9 Incredibly Simple TV Headphones For Anyone With Hearing Loss

May 3, 2023
Blake Cadwell
Written by
Blake Cadwell
Soundly Staff
Reviewed by
Soundly Staff

Soundly conducts in-depth research to guide prospective hearing aid wearers. Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

Woman with hearing loss wearing headphones

My 7-month-old daughter just started sleeping through the night. The milestone means I’m sitting in front of the TV again for the first time in months.

But there’s a problem, I’ve got hearing loss, and I can’t risk waking the baby with a loud TV.

Closed captions are good, but hearing the voices and music when watching TV is a big part of the experience.

The problem has me researching TV compatible headphones, and other options that will give me back my Netflix binge. Sharing my research below for anyone with the same challenges. Hope it helps! 📺🎧

Here’s what to look for in TV headphones if you have hearing loss

There are many options out there, so before we dig into products, it’s worth thinking about what makes a great personal listening experience in front of the TV. These were my leading factors.

  1. Personal Volume Control: The first thing I’m looking for is obvious. I don’t want to wake up the house, but I also want to hear the TV. I need volume control that doesn’t affect those around me.
  2. Ease and Comfort: My second priority is ease and comfort. Watching TV is my way to unwind at the end of the day. I want a product that will be comfortable in my ears and is easy to use.
  3. Simple setup: Connecting headphones to a TV can present some tech challenges. I’m looking for products that are simple and easy to set up.
  4. Ability to Interact With People Around Me: My final criteria is more challenging. I usually watch TV with my wife, and I would prefer to hear her if she comments.

There are 3 Categories of TV headphone options I considered.

If you are looking to hear your TV better, you have three main options. Each has some pros and cons, but the good news is that no matter what TV you have or how tech-savvy you are, there should be an option below that works for you.

Connect Your TV to Headphones Hearing Loss.jpg

Option #1. Watch with dedicated TV headphones

Dedicated TV headphones use a base station that plugs into your television and sends a radio frequency or Bluetooth to your wireless headset.  This product type works with the widest range of TVs and is easy to set up. The three products below get great reviews for their simplicity and comfort.

Option #1 Pros: Private listening experience, easy to set up, stream to more than one pair of headphones
Option #1 Cons: You’ll need to purchase a dedicated pair of headphones which can cost $100-$200

Sennheiser RS 175 - Best Sound Quality

The Sennheiser RS 175 has over 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon. Sennheiser sells a full range of TV headphones and is known for top-of-the-line sound quality and ease of use. The only drawback is that this device uses radio frequency instead of Bluetooth, so you will need to stay within the sightline of your TV for the sound to work.

See prices and reviews on Cruthfield (Estimate $200)

Sample review:

“Tinnitus. Hearing loss on the upper end. Dialogue on TV and films is difficult for me and I've been using headphones for TV for years. Started with Sennheiser's RS120 (entry-level) for upstairs and then bought the RS160 (discontinued) for the big screen downstairs. Wanting something more, I just bought these RS175 and they're perfect.” - Dwight

Sony WH-RF400 - Sleek Appearance

Sony WH-RF400 makes this list for ease of use and a sleek appearance.

See prices and reviews on Amazon (Estimate $120)

Sample reviews for the Avantree HT5009

“I got this unit for my 82-year-old mother. She is hard of hearing and loves that she can hear all her shows clearly now, and we love that she is no longer blasting the rest of us out of the house!” - JL

“I have problems hearing, more specifically I have a hard time understanding clarity and often just hear the noise. (Now) I don't have to put closed captions on and hear everything crystal clear while the TV is on mute and doesn't disturb anyone. - Athenian

Avantree HT4186 - In The Ear Comfort

Avantree TV Ears.jpg

The Avantree HT4186 comes with the same easy setup as the previous option, but this model gives you an in-the-ear headphone style that might be more comfortable for many people. This style is especially useful for those who wear glasses.

See prices and reviews on Amazon (Estimate $90)

Sample reviews for the Avantree HT4186

“I brought these headphones with the specific purpose of connecting to a TV. After many trials of different units I have finally found a set that works as it should. There is absolutely NO delay with these units, the sound quality is great and the battery life is fantastic.” - Mark

“I hear things now that the family miss and ask me what did he/she say? Rather than the other way round. Battery easily lasts an evenings viewing.” - Starling

Option #2. Watch or stream TV with hearing aids

Many people first discover their hearing loss in front of the TV. Hearing aids can provide some immediate relief. They can also give you options in other contexts like at dinner with friends or with mask-wearing waiters. I have included 4 of the most TV-compatible hearing aids below across a few price ranges. If you haven’t yet tested your hearing, you can try one of these quick online tests.

