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15th of October 2018

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10 of the best wireless headphones for watching TV

Now no one can bother you while you're watching your shows. DisclosureEvery product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. 2018%2f06%2f06%2f8e%2fhttps3a2f2fblueprintapiproduction.s3.amazonaws.com2.90dd0By Rudie Obias2018-10-11 09:00:00 UTC

Pretty much everyone likes watching TV, right? It's a great escape from your daily routine and a wonderful way to decompress after a long and tedious day at work. However, sometimes your home life can get in the way of your precious TV time. 

You might live in a busy household where people are constantly coming in and out, or playing loudly around you, or are just working on their own activities and hobbies. Simply put, your family just might annoy the hell out of you as you watch episodes of Killing Eve or Wild Wild Country, or you might equally annoy them with your loud TV watching. Perhaps you just want to enjoy Monday Night Football, while others could care less whether the Cleveland Browns win. Is getting a little peace and quiet too much to ask?

Thank goodness for wireless headphones. A good pair of wireless headphones can make it possible to fully immerse yourself into a TV show or movie on your big screen TV without bothering the people around you. 

They're also a good solution to watching late night TV without disturbing your sleeping kiddos or your neighbors, if you live in an apartment building with thin ceilings and walls. This is your chance to be a good neighbor or mom/dad and buy yourself a great pair of wireless headphones so you can continue to watch episodes of Veep in peace. 

Most wireless headphones are Bluetooth-enabled, so there might be some lag between what you're watching on the screen and what you're listening to in your headphones. Bluetooth might be a good solution to listening to podcasts or music on your smartphone or laptop, but the new technology is usually not the best for watching TV on a home entertainment system.

Believe it or not, but headphones that use old school radio frequency technology (RF) are better for watching TV because lag or latency is minuscule and visually seamless between picture and audio. 

We've scoured the reviews and have come up with a list of 10 great options. Here are the best wireless headphones for watching TV:

