Best wireless TV headphones with a docking station
Best wireless TV headphones with a docking station
These are the wireless TV headphones to go for if you’re looking for a pairdesigned specifically for optimum use with your TV. This type can be set up towork with almost any TV without adaptors and the included dock means chargingyour headphones every day is super easy.They feature a base station, which acts as both a wireless transmitter and thecharging dock. This base station connects into your TV usually via an optical(digital) cable or standard 3.5mm (analogue) auxiliary cable – depending bothon what connections your TV supports and the pair of headphones you choosesupport. An optical connection is recommended if you have a choice, but bothcan provide a superb experience.Pros: Everyday use couldn’t be easier: simply take the headphones off the dockto use, then put them back when you’re finished to charge A compatible setupcan be achieved for almost any TV without needing adaptors.Cons: Can be fiddly to set up for the first time, often expensive, no easyflexibility to connect directly to other devices (such as your smartphone)Examples with wireless base stations include:Our experts have picked out the very best wireless TV headphones with a basestation from our expert tests – find out the best pairs to buy in the tablebelow.Only logged-in members can view our recommendations in the table below. Ifyou’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.
Wireless TV headphones with a base station
Sign up to reveal product imageDesigned exclusively for indoor listening, these are the best headphones forlistening to your TV our lab has found so far. They’re fantastic all-rounders,sounding great regardless of what you listen to. The base station has anextremely long wireless range and by putting them back on this dock betweenuses, they’re always charged whenever you need them – it couldn’t be easier.Sign up to reveal product imageFor film and TV programme use, these headphones truly excel,, where the soundis rich, enveloping and voices clear, and there is lovely sparkle to the highfrequencies. Even better, there is no sound leakage, so you can even listen inthe same room as others without disturbing them. The impressive battery lifelasts for nearly 30 hours between charges as well.Pricing and recommendations correct as of January 2021.
Bluetooth headphones for your TV
A lot of newer TVs now support Bluetooth. So if yours does, the good news isthat you have far more choice in choosing wireless headphones for TV use – thevast majority of wireless headphones connect via Bluetooth (base stationheadphones are the only main exception). The only significant downside ofusing Bluetooth headphones with your TV is they don’t have the easy chargingdock base station that dedicated TV headphones have.While you could connect any style of Bluetooth headphones to your Bluetooth-enabled TV, most will likely choose the added comfort of over-ear headphones,or on-ear headphones if you’d like them to be less bulky, both of which have aheadband that goes over the top of your head.Many excellent over-ear headphones contain noise cancelling technology toblock out sounds on a commute. There’s no harm in using these at home (you canturn the noise cancelling off, too), but be aware that you’re paying a premiumfor this technology, so if you don’t plan to use the headphones out of thehouse, you could save money by avoiding models with this feature.Pros: Convenient if you’d like headphones to connect to other devices as well(such as your smartphone) and take outside, much wider selection of headphonesto choose fromCons: Requires a Bluetooth-enabled TV, charging isn’t as convenient as withbase station headphones and you may find the controls on your headphones (egto change volume) don’t work with your TV. Many Bluetooth headphones come withvery short charging cables that aren’t ideal for use in a living room, soyou’ll likely need to buy an (inexpensive) extension cable. If you connectyour headphones to several Bluetooth devices in your home (such as smartphoneand laptop as well as your TV), you may need to keep switching activeconnections.Examples of Bluetooth wireless headphones include:Our experts select the most suitable, great-sounding and comfortable wirelessheadphones for TV use available to buy in the table below.Only logged-in members can view our recommendations in the table below. Ifyou’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.
Best Bluetooth headphones for TV use
Sign up to reveal product imageThese over-ear headphones are a landmark launch, becoming the highest-everscoring wireless headphones at our expert lab. The industry-leading activenoise cancelling is the best we’ve yet seen, they’re superbly comfortable, andthe 27-plus hour battery life goes the distance. They’re foldable and there’seven a detachable cord if you forget to charge them, plus a whole host ofoptional settings in the accompanying smartphone app.Sign up to reveal product imageThese are fantastic-sounding Great Value over-ear noise cancelling headphones– they’re so good they’ve even beaten many pairs double their price in ourtests. It’s a real challenge to find a pair with effective noise cancelling inthis price range, and these really do deliver.Sign up to reveal product imageThese headphones are a genuine hit. They have a beautifully warm sound withlots of fine detail and they’re comfortable to wear. They have anexceptionally long 36-hour battery life with effective noise cancelling.They’re a well-deserved Best Buy.Sign up to reveal product imageIf you love listening through headphones at home and want to do away withwires, these could be the perfect pair. They make for very immersive listeningand have nice retro looks. They have a lovely warm, natural tone with a widerange of sound frequencies produced and plenty of detail.Sign up to reveal product imageThese over-ear headphones have active noise-cancelling technology to block outbackground noise. They’re very comfortable and sound quality is decent. Speechis clear and engaging, but the bass can be a touch heavy at times. Batterylife varies depending on how you use them. We managed between 22 and 35 hoursof playback, which is impressive regardless.
