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The best wireless TV headphones for 2023

Keep the peace and improve your listening experience with these top-rated 'phones for the tube. (We can still call it "the tube," right?)

If the TV never seems quite loud or clear enough and you find yourself blasting episodes of Grace and Frankie, there are two solutions to keep the general peace with a spouse or roommate and eliminate background noise without sacrificing your listening experience (or becoming hard of hearing). You can add a soundbar, which would boost voices and make the audio both louder and clearer, or you can look into getting a set of high-quality wireless TV headphones instead. The latter will allow you to hear everything better without disturbing anyone else. Here's the key question, though: how do you find the best Bluetooth headphones with a decent price tag?

Quick overview
  • Best affordable TV headphones

    Avantree Ensemble Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

  • Best comfortable fit TV headphones

    TV Ears Digital Wireless Headset System

  • Best TV headphones for seniors

    Sennheiser RS 195 RF Wireless Headphone System

  • Best voice-boosting TV headphones

    Zvox AV52 Noise-Canceling Headphones With AccuVoice Technology

  • Best earbuds for TV

    Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds

  • Best budget earbuds for TV viewing

    EarFun Air S Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds

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Before I dive into our picks for the best wireless headphones used to watch television, let me clarify the two main types, because the landscape has changed in recent years.

How do wireless TV headphones work?

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.

The Zvox AV52 are pretty standard Bluetooth headphones, but they employ AccuVoice technology so you can hear voices more easily, plus active noise canceling to help reduce outside distractions. (Photo: Rick Broida/Yahoo)
The Zvox AV52 are pretty standard Bluetooth headphones, but they employ AccuVoice technology so you can hear voices more easily, plus active noise canceling to help reduce outside distractions. (Photo: Rick Broida/Yahoo)

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.

Which wireless TV headphone is best?

Wireless TV headphones from Sennheiser, Zvox (which are pink), TV Ears and Avantree.
Wireless TV headphones from Sennheiser, Zvox, TV Ears and Avantree.

So which are the best headphones? I can't say there's one pair of wireless headphones for TVs 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 rechargeable TV headphone with a drop-and-go charging dock, but you can probably save money by choosing simple Bluetooth headphones or earbuds.

Below, I've rounded up what I consider the best options for wireless headphones across all these categories to complete your home theater setup while watching movies. 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.

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 nearly 7,000 buyers indicates a solid pair of headphones.
$100 at Amazon

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.

$157 at Amazon

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.

$248 at Amazon

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!

$80 at Amazon

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.

$200 at Amazon

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

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