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The best wireless TV headphones for 2024

Hard time hearing the TV? You could add a soundbar, which would not only make the audio louder and clearer but also boost voices. Of course, blasting episodes of Only Murders in the Building is the very definition of disturbing the peace. Before your spouse or roommate throws you out, consider donning a set of wireless TV headphones instead. You’ll hear everything a lot better and reduce the number of murderous looks directed your way. All that remains is to figure out what’s the best wireless TV headphone for your particular needs? And while we’re asking questions, how much should you expect to pay?

I can’t say there’s one pair of TV headphones that’s vastly superior to another; they all have their merits. Ultimately, it depends on your budget and level of tech-savvy. It’s hard to beat the convenience and simplicity of a good set with a rechargeable battery and a drop-and-go charging base, but you can probably save money by choosing simple headphones or earbuds.

Below, I’ve rounded up what I consider the best options across various categories. Some of them I’ve tested firsthand; others earned a spot here based on reputation and user ratings. Chances are good you’ll be happy with any of them.

(Looking for a better way to listen to music on your phone? You might like our list of the best wireless headphones or the best AirPods Pro alternatives priced under $100.)

Avantree

Avantree makes a number of wireless TV headphones; the Ensemble stands out by offering great bang for the buck. Its charging dock is also a Bluetooth 5.0 transmitter, one that can pair with a second set of headphones if someone else wants to get in on the private-listening action. The headphones themselves promise up to 35 hours of play time on a charge, and they can also pair with a phone or tablet. There’s a wired option as well if you want to jack into an old-school stereo (or iPod). I haven’t tested them, but the 4.4-star average from over 11,000 buyers indicates a solid pair of headphones.

$100 at Amazon

TV Ears Inc

Don’t like the idea of bulky headband or the over-ear and on-ear pads? TV Ears resembles the upper half of a doctor’s stethoscope, slipping into your ears and dangling beneath your chin. The product has improved considerably over the years, with digital transmission replacing analog, a replaceable battery and a five-year warranty. Just plug the base station into your TV’s optical or coaxial audio port.

$139 at Amazon

Sennheiser Consumer Audio

With age comes hearing loss; sometimes mild, sometimes more than mild. Sennheiser’s headphones tackle that head on, with a speech mode specifically designed to help you hear voices and seven separate hearing “profiles” (selected via a simple analog dial on the base station) to find you the best audio quality for your hearing ability. These big, cushy ear cups promise up to 18 hours on a charge, with a range of up to 100 meters (although line of sight is required). Take note, however, that because these aren’t Bluetooth headphones, they won’t work with anything but your TV.

$266 at Amazon

ZVOX

At first blush, these might look like typical Bluetooth headphones. And they are, with one exception: The same AccuVoice technology that’s baked into Zvox’s soundbars lives here as well. Couple that with active noise cancelling (ANC), which helps block ambient noise, and you’ve got a great, affordable option that’s good for TV and much more. Another nice perk: You can get these in black, blue, pink or white!

$50 at Amazon

Apple

Think you might prefer earbuds to headphones? There’s no better option than Apple’s flagship AirPods, which offer unrivaled noise-canceling capabilities and up to six hours of battery life. And if you use an Apple TV device for streaming, you’ll also be able to take advantage of the AirPods’ seriously cool spatial audio capabilities, which create a virtual but extremely realistic 360-degree surround-sound effect in your living room.

$199 at Walmart

EarFun

Similar to AirPods Pro in many ways, but much more affordable, these earbuds offer an impressive roster of features and very good sound quality. Because they promise low-latency connectivity, you should encounter no audio-sync issues when TV watching. Thanks to multipoint connectivity, you can pair them with more than one device (your phone and your TV, for example). And EarFun’s companion app lets you adjust equalizer settings to better tweak the audio experience to your liking (helpful if you have trouble hearing certain ranges). AirPods are great, no question, but I suspect a lot of TV show viewers would be just as happy with the EarFun Air S.

$60 at Amazon

First, there are “traditional” TV headphones designed expressly for this purpose. These include a base station that plugs into your TV and beams audio to the headphones using some kind of wireless technology — usually RF, infrared or Bluetooth. That base station will often double as a headphone charging dock.

Next, there’s Bluetooth, the short-range wireless technology that’s now built into most TVs and streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, etc.). This eliminates the need for a base station and, indeed, opens the door up to just about any Bluetooth earbuds or wireless headphones — perhaps even those you already own.

A photo of Zvox headphones resting atop a carrying case.

These Zvox headphones were specifically designed with TV in mind, with dialogue-enhancement features built in. (Rick Broida/Yahoo News)

For example, I paired Anker’s Soundcore Space Q45 Bluetooth headphones with a Hisense U7H TV, and presto: wireless private listening. No extra equipment needed, no switching of modes or inputs. When I powered on the headphones, that’s where the sound played. When I turned them off, it returned to the TV speakers. (Your mileage may vary depending on the age and capabilities of your TV and headphones.)

Similarly, if you have a Roku TV or streaming device, you can use the Roku app to activate a feature called Private Listening, which routes the TV audio to whatever headphones or earbuds are plugged into or paired with your phone.

There are two types of “wireless” headphones that you can use with a TV. The first one uses radio frequency (RF) receivers, which plug into the analog output of your TV and convert the sound into a wireless signal that the headphones can pick up. This type of connection is always lag-free, but as the battery starts to run low on the headphones you may notice some static.

The other option is Bluetooth, which uses a short-range wireless connection between the headphones and the TV to transmit audio. Your TV will need to have Bluetooth built in, or you can add an adapter and connect the headphones to the adapter instead.

Yes, you can use a pair of wireless headphones that you have at home already with your TV, as long as it has Bluetooth built in. If your TV does not have Bluetooth, you’ll need an adapter in order to pair the headphones to your TV.

If you happen to know the model number of the TV you bought, you can easily look up the features online to find out of it has Bluetooth or not. In most cases, though, you probably don’t know it, so the easiest way to check for Bluetooth is going to be in the settings. You’ll want to use your TV remote to navigate to the Settings menu, then find the Sound section, and look under Sound Output.

This may vary a bit by TV, so you may need to dig around a bit in the Settings menu to get the information.

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