Since there’s a slew of home theater systems out there, navigating the home theater landscape can be confusing at times. But don’t be deterred by this, as we’re readily available to guide you through a selection of the best home theater setup for headphones, which will suit different budgets.
The devices we’ll be looking at are grouped into various budget categories, including a $500 home theater setup, all the way up to $2000, $5000, and $7000 units. As full-featured gadgets are now available at decent prices, you’ll be able to get quality units for your headphones without sinking a hole in your pocket.
Let’s dive deep into the nitty-gritty of the best home theater setup for headphones, after which we’ll wrap the whole thing up with some tips to connect your headphones to a TV/gaming console.
Best Home Theater Setup For Budget up to $500 — Cheap Yet with Good Quality
You may find it surprising to know that with a budget of $500, you can get a really cool home theater setup. And because TVs that offer a built-in streaming platform are available on online stores, you can eliminate the requirement for an additional piece of kit.
Purchasing a TV with Roku’s streaming services included, for instance, means that you won’t have to order a separate Roku Ultra media player.
TCL 50-Inch 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV
Not so long ago, TCL released their first own-branded Android phone, which is known as the TCL Plex. The company is a relatively new player in the Android market but is best known for its TVs.
The TCL 50-inch Class 5-Series 4K UHD Roku Smart TV packs different exciting features, offering you excellent value for your money. Starting at $500, the model’s 4K Ultra HD definition is a great option to find in a unit at this price.
Also, a 50-inch picture is more than suitable for watching movies and playing games.
You can now pick off those annoying snipers in a breeze! This product comes pre-installed with Roku’s software, giving you all you need to entertain the hell out of yourself immediately you get plugged in.
The TV also supports Alexa. If you intend to watch TV series, movies at night quietly with your wired headphones when the whole family is asleep, the TLC features a headphone jack.
In one of the sections below, we’ve explained other more convenient techniques to get your TV time quietly without the need for wiring in.
Apart from this, the smart TV has other connection options, such as three HDMI ports (one of those is Audio Return Channel, ARC), allowing you to easily expand on this setup when your cash flow grows.
Nebula Soundbar — Fire TV Edition
The Nebula Soundbar by Anker is a fantastic device that makes your room lively with some big-volume soundwaves bouncing around. Just the TCL TV above, this unit works smoothly with Alexa. It’s a Fire TV built-in.
In addition to app connectivity on both IOS and Android mobile devices, this is a cool option to add to your entry-level home theater setup. Since it’s 4K HDR support, this also makes it suitable for use with a 4K TV.
Because the Soundbar is pleasantly loud, you won’t face any issues while filling your living space with movies, TV series, games, and music.
Also, there are customizable sound modes and equalizer adjustment, giving you the assurance it’s all your general entertainment taken care of as far as sound is concerned.
Budget within $500–$2000 Range
If you’re planning to spend $2000, then there are some really cool home theater systems you can grab. With this kind of budget, you can buy a space-saving projector & screen combo, and there’ll still be plenty of change to rev up the sonics.
ViewSonic X10-4K True 4K UHD Smart Home Theater Projector
If you plan to spend up to $2000, then you can use half of that to purchase a 4K projector. Delivering vivid colors & premium audio, the ViewSonic X10-4K projector is an amazing option to improve your home theater setup massively.
That the projector features 4K factor makes it very special. But if you don’t have much space, then it’s even better to opt for the product due to its portable design.
Elite Screens Aeon Series
You’ll need a screen with your projector, and the Elite Screens Aeon Series 120-Inch Aeon Projector Screen is a top-quality device, which is ideal for coupling up with your ViewSonic X10 due to its 4K support.
VIZIO SB4051-D5 Smartcast 40-Inch 5.1 Slim Soundbar System
To enjoy a truly delightful viewing experience, you need some surround sound to match. With the VIZIO SB4051-D5 Smartcast Sound Bar System, you get true 5.1 surround sound.
We’ve a wireless sub-woofer, in addition to the Soundbar for your center channel & 2 satellite speakers.
Budget within $2000–$5000 Range
If your budget is up to $5k, here are some super-cool gadgets you can grab to give a huge boost to your home theater setup.
Samsung QN65Q900RBFXZA Flat 65-Inch QLED 8K Smart TV
While 8K content isn’t available as of yet, if you intend investing a lot of cash in a TV, then you may want to be an early bird by grabbing an 8K model before the arrival of all that TV content.
Despite that, an 8K TV model still has applications in a 4K world as a result of the upscaling capabilities, which options such as Samsung’s Q900 Series Smart TV provide, enabling you to watch 4K content in pseudo 8K.
A 65” screen features an ample-sized display for virtually all media. Also, the Samsung Q900 works as a smart-TV, with lots of apps within easy reach, adding variety and depth to your home theater systems.
Definitive Technology ProCinema 6D + Denon AVR-X1600H Receiver – Compact 5.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System
To experience some really spectacular sound, this home theater speaker system from Denon & Definitive Technology is a very attractive option. It’s a full sound system that also retails at quite a competitive price.