Very low latency • Many connection options • No pairing Some audio leakage • Expensive • A bit heavy and awkward to wear The Bottom Line The Sennheiser RS 185 wireless headphones are a great pair of open-backs that come with their own RF transmitter and stand for multiple connectivity options and "ready-to-go" listening and viewing. 1. Sennheiser RS 185 These wireless, open-back headphones offer users an organic and natural sound experience while watching TV. Range: Up to 328 feet Noise-cancelling: No Battery life: Up to 18 hours Type: Over-ear The Sennheiser RS 185 are a good pair of wireless headphones for home entertainment use with an open-back design for organic and natural sound. The pair comes with its own RF (radio frequency) transmitter, which is the headphone’s stand and charging base. The RF transmitter — which can also pair two sets of headphones at the same time for couples — offers a no pairing experience, so you can just pop them on your ears and enjoy a movie or TV show with ease and comfort. While they are not Bluetooth-enabled, the wireless headphones still offer a very low latency or lag of just 55ms. Just connect the transmitter to your home audio setup via optical input or RCA to enjoy a dynamic and high-fidelity listening experience with a wireless range of up to 328 feet. Unfortunately, the pair are not noise-cancelling and does have some audio leakage with its open-back design. However, for an authentic and immersive audio experience while watching a movie like Black Panther, the Sennheiser RS 185 are best in their class. This pair of wireless headphones are great for serious audiophiles and novices alike looking to watch TV without the distractions of the outside world.The Sennheiser RS 185 RF Wireless Headphone System retails for $399.99 from Walmart. Comfortable to wear • Great audio • Can also be used for gaming No noise-cancelling • Some audio leakage at high volumes • Bulky The Bottom Line The Astro Gaming A50 wireless headset and base station have a premium build and sound quality that feels comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The headphones also have a premium price tag, but it’s worth it for its audio and design. 2. Astro A50 Although they were made for gaming, the Astro A50s are a great pair of wireless headphones for watching movies and TV too. The headphones design offers comfort and support for long hours, while also delivering world-class audio and mixing on the fly. Range: Up to 112 feet Noise-cancelling: No Battery life: Up to 13 hours Type: Over-ear While the Astro A50s were made for gaming, the wireless headphones are versatile enough to be used for watching movies and TV shows too. The pair comes with a trusty base station that’s used to connect to your TV or stereo system, while it’s also used for wireless charging when not in use. Since its base station connects directly to an audio source via optical input, USB, and standard audio in/out, there’s no need to pair because they are not Bluetooth-enabled. There’s also very low latency with an average of 39ms in delays. (You probably won't even notice.) The headphones even come with a handy "lift-to-wake" feature that automatically turns on and syncs as soon as you lift them up to place over your ears. The headphones delivers precise audio for watching movies or enjoying music with Dolby Headphone 7.1 mixing with its built-in MixAmp technology, while the pair are also surprisingly comfortable to wear — despite the bulky design. The ear cushions are swappable to suit your comfort and to improve noise isolation. The Astro A50s are also compatible with PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PS4, along with standard audio receivers and modern televisions. They come with a microphone for games, but can also be used for Skype and Google Hangouts. The Astro A50 wireless headset retail for $299.99 on Amazon. Comfortable for long periods of time • Great price • Clean and robust audio Bulky • Noise isolation needs work • Weak bass The Bottom Line For just $150, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 are a great pair of wireless headphones that deliver top-notch audio at an affordable price. While the headphones were designed for gaming, this pair are more than capable of giving you rich and clean sound while watching movies and TV shows at home. 3. SteelSeries Arctis 7 The SteelSeries Arctis 7s are a solid pair of wireless headphones that won’t break the bank. The pair offers very good sound quality with very little sacrifices and a super low latency for lag-free TV watching. Range: Up to 125 feet Noise-cancelling: No Battery life: Up to 24 hours Type: Over-ear For a solid pair of wireless headphones that won’t break the bank, look no further than the SteelSeries Arctis 7. For only $150, the pair offers very good sound quality with very little sacrifice and a super low latency of 20ms, which is virtually lag-free. SteelSeries accomplishes this without a base station, which is one of the reasons why this pair is so inexpensive. The station connects directly into an audio source via a proprietary transmitter dongle with standard aux/3.5mm jacks, while also using your TV USB port for power. The end result is a snappy pair of headphones that rivals Bluetooth-enabled models without the lag that comes with the technology. According to reviewers, this pair are also comfortable to wear for long periods of time, which makes them versatile for watching TV, gaming, video chatting, and just general everyday use. The SteelSeries Arctis 7 also features 7.1 Surround Sound for an immersive audio experience. Although the headphone’s bass is a bit weak, its stereo sound is very well balanced and clean, especially when you consider its low price point. The SteelSeries Arctis 7 wireless headphones are also compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, VR, and mobile devices, including iOS and Android.Amazon customer Stephen B. writes:“Pretty amazing audio for a wireless headset in a super comfortable design. I work at my computer all day long, and there is nothing worse than throwing good money down on a pair of "high-end" headphones and wanting to take them off your head because your ears are being