Many people are switching to Bluetooth and RF headphones because they like the neater aesthetic compared to wired ones. Or maybe everyone’s tired of untangling these long wires every time you get them out of your bag or pocket. Some love that you can still enjoy the sounds decently even when you’re ten feet away from your movie or TV show.
There are lots of dirt cheap (in both price AND quality) headphones no matter where you look – Best Buy, Target, home audio stores, online marketplaces. It’s one small tech accessory that’s readily available. But the problem with these cheaply made items is that they start to break or lose their sound quality after a few months.
We’ve tested and researched, so you didn’t have to: we made a list of the best wireless headphones for TV. Do give these products a try – you’ll never go back to buying dime store-value wireless headsets and earbuds from some questionable seller ever again.
- Can Your TV Connect to Wireless Headphones?
- Top-rated Wireless TV Headphones
- 1. Sennheiser RS 175 – Perfect for Home Theater
- 2. Sony MDRRF985RK – Crystal Clear RF Headphones for Binge-watching TV
- 3. Bose SoundLink II – Action & Horror Movie Headphones
- 4. Avantree Audition 40 hr – Bluetooth Headset with aptX Low Latency Tech
- 5. Artiste ADH300 – Best Budget Wireless TV Headset
- 6. Sennheiser RS 185 – RF Wireless Headphones for Television
- 7. Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 Special Edition – Noise Cancelling Headphones
- 8. SteelSeries Arctis 7 – Gaming DTS Headset
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wireless Headsets for TV: Complete Buying Guide
Can Your TV Connect to Wireless Headphones?
If you’re eyeing Bluetooth headphones, do yourself a favor and make sure that your TV supports Bluetooth. Then, you can configure your TV to connect to your Bluetooth headphones.
Don’t worry if your TV isn’t Bluetooth-enabled. You can still use wireless headsets with a separate Bluetooth tech such as a Bluetooth audio transmitter or Bluetooth adapter.
It also helps to familiarize yourself with what radiofrequency (RF) means before you jump on to your next RF wireless headphone purchase.
Top-rated Wireless TV Headphones
We’ve compiled a list of your future favorite wireless headphones. Have a look at the specs of the products that made it into our review.
|Product Name||Type||Range||Battery life||Noise control||Warranty|
|Sennheiser RS 175 RF||RF||328 ft.||18 hours||Noise isolation||2 years|
|Sony MDRRF985RK||RF||150 ft.||20 hours||Noise reduction||1 year|
|Bose SoundLink II||Bluetooth||30 ft.||15 hours||Passive noise isolation||1 year|
|Avantree Audition 40 hr||Bluetooth||30 ft.||40 hours||None||2 years|
|Artiste ADH300 Wireless||Bluetooth||100 ft.||20 hours||None||1 year|
|Sennheiser RS 185 RF||RF||328 ft.||18 hours||None||2 years|
|Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE||Bluetooth||328 ft.||24 hours||Noise cancellation||1 year|
|SteelSeries Arctis 7 DTS||RF||40 ft.||24 hours||None||1 year|
1. Sennheiser RS 175 – Perfect for Home Theater
If you want to take your home entertainment to the next level, Sennheiser RS 175 is your number one choice.
Sennheiser is a famous manufacturer of audio equipment that collaborated with the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) to develop its latest streaming apps. Therefore, you know they take their innovation seriously.
The RS 175 has an effective range of up to 328 feet within your line of sight. That is because RS 175 uses digital wireless technology to provide you clear, high-quality audio.
The quality of the sounds is at least as good as wired headphones (with 3.5mm audio jack) within the same price range. That is saying something for a wireless headphone since these things are always considered inferior in sound quality compared to the wired version.
The RS 175 produced well-balanced output, although the bass sounded too rich. Some would prefer this sound over wireless phones with little to no bass at all. Those who want their bass with an extra kick will be delighted to know that the RS 175 has a Bass Boost feature. You can also use Surround Sound Mode, which we wouldn’t suggest for music, but for movies instead – it would make the sound effects more dramatic.