How to connect wireless TV headphones
There are two different patterns through which you may want to connect any ofthe best wireless headphones for watching TV to your television system. The TVheadphones themselves come in two units that consist of the headphone itselfand the base unit.The base unit connects directly with the TV, serves as the docking stationsand charging set in rechargeable headphones. The base unit is the part thattransmits audio wirelessly to the headphone and this, depending on your TV’spart may be through the analog audio output or the coaxial audio output.If you already have a Bluetooth-compatible headset and would like to connectsuch directly to your PC, it is actually possible although Bluetoothconnections are prone to audio lag or lip sync delay. RF headphones, on theother hand, may suffer from little noise interference from the transmissionbut is devoid of lip sync delay or lag common in Bluetooth-connected wirelessheadphones directly connected to the TV.
RF and Bluetooth Headphones for TV and Music to Look For
Wireless headphones are ideal for consumers of all ages, and since they don’ttie you down with a physical cord, they make it much easier to enjoy high-quality audio.If you want the best experience possible, then it’s important to choose thebest product. Below, you’ll find 10 of the top products available.
Use your favorite wired headphones, wirelessly
Sennheiser Flex 5000 is a two-part system. First, is a transmitter thatconnects and sits next to your TV. The second is a wireless receiver that youcan take anywhere. As mentioned, this already includes a pair of Sennheiser MX475 earbuds. But the receiver’s 3.5mm jack allows you to connect virtually ANYwired headphones in the receiver.This means, if you find the included earbuds unsatisfying, you can swap itwith your favorite pair. Simply speaking, you can use your wired headphones,wirelessly! Plus, it gives you freedom of movement for up to 200ft.The receiver is also light and easy to clip on your shirt or pockets. So yourhands can be free to grab your favorite movie snacks.
Dedicated Wireless TV Headphones
Dedicated wireless tv headphones are headphones that come with a base station.The base station acts a transmitter that is connected to the TV which willthen transmit the audio signals to the headphones.The base station is rarely disconnected from the TV, hence, the term –dedicated. The upside of having a dedicated headphone is that you haveimmediate access to a wireless audio connection to the TV.Dedicated wireless headphones come with different types of wirelessconnections. Other than the familiar Bluetooth connection, there are RadioFrequency (RF) and Infrared (IR) options. We have stated the pros and cons ofBluetooth, RF and IR headphones below.Recommended Bluetooth Dedicated Headphones:Recommended RF Dedicated Headphones:Recommended IF Dedicated Headphones:Quick Lesson 4: The benefits and downsides of Bluetooth, RF and IF connections
Dedicated wireless headphones
If you’re like most people, your TV doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth. But theworkaround for connecting wireless headphones is so simple and cheap, it’s nota huge problem.Sarah Tew/CNETOne the most straightforward ways to use wireless headphones with your TV isto purchase dedicated wireless headphones. These typically come with a basestation that plugs into the television via 3.5mm analog jack or optical andwork over radio frequency instead of Bluetooth, which comes with one mainadvantage: range. Bluetooth headphones are typically limited to 30 feet, giveor take. RF headphones often have a far superior range — closer to 300 feetwhen unobstructed.There is a catch, however. If you do not have another audio device connectedto your television through that jack, such as a sound bar, you’ll have to swapit for the headphones when you want to go wireless.But if your sound bar is connected through either optical or digital outputs,you can leave the wireless headphones connected without interfering withnormal audio playback.You can find wireless headphones for your television for anywhere from $20 toupwards of $300 and the audio quality will vary substantially.