pinched. This ski-goggle suspension strap carries the weight of the (already pretty light) headphones. And the ear pads are very comfortable. I also wear glasses, so I need to have pads that mold themselves around the frames without continuing to knock them off course. Range is as expected on wireless, and maintains quality through a reasonable distance. I don't use the mic much, but it's been clear to those on the receiving end, and I like the fact that it tucks away so I don't have to think about it. Good battery life if good so far, charging it every few days of use.” The SteelSeries Arctis 7 retails for $149.99 on Amazon. Crazy long battery life • Great wireless range • Very good audio Bulky and heavy • Overwhelming bass • Noise-cancelling not as good as Beats or Bose The Bottom Line A great investment for nearly seamless audio switching between outdoor and indoor use. While the headphones are compared to something you’d get from Beats or Bose, the price tag is a fraction of more premium headphones without losing any of the high end audio quality. 4. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 A great investment for nearly seamless audio switching between outdoor and indoor use. Range: Up to 250 feet Noise-cancelling: Yes Battery life: Up to 24 hours Type: Over-ear While they might not be the most stylish pair, the BackBeat Pro 2 headhones from Plantronics are some of the best wireless headphones in this mid-range category. For less than $200, you get a sturdy pair that delivers clean and crisp audio with a long battery life of a whopping 24 hours. That means you can listen for a full day before you need to charge them. The headphones are great for indoor and outdoor use and with a very low latency of just 35ms, even with a Bluetooth connection. You can go from listening to music on a smartphone to watching a movie on a Bluetooth-enabled home theater setup or laptop without missing a beat in the connection handoff. The BackBeat Pro 2 headphones even feature noise cancellation for complete immersion. Simply put, you can  get totally lost in a movie or TV show without the noise bothering you from the outside world.While its audio quality might not please audiophiles, it is good enough for everyone else who doesn’t know the difference. Although the wireless headphones won’t turn heads, the pair are reportedly comfortable to wear for long periods of time without any discomfort. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 headphones are a steal at less than $200, especially since their audio quality is comparable to mid-range headphones from Beats and Bose, but at a fraction of its cost.Amazon customer G. A. K. writes:“These are awesome. Nothing less - especially for the money. I have used them mostly wireless. Their sound signature favors mid to upper bass slightly. Not enough to overpower the clear and enjoyable mids and highs but just enough to satisfy my desire for slightly warm elevated bass. This bass is not sloppy but slightly "soft". Bass tightens and these become unbelievably clear and balanced when wired. I have only used the noise reduction when wireless and find it cuts out low pitched rumble noises well without attenuating the high frequencies, which is fine by me… Full bodied, accurate, pleasant, articulate and a joy to listen to is how I would describe the overall sound. Add that they are very very comfortable. I would recommend these to anyone except the fanatical audiophile. I do consider myself a borderline audiophile. I know what things should sound like and these cans really deliver. Supremely satisfied. Being from Plantronics I expect they will hold together for a long time.” The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 wireless headphones go for $199.00 on Amazon. Inexpensive • NFC pairing • Long battery life No noise-cancelling • You have to buy a Bluetooth adaptor for wide range performance • Some audio leakage The Bottom Line For less than $70, the Avantree Audition Pros are a great pair of Bluetooth-enabled wireless headphones. While they only have a range of about 32 feet, the headphones are best for smaller locations like a bedroom or living room. But you really can’t go wrong with these headphones, especially at this low price. 5. Avantree Audition Pro You'll get superior high fidelity for an immersive audio experience with rich lows and clear treble at a fraction of the price. Range: Up to 32 feet Noise-cancelling: No Battery life: Up to 40 hours Type: Over-ear The Avantree Audition Pros are placed perfectly between an affordable price and high performance. The pair features aptX Low-latency codec with a lag of just 32ms, which makes them virtually seamless between what you’re watching on TV and what you’re listening to in your headphones. With a range of about 32 feet, the wireless pair are reportedly great for watching TV in a living room or bedroom, but not best for long distances. However, if you’d like to boost its range, Avantree offers a Bluetooth transmitter at an additional cost.The wireless headphones also reportedly feature superior high fidelity for an immersive audio experience with rich lows and clear treble, which will appeal to audiophiles and novices alike. With the Avantree Audition Pro’s long battery life, you can easily get up to 40 hours of playback without any worries that they’re going to die at a moment’s notice. The pair also comes with a 3.5mm audio cable that plugs directly into the ear cups for a wired connection, just in case.These headphones are very comfortable to wear for long periods of time thanks to their over-the-ear design and super soft ear pad, which makes them ideal for watching TV. The Avantree Audition Pros are often compared to premium wireless headphones from Bose or Sennheiser, but at a fraction of the cost. Amazon customer James D. writes:“Comfortable headphones that are also affordable. The sound is good and not too heavy. I bought this specifically because it can be wired or wireless. I can use these headphones while moving around the house or on the go, or while sitting at my desk or couch. My biggest complaint with wireless headphones is that it is something you have to charge with the rest of your electronics. My