Welcome to our guide to the best headphones for TV available today. For this guide we have carefully collected the best headphones designed specifically for television audio from across the web based on critic scores, user reviews and real world performance.
Headphones that are designed for television make it far more convenient for individuals with hearing impairment to hear dialogue from their favorite movie or television show, as well as for those looking to sneak in some late night television without waking up the entire household with explosive action scenes. They are tuned for speech intelligibility, meaning that dialogue sounds a lot clearer than it would on other headphones designed for music listening. Depending on your TV, they will usually connect to either a digital or analog connection (check this helpful link by Headphones.com on the connection types and how they work), broadcasting a radio frequency from the transmitter, which your headphone picks up, allowing for a few headphones to be connected simultaneously, all playing at their own unique volumes. We hope that our TV headphones guide aids you in selecting a headphone most suited to you.
The Sennheiser RS 120 TV headphone is well-priced and delivers a decent, well balanced sound, but with a noticeable hiss and the occasional static pop during quieter moments in soundtracks. The RS 120 has been on Amazon since 2005 and has gathered over 11,000 reviews, which are still rising; suggesting people are not too deterred by the above mentioned flaws. Users found that the headphones have a well-rounded sound that does not tire out the ears after long listening sessions. The graceful sound, coupled with the soft earpads and lightweight design of the housing makes these comfortable and pleasant to wear almost anywhere in the house thanks to their 300 foot transmission range. Some found the placement of the controls on the side of the headphones slightly awkward, with people often confusing the volume knob with the tuning knob and vice versa. The transmitter stand allows for the headphones to recharge, allowing for around 20hours of battery life (they use included AAA batteries) and one simply needs to connect the transmitter directly to an analog audio output on your television, such as a headphones out or an RCA jack. The Sennheiser RS 120 TV headphones are easy to setup and have a well-balanced audio, but a the audible hiss during quieter moments in soundtracks may prove to be deeply bothersome for some.
- Well-balanced audio
- Far-reaching signal transmission
- Easy to setup
- Audible hiss
- Confusing control placement
The Sennheiser RS 120 TV headphone has well-balanced audio, but a reportedly persistent audible “hiss” presents itself during quieter moments of soundtracks.
Sony’s MDR RF985RK TV headphone has been rather well received by Amazon customers, with many finding that the headphones had good sound qualities, although some found that they have a slight hiss during quieter moments in soundtracks or during dialogue. They make use of 40mm driver units and the product’s wireless range is around 150 feet, which some have said is pretty accurate; although a few reports suggested that the headphones do lose reception through walls. Its low end reaches 10 Hz, while its high reaches 22,000 Hz. Many found that the headphones are comfortable to wear and offer a reasonable amount of noise-cancellation, but users’ biggest gripe is the irreplaceable battery. They rightfully pointed out that if the battery needed to be replaced, the entire device would need to be sent away for repairs. The battery life is around 25 hours per charge, which simply requires one to place it on its charging station to recharge. The Sony MDR RF985RK TV headphones are comfortable and have good audio qualities, but the irreplaceable battery could prove to be a nuisance.
- Decent Noise-cancellation
- Good overall audio quality
- Audible hiss
- Irreplaceable battery
The Sony MDR RF985RK TV headphones may have a slight audible hiss and irreplaceable batteries, their overall audio quality is good and they are comfortable.
The Sennheiser RS 175 RF TV headphone has a solid 328 foot (line of sight) audio transmission range and can support up to two devices. The device is said to drive dialog really well, but one user critically stated it fell short when demanding sound tracks needed to be delivered, suggesting it sounded quite tinny. The transmitter is easy to connect to television, via either a digital optical connection or analog 3.5mm input, coming with both cables included. While the base transmitter can support two headphones, it can only cradle one at a time for charging purposes. The headphones have surround sound mode and different bass settings to enhance user experience. The 18 hour battery life is rather impressive; one can easily go on an all-day television binge and still have enough charge to make it late into the evening. Some found that the plastic housing felt slightly cheap for the price tag, questioning the RS 175’s durability. Some also found them to be slightly tight, but found that they were still comfortable enough to enjoy, with the tight fit aiding in stopping audio from leaking. The Sennheiser RS 175 may feel slightly cheap, but its 328-foot range is solid. However, they may be better suited for more vocal driven soundtracks.