Option #2 Pros: Hear your environment + the TV and interact with those around you while watching
Option #2 Cons: Hearing aids can be more expensive than headphones and involve more learning curve

Jabra Enhance Hearing Aids - Top Quality, Affordable, Delivered Online

Jabra Enhance Hearing Aids

Jabra Enhance is one of my favorite hearing aid brands because you can purchase their product fully online, they offer a 100-day money back guarantee and are fully customized to your hearing loss. Like most top-end hearing aids, Jabra offers a TV streamer device that you can plug into your TV and have sound streamed directly to your devices. You can also opt to watch TV without a streaming device and let your hearing aids amplify the sound.  

Learn More About Jabra Enhance Here
Learn More About the Jabra Enhance TV Streamer Here

Nuheara - Hybrid Headphone and Hearing Aid

Nuheara is an Australian brand that has received notable press and traction with hybrid noise-canceling earbuds that double as hearing amplifiers. The sound quality of Nuheara's hearing aid/headphones gets rave reviews. Nuheara sells a streamer that can easily send your TV sound directly into your ears. If you choose not to use the streamer, you might use Nuheara as a hearing aid to better pick up your TV's sound.

Learn more about Nuheara devices
Learn more about the Nuheara TV streamer

Lexie - Quality Hearing Aids For $799

Lexie Hearing Aid TV Stream.jpg

Lexie makes this list for their affordable price and good quality. Lexie hearing aids do not directly stream TV audio into your device. Still, they provide amplification that allows wearers to listen to their surroundings and better hear their TV. The Lexie product is a simple battery-powered device that I trialed last year and found reliable, easy to use, and effective.

Learn more about Lexie hearing aids here

Traditional Hearing Aid Brands - Full Audiology Support

Watching TV With Hearing Aids Audiology.jpg

The three hearing aid brands listed above are each purchased online. If you have more severe hearing loss or want more hands-on support, you may want to see a traditional audiologist. A local audiologist will give you a hearing test and will help you purchase hearing aids from one of the established medical-grade brands on the market (Starkey, Oticon, ReSound, Phonak, Widex).

Each of these brands sells an accessory streaming device that can be plugged into your TV and send audio directly into your ears. Even without the streaming device, these high-quality devices will help you pick up TV dialog.

Compare Hearing Brands and Products Here

Option #3. Connect Bluetooth headphones you already own to your TV

You might have a pair of Airpods, Bose, Beats By Dre, maybe something similar. Each of these devices is equipped with Bluetooth and can potentially connect directly to your TV. This approach can be the most cost-effective way to get high quality sound straight to your ears. I’ll break down your options below.

Pros: You can save money by using headphones you already own and love
Cons: Connecting existing headphones can take a bit of tech-savvy

If you have a Bluetooth headset but not a smart TV

If you have a pair of Bluetooth headphones but not a smart TV, you will need an adapter that plugs into your TV. Fortunately, Bluetooth TV adapters are not expensive or hard to set up. These devices plug directly into your TV and send a signal to your Bluetooth headphones. One great feature of many Bluetooth transmitters is that they can send audio to 2 pairs of headphones simultaneously so that you and a partner can watch together. I’ve included two of the top reviewed Bluetooth TV transmitters below.

Avantree Oasis - Most Features

Avantree Oasis Bluetooth TV Streamer.jpg

Avantree Oasis has a full set of features including the ability to connect to two sets of headphones simultaneously and the ability to stream audio from a phone or iPad. The Oasis product has around 2,500 5 star reviews on Amazon. Prices and details here (estimate $79).  

Amazon Fire - Popular Tech

Around 50M users worldwide use Amazon Fire TV through an external Fire TV Stick plugged into their TV. The Amazon Fire Stick gives your TV the capabilities of a smart TV for around $30. It’s worth noting that Fire TV only allows streaming to one pair of headphones. If you want to stream to two devices simultaneously, you might consider Avantree.

Prices and details here (estimate $35).

If you do have an Amazon Fire TV Stick at home you can watch this video to learn how to pair your headphones.

If you have a smart TV and already own a pair of Bluetooth headphones, you might have everything you need to connect

Smart TVs can connect directly to a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Each TV does this a bit differently. If you are not sure whether you have a smart TV, read this. Note that most TVs will not connect to more than one pair of headphones at a time.

If you need help pairing your headphones to your smart TV, check out the list of YouTube tutorials below.

Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to LG
Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to Sony
Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to Vizio
Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to Panasonic
Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to Toshiba
Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to Samsung

A quick recap

You've got options:  

  1. If you want a simple set up you can choose dedicated headphones designed for TV.
  2. If you are hard of hearing you might want to try hearing aids that connect to your TV and amplify sound.
  3. If you are relatively tech savvy you can use your existing headphones connected to your TV using an adaptor or Smart TV connection

I hope this guide helps you find the right solution and gives you clear sound to enjoy your TV time more.

If you’re curious, I use a mix of my Airpods connected to my Samsung smart TV when I’m alone watching football (Go Packers!) and my Jabra Enhance hearing aids when I’m with family.

If you have any questions or thoughts I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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