headphones usually sit around for awhile and I need them ready to go when headphones are required. I don't want to have to remember to charge them before I use them or worse, find out that they are not charged while out of the house. The wired option still lets me use these headphones even after the batteries die.” The Avantree Audition Pro retail for just $69.99 on Amazon. Excellent sound • Long battery life • Inexpensive Bulky • Unreplaceable battery • Not immersive audio The Bottom Line With their long battery life, amazing audio quality, and low latency, the Sony MDRRF985RK RF wireless headphones were made for watching TV. When you consider their low price point, this pair from Sony are a must for late night watchers or anyone who doesn’t want to disturb their spouse while watching TV. 6. Sony MDRRF985RK RF While they might look cheap, these wireless headphones from Sony offers wide and comfortable ear cups, a wide wireless range of up to 151 feet, and long battery life of up to 25 hours. Range: Up to 151 feet Noise-cancelling: No Battery life: Up to 25 hours Type: Over-ear Although they may look cheap and chintzy, these wireless headphones from Sony are some of the best for watching TV thanks to the pair’s wide and comfortable ear cups, a wireless range of up to 151 feet, and a long battery life of up to 25 hours. In fact, they’re best used for late night TV watching, so you don’t bother the other people in your home, or your spouse trying to get some sleep next to you.They are not Bluetooth enabled, so there’s no pairing, but rather use old school RF technology to seamlessly connect to your TV. This is all thanks to the base station, which doubles as its charging dock too. Because of the RF technology, this pair of headphones experience a very low latency, so you’ll barely notice any sync problems between picture and audio.The wireless headphones deliver crisp and clear audio plus solid passive noise cancellation, so you can enjoy the latest episode of The Good Place without any disturbance from the outside world. The Sony MDRRF985RK RF headphones also have a great value with a very reasonable price point of just over $100. A Walmart customer writes:“Has 3 channels on the base charger and the ear phones automatically switch to that channel when you flip the switch on the ear phones. That is just the start. When you hang the head phones onto the base charger, the head phones automatically switch off and the charger switches on. Great sound too with the volume control on the right and the on/off switch on the left. Specially made for TV.” The Sony MDRRF985RK RF are priced at $109.99 at Walmart. Comes with two headsets • Very inexpensive • Audio quality is serviceable Requires two AAA batteries to work • Not comfortable • Feels cheap The Bottom Line While the Power Acoustik Farenheit HP-902RFT don’t offer the best audio quality or design, the wireless headphones do give you an inexpensive solution to watching TV in peace. The set also comes with two headsets, so couples are encouraged to watch late night TV together without keeping up the neighbors. 7. Power Acoustik Farenheit HP-902RFT The Power Acoustik Farenheit HP-902RFT are an inexpensive solution for wireless headphones for two on a budget. The headphones (comes with two pairs) use radio frequency technology and a base station to connect between your TV and the headsets. Range: Up to 100 feet Noise-cancelling: No Battery life: Varies due to AAA batteries Type: Over-ear While they might look unattractive, the Power Acoustik Farenheit HP-902RFT are an inexpensive solution for wireless headphones for two on a budget. The headphones (two pairs come with the set) use radio frequency technology and a base station to connect between your TV and the headsets. They don’t have any bells and whistles or fancy Bluetooth or noise cancellation features, but rather are just a simple way for couples to watch TV without disturbing anyone else.Each pair runs on AAA batteries (not included) and are powered with a standard AC adapter (which is also surprisingly not included) as a way to cut cost and offer a great value to consumers. If you’re buying this set from Amazon, make sure you include these additional products in your shopping cart before you check out. The set features two separate RCA inputs with a wide range of up to 100 feet, while the sets deliver decent and neutral audio. You won’t blow anyone away with these headphones, but what they offer consumers is consistency. The wireless headphones will connect each and every time you use them with a very low latency and little to no audio leakage.The headphones are perfectly suitable for watching movies or TV shows, while they’re also the most affordable on this list considering you get two sets of headphones with purchase. Amazon customer Powaymom writes:“Fantastic! What a marriage-saver! They are somewhat difficult to install but the signal is strong and my husband can even listen outside while barbequing (and we've had a couple of burned meals as a result, unfortunately). Wonderful adjunct to football season or any sporting season where a peaceful abode is desired by those not watching the TV. The only difficulty is deciding exactly where to plug in the wireless transmitter and we have a separate sound bar on our big screen TV so we plugged the headphone transmitter into the cable box audio-out jacks.” The Power Acoustik Farenheit HP-902RFT headphones retail for $70.99 from Amazon. Really easy to use • Inexpensive • Great for older TVs Battery life • Not stylish • Unconventional design The Bottom Line If you’re elderly or hearing impaired, the Simolio TV Headphones are a great option to enjoy TV again. Their lightweight and easy-to-use design will make you feel as if you’re not wearing anything in your ear, as you watch reruns of "Golden Girls" and "Matlock." 