5 Best Ways to Watch TV with Wireless Headphones
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Don't give up on TV time just because someone's napping on the sofa (or you simply can't agree on what to watch). You don't have to retreat to the bedroom to watch on your tablet, either. A nice set of headphones lets you enjoy watching TV while everyone else enjoys their peace and quiet.
But when you grab your headphones, you'll find it hard to relax on the couch when you're tethered to the TV that's only a few feet long. If you can't stand being tethered to the TV, it's time to go headphone shopping. But which headphones should you get, and what do you need to connect them to your television? We run through everything you need to know about wireless listening, plus share our top picks for headphones under $200 that deliver exactly what you're looking for.
Wireless Headphones for Best Possible TV Sound: Sennheiser RS 185
Sennheiser has been a high-end audio brand since 1945, and its RS 185 wireless headphones offer top-tier sound quality. The over-ear design reduces background noise to help you focus on what you're watching. It offers exceptional sound with different modes for speech and music, resulting in sound that comes through crystal clear.
Instead of Bluetooth, these headphones use a special Sennheiser transmitter (included) that works to 328 feet away. The transmitter is as simple to set up as any Bluetooth adapter. Just plug it into your television (or another audio device) via an optical digital audio output or a standard 3.5mm headphone jack or RCA connection. After that, all you have to do is power on your headphones and listen.
If you have multiple listeners, the RS 185 Sennheiser set works with a second pair of compatible Sennheiser headphones. The headphones have a battery life of around 18 hours, enough for the longest Netflix binge, and charge wirelessly when you set them on top of the transmitter. Easy!
Professional reviewers and consumer recommend the RS 185. RTings lists them as the best dedicated TV headphones and Trusted Reviews gives them 4 stars. And consumers on Amazon, Crutchfield and Best Buy all give them 4 or more stars.
Price: Lists for $299.95 on Sennheiser but you can find them everywhere for under $200 (check price on Amazon)
Best Wireless Headphones for Gaming: LucidSound LS31 Gaming Headset
If you're playing games rather than just listening, you'll need a pair of comfortable headphones that have a good integrated microphone to let you coordinate with fellow gamers. That can be a tough combination to find without any wires, especially if you're looking for something at an affordable price point, but the LucidSound LS31 fits the bill.
The LS31 has padded headband memory foam ear cups for comfort. Simple control buttons are located right on the ear cup, including separate volume controls for game volume and chat volume. The removable boom microphone produces good voice chat quality. The LS31 offers a solid 15 hours of battery life. The headset is designed to work wirelessly with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles; the Xbox One does require a sound cable that runs from your headphones to your controller in order to chat. [Note that Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers all have built-in headphone jacks, so you can plug in wired headphones.] While these headphones are designed with console gaming in mind, they'll do just as well when paired with your PC.
If you want to keep things under $50, your options are relatively limited. Your best option may be to use any Bluetooth headphones you have, because you won't find anything wireless with a good boom mic for much less than $100. If you have a Bluetooth headset for your smartphone that's also supported by your console, you'll do just fine and save some cash.
Price: $149.99 on LucidSound, check price on Amazon
Best Way to Use Your Existing Bluetooth Headphones: Avantree Audiokast Plus
Some newer smart TVs have Bluetooth built in, which allows you to pair any standard Bluetooth headphones with your television — no muss, no fuss. However, there's a good chance your television isn't Bluetooth-ready, in which case you'll need an adapter. The adapter connects to your television audio input and then transmits the sound via Bluetooth to your headphones. The typical range is 30 feet or more.
The Avantree Audiokast Plus connects to your television via a standard headphone jack (3.5mm audio cable), optical, an RCA jack or USB. And since it supports aptX Low Latency, there's minimal lip-sync delay. Connect two pairs of Bluetooth headphones (supports Bluetooth 5) at once, and adjust the audio volume with your headphones, the TV remote or on the Audiokast Plus box. The Audiokast Plus also has a built-in battery, which lasts for 20 hours before it needs a charge.
If you don't already have a pair of Bluetooth headphones to use with your newly Bluetooth-enabled TV, check out the budget-friendly options on our list of the best Bluetooth headphones under $50. All in all, using an adapter with the headphones you have, or buying an inexpensive new set of headphones, is the most economical way to add wireless listening to your television.