A dedicated set of headphones for your TV might have its advantages, but ifyou already have a nice pair of headphones you’d prefer to use, you might beable to make it work with things you already own or for even less.Sarah Tew/CNETIf your headphones are Bluetooth, all you really need is a Bluetoothtransmitter. Transmitters can be found online or at your local electronicsretailers for as little as $15.Basically, it takes the 3.5mm or RCA output from your television and transmitsit as a Bluetooth signal. You will need a power source — usually USB — whichyou might be able to tap from the USB port on the television or plug into apower strip around your entertainment system. Once you pair the transmitterwith your Bluetooth headphones, setup is complete and you can begin watchingshows or movies with the audio streaming through your favorite headphones.Using a Bluetooth transmitter will leave you with the same issue as a pair ofdedicated wireless headphones, though. If you’re not using another 3.5mmoutput device, like a sound bar, you may have to disconnect the Bluetoothtransmitter from the 3.5mm or RCA jacks to restore volume to the television’sinternal speakers.
1. The Headphones and the Transmitter Must Both Feature Bluetooth Aptx
with Low LatencyIf you want to know the nitty-gritty of how to connect your TV to Bluetoothheadphones, we have the answers you’re looking for.There are a myriad of Bluetooth transmitters and transceivers (devices thatcan transmit and receive digital signals) on the market. But if you truly wantto have a great TV experience, you must choose those featuring Bluetooth aptXlow latency codec. Bluetooth aptX will not be enough.AptX low latency is a Bluetooth codec by Qualcomm that ensures Bluetoothwireless-enabled devices deliver sound in sync with visual media. It minimizesdelay and enhances end-to-end speed of audio transmission, leading to asynchronized, high-quality user experience.Devices that support this codec will ensure that the audio remainssynchronized with the video, and that there’s no delay between what you see onthe TV and what you hear on your headphones.If your Bluetooth headphones don’t support aptX low latency, you can get thosethat do, like TaoTronics Bluetooth headphones. They ensure there’s no sounddelay and that you have an awesome TV experience. But there’s one importantthing—your TV must also support this codec.Some Bluetooth headphones don’t support aptX low latency, which is a must ifyou want to steer clear of annoying sound delays.
5. Bluetooth Headphones
Bluetooth headphones can be a highly controversial topic when talking toaudiophiles. Bluetooth headphones are meant for enthusiasts who want awireless experience and are willing to invest money into portability. You canget Bluetooth headphones with different types of earbuds and designs,and allthree headphone types we discussed in the above categories offer wirelessBluetooth counterparts.Most of the modern headphones have Bluetooth compatibility while some may comewith proprietary receivers for added features. Unlike the past, audio qualityon wireless headphones have gone up quite a few notches,and you do not havetoo many tradeoffs versus their wired counterparts.Modern technology has enabled headphones to be completely wireless and almosteveryone owns a Bluetooth compatible device, be it smartphones, tablets, TVsand other tech devices. Bluetooth headphones can fall under all threecategories we discussed above as they come in in-ear, on-ear and over-earvariants.So, what can you expect from a pair of Bluetooth headphones? Bluetooth is awireless standard that comes with audio codec support. Codecs are responsiblefor processing digital audio signals from any device with media in it andconverts it into sound through your headphones or any audio output device.Bluetooth makes all of this possible through wireless signals and removes theneed for you to physically connect your headphones to your media playbackdevice.The technology also has some smart features like automatically going tostandby mode so your headphones don’t run out of battery when you are notusing them. A pair of Bluetooth headphones may be capable of connecting tomultiple audio peripherals at the same time and you simply need to play mediaon any of the connected device to start streaming the audio.We also have NFC which is a physical connector that can help you pair NFC-compatible devices by putting both of them in contact with each other wherethe chips are located. It removes the need to manually go to your settings onyour playback device or press a bunch of buttons on your headphones.Pros * Wireless Design: The de facto reason why people invest in Bluetooth headphones is the wireless technology. Being able to connect to devices without requiring wires and making a tangled mess out of your cables is something many audio enthusiasts would like to have. * Sound Quality: Compared to older generation headphones with wireless capabilities, sound quality has improved drastically over the years. With updated Bluetooth codecs, you can expect many high-end Bluetooth headphones to compete against many wired headsets as well.Cons * Battery: Getting wireless headphones means that you have to keep charging the headphones. The larger the headphones, the better the battery life you get due to the larger space available for bigger batteries. If you plan on using your headphones outside for long periods of time, make sure you check the battery ratings to see if the headphones you want offer enough battery life. * Wireless Technology: Wireless technology does have its downsides as well. Unless your headphones and the connected device are close to each other without any physical interference, you may experience some interference when using wireless headphones. * Compatibility:Newer Bluetooth headphones may require newer versions of Bluetooth technology which your phone, laptop or other media devices may not have access to. You need to do a bit of extra research to see what codecs your playback device support before making an investment.