8. Simolio TV Headphones The Simolio TV Headphones are unconventional wireless headphones that are intended for the elderly or hearing impaired, as a way to watch TV at a normal volume level with a group of people, or alone. Range: Up to 100 feet Noise-cancelling: No Battery life: Up to 7 hours Type: In-ear The Simolio TV Headphones are the most unconventional wireless headphones on this list. They are to be worn like a stethoscope instead of like traditional headphones on top of your head and over your ears. The pair are intended for the elderly or hearing impaired, as a way to watch TV at a normal volume level with a group of people, but the Simolio TV Headphones can also be used for solo viewing.Since the pair were designed for elderly people, the in-ear headphones work with older TV models with standard RCA cables and connectors. Audio is carried through RF technology, so there’s no need for Bluetooth pairing or syncing, with a wireless range of about 100 feet. The headphones can also be used as a sound amplifier with its built-in microphone that makes conversations louder and more audible to the hearing impaired. The only downside is its battery life, which is relatively short at only seven hours with a 2-hour charging time before getting back to 100% power. However, the Simolio TV Headphones are a great way for people to get back to enjoying TV again, despite hearing loss.The Simolio TV Headphones are priced at $79.99 on Amazon. Amazing audio • Long-lasting battery • Connects to two devices at once Expensive • Low bass • Some audio leakage The Bottom Line For just under $300, the Bose SoundLink II are among the better wireless headphones for audiophiles who want a neutral and balanced sound while watching TV. They are Bluetooth-enabled, so make sure your home theater setup includes this feature. 9. Bose SoundLink II Get a deeply immersive TV watching experience with Bluetooth technology for easy connectivity and seamless syncing between picture and audio. Range: Up to 96 feet Noise-cancelling: No Battery life: Up to 15 hours Type: Over-ear Bose is one of the most trusted names in audio engineering. The company has developed some of the most innovative and premium audio experiences at a hefty price tag. The Bose SoundLink II are no exception. The wireless headphones deliver a deeply immersive experience with Bluetooth technology for easy connectivity and seamless syncing between picture and audio for up to two devices with a wireless range of up 96 feet.While the headphones are considered premium, they do lack in bass. These headphones deliver more neutral and balanced sound instead of rich and bass heavy. However, besides that minor flaw (and really it comes down to preference), the Bose SoundLink II works flawlessly with other Bluetooth-enabled devices, so make sure your TV or home audio setup includes Bluetooth pairing before buying.The pair are also reportedly very comfortable to wear for hours on end thanks to soft ear cushions and an adjustable headband that doesn’t apply too much pressure to stay in place. Bose doesn’t skimp when it comes to style and comfort, so you know you’re getting one of the better audio experiences when you buy a pair. With a price tag at just under $300, the Bose SoundLink II headphones are among the best with Bluetooth technology.Amazon customer Patrick McCafferty writes:“Bose need I really need to say anything else, the name itself speaks of quality so you know what you are getting , It is no different with this product, I had Bose soundtrue headphones and they are still working great after all this time. But I wanted to upgrade to bluetooth and these sound just as great as the soundtrue if not perhaps a little better . Hear the sounds of whatever I am listening to a little more crisper. So am very happy with my purchase thank you Bose!” The Bose SoundLink II retails for $279.00 on Amazon. Easy set up • Inexpensive • Comes with everything you need Fair audio • Rudimentary solution The Bottom Line While it is not a complete solution, the Roku Enhanced Voice Remote is a quick fix if you already have a Roku device or you’re planning to purchase one in the future. The remote does solve the problem of watching TV at night without bothering your household, but it’s not as good as buying a dedicated pair of wireless headphones. 10. Roku Enhanced Remotes If your Roku comes with the Roku Enhanced Voice Remote with built-in standard 3.5mm jack, then you have the option to make your wired headphones wireless. Range: Up to 30 feet Noise-cancelling: No Battery life: Varies due to AA batteries (included) Type: In-ear (included) Did you know the remote that comes with some Roku devices can turn any pair of regular wired headphones into wireless ones? It’s true. If your Roku comes with the Roku Enhanced Voice Remote, then you have the option to make your headphones wireless. Every Roku Enhanced Voice Remote, which is Bluetooth-enabled, comes with a standard headphone jack on one side and a volume rocker on the other. (FYI: This functionality is also present on the Roku Gaming Remote.) All you have to do is simply plug in your headphones into the remote and now you can watch your favorite episodes of Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black in "private listening" mode.While the audio quality through the Roku Enhanced Voice Remote, which runs with two AA batteries, isn’t as good as dedicated wireless headphones, it does solve the problem of watching TV late at night without disturbing anyone around you. And it’s relatively inexpensive too. All you need is a Roku device with the company’s Enhanced Voice Remote and a pair of headphones or earbuds. Moreover, devices that include the Roku Enhanced Voice Remote often come with batteries and in-ear headphones out-of-the-box, so then all you need is a good internet connection and a Netflix account to start using them.One Amazon Customer writes:“Even though you can use ROKU without the controller, the controller makes it so much easier to use. It's not use easier to use to change channels, but without having to involve a laptop computer, The controller makes the picture better on the TV. Also since I'm hard of hearing I usually blast the TV which bothers others in the house who aren't watching TV. With this controller, I can use ear plugs to listen to the TV—the ear plugs plug directly into the controller unit and I can listen at a comfortable level without disturbing anyone else.” The Roku Enhanced Remote goes for $29.99.  Image: bose Read More




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