For the RS 175, Sennheiser opted for the tried and tested minimalist black design. The build quality is pretty good – the thin, cushioned headband offers a little flexibility. The ear cups have soft cushions and are spacious and comfortable to wear. On the outside panels of the right ear cup are the controls for volume, bass, and surround settings. There is also a power button and a LED indicator.
Instead of noise cancellation, the RS 175 gets you noise isolation. It doesn’t work well when the ambient noises are unreasonably loud (it’s not a miracle worker – no headset is). The cups’ passive isolation blocks high-frequency sounds.
The RS 175 uses two rechargeable AAA batteries, one for each ear pad. Its dock doubles as a charging station: all you need to do is place the headphones on the cradle.
The estimated battery life is 18 hours, but that will depend on the volume you use. It takes eight hours to recharge fully – not a fast charging device. You do have the option to use another set of cells so you can temporarily use it while waiting for the other to reach full charge.
You get two years of warranty with every purchase, so this is a pretty good option.
2. Sony MDRRF985RK – Crystal Clear RF Headphones for Binge-watching TV
Sony has made a name for itself in the electronics department, and MDRRF985RK is no exception.
The audio is super crisp, clear, without an ounce of static. The sound reproduction is well balanced and accurate, so it sounds as if you’re inside your TV set.
The maximum range of this headphone is up to 150 feet. The transmitter also allows you to connect as many pairs of wireless headphones as you’d like and double as the charging dock of the headphones.
The MDRRF985RK doesn’t have noise cancellation; instead, it has a noise reduction system. That way, you won’t get any hissing sound from interference.
If there’s room for improvement, it’s the bass. MDRRF985RK fails to deliver the deep bass that is a trademark with some songs. Considering its price, you can’t expect it to perform on the same level as high-end ones.
The frequency response on these headphones is more extensive compared to others, which means that they can handle low and high frequencies without difficulty.
It’s got a classic appearance – soft leather cups, and adjustable, memory foam-padded headband. When you put the headphones on, your ears get completely enveloped, so outside noises are better isolated. Sony MDRRF985K is an ideal headphone for those who want to watch their movies without getting hearing loss from screaming children or noisy neighborhood dogs.
Sony’s battery can give you 20 hours of playback, pretty decent for its price. What we don’t like about the battery is the fact that it is lithium-ion. Lithium Ion batteries are no longer considered the best kind; we wish Sony would have gone for lithium polymer that’s superior in quality. The battery is also non-removable so keep that in mind.
3. Bose SoundLink II – Action & Horror Movie Headphones
Bose SoundLink II delivers lows solidly. The bass is better than other Bluetooth audio headphones, but it doesn’t go the whole nine yards.
The highs are not harsh and don’t sound too artificially toned-down. Although it is not perfect, the SoundLink is suitable for a wide variety of genres. Whether you’re watching action or horror, this headphone delivers what you need.
SoundLink II doesn’t have an Active Noise Cancellation feature. What it has is called passive isolation, effective on its own. If you want a Bose with Active Noise Cancellation, you’ll have to look at their products in the $400 range like the Bose QuietComfort 25.
The passive noise isolation is terrific. Even if you watch at a lower volume, you’ll hardly notice the noise in your surroundings, at least for a home viewing experience. One complaint about the SoundLink II is that they leak a little bit of sound.
Bose SoundLink II can pair simultaneously with multiple devices, and through NFC. Their wireless range is well-maintained for up to 30 feet, which is impressive and useful for when you want to eavesdrop on people’s conversations about you.
The SoundLink II is simple but stylish, and what’s nice is that it comes in several colors. The headband has suede-like padding that gives it a premium look.
You’ll see the control buttons on the lower edge of the speaker cups. Aside from the volume controls, they also let you skip tracks. The overall build of these headphones is pretty decent and seems to withstand getting banged up a little.
The SoundLink II’s battery lasts up to 15 hours, and it takes 2 hours to recharge. Do note that you can’t use it while it’s charging. A convenient feature is the Auto-timer, which shuts down the headphones when not in use to conserve the battery.
