A home cinema doesn’t have to be about creating the loudest experience possible. A great home cinema is one that fully immerses you in the environment, allowing you to disappear into the screen.
The best way to do this isn’t by turning up as many speakers as you can find.
Instead, surround sound headphones bring the sound to you. Our guide can help you pick headphones to turn even the lowest budget of B-movies into a Blockbuster experience.
Best Surround Sound Headphones for Movies
1. Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone System – Best Overall
For fans of crisp, clear, and detailed sound, the Sennheiser RS 175 Wireless Headphones are our top pick. With a round ear cup and closed-back design, they eliminate background noise, so you can lose yourself fully in the movie.
The Sennheiser lets you tailor the sound for individual preference, with bass boost and surround sound options. These controls are cleverly placed on the earcup itself, so the user can make changes without having to move and disturb the experience.
With a range of over 330 ft, the headphones can be used around the house and won’t drop the connection. They even allow you to connect to the second set of Sennheiser headphones, so you can share the experience of your favourite film.
If you prefer watching alone, then these headphones are designed so you can’t hear any background noise, and no one else in the room can hear you.
- Closed-back – Eliminates background noise.
- Bass boost or surround sound mode – An adaptable listening experience to suit the user.
- 330 ft transmission range – Usable at a great range.
- Older model – These headphones have been around for a while.
2.Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones Best for Busy Households
The adaptive noise-cancelling of Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones adapts as you change environments – or as the environment changes around you.
So if you’re tired of having your movie experience ruined by people passing in and out, these could be a perfect choice.
These headphones have responsive listening, so if you lift one of the comfortable ear cups the sound pauses for you. The ambient pass-through allows important noises to filter through the headphones, warnings and announcements etc., while still delivering a premium listening experience.
The sound quality is amazing, with clear and crisp delivery, no muddling.
One of the real features is the strong Bluetooth connection. Other Bluetooth headphones can have a lag, but this issue is resolved in the PX7. The connection stays clear. And if you put these down, they automatically disconnect and reconnect when you pick them up, to preserve the battery.
- Bluetooth connection – No lag, and sensors know when you’re listening.
- aptX Adaptive codec – Adapts to the environment, wherever you are. The noise cancellation changes to suit what’s happening around you.
- Price – These are a high budget option.
3. Avantree HT5009 Wireless Headphones Best Mid-range
If you’ve been keen to enhance your movie-watching experience, but are wary of the complications of wireless headphones, Avantree have you covered. These headphones are incredibly easy to use. Plug and play mean you simply need to turn on your Bluetooth transmitter, switch on the headphones, and they’re ready to go.
But an easy set-up isn’t all they have going for them. With an impressive 40-hour battery life, backed up with a Bluetooth listening range of 164 feet, these headphones fit into everyday life.
The sound quality is focused on clarity, so they aren’t ideal for heavy bass fans. However, if you need assistance hearing, the crisp sound is perfect for understanding.
These headphones are a great choice for those who’ve never used wireless headphones before. The sound quality is good, they’re intuitive to use and adaptable for different uses. Perhaps not to the quality of some premium options, they still create a movie-watching experience that’s cinematic. And they can be paired with another set, so you can share your favourite moments.
- Plug and Play – Ready-to-use for even the most technophobic.
- Crisp sound – Avantree prioritize clarity, great for dialogue-heavy movies.
- Poor bass – They sacrifice bass to achieve that clarity.
What to look for when buying?
One of the greatest things about the cinema experience is being able to completely lose yourself on the screen. That gets harder at home, when you may need to deal with interruptions and other distractions.
Look for headphones with fantastic noise-cancelling. This includes sound isolation, closed-back cups, and a good fit to the ear.
Perhaps an overlooked factor in recreating the cinema experience, but a good pair of headphones needs to be comfortable. You don’t want to spend the entire movie fidgeting with the cups, do you? Check for both ear cup and band size before buying.
Wired or wireless?
We recommend wireless, especially for movie watching. Wired headphones have their benefits, no potential lag issues for one, but they limit movement.
A good wireless headphone allows you to sit how you like and where you like. They also remove that awkward connection to the screen. With a pair of wireless headphones, you can really sit back and relax.
Once you’ve chosen a wireless pair, you need to consider battery life. Although all wireless headphones should last the length of a movie (unless you’ve bought a particularly low-budget option) battery range can be vast. 17 hours is great, but it can stretch as far as 40.
Ease of use
The right pair of headphones requires no additional adaptors and accessories to use. Look for strong Bluetooth connections, no unnecessary cables, and minimum confusion.
If it’s your first time buying surround sound headphones, you’ll quickly discover how important setting a budget is. They can be several hundred dollars in price. That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get a good pair, although the sound quality tends to improve the more you spend.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are surround sound headphones?
Surround sound differs from a regular experience because it delivers sound from all sides.
This is done by creating the impression that sound is coming from different angles, at a full 360 degrees. For movie watching, this makes the experience closer to that of sitting in the cinema.
Is surround sound worth it?
Surround sound is the closest you can get to a theatre experience through headphones. If you enjoy the feeling of fully connecting with a movie, then surround sound is worth the extra cost.
It’s also important to search for external noise cancellation and clarity. The sound should be crisp and clear, with no distractions from outside noise. This may be even more important than recreating the surround sound experience.