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What Kind Of Headphones Are Best For Watching TV & Movies?

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It’s probably a given that the best way to experience TV & movies from the comfort of your own home is to setup a home theater. Big TV, crisp surround sound and a booming subwoofer are all ingredients for a top quality experience. Sadly, not everyone has the ability, space or lack of shared walls to set up their own home theater

For those who are itching for high quality, all-encompassing sound while watching TV, headphones can be a fantastic option.

There are many different types of headphones available on the market today. But which ones are best for use while watching the television?

What types of headphones are there?

There are several different types of headphones available on the market today. However, when it comes to using them for watching TV or movies, certain types work better than others do in different places and there are plenty of things to consider.


These tiny earphones sit inside your ear canal and are usually the standard earphones that come with mp3 players, phones, and tablets.

Earbuds aren’t good for people who have trouble keeping things inside their ears or if you want something to cancel out background noise. The sound quality also generally isn’t very good See our longer guide on if earbuds are good for daily use.

On-Ear Headphones

Like the name implies, these headphones sit on top of your ear as opposed to inside them. Many on-ear headphones do not have ear cups that swivel so they may be tailored more to those who are looking for a fit that is snug and doesn’t move around easily.

Over-Ear Headphones

These are larger than on-ears and have ear cups that swivel so they fit over the entire ear, usually with soft padding inside for comfort. These type of headphones are generally used by professionals who use headphones all day – audio engineers, call centre agents, twitch streamers. The reason for this is that they provide great sound quality and are very comfortable for long wearing sessions.

In Ear Monitors

These are the smallest types of headphones available on the market today. They fit inside your ears and sit snugly against them, blocking outside noise.

What headphones are best for watching TV & movies?

Over-ear headphones are good for watching movies and TV because they typically are the best mix of comfort and sound quality. They also cancel out background noise well since they seal against your ears, but may be a bit bulky and heavy if you’re looking for something light and portable.

What is the difference between open back and closed back headphones?

Open back headphones have a small mesh over the ear cups to allow outside noise in, so it can help promote better sound quality since your ears aren’t completely isolated from the rest of the world.

Closed back headphones offer more noise isolation and can be great for those who want to completely shut out the world, but they are usually bulkier and heavier due to the padding on the ear cups that helps block outside noise.

Are Closed Back or Open Back Headphones Better for TV & Movies?

Closed back headphones are the best option to use for TV and movies because they keep background noise out and prevent other people from hearing what you’re watching. They also let the sound in the headphone travel straight into your ear without any interference, so the audio quality is typically better as well.

SoundGearLab has a list of the best closed-back headphones to use for TV and movies – a few other ones are the Sony MDR-7506, AKG K 240 MK II Semi-Open Studio Headphones, and the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT Wireless headphones.

In Summary

When choosing headphones for watching TV and movies, it’s important to get a pair that both fits your budget and that works well with the device you’ll be using too. Over-ear headphones are typically the best choice for blocking out background noise and preventing other people from hearing what you’re watching, but they may not be as compact and portable as on-ears or in ear monitors.