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Do you ever wish to enjoy a movie or TV show without all of the background noise? If so, headphones are an excellent investment. Headphones for movies and TV have become extremely popular in recent years due to their convenience and ability to eliminate outside noises. However, with so many different types on the market today it’s hard to know which ones will truly suit your needs best.
The following article will provide some insight into headphones by exploring different types of headphones, their strengths and weaknesses as well as some of the most popular models currently on the market. We hope this article helps! Below is a summary of winners for each category.
Best Overall Headphones for Movies – Sennheiser RS 195 RF
Best Movie Headphones with Dolby Atmos – Sony MDR-HW700DS
Best Hybrid Movie / Gaming Headphone – SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
Best Open Back Headphones for Movies on a Budget – Sennheiser RS120
Best Headphones for Inflight Movies – Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Headphones come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. The headphones on this list are not only great for movies but are suitable for a variety of different needs. Whether you’re looking for headphones to enjoy a movie with, headphones for your computer or headphones for gaming – we have something on here that will fit the bill. Given the varied uses and types of headphones on the market, no one pair of headphones will be perfect. Instead, it’s up to you to know what you’re looking for and find the best headphones that meet those needs!
What Are Important Factors in Choosing Headphones for Movies
When headphones are being used for watching movies, it’s important to think about comfort, sound quality and whether you prefer headphones that are wireless or wired.
First and foremost, make sure the headphones you’re purchasing meet your expectations in terms of sound quality and sound features. As a general rule, decide if you are looking for Dolby Atmos support, is noise isolation needed, what sound signature you prefer (do you like thunderous bass, sparkling highs or a pair of headphones that has a neutral sound wave).
When purchasing headphones for watching movies and TV, sound quality is extremely essential. As a result, you will need to devote some time to analyzing and assessing the movie headphones’ sound quality. If you really want to boost the sound quality of your audio, make sure to see our review of the best USB DAC.
I would not really call comfort our second factor to consider when purchasing a pair of headphones for movies, it is really like factor 1a. It is imperative to find a pair of headphones that are comfortable as you will be wearing them for an extended period during the movie. Nothing is more irritating than needing to pause a movie to readjust or take a break due to headphone fatigue.
In addition to comfort, you will also want to consider battery life if you go with a set of wireless headphones for movies. Again the last thing we want at a mid-point of a movie is for our headphone batteries to go dead.
Wired or Wireless
Along the same lines of comfort, a third option to consider is the type of connectivity you will need from your movie headphones. Although wired headphones will typically provide the best sound, they may not work in a home theater setting. In addition, if you are thinking about wireless headphones, decide if Bluetooth or a traditional wireless transmitter best fits your needs.
Best Overall Headphones for Movies
SENNHEISER RS 195 RF Wireless Headphone System
Kicking off our list is our pick for the best overall headphone for movies, the Sennheiser RS 195 RF Wireless Headphone.
If you’ve ever struggled with headphones that are too large, too small, too loud or just not right for your taste – these headphones are for you. The headphones come with an RF transmitter that is optimal for home theaters due to the wireless connectivity option. The transmitter works with either analog or digital input to provide sound to the headphones. The transmitter is can also be used as a stand to to charge the Sennheiser RS 195 headphones.
The range is incredible on the wireless transmitter, 330 feet as described by the manufacture. We did not test the full range but we had no issues using the wireless connectivity in our theater room.
With their comfortable design and sound quality that is sure to please, these headphones are a great choice for anyone looking for headphones specifically for watching movies and TV. The ear cups are soft and the headband clamp was perfect providing a nice seal without being too tight or sacrificing comfortableness. If you plan to use headphones for an extended period it’s important to make sure there is enough room around the ears without feeling too tight.
These are closed back headphones and although they are not noise cancelling they blocked out the ambient room noise during our test. We also noticed minimal sound leakage from the cans if you are worried about disturbing others in the room while watching movies.
In regards to the sound, the Sennheiser RS 195 headphones did not disappoint. The sound signature of these make them great headphones for movies. They have a great sound stage and surround processing for closed back headphones. The bass is the standout here (especially during some scenes during the Matrix). The voice quality was natural sounding and on par with other headphones we tested and overall we were pleased with the sound signature.
The one drawback you may find is if you are expecting a soundstage similar to the top open back headphones. The Sennheiser RS 195 has a wide soundstage but it is a closed back set of headphones. If you are looking for a huge soundstage in your movie headphones, an open back design may be more your speed.
The other thing we wish these had were Dolby Atmos support. Don’t worry though, keep reading as we list our top pick for headphones for movies with Dolby Atmos support coming up.
All of the comfort, top notch wireless connectivity and sound quality combined made it an easy pick for the Sennheiser RS 195 as our top overall headphone for movies.
