Best wireless headphones for TV Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best wireless headphones for TV you can buy in 2019.
If you like to watch TV late at night, a pair of wireless headphones could be just the ticket. That way you can enjoy car chases and concerts at full volume – without waking the neighbours.
Unfortunately not all over-ear, on-ear and in-ear wireless headphones are suited to TV programmes and movies, so it's important to choose wisely. One issue when using wireless headphones with a TV is a small, but annoying one: lag between what you see on screen and what you hear. This is due to latency: the time it takes the sound to travel from the source to the headphones.
The good news is that Bluetooth codecs have steadily improved latency and squashed most of the issues. The latest version of Bluetooth (5.0) should ensure a great match between audio and video and has a 40m indoor range, compared to Bluetooth 4.2's 10m range.
Of course you'll also have to make sure your TV is capable of transmitting audio wirelessly over Bluetooth.
Some Bluetooth equipped TVs offer their own audio delay settings, which can help you marry up picture and sound. If your TV doesn't have Bluetooth built-in and you attempt to use an external Bluetooth dongle through its audio output, this could introduce lip-sync issues.
Aside from good wireless performance, you'll want to consider things such as comfort, battery life and weight (since you'll be wearing them for extended periods). And if you live in a noisy household, you might want to opt for a pair of wireless headphones with noise cancelling tech. They cost a bit more, but you'll be able to enjoy your favourite shows in peace.
So what are the best wireless headphones for TV? To save you a lot of time and hassle, we've reviewed and rated all the best models below, ranging from budget to blow-out. Read on to upgrade your TV viewing experience. And with Black Friday around the corner, it's a good time to be keeping an eye out for bargains.
Sony's wireless noise-cancelling headphones are one of the most comfortable pairs of over-ears we’ve tested – and an ideal choice for movie marathons. They also sport Bluetooth 5.0, meaning they have an outstanding 40m indoor range. The quick-charging battery will come in handy too: a ten minute charge returns five hours of playback. The open, spacious soundstage provides plenty of room for sparkling vocals, ensure clear dialogue that can be heard above explosions or sound effects. If you're looking for a stereo home cinema experience that fits on your head, these talented Bluetooth cans should be top of your list.
Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM3
Sennheiser's over-ear headphones offer a detailed, neutral sound profile that helps to pick out voices and background effects that you might normally miss from poor TV speakers or soundbars. Blessed with thick, comfy leather ear pads they're perfectly suited to binge-viewing. Noise-cancelling is effective and natural, and it's a credit to Sennheiser that the level of composure and refinement matches the wired Momentum 2.0s. They're pricey, but if your budget allows it, you'll be rewarded with style and substance in equal measure.
Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless
Sony's finest true wireless earbuds support Bluetooth 5.0, so they handle video and dialogue with aplomb. Rather than relay sound from one earbud to the other, their wireless tech transmits sound to the left and right ears simultaneously. In other words, what you see on screen should match what you hear. Dripping with features, they pack an awful lot into a small package including state-of-the-art noise-cancelling tech and intuitive touch controls. And just like Sony's over-ear wireless headphones, they sound wonderfully musical, natural and expressive. If you prefer the convenience of earbuds for, say, watching TV in bed, these are hard to beat.
Read the full review: Sony WF-1000XM3
You'll be delighted to discover that these dynamic on-ear cans offer great wireless audio for the money. Features, design and build quality are superb. Blessed with an impeccable sense of timing, they're capable of reproducing a thrilling level of detail. Planning to watch back-to-back movies? The soft ear pads are extremely comfortable to wear although over-ears will give you a slightly tighter seal. Given that you can pick up a pair of Y50BTs for less than £80, they're a no-brainer for buyers on a tight budget.
Read the full review: AKG Y50BT
These sleek, simple in-ears have a short cable connecting the wireless earbuds to each other. They're comfortable enough for extended viewing and support aptX Bluetooth too. We tested them with a range of video sources (including BBC iPlayer and Sky Q) and didn't experience any obvious delays between sound and video. An impressive level of detail, clarity and refinement, combined with the convenience of wireless technology, makes these an excellent option for TVs and tablets.
Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum Free
Sony's affordable noise-cancellers offer comfortable wireless performance for less than £100 – no mean feat. You get 35 hours of battery life, and a 10-minute charge will provide enough juice for an hour. Rich, weighty and packed with bass, they're nicely-suited to energetic, fast-paced Hollywood blockbusters. Other, pricier wireless headphones offer more impressive noise-cancelling tech, but if you want a pair of top-quality wireless headphones to use with your TV that won't break the bank, the WH-CH700Ns should be on your list.
These impressive all-rounders are durable, stylish and extremely comfortable to wear around the house. Despite being pocket-sized, they offer spacious, rhythmic sound and great battery life (five minutes fast-charging gives an hour's worth of play time). A handy button on the ear cup connects you to your smartphone's voice assistant, and when you slip them off, the Y500s automatically pause music. Packed with features and easy to control, the Y500s a good option for both movies and music.
Read the full review: AKG Y500 Wireless
The QC35 IIs have a lot going for them, including class-leading noise-cancelling and a rich, warm, detailed sound. Bose designed them with long-haul travel in mind, so they're light and ultra-comfy. They don't support the latest version of Bluetooth, but they do have plenty of other talents. Can't quite remember the name of that bit part actor? These headphones have a dedicated button to activate Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, instantly granting you the answer to almost any movie trivia question. They read out text messages too, so you can stay in the loop – without having to fish around for your phone.
Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
These impressive performers are blessed with the latest version of Bluetooth, granting them an indoor range of 40m and low latency (no lag between what you see on screen and what you hear). Noise-cancelling tech is absent, but the plush ear pads make an effective barrier between you and the outside world. A full charge of seven hours will return a whopping 40 hours of playback too; unless you're a telly addict that should be enough juice for a full week's viewing. Want to know whether the film you're watching won Best Picture at the Oscars? A button allows access to the voice assistant on your phone (Siri, Google Assistant, etc). A great listen – and decent bang for your buck.
Read the full review: Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT