Now with summer gone and nights getting longer, the temptation is to stay in and relax with the gogglebox. However some of us may have trouble properly hearing everything which is said; others may wish not to disturb others with our nocturnal viewing and still others might just want to keep our questionable viewing habits to ourselves – this is where TV headphones come in! The neighbours need not know about our fondness for ‘Neighbours’.
TV headphones can be wireless or physically connected to the TV by a cable; we’ll start with a couple of low-cost wired models. These require an analogue output on your set, so a headphone socket is required.
A closed-back with a long 5m cable, the Thomson allows for volume adjustment for each ear independently, and is our lowest cost TV headphone and incredible value.
The closed-back HD65 TV comes with a 5.2m extension cable for a total of 6m reach, and the extension cable features a volume control which again can adjust the level for each ear. Also, there’s the open-back HD35 TV model with the same extension cable accessory.
Wireless models free us up even more, and allow us to go and put the kettle on without missing any of the action. The transmission can go through walls so there need not be any interruptions!
All the following will require your TV to have an analogue output, ideally the red and white RCA phono connections.
The closed-back WHP3001 is light and comfortable with textile earpads, and the internal battery can be recharged simply by placing the headphones on the supplied transmitter stand between uses.
The closed-back Lindy WHF-45 is useful for the TV and can also be connected directly to a computer via USB for watching videos on Youtube, whatever that is.
The closed-back Sennheiser RS165 is a very comfortable and lightweight model which steps up the quality in terms of build and sound. It includes a combined transmitter and charger for easy charging between uses, just like the remaining models in this article.
The SET 840TV model features a stethoscope-style headset, and can also adjust balance for left and right volume levels. There is also a hearing loop version for those with the appropriate hearing aids – the SET 840S.
The following models can connect to your TV either by analogue or digital outputs, using the RCA connection or Optical for digital audio.
Boasting both a digital optical and analogue RCA connection, the RS185 open-back model is excellent for use for both the TV and music with a balance control too.
Top of the line is the Sennheiser RS195; this closed-back model features both analogue and digital inputs and sound quality which rivals many premium (and wired) headphones. This model features both a balance control and options to boost certain frequencies and improve speech intelligibility.