Price: $49.99 on Avantree, check price on Amazon
Best Wireless Headphones for Two: Phiaton BT 460
If you're looking to catch up on your favorite show with a friend but don't want to fill the room with sound, your best bet is a set of ShareMe headphones. ShareMe isn't actually a specific model of headphone but a type of technology used to let headphones share a single sound source without any tangled wires. A pair of ShareMe headphones connects to each other wirelessly and plays the exact same sound on both.
We like the Phiaton BT 460 headphones, which are Bluetooth but also come with a cable if you want to plug them in. They produce solid sound and boast great battery life — up to 20 hours. The Phiaton BT 460 headphones have good sound and a sleek interface, controlled by tapping the headphone ear cup.
With with pair of sharing-friendly headphones, you'll still need a way to connect them to your television. If you don't have a TV with built-in Bluetooth, you’ll need a Bluetooth adapter (see above).
Price: $129.99 on Phiaton, check price on Amazon
Best Streaming Player for Wireless Headphone Listening: Roku Ultra
If you already have a Roku, you may already have a mostly wireless listening setup, depending on which Roku you own. Certain models feature a remote with a built-in headphone jack to solve just this problem. By plugging in an ordinary pair of headphones, you can watch TV without bothering the rest of the family. It's not exactly wireless — there's still a cable running from your headphones to the remote — but you still get the freedom to watch from whatever seat you like.
The beauty of this plan is its low cost. Even if you don't own a Roku, this solution saves you from buying anything else, and it won't break your budget. Don't forget: the Roku is among our favorite streaming media players. Thoughtful features like the remote headphone jack, which you won't find on any other player, are one of the reasons why. If you're in the market for a new streaming media player, the Roku Ultra includes a remote with a headphone jack, or you can buy the Roku Enhanced Voice Remote ($29.99 on Roku) separately for certain Roku models.
Price: $99.99 on Roku, check price on Amazon
Updated on 1/14/2020 with new product picks
[image credit: watching TV with headphones via BigStockPhoto, Roku, Phiaton, LucidSound, Sennheiser]
In case if you have a music player or a gadget to play, the headphones are a good companion to keep by your side. Perhaps, if you relax at home very often, you can use to connect to your home theatre system, or a PC for gaming or watching movies. So for a comfortable and cheap range may have to do some research to buy the best headphones out on the market. Go through reviews over the internet, http://www.soundmagic.us/index.php/product-category/headphones/, and perhaps find your new great pair of headphones.
So, I want a wireless
So, I want a wireless headset for my PS4 but to also be able to link up to my Sony android TV, any thoughts
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This article contains incorrect information that ruined a Christmas gift. The adapter does not transmit, it only receives. It does not pair with headphones. Did the author even use the adapter? She couldn’t have. Ridiculous.
So sorry to hear that
So sorry to hear that our error resulted in a failed Christmas present! The product that will connect headphones via Bluetooth to your TV is the Avantree aptX LOW LATENCY Bluetooth 4.2 Transmitter for TV PC. And thank you for bringing it to our attention.
That adapter does “transmit”, I have one and it works with Bluetooth headphone
nice products. Will purchase one.
Rca headset and new tv
Just got a new smart tv and new soundbar, neither have a way for me to hhok up my seinhauser headset that uses rca connect…anyone know how I can do this?
You can use an adapter
If your soundbar has a 3.5mm output jack (which it probably does, you can get a simple adapter that converts 3.5mm to RCA. This one on Amazon is about $6: https://amzn.to/2PFajrL
Soundbar and output jack
Thanks, but it does not….it only has an HDMI out…no where to even plug an adapter….guess all the new ones want us to use bluetooth headphones…but we have the seinhauser ones and paid a lot of money for them so am thinking the sound bar needs to go back
How about the TV?
I would be surprised if the TV doesn’t have the 3.5mm audio out.
USB wireless headphones
Years ago you could buy thumb drives that plugged into the usb port of a tv and listen with wireless headphones. Today all you can find is blue tooth and it wont work for me. Where can I find the old usb system? Thank you. Merry Christmas
As a person with a hearing loss, I find that there is a slight lag in the audio, which makes using the wireless headphones while the TV is playing normally for another person in the room a little difficult.
Have any of the systems you tested perform without the lag?
The Sennheiser headphones will have
The Sennheiser headphones will have the least delay, they’re clocked at around 2 milliseconds. For Bluetooth, the best you’ll do is around 30 milliseconds, with products that support aptX Low Latency, like the Avantree.