- Solid Bluetooth Connect
- 328ft Bluetooth range
- Solid voice dialog quality
- 18 hour battery life
- Demanding soundtracks may fall short
- Plastic housing seems cheap
The Sennheiser RS 175 seems to deliver a massive wireless transmission range and good vocal dialog performances, but some found that the overall audio quality slightly lacked in performance.
The Sennheiser RS 185 RF TV headphone offers stunning audio quality for users looking for that audiophile sound quality. There is reportedly a break in period; some found the high end slightly too sharp initially and the bass slightly low, but after a week or so the audio quality was praised for its accuracy at reproducing dialogue and music. The open-back design resembles those high-end studio grade headphones Sennheiser are so well known for, which creates a large soundstage. This does also allow quite a bit of sound in and quite a bit of sound out, meaning the noise-cancellation is basically non-existent. The transmitter is multi-purposed, supporting both digital and analog inputs, as well as a cradle for charging and storage. It is said to maintain a reasonably long charge of around 18 hours and the velour earcups sit comfortably for hours on end. However, the headband has a plastic-type material that covers the padding, which one user found caused his shaved head to sweat in the exact spot where the padding touched. Users found that the wireless transmission distance was good and the connection was reliable and many found the controls on the headphones easy to use. The Sennheiser RS 185 RF TV headphone is really pricey, but the audio quality that these offer should impress even the most critical audiophile.
- Excellent audio quality
- Improved power and volume buttons
- Included optical cable
- Auto-on function on the docking station
- Good wireless transmission distance
- Plastic like headband pad material can make heads sweat
- Open-back design means no noise-cancellation
The Sennheiser RS 185 offers audiophile quality listening, but the open-back design means quite a bit of sound escapes and not much gets blocked.
The Sennheiser RS 195 RF TV headphone is said to be exceptionally clear and detailed in its audio delivery. It has a closed-back circumaural design that keeps audio in and ambient noise out and is said to be quite effective at this. It has two listening modes: speech mode and music mode. Speech Mode assists in the elimination of background noise, enhancing the audibility and clarity of voices, while the Music Mode improves the overall sound detail by boosting the dynamic range. The Multi-purpose transmitter acts as a charger and it allows for the connections of audio devices via digital or analog input. The device charges for around 8.5 hours according to one user, while maintaining that charge for about 18 hours. The headphones were described as heavy and bulky by some, but others were more than impressed with its comfort. Some individuals who said they had hearing issues said they wished these could go a little louder, suggesting that the max volume was not loud enough. The Sennheiser RS 195 RF TV headphone may not be suited for those who have hearing difficulties; however, their audio quality has received many positive remarks with most users very impressed.
- Excellent clarity
- Speech and music listening modes
- Good noise-cancellation
- Bulky and heavy
- Max volume not high enough for those who are hard of hearing
The Sennheiser RS 195 RF TV headphone provides clean and clear sound, but is less suitable for those who are hard of hearing due to its reportedly low max volume.
The RIF6 RF43 TV headphones has a solid battery life of around 20 hours and a decent transmission range of around 100 feet .The included batteries are rechargeable and they charge while mounted on their transmitter. According to reviewers, the audio is good and clear, although it does cut out during silent moments and kicks back in a split second or two too late, sometimes cutting off the beginnings of sentences. The frequency range ranges from 30Hz – 20,000Hz, which is standard for headphones. Users pointed out that the build quality of the headphones are solid, seeming durable and feeling light on the head, offering a comfortable user experience. They come with 3.5mm cable, so they can plug the headphones themselves directly into televisions that have the headphone out jack, but otherwise the transmitter box plugs into your TV via 3.5mm-RCA cable. The 2.4 GHz frequency reportedly does interfere with a few people’s routers, as WIFI bands are 2.4 GHz. This could explain why many people have had issues with no Internet when trying to use the headphones while streaming online. The RIF6 offers good audio playback, but its interference with WIFI signals could make them useless for those looking to stream online.
- Good sound
- Reasonable signal range of 100 feet
- Good battery life of roughly 20 hours
- Its interference with WIFI signals makes it hard to stream online
- Audio cuts out during silence and kicks in slightly late when dialogue starts
The RIF6 RF43 TV headphones seem to interfere quite a bit with WIFI signals, making them less ideal for online streaming, but offer a decent overall sound quality otherwise.