Home Theater Headphones Are A Good Idea
Home Theater Headphones Are A Good Idea
Here’s a scenario that might seem all too familiar. Picture this, you’re in your room watching an awesome movie on your brand-new sound system, and it sounds amazing.
You’ve got all your favorite snacks, you’re in your favorite lounging gear, and everything just seems kosher. But unbeknownst to you, it’s not.
What you don’t realize in the midst of your personal cinema time is that you have the volume incredibly loud. It doesn’t feel like it because it’s normal to you, but it is.
Before you know it, your neighbor/parent/significant other starts nagging to you about cutting it down; or off even.
Yeah that’s never a fun situation, especially when you just want to enjoy your stuff. But luckily for your, there’s a workaround for those late nights and times where your speakers can’t be used; cue headphones!
See most people would associate headphones with listening to music or even gaming normally. But with a little thinking outside of the box, guess what else they could be used for?
Yup you guessed it, home theater!
A good pair of home theater headphones are an invaluable addition for a few reasons; with the biggest being solitude. You can still watch all your favorite content straight from your television without the repercussions of having it too loud.
Even better, there exists noise cancelling variants where the only thing you’ll hear is your show, while others wouldn’t hear a peep.
Now I get it, you’re going to encounter the urge to crank your system up from time to time, (I know I do) but there’s going to be instances where you can’t.
For those, you’ll definitely want a good set that provides a quality sound. At least that way, there’s a happy medium.
How Do Headphones Work?
Ever wonder how headphones work?
So within each side of the headphone, is a small driver very similar to the one present in a traditional speaker.
Wrapped around that is a small metal wiring called the voice coil. Two wires are then connected to this coil. There’s an adjacent magnet present that the driver also connects too, and the coil is wrapped around.
Now here’s the cool part.
When electricity is introduced, (plugging them in/powering them on) the metal wiring produces its own magnetic field.
From there, the magnet is repelled from this field, and it causes the driver or diaphragm to move depending on how much electricity it’s getting (volume).
This movement is what creates sound.
Of course that’s a brief overview since it gets a lot more complex and can vary even depending on the type of headphone, but that gives you a general idea of how they work.
Here’s a more in depth look if curious.
So the real question then becomes, how do you pick the most appropriate ones?
Don’t you worry, that’s pretty easy too.
How To Pick The Right Headphones
Picking the right pair of headphones for your media consumption can be a little daunting. I know it was at least for me. Therefore, in order to choose the right ones, here’s a few tips to help you with your search.
One really important thing to look for is the frequency response. Frequency response is just a measure of how high and low an audio component can go. The bigger this range is, the better.
The upper part of this range is measured in something called kilohertz (kHz) and the lower part and number on the left is measured in hertz.
Kilo stands for 1000, and kilohertz basically means 1000 hertz.
Hertz (Hz) is simply a measure of electrical frequency, and the amount of vibrations of that frequency per second.
With that, what you would ideally want is the left number in the frequency response to be as low as possible.
You’d want the number on the right of it to be as high as possible. This will honestly give you the broadest range of sound.
A good number to shoot for would be 15Hz on the left and 10Khz on the right as I’ve found this to be best sonically in terms of dynamic range and immersion. 20 on the left, and 20 on the right is more common but okay too.
What this is going to allow you to do is get the smoothest bass and the most crisp highs without any compromises. That’s if they show the spec sheet though, which In many cases they don’t.
What do you do then?
Well the next thing you’ll want to look for in headphones is the driver size.
They are measured in millimeters or mm. A bigger size is obviously going to mean a much bigger sound. The only thing though is that the size of the headphones themselves would also increase as well.
I’ve personally found the best middle ground in regard to that issue is 40mm. At that size, the headphones aren’t overly massive and unwieldy, but you still get that same level of oomph you might miss otherwise.
I genuinely feel like 40mm is certainly the best for movie watching because the sound isn’t boomy or bloated, but tight and controlled; at least from what I’ve noticed.
Another huge factor you’ll want to take in to consideration is choosing the right type.
Would you prefer headphones that go on your ears, or over them? Either one is fine for movies honestly. Over the ear headphones do tend to block out more sound though, but they’re usually larger.
They also prevent a lot of sound leakage I’ve noticed. On ear have more punch and can go louder, but the soundstage isn’t as wide. It’s really going to boil down to what you find more important.
From there, you’ll want to decide if noise cancellation is a priority.
I will tell you that with noise cancellation, they’ll probably need to be charged from time to time, so keep that in mind. If possible, I would opt for it, but that’s just me. Other than that, I’d truthfully look at the reviews beforehand too.