What is your set up, so you can have the TV playing normally plus headphones?
I use a Radio Shack Bluetooth transmitter connected to the cable box audio output and Skull Candy Bluetooth headphones.
Is there a way for one person to listen to the tv through headphones while other people are listening through the AV receiver?
You could use a splitter
If you had a splitter that took the analog output from your TV (like this one: https://amzn.to/2BNroLB), you could hook up both your receiver and headphones (or a headphones transmitter, like the Sennheiser above).
I connected a Bluetooth speaker to a non-bluetooth tv by connecting the audio out from the tv to the audio in of the speaker using a 3.5 mm male-male cable. I then connected my phone to the speaker via Bluetooth and listened to the audio through headphones connected to the phone. I accomplished this once but have not been able to replicate. Was the first time a fluke incident or should this theoretically work? Any suggestions would be great.
You've got me on that one
Maybe I’m missing a potential method, but I can’t imagine how you got your Bluetooth speaker to output sound to your phone. While it’s certainly theoretically possible, that just isn’t how Bluetooth speakers are set up to work. Perhaps you were playing music on your phone through an app that let you both cast to the speaker and listen on your device?
No, it was definitely playing the audio from the tv show i was watching. I was hoping this method would work so I didn’t have to buy a separate device to listen to the tv through wireless headphones. Thanks for the quick response.
What model TV and speaker do you have?
Do you have a smart TV? Do you remember what device and channel you were using to watch content (cable box, Roku, etc., Where you watching Netflix, Amazon, etc.)? Give me some more details and I’ll research this more.
No,this should not work. The 3.5mm input jack on the Bluetooth speaker should not send info to the internal Bluetooth module, and then relay the sound back to your phone, to relay it to another Bluetooth device. I can’t imagine you even had this working once. It doesn’t work that way. A Bluetooth receiver is just that, only a receiver, not a transmitter to send the stream out.
I have a TCL smart tv with Roku. At the time I was able to get the aforementioned scenario to work I was watching television using an antenna. I can use the Roku “private listening” feature only when streaming but not while using the antenna or dvd/blueray player. This is why I’m trying to find a work around.
Ok, one possibility...
The speaker you have has the ability to initiate phone calls through your phone. Perhaps, you somehow initiated a voice activated call through your speaker, causing the phone to use the audio from the speaker, which for some reason sent the audio coming from the 3.5mm connection to the TV. I’m not clear what combo of actions you would need to take to make this happen, but I guess it’s possible this is what occurred. See: https://helpguide.sony.net/speaker/srs-x55/v1/en/contents/TP0000629076.html
The tv is a tcl 49S403.
The speaker is a Sony SRS-X55.
I can not figure out how to listen to a show on head phones from my blueray player. I have a Roku so I can listen to tv on headphones through my Roku. I had a real long cord that I plugged into my headphones and I plugged it into every hole I could find but it didn’t work. Probably something simple that I am not seeing.
How can i listen on 4 devices for a family?
I would like to find 4 wireless rechargeable headphones that I can connect to my TV and listen simultaneously, but it seems (from what I am reading) Bluetooth can only connect 2 at a time and the ones with the ShareMe technology can only connect 2 at a time. Is there a product you recommend so I can listen with 4 simultaneously?
There are a few options out there
One things you could try is a set of wireless (not Bluetooth) headphones where the transmitter connects through the 3.5mm stereo jack of your TV. They’re somewhat industrial looking, but should work: https://amzn.to/2XAMU2R.
over the air
I put an antenna on the top of my garage roof. Then I got a tuner so I can watch the channels on my Roku through Clearstreamtv. Now All channels are part of Roku so I can listen on my earbuds through my remote. Weird way of getting there but it works.
Device to transmit TV sound Wirelessly to Bose QC35ii Bluetooth headphone.
Looking for a device to plug into my TV which is compatible with my wireless Bose QuietComfort 35ii headphones. The intent is to allow me to watch/listen to my TV without the sound bothering others. FYI - the Infinity TV has both, a USB and a standard audio outlet. Comcast Xfinity HDMI provider.
Question about multiple TVs at the same time
I have a situation I’m researching out. I am at a nursing home, and the rooms each have 2-3-4 TVs in each. I’m looking for an affordable way to stream up to 4 different sets on different channels with little bleed-through or crossover. Do I go with individual transmitters/headphones, or a dual headphone unit? Is what I’m asking even doable? And of course, I have to be mindful of cost.