Best Headphone for Movies with Dolby Atmos Support
So our top overall pick for best headphones for movies lacked a key feature many are looking for, Dolby Atmos support.
Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology from Dolby Laboratories that debuted in 2012 with the release of the film ” Brave .” The technology allows for a three-dimensional audio experience by adding height information to traditional five-channel surround sound. This creates a more realistic and immersive audio experience.
Dolby Atmos has been included in a growing number of home theater receivers, Blu-ray players and even headphones in recent years. In order to take advantage of the technology, you need content that has been specifically mastered for Dolby Atmos and your equipment needs to support it.
Many headphones on the market now tout Dolby Atmos support, but not all are created equal. So if you’re looking for headphones specifically for movies with Dolby Atmos support, the headphone here should be at the top of your list.
Sony MDR-HW700DS Wireless Headphone
Sony MDR-HW700DS Wireless Headphone 100-240V (Japan Import)
I loved the Sony MDR-HW700DS Wireless Headphones for movies and almost made it our top overall pick. The addition of Dolby Atmos functionality is great and the headphones have a lot going for them including 9.1 surround sound.
For one, they offer a long battery life (12 hours). They also feature the ability to use them as either wired or wireless. In addition to Atmos and 9.1, these headphones can handle about any audio format that comes their way including Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High-Resolution Audio, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES, DTS, DTS Neo:6, MPEG-2 AAC, LPCM 2ch/5.1ch/7.1ch!
The main issue I had was they did have some connection problems. It took a bit to get them setup but after that I did not have any dropouts during our test. I have seen other complaints about the connectivity so this may be something to consider if you are thinking about the Sony’s.
The main reasons for choosing the Sennheiser RS 195 over the Sony is I found the sound quality and connectivity better on the Sennheiser RS 195’s
Best Headphones for Movies that Doubles as a Gaming Headset
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset - Lossless High Fidelity Wireless + Bluetooth for PS5/PS4 and PC - Black
If you are looking for one pair of headphones for movies that also make a great set of cans for gaming, look no further than the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless headphones.
These use Bluetooth connectivity as opposed to wireless and we found they were easy to pair and offered great connectivity. It has the USB in addition to line in/out capabilities for both optical and analog connections. They are super comfortable with some of our favorite ear cups of any of the headphones we reviewed and are lightweight. We did not have any issues with long gaming or movie sessions.
They are closed back and offer good sound for both movies and games along with sound isolation up to the standards of our top all around headphone.
Of course since this is a gaming headphone, you get the addition of a quality microphone. We found the audio quality of the microphone to be suitable for gaming and podcasts. If your main function is broadcasting, this mic will not replace a quality broadcast mic.
The sound quality was good with excellent virtual surround sound processing. Do note while sound was good, it was not in the same league as the Sennheiser RS 195. At the same time the SteelSeries offers some additional functionality and a lower price than our top overall pick. Really depends on what you value most in your headphones.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless headphones is your best bet for a hybrid movie / gaming headset.
Best Open-Back Headphones for Movies
Sennheiser HDR 120 Accessory RF Wireless Headphone for RS 120 System
If you are looking to test the waters of open back headphones for movies without breaking the bank the Sennheiser RS120 may be a perfect match. You can find more about Open Back vs Closed Back headphones in our previous article.
These headphones are lightweight and use wireless technology. We did not have any connection problems or major latency concerns during our test.
They offer a big, open sound stage and vary natural voice dialog. Obviously they are not going to sound in the same league as some higher priced open backed cans but they are a great introduction to the style. As with other open back headphones, external noises are not blocked and the sound will leak into the room. Defiantly try and see if they are right for your environment prior to purchase.
Best Headphones for In Flight Movies
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control - Black
For our in flight best headphones for movies winner we wanted a set of cans that were lightweight, durable, offered excellent noise cancellation and additional call functionality. These are some big requirements but the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones checked off all the boxes on our list.
In addition to offering great music audio quality, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II are extremely comfortable and offer 3 levels of noise cancellation. The built in mic worked great in noisier environments for business or personal calls.
They feature Bluettoth and were easy to pair and we did not experience any connectivity issues during testing them.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II features a proprietary technology called AR (augmented reality). I was not a huge fan of the processing myself so if virtual surround is high on your list you may want to take a look at the Sony MDR-HW700DS. Although not noise cancelling, the virtual processing was much better.
The only other feature I wish these had were the ability to fold (similar to the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X) so they were easier to travel with.
Overall, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II offer a lot of features and are our top pick for travel.
With a variety of options available it is important to know which features you value most when choosing the best headphones for movies. Whether you are looking for a top of the line all around headphone like the Sennheiser RS 195 or something with noise cancellation for watching in flight movies like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II our list should help point you in the right direction. We hope you are able to find the perfect pair of cans that will bring you years of movie bliss.