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How Do I Choose the Best Wireless TV Headphones?

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  • Written By: John Lister
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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Wireless TV headphones are designed to allow users to listen to audio without disturbing others. This can be handy if you have young children, watch TV late at night, have grouchy neighbors, or enjoy loud music or action movies. To choose the best set for your needs, you need to decide whether you will always be watching the screen, or if you want to move about and just listen to the audio. You'll also want to examine the battery life and operating range on the sets that you consider.

The main decision when selecting wireless TV headphones is whether to get RF headphones or IF headphones. RF stands for radio frequency and means the sound is transmitted through radio waves in the same way as a radio station or a cordless phone. The main drawback to RF headphones is interference from other signals such as cordless phones, wireless networking or even microwave ovens. If you have a lot of these devices, it may be worth looking for headphones that allow you to adjust the frequency of the signal.

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The other main form of wireless TV headphones is infrared. This transmits the information in a beam of light that can be seen by a receiver on the headphones, but is not visible to human eyes. It works in a similar way to most remote controls. The main advantage is that it allows for better stereo audio as the left and right channels don't have to be merged together and then separated again as with RF headphones. The main disadvantage is that it only works if there is a line of sight to the transmitter. This usually works fine when watching TV, but is no good if you want to wander off, for example to listen to a TV chat show while washing dishes in the kitchen.

Determine the battery life when choosing wireless TV headphones. A short battery life can be frustrating as it means regular recharging. Check also whether the headphones can be charged while being used and, if so, whether the charging lead is long enough that you can use the headphones in comfort while they are plugged into a power outlet.

It's also worth checking the operating range on wireless TV headphones, particularly with the RF model. A long operating range will allow you to move around the house without missing a moment of the show. If you are happy to only listen to a show, or are listening to music, you can even sit outside on a sunny day if the range is long enough. Bear in mind you may get added interference, for example if your house has very thick walls, or a lot of metal.

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Post 2

Wireless TV headphones come in handy when I can't sleep and want to watch TV or videos on my laptop in the next room without waking up my family. I was able to find a good set without spending a fortune by comparison shopping online and reading the customer reviews. Battery life is definitely important if you're going to be using them a lot or if you have teenagers who use them for gaming (the ones with microphones built-in) but for me the battery life of the average headphones work just fine.

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