If you like to record your voice, you’re in luck with this audio device since it has a microphone, but it’s nothing remarkable.
4. Avantree Audition 40 hr – Bluetooth Headset with aptX Low Latency Tech
If you’re a simple man (or woman) and all you wanted to have is Bluetooth headphones without audio delay, Avantree Audition 40 hr will give you exactly that.
Like other headphones, you can get better use of this one if you use it with a low-latency Bluetooth transmitter. Avantree 40 hr’s highlight feature is its built-in aptX Low Latency certified transmitter for watching TV and movies without audio lag.
If regular Bluetooth headphones tend to have 220 ms delay, Avantree 40 hr only has 40 ms.
It’s easy to underestimate Avantree Audition 40 hr because of its price. But, you’d be pleasantly surprised to find that the Audition Pro sounds very good: the trebles are clear, and the lows are rich. But you’ll have to fiddle with the equalizer settings if you want optimal sound quality.
You can connect the Avantree 40 hr to up to 2 devices at the same time. The effective Bluetooth range is up to 30 feet, but this is only for a straight line of sight: obstructions will interfere. You also have an option to use the headphones wired if you don’t want to drain the battery so unnecessarily quickly.
This headphone is light; in a saturated market with heavy and bulky headphones, this is a rarity.The lightweight design also makes it more wearable, even for hours at a time. The black and brown color combination looks classy. The ear cups are soft and won’t hurt your ears. It also helps that the headband is adjustable so you can loosen it up.
The headphones are foldable, so storing them won’t be a problem. A hard carrying case comes with it – handy when traveling or keeping safe.
The battery life is excellent considering the price. Most of the Bluetooth headphones available in the market have battery lives around 25 to 30 hours, but the Audition Pro promises up to 40 hours, ideal for long trips or binge-watching your favorite TV series.
5. Artiste ADH300 – Best Budget Wireless TV Headset
The Artiste Wireless TV Headphones (ADH300) is another affordable product you can get. Audiophiles and movie lovers will fall in love with the deep bass that this headphone offers.
ADH300 uses wireless UHF technology that utilizes 2.4 GHz radiofrequency (with a range of 100 ft). Artiste even boasts that the signal from their transmitter so strong that it can also penetrate walls to ensure that you get a constant connection.
The sound quality is good overall, although it’s nothing special. The downside of Artiste ADH300 is the lack of active noise cancellation. Although the earcups do block some outside buzzes, a dedicated feature would’ve been nice.
These headphones are compatible with your TV, tablets, laptops, mobile phones, and just about any digital music and video player you can imagine.
The RCA cable and 6.3 mm adapter make sure that you won’t get into any compatibility issues when you have an Artiste.
The ear cups are oval to better align with the ears’ natural shape. The soft and breathable foam molds into the ears to make it comfortable, with no sounds escaping. Meanwhile, the headband is adjustable. The headset, in its entirety, is pretty lightweight. So lightweight in fact that you won’t even notice you’re wearing it because it doesn’t bite into your scalp or pinch your ears.
The Artiste ADH300 has a 20-hour battery life. The wireless transmitter acts as the charging dock.
6. Sennheiser RS 185 – RF Wireless Headphones for Television
The RS 185 is another headphone from Sennheiser that uses Radio Frequency (RF), which offers a better range and uncompressed stream for a better audio experience.
Because it uses radio frequency (RF) to deliver audio straight to the headphone unit, it is left uncompressed. As long as the RS 185 is within the audio transmitter’s range, the sound that you will receive is close to perfection.
The RS 185 is a headphone unit that communicates with a dock that connects to your TV set.
RS 185 comes in two parts: the dock, and the headphone. The former is the part that you wire to your TV or any other device. It also serves as the charging unit for the latter.
The effective range of the RS 185 is 328 ft, much better than other Bluetooth headphones used under the same circumstances. Like any other RF headphones, you will get the best audio output if there is a clear line of sight between the dock and the headphones. Just don’t expect to get the same results if you’re living in a multi-story building, and you have to put several floors between you and the dock.
