Best headphones in the UK


We all like watching TV, right? A good session in front of the box has to be the all-time favourite escape from daily life — not to mention a great way to decompress after a long day of work. It’s not all good though, because sometimes your home life can get in the way of your time in front of the TV. If you love to watch TV, you need a pair of good headphones.

You might live in a busy household where people are constantly coming in and out, or playing loudly around you, or are just working on their own activities and hobbies. Simply put, your family or housemates might annoy the hell out of you when you’re trying to get stuck into your latest Netflix obsession.

Or maybe you annoy them with your loud TV watching. Perhaps you just want to enjoy Monday Night Football, while others could care less whether Manchester United win or lose. Is getting a little peace and quiet too much to ask?

Thank goodness for wireless headphones. A good pair of wireless headphones make it possible to fully immerse yourself into a show or movie without bothering the people around you.

What makes a good pair of headphones for watching TV?

Sound is important when you’re buying any pair of headphones, but if you’re buying specifically for watching TV, you’ll need to consider the sort of things you’ll be watching. Will you need heavy bass for the rumbling carnage of action movies? Or nuanced detail for quieter moments? Or maybe all-round, un-fussy performance for casual watching of sport and comedy?

If you’re relaxing in front of the TV, chances are you don’t want to be wired in to the TV — what you need are the best wireless headphones.

What’s best — Bluetooth or radio frequency technology?

Most wireless headphones are Bluetooth-enabled, the standard technology these days for hooking up your headphones to a smart device. It might be standard, but this is not necessarily the best tech for wirelessly watching TV. There might be some lag between what you’re watching on the screen and what you’re hearing in your headphones, which means the picture and sound might be slightly out of sync. Bluetooth is a good option for podcasts or music on your smartphone or laptop, but is usually not the best for watching TV.

Believe it or not, headphones that use old school radio frequency technology (RF) are better for watching TV because lag or latency is minuscule and visually seamless between picture and audio. This doesn’t mean there aren’t good Bluetooth options out there, but it’s something to consider when shopping.

What are Bluetooth codecs?

If you do want to buy a Bluetooth-enabled set of headphones, check out which codecs they support. These encode and decode digital audio signals. The codecs decode at a specific bitrate, which determines whether the headphones have a high or low latency (AKA lag), which is measured in milliseconds. High latency means your picture and sound may be out of sync.

Look out for headphones with low latency that support Qaulcomm’s aptX codecs, which are usually rated as the best codecs for streaming video content or hooking up to a TV.

Do you need noise cancelling headphones to watch TV?

Ultimately, it’s down to personal preference but if you want a totally immersive experience, noise cancelling headphones will block out the world and put you right at the centre of a movie or show.

There are two kinds of noise cancelation — passive and active noise cancelling. Passive noise cancellation is achieved by the design and build of the headphones, which physically block out noise. Active noise cancellation (usually called ANC) uses a system of small microphones which pick up incoming sounds and create anti-noise sound waves to cancel them out.

What are the best headphones for watching TV?

If that seems like a lot of information to take in, don’t worry, because we’ve scoured the reviews and have come up with a list of your best options for watching TV. We’ve lined up all the best wireless headphones for watching your favourite show or movie, including popular devices from top brands like Sony and Bose.

There should be something for everyone and every budget in this list. We recommend taking your time and considering everything that has made the cut. Weigh these headphones up against your priorities and a favourite should emerge.

These are the best wireless headphones for watching TV in 2021.

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