialogue, so you can hear people speak clearly during noisy scenes. They don’t support active noise cancellation, but the headphones’ physical design reduces some outside sounds.
The RF995RKs last up to 20 hours per charge — enough for multiple movies, dozens of TV shows, or long gaming sessions. They charge when placed on top of Sony’s wireless receiver. Sony says the headphones can maintain a connection with the receiver from up to 150 feet away, so you shouldn’t suffer from any range anxiety.
If you’re new to the world of TV headphones, and want a great sounding pair from a highly trusted brand, Sony’s RF995RKs are an excellent choice.
2. Twelve South AirFly Pro
If you want to listen to your TV’s audio, and have a pair of AirPods, Twelve South’s AirFly Pro is the accessory you need.
The slim receiver has a 3.5mm audio connector built into it, so you can plug it directly into your TV’s headphone jack. Flick its slider to the TX (Transfer) mode, and any audio from your TV will be sent to your AirPods. This accessory can be used with AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max.
We like this accessory because it’s ultra portable, which makes it perfect for travel. Plug it into an airplane’s in-flight entertainment system to watch a movie, then connect it to the TV in your hotel or AirBnb to avoid disturbing your traveling companion. The AirFly Pro lasts up to 16 hours per charge, so you won’t have to worry about it conking out mid-flight.
We’re recommending the AirFly Pro because it turns your AirPods into TV headphones, but you can also use it to send audio from your phone, tablet, or computer to a pair of wired speakers or home audio system by setting it to RX (Receiver) mode.
If AirPods are your go-to headphones, the AirFly Pro lets you use them in new, interesting ways.
3. Mpow T20 Wireless TV Headphones
Mpow’s T20 Wireless TV Headphones are the best set you’re going to find for under $100.
The lightweight headphones last up to 25 hours per charge, and are wirelessly recharged when you put them into their dock. You can connect its receiver to your TV’s headphone jack or its optical audio output. You can take advantage of this feature by connecting two sources (like a TV and turntable) to the receiver at the same time.
You can also connect the receiver to your computer with a USB cable (Mpow includes one in the box) to use T20s as wireless headphones with your PC or Mac, or pair them with your phone and tablet using Bluetooth.
The T20s feature 1.57 inch drivers, which will deliver crisp, clear sound. While the drivers are the same size as the ones in Sony’s headphones, the actual component will be different. Mpow says you can use these headphones from up to 33 feet away, which shouldn’t be an issue if you’re using them to watch TV.
Mpow’s T20s are a budget-priced pair of TV headphones that can hold their own against options that are over twice the price.
Note: The T20s retail for $69.99, but you can save $6 by clipping a coupon that Amazon is currently offering.
4. Sennheiser RS 175 RF
Sennheiser’s RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone System is a deluxe way to watch TV through a set of cans.
You can boost their bass, or enter a surround sound mode by pushing a button on the receiver, or on the headphones themselves. If you’re used to watching movies or playing games on a 5.1 audio system, this is a must-have feature.
The receiver can be connected to your TV’s headphone jack or optical audio input, so you can connect it to two devices at once. You can also pair two pairs of headphones to the receiver, which is great for couples who want to watch movies late at night without waking up their kid.
Sennheiser says the headphones last up to 18 hours per charge, hen you need to charge the headphones, place them on top of their receiver. One of the RS 175 RF’s most impressive features is its 330 foot wireless range. This long range is possible because the headphones and receiver communicate using an RF (radio frequency) connection instead of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Although Sennheiser doesn’t give many details about the audio hardware in these headphones, it does note that their drivers significantly reduce harmonic distortion. The result is fewer audio glitches that can distract you from what you’re watching.
Whether you’re watching movies solo, or want to share the experience with just your partner instead of the entire world, Sennheiser’s RS 175 RF gets our highest recommendation.