Because of the open-back design, even with heavy-bass audio, the sound doesn’t seem bogged down. Expect a thick and rich sound. They deliver low-distortion so you can pretty much set the loudness to insanely high levels without damaging your hearing. The music you get is insanely detailed and balanced.
This headphone is full-size, completely covers your ears with large, felt headphone cushions. With its open-backed design, it may not be the best choice if you live in a noisy neighborhood. If you live in an apartment, though, it’s another story.
Upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the padding doesn’t extend across the headband because the center part contains a set of bronze contacts. These contacts hook up to the dock so you can charge the RS 185’s battery.
The controls for the volume and the L/R balance are within easy reach because they are on the headphones themselves.
Sennheiser claims that you can get up to 18 hours of use from a single charge. This is decent battery life, and you’ll have some difficulty testing this claim because the dock is where you naturally place the headphones when not in use.
7. Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 Special Edition – Noise Cancelling Headphones
Just like the original Backbeat Pro headphones, the Backbeat 2 Pro offers a slightly bass-heavy signature. Although discerning music aficionados will find this headphone a little too bass-heavy, it is good to know that using it in wired mode tames the bass to a more pleasing level.
Highs sounded a bit veiled, but this can be a good thing if you’re going for long listening sessions or binge-watching your favorite series because the highs won’t be so tiring. The mids are also good, but they can be overwhelmed by the heavy bass sound. The sound-stage is at an average level.
The added bass emphasis also aids in blocking out ambient noises, explaining why Plantronics decided to retain the bass-heavy signature. Compared to the previous model, the Backbeat Pro II’s noise cancellation has improved.
This headphone is not something that you should be using on a train or any other noisy places, but the noise cancellation is more than enough for TV. Also, these headphones do not leak as much as other models. You don’t have to worry about distracting those around you when you’re watching a movie.
The design of the Backbeat Pro is pretty generic, with a color scheme limited to dark brown. The good thing is that Plantronics has slimmed the headphone down and reduced its weight. The faux wood accent on the earcups gives it character, although not everyone will find it to their liking. It has additional hinges that add to the flexibility.
The padded earcups are now more oval, so they now fit better around the ears. The headbands have padding, too, which is nice for prolonged usage.
The controls are on the left headphone cup: a ring for adjusting volume, and a button for open microphone mode. Just like other types of over-ear enclosure headset, the Backbeat Pro II is not very breathable. Your ears are completely within the ear cups, so there is very little airflow while you have them on.
The battery life for music playback is up to 24 hours, given that you play in moderate volume. Plantronics also claims that the Backbeat Pro II uses even less power when idle and can last up to 6 months in DeepSleep.
Since this is a Plantronics product, The Backbeat Pro II can receive calls. It works as well as a headset: the sidetone feature allows you to hear your voice in the headphone speaker while you talk. They even added a mute button on the right ear cup in case you need to mute yourself.
8. SteelSeries Arctis 7 – Gaming DTS Headset
Even though the target market for the Arctis is gamers, the sound quality is excellent for music. The sound is clear and free of any distortions. There is a lovely balance among vocals, treble, and bass.
The Surround Sound is perfect for listening to concerts on DVD because it’ll feel so real, which shouldn’t be surprising since the headphone is co-developed with the latest surround sound DTS tech.
The wireless transmitter can provide a useful range for up to 40 feet, decent enough since you’re not likely to go further if you’re watching a movie on the big screen. Listening to music will be of limited range, though, and we all know that this range will decrease if we factor in the walls or other impediments.
The Arctis 7 doesn’t have Active Noise Cancellation, but it still eliminates ambient sounds. Even the microphone can remove background noises, which is ideal for gaming and streaming purposes.
The Arctis 7’s aluminum headband frame includes an elastic fabric band, which is a nice touch since the fabric protects your head from the harsh feel that aluminum has. The ear headphones are soft and comfortable around the ears. The breathable materials used prevent the cups from getting too warm.