What better way to gauge how a headphone might be than hear from some of the people that already have it (besides owning it obviously.)
I mean a bad pair isn’t going to be reviewed highly, so the it’s a pretty safe metric to go by.
There’s also earbuds as an option too which can provide an additional level of portability and convenience.
Then there’s Bluetooth support which I’d say is extremely important because that’ll allow you to forgo wires entirely, allowing you to move around more freely.
The type of Bluetooth isn’t important though if you’re not going to be walking all around the house with them, but if you are and think you’ll be farther away than 33 feet from the outputting device, (the limit of Bluetooth 4.0) then you’ll you’ll likely want one with Bluetooth 5
Now let’s say you chose to go the wired route though, how exactly would you get the sound from your TV to your headphones, if that’s possible? Good question.
Using Wired Headphones
You would think that with the wired option, it’d be annoying trying listen to content since you wouldn’t be able to sit down with being tethered and all. However, there is an interesting way to do it.
If you happen to have a Roku Ultra, you may have noticed there’s an mp3 jack on the remote. Weird Right?
Well actually, what you can do is connect your headphones to the remote, and you’ll hear whatever’s happening on screen. That way you could sit anywhere in the room, while technically still using wired headphones.
There’s even a pair of JBL headphones right in the box.
How cool is that?
Also if you prefer wired connections, you also have the option of connecting your headphones directly to your receiver via the headphone jack if it supports it.
Using Wireless Home Theater Headphones
But let’s also say you don’t have the Roku, and you want to listen to your TV completely wirelessly. Luckily, you have a few options. If you have a pair of wireless headphones already, check to see if your TV has Bluetooth capability.
If it does, all you would have to do is go into the TV menu to pair them, and you’ll be good to go. A lot of modern televisions have it. If it doesn’t though, you can still give your TV the ability via an external device.
The Harman Kardon BTA-10 External Bluetooth Adapter allows that very thing. It connects to your receiver via an HDMI and RCA cable. You would then press the button on it to pair it.
That’s it really. Pretty straightforward.
Now that you understand what to look for, what are a few that I’d personally recommend?
My Top 3 Headphones
There’s a lot of truly fantastic headphones out there. So, here are 3 of the best headphones that I’ve tried so far.
Sennheiser HD 4.50BT Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Headphone with Active Noise Cancellation
Right off the bat, these aren’t the smallest headphones in the world. They aren’t huge, but they aren’t tiny either. The sound however is ginormous.
They have an incredibly wide sound stage, which makes everything so much more immersive. The lows hit hard, and the highs are delicate, with both coming together for a really balanced & pleasing sound.
You’ll really love this one.
Sony MDRXB650BT/B Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones
If you’re someone who has a thing for bass, these are for you.
Admittedly they aren’t the most neutral sounding headphone since they certainly favor the low end, but they do so in a way that’s engaging and immersive.
They certainly aren’t boomy or anything.
The sound is still extremely clear, and you can tell they have that little bit of extra kick that favors the bass. Speaking of which, the bass itself hits heavy but remains tight, and when there’s a bass drop in a movie, it’s really almost like you feel it.
Definitely a fun pair that’s for sure.
Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones
Beats I feel get a bad wrap when it comes to sound quality. I mean being honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of beats in the past personally.
I guess you could say I wasn’t one to buy into the hype.
I always felt there were just better options out there comparatively. But with the Solo 2, that changed. I decided to give them a try because I heard some pretty good things about them.
I’m not sure what they did, but they were leagues above what I had heard from beats in the past; they were actually really good!
No longer were there overblown lows to where everything sounded unnatural and muddy. The sound was pristine. Then when I got the solo 3s, they were even better. You would be surprised how good they are now.
Don’t let the name fool you, this is an entirely different beast.
Also reviewed these if you wanna know more in depth about them.
Well that’s it for now guys. I hope that with all this, you can see why home theater headphones would certainly a worthy addition to your movie watching.
There’s a lot of really good options out there, so hopefully with this you have an idea of how to choose the one that best suits your needs.
But let me know if there’s anything I’ve left out, or even anything else you’ve found that might be helpful.
Take care, and like always, make it easy, keep it simple. 😉
Hey everyone it’s nice to meet you. I’m Jasmere, the founder of Easy Home Theater. I’ve been with this hobby for many years now, and decided to create this site to share everything that I’ve learned from personal experience with you. I also happen to be a huge gamer, lover of all things tech related, and a major fitness buff. Feel free to say hey!