With all the gadgets and peripherals available in the market nowadays, it’s tempting to get each one of them. You have one for taking pictures, listening to music, watching movies, and so on. You’ll also want to have different set of speakers for various players.
Although there is nothing wrong with getting as many gadgets as you can afford, doing so will surely lead to at least one chaotic thing: dangling cables. If you have a degree in cable organizing then this should not be a problem. Otherwise, go wireless.
Headphones are my favorite audio accessories. I use them and carry them with me all the time; hence, the keeping the cables rolled up is a hassle (well, for me at least). So I decided to get myself a wireless headphone instead.
But getting one was not an easy feat. I had to go from store to store and read different reviews about each product I like. So I decided to write this tutorial for you to at least guide you in case you want to buy one. So this is how to choose the best wireless headphone for TV.
Types of Wireless headphones
Before we proceed with the tutorial, I want you to know that there are three basic connections a wireless headphone uses: infrared, radio frequency, and Bluetooth.
Infrared is the oldest wireless connection mankind has enjoyed. While it may be a pro in this field, it has its good side and bad.
- The best wireless connection for TV. It provides clear and synced sound.
- There can be no obstruction between the headphone and the transmitter. This means that distance- and angle-wise, IR headphones are limited.
RF headphones are meant to be more powerful than IR ones. But just like the first option, it has the pros and the cons.
- Depending on the manufacturer, but some can work up to 150 feet.
- It can pass through walls. If you’re in the kitchen and you want to listen to the news, no problem.
- The farther you are from the TV, the more devices with the same frequency range can interfere. If you have other RF devices nearby, you may hear a mixture of sounds from these different devices.
- It is not secure. As previously mentioned, other RF devices in the same frequency range may interfere.
The latest addition to the wireless family is the Bluetooth. It has gained so much popularity that it’s hard to find a device without one. Still, it has its limits.
- Compatible with more devices compared to the previous two.
- Does not require a separate transmitter.
- Can be used up to 10 meters.
- Provides secure connection. Devices usually require a passkey before you can connect.
- The audio is compressed. This results in a digital sound that seems harsh. Newer versions of Bluetooth, however, have employed A2DP or advanced audio distribution profile and aptX codec. These codecs enabled higher sound quality. But, your device must be compatible with these for you to enjoy that good sound
- The audio is delayed. When listening to music, it may not be a problem but when watching TV, you’ll see and hear the difference. And it gets annoying overtime. Bluetooth 4.0 has tried to lower this, but still it hasn’t been completely removed.
What you need
- TV. Of course, you may think, TV is necessary. But aside from the hardware itself, you also have to know the ports available in your television. Check the back part of your TV and locate the ports labeled Audio Out. Some TVs do not have the phrase; instead it has a small circle with an arrow pointing outwards.
- Check if you have an analog or digital output. Analog outputs usually have the red and white sockets and the one with the headphone icon. Digital ones are coaxial and optical. You also have to know if your TV has built-in Bluetooth transmitter
- Room size. Wireless headphones have limited connectivity depending on the area size. That’s why the knowledge of how big your room is, where the TV is located, matters a lot.
1. Check if your TV is Bluetooth-enabled
If you’re TV has this, then you’re choices are easily narrowed. However, check if it’s version 3.0 at the least or if it has aptX codec to make sure the audio quality is not compromised and that the audio delay is not noticeable.
2. Check the audio out ports
If your TV doesn’t is not Bluetooth ready, then you have to check the audio outputs. If you have analog outputs then you won’t have a problem. You just have to plug the headphones’ transmitter cable and you’re good to go. Otherwise, you have to buy a separate DAC or digital to analog converter.
3. Start reading reviews and specifications
Now that you have figured the audio outputs on your TV, it’s time to browse the web for factual information. The features and specifications you are looking for are operating range, dynamic bass, support to surround sound, and charging station. As for the reviews, look for the ratings and the price.
Operating range refers to the distance or range the headphone can cover. If you’re room is small and you stay in front of the TV most of the time then this should not be much of a problem. But if you’re like me who visits the fridge every now and then while watching, better choose one that works even at a distance and with barriers such as walls in between.
Dynamic bass and surround sound are not a necessity, but if you love watching movies, these two are indispensable. You’d love that boom and surround sound you’ll hear right in your ears.
A charging station is of course mandatory. Your headphones will get discharged for sure, hence you need one to power it up. Choose one that also works as the docking station so you won’t have a problem with storage.
4. Determine your budget
Yes, money plays a big role in this tutorial. Once you have gathered data about different headphones, narrow the list down according to your budget. But don’t compromise on a lot of features or you may regret your purchase. Ask someone to lend you some money or try singing around your neighborhood for a fee. (You may tell them it’s for their sake because they will no longer hear your loud music)
Choosing a wireless headphone that goes smoothly with your TV may be a challenge, especially with all the options in the market. But knowing what will work for your TV and room area will help you pick the perfect fit. Add to that your budget and the reviews about the product, then you’ll definitely narrow down your options.
Whatever your preference is, remember that headphones must be used with caution since prolonged use can damage to the auditory system. This is especially true if headphones are used at a loud volume. Experts have warned that high-sounding volume could damage the coating of nerve cells, which might lead to temporary or permanent deafness. How can you enjoy your headphones if you can no longer hear anything?
So, if you use headphones almost the whole day, then an audio device that doesn’t require skin contact is necessary. I suggest a sound bar. It’s touted for its ability to produce clear and crisp sound without the need for complex installation. And it’s easy to use just like the headphones. If you’re worried about the price, don’t be. There are a lot of good choices for sound bars that are affordable. If you read up on sound bars more, you’ll see that best soundbar under $200 exists.