This noise-free wireless gaming headphones’ build is minimalistic: meant for gamers, but doesn’t have loud colors or patterns that you often see on typical gaming gear. The cups have a volume control, a mute for the microphone, and a chat mix control. The microphone stalk is retractable, so you can stow it away when you’re just listening to music or watching a movie.
Arctis 7 uses its own SteelSeries Engine 3 software which allows you to set up sound profiles. You can also use it to customize your mic options. It also has a Library section that tracks all of the patterns that you used or created for various tasks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Wireless Headphones Work?
There are two kinds of wireless headphones: RF and Bluetooth. They use different methods to transmit sound from the source to the headphones themselves.
Radiofrequency headphones or RF Wireless Headphones pass a signal to the receiver on your TV. The receiver attached to your TV converts audio into radio waves that your headphones receive to listen to the sound.
The valid standard range of an RF Wireless Headphone is up to 100 ft. However, solid materials like walls can interfere with the signal and affect its quality.
On the other hand, Bluetooth headphones act as both a transmitter and receiver of a wireless signal. When Bluetooth is connected, it becomes part of a local wireless network that allows it to send and receive data.
Compared to RF Headphones, Bluetooth ones have a shorter effective range, usually 30 feet.
Which is Better for TV-watching: RF Wireless or Bluetooth Headset?
The primary differences between Bluetooth and RF headphones are the range and sound latency.
RF headphones have a more extended range compared to Bluetooth. Most Bluetooth headphones use Bluetooth Class 2, which provides a 33-foot range, while some RF headphones can receive signals up to 300 feet away from the transmitter.
Coverage Range Bluetooth vs Radio Frequency (RF)
Latency is the slight delay in signal reception. RF headphone has sound latency of around 40ms while the Bluetooth headphones can reach up to 220ms.
While their latency is worse, Bluetooth headphones are more secure compared to RF headphones. Since RF headphones detect radio waves from your TV, stray radio waves may interfere and affect the audio purity. This parameter is not an issue with a Bluetooth headphone because these don’t use radio frequency for connection.
How Can You Connect Wireless Headphones to Your TV?
If you have Bluetooth headphones, all that you need for a TV connection is a Bluetooth transmitter. Bluetooth transmitters work by taking the 3.5mm or RCS output from your TV and transmitting it as a Bluetooth signal.
Once you have paired your headphones to the Bluetooth transmitter, the setup is complete: you can start watching your movie or TV show with the audio input coming through your Bluetooth headphones.
RF-headphones-to-TV connection works similarly. It connects to a base charging station that’s wired to your TV. For this to work, you need to match the connection types between the base station and your TV and check if they’re compatible.
The most common connection types are optical, RCA, or 3mm. If the connection types don’t match, you’ll need an adapter.
Wireless Headsets for TV: Complete Buying Guide
Here are important considerations when you’re about to make a wireless headphone purchase.
1. Sound Quality
Sound quality is the ultimate criterion used to judge headphones. For a Bluetooth headphone, you should check the codec (serves as the “coder-decoder” of the signal), because the accuracy of the data stream will depend on that.
Older versions of Bluetooth headphones heavily compress audio files, resulting in a shoddy-sounding device.
Currently, Bluetooth headphones use SBC codec, aptX Codec, and aptX HD (an upgraded version of aptX). The aptX codec streams audio at a much higher bitrate and reduced latency.
Another thing that affects quality is the effective range, which determines the maximum distance from the source that the headphone will receive audio. The general rule is the farther away you are from the transmitter, the lesser the quality of the sound. This effective range is affected by walls; any solid structure between the transmitter and the headphone will impact the audio quality you are receiving.
In general, RF has a more extended range than Bluetooth, which may not be too big a deal since you’ll be using them for your TV. However, if you’re just listening to music and you need to walk away from your screen, the audio quality from your Bluetooth headphone may get noticeably worse.