Thanks for any help I can get.
The Aventree should work for you
The Avantree Bluetooth Audio Adapter in the article above should work for you. Each TV would get its own adapter and individually pair with a single set of Bluetooth headphones. With Bluetooth, there “should” be no interference. If your TVs have USB jacks, the Avantree should be able to draw power from those, so you wouldn’t need to charge them.
Since the Avantree isn’t that expensive, may be worth testing with 3-4 and see how they go.
Lip sync delay
For the Avantree, how minimal is the lip sync delay? Is it enough to be noticeable, thus potentially distracting & annoying? Thank you.
Shouldn't be noticeable
Avantree claims no lip sync delay, and that should be the case based on the technology it is using. I would try the latest model (https://amzn.to/2uDTx6O) and see how it works for you. You should be able to return it if you have any issues.
I have bought 2 Sony Bravia televisions in the past few years and wonder why Sony did not include a built in Blue Tooth option. A newer model boghton 2018 does have WIFI access but it is difficult to use with my tablet or lap top.
exodus kodi not working
KODI also supports wide range of the earphones and headphones but sometime it gets errors, now it can easily solved, now a days technology is incredible.
headphones used with TV streaming
Is there a way to use wireless headphones with streaming TV that allows volume to be heard by the listener in the room and through the headphones???
It depends on your TV
It depends on the audio outputs available on your TV and how your TV manages sound to those ports. For example, on my older-model Samsung F8000 Smart TV, I can output sound to a soundbar via the HDMI ARC (audio return channel) and listen to sound through the 3.5mm headphone jack at the same time. It’s also possible some TVs may have an option in the setting that lets you listen to sound from the TV speakers and the headphone jack together, versus shutting off the built-in speaker when headphones are plugged in. If not, you could try a 3.5mm splitter and output the sound to both an external speaker and your headphones that way.
Fire TV, using both TV sound bluetooth headphones
Is there any way to use my Toshiba Fire TV so that one person listens to the TV sound and the other the headphones. Where one person has hearing problems.
Does one have to use a splitter and so how would it work.
Only get mono not stereo sound via headphone from tv
Bought blue tooth tower connected vie jack to tv. Paired headphone to charger tower. Only RHS headphone speaker receives output from tv.
Get bothe speakers when blue tooth to phone, other devices.
Great Information. I am interested
Great Information. I am interested in helping seniors. One way is to help them hear their TV with headphones. Are there any concerns that would prohibit a senior from using your ideas? I enjoyed your post and will be coming back. Be safe.
These would be great for seniors
These headphones are great for seniors because they allow you to listen to the TV at higher volumes without disturbing others.
Which headphones are you referring to?
I cannot see original or previous post.
The headphones in the article
I was referring to the headphone options we discuss in the article.
I’m can’t hear the tv so I turn the volume up. Then I get complaints from others in the household that the tv is to loud. So is there a way the I can connect some device that wouLd allow me to listen to the tv at the volume that I need through a headset or buds and other members of the household can listen to the speakers at a volume that they prefer.
It depends on your TV
As I mentioned in an earlier comment, it depends on the audio outputs available on your TV and how your TV manages sound to those ports. For example, on my older-model Samsung F8000 Smart TV, I can output sound to a soundbar via HDMI and listen to sound through the 3.5mm headphone jack at the same time. It’s also possible some TVs may have an option in the settings that lets you listen to sound from the TV speakers and the headphone jack together, versus shutting off the built-in speaker when headphones are plugged in, as most TVs operate. If not, you could try a 3.5mm splitter and output the sound to both an external speaker and your headphones that way.
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re:listening to tv
From iggates on January 17, 2017 :: 3:01 pm
unisom system,infrared reader,over the ear padded headphones,less than 40.00**i have had mine +extra headphone for 2 years.highly recommend these.
re: re: listening to tv...
From kimber aliari on January 24, 2017 :: 10:47 am
Would u be able to tell me the official name brand + model for these headphones please? Or is it just “unisom system”? Reason I ask is bcuz when I Google the words “unisom system” all I pull up are adverts for “Unisom® sleep aids/sleeping pills” 🙀 lol Thanks so much in advance for your time 😸 stay blessed! 😺🐾
From iggates on January 24, 2017 :: 1:12 pm
Kimber i apologize it is unisar tv listener.I bought two sets so when one is charging the other can be used.I got them at Amazon.around seventy for both sets