When you buy a pair of headphones, look for the longest effective range there is. Even if the manufacturer took liberties and exaggerated it, you should still be able to get a distance measurement that will suffice for the size of your house.
Latency is a major issue with Bluetooth headphones. It’s a short delay between when an audio signal gets sent, and the time you can hear it. Latency is not noticeable when listening to music.
If you are watching a video, latency will be more apparent because it will result in the sound being out of sync with the video. The degree of latency will depend on the hardware and software setup that you have. Later codecs like the aptX HD has dramatically reduced the latency that users experience compared to older codecs.
If you are keen on having a Bluetooth headphone, check the type of codec that they are using. Those that use aptX and aptX HD codecs are the safest choices if you want to have the least latency.
3. Noise Cancellation
Noise cancellation is the capacity to eliminate unwanted ambient sound by using active noise control. This feature is beneficial for you if you live in an area where traffic is loud, or your house is close to the neighbors.
The noise cancellation feature will also be ideal if you want to watch a movie and not disturb the people around you, like when you’re babysitting a sleeping child. Since this is not a standard feature for headphones, noise-canceling headphones tend to be more expensive than regular ones.
One of the options that you can try if you’re sticking to a budget are a pair of TV headphones with passive noise cancellation. What these headphones do is reduce unwanted noises through soundproofing.
They may use specially designed ear cups that don’t let in too much noise. The downside is that these snugly fit ear cups can get your ears warm on prolonged use.
The skin on your ears needs air circulation to regulate temperature, too. With something blocking airflow, an hour of headphone use will most likely leave you with sweaty ears.
If you don’t want to shell out too much for expensive noise-canceling headphones, you can settle for noise isolation or passive noise cancellation headphones.
Since we often use headphones for at least an hour or longer depending on the movie or TV show you are watching, you’d naturally want something comfortable enough to wear.
We all have different head sizes and shapes, and these will be the primary consideration for choosing a comfortable headphone, but one thing you should take a close look at is the headband.
The headband is the curved part of the headphone that runs from one speaker to the other. The headband’s primary purpose is holding the speakers in place and securing them properly around your head.
Headbands are usually plastic. Be sure that the headband’s size fits around your head; too tight, and it may cause discomfort, too loose, and it will fall off. If possible, choose headphones with soft padding for added comfort.
Another part of a headphone that might cause discomfort is the cushion on the speakers, usually soft foam with leather or rubberized cover.
If you have the chance, find a headphone that comes with removable cushions – it’s a useful feature since it allows you to clean or replace the said part.
Like other products, headphone prices vary depending on the brand and the features. Understandably, headphones, whether RF or Bluetooth, get more expensive the more features they have.
As mentioned earlier, headphones with noise cancellation are pricier than those without it.
Some headphones seem affordable initially, but they may require the purchase of other parts like jacks or adapters. Check the details of what’s included in your purchase to make sure that you are indeed getting a bargain.
If you are after practicality, Bluetooth headphones might be the best choice for you, because these can work with a wide range of devices: TV, computers, mobile phones, and more.
Going Bluetooth means that you’re purchasing the same device that you can also use for your cell phone or laptop. You might end up saving money because there is no need to buy separate headphones for each of your gadgets.
6. Battery Life
Long battery life is a must-have when buying wireless headphones. It’s frustrating to have a headphone that requires you to charge it after every episode of that show you’re bingeing. Luckily, most of them today have long battery lives with some boasting of up to 50 hours of battery life.
Longer battery life means more expensive devices. Paying a little bit extra may be worth your while if you use your headphones frequently.
Many of the newer headphones now have a quick charge feature, which allows you to have up to 2 hours of battery life after only 5 minutes of charging time. These cost more but are so worth it for long-term usage.
Wireless headphones are the most convenient when you want to watch Netflix without disturbing (and getting disturbed) by people around. More than that, it also lets you stand or even walk away from the TV without missing a beat.
The only issue with wireless headphones is the latency, which is pretty common on Bluetooth devices, that’s why we recommend getting RF headphones if this bothers you a lot.