One of the best ways to put your home theater systems to best use is by immersing yourself in a game. And Xbox One X 1Tb Console – Gears 5 Limited Edition Bundle will help you do just that as it features true 4K gaming, which, when paired with the Samsung TV & Definitive Technology/Denon combo, will allow you to enjoy a premium gaming experience.
You could order an Xbox Wireless Controller – Gears 5 Kait Diaz Limited Edition if you’ve got a thing for co-op games.
Not an Xbox fan? You can get the PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Bundle. This offers 1TB of space to load with games & apps, and a controller, just like the Xbox One X.
You can team up with a friend for some split-screen action using the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 – Red Camo.
Budget within $5001–$7000 Range
While $7k could seem like a lot of money to invest in a home theater, the more you spend, the closer you can get to achieve a real theater. This kind of budget can fetch you a top-of-the-line surround-sound system, along with a high-spec projector & screen. And you’ll still have some change left to put a real touch of luxury in the whole setup.
BenQ HT3550 4K Home Theater Projector
The BenQ’s HT3550 4K Home Theater Projector provides true 4K visuals natively, with the image displayed over a combination of 8.3M pixels.
Polk Audio LSiM 707 MVC Loudspeaker
In its Mount Vernon Cherry housing, the Polk Audio LSiM 707 Loudspeaker looks attractive. It also features high-performance audio to bring about a genuine audiophile experience. Thus, adding this unit to your home theater setup will take your cinematic experience to a higher level.
Polk Audio T30 100W Home Theater Center Channel Speaker
The center channel goes below the image source directly with the loudspeakers sitting on either side of your visual display. This arrangement helps create a balanced surround-sound experience, and that’s exactly what the Polk T30 Center Channel Speaker does. It adjusts dialogue in a movie or vocals in a song.
This is a cool feature if they’re particularly high or low because it allows you to change the center speaker’s volume as needed.
Also, the speaker is quite compact, so it won’t occupy too much space in your living room.
Polk Audio HTS 12 Powered Subwoofer
As far as a home theater setup is concerned, bass is a crucial aspect. This is because the sound will lack depth without a nice bass range. A subwoofer is what you need to handle this since the device only deals in bass frequencies.
Polk’s HTS 12 Powered Subwoofer will pump out the deep bass your system requires, without compromising on the clarity or definition of the sound. The device is a powered sub, which means it should be plugged into the mains for it to work.
The black walnut chassis makes the sub function smoothly with the rest of your furniture, delivering an imposing sound from an unimposing speaker.
Polk Audio S20 Signature Series Bookshelf Speakers
Some satellite sound is required if you’re keen about truly immersing yourself in the surround sound experience. To stick with Polk-based systems, we’re opting for the S20 Signature Series bookshelf speakers. You’ll find the bookshelf speakers versatile; they can also be included in different speaker setups.
Denon AVR-X4500H Receiver plus HEOS 5 Wireless Speaker
With Denon’s AVR-X4500H receiver, you can bring your entire home theater together. It‘s a 13:2 channel amplifier, which is first of its kind in the world, which allows you to expand on your system beyond the appliances we’ve recommended in this article (according to your budget and needs).
The Devon unit delivers magnificent 4K picture quality, and that’s required for this setup. At 150W per channel, this robust machine gives a huge boost to your home theater systems as regards the audio aspect.
As part of the package, there’s also a wireless HEOS 7 speaker. Though you won’t really require this in the setup, it enables you to pop a top-quality speaker in another room & wirelessly control your music using the amplifier.
Seatcraft Orleans – Home Theater Seating
Still working with the $7k budget, we can add a luxury touch to top it all. And the Seacraft “Orleans” Home Theater Seating is the perfect candidate for that. The package has everything you require to elevate this to a real home theater experience.
With the seats crafted from leather-gel, you get to enjoy a comfortable seating experience, giving you the feel of real leather. These seats feature USB charging, tray tables & arm storage, blue lights at the base of the chair, and cup-holders with blue-light illumination.
And that’s not all. They also recline with the flick of a lever to deliver superior comfort as you get immersed in ultra-HD images on the screen. Additionally, it’s two chairs so you can enjoy movies with your partner or buddy.
Tips to Connect Your Headphones to a TV
In this part of today’s post on the best home theater setup for headphones, we’ll look at different ways to get quality TV time quietly and conveniently without the need for wiring in.
However, if your home theater setup is conducive to a wired pair of headset, this means that you’ll need to sit close enough to your TV or audio device so you can span the distance conveniently. For both wired and wireless headphones, these are the options for using your headset with a TV/gaming console:
Connecting with Adapters
To connect a pair of headphones to your TV via an adapter, the first step is to identify the type of audio output your specific TV model features. If you check the side or back of your TV (or a similar area your inputs are located), you should find some type of audio output connection.
As for older TVs, you could see a 3.5mm output (the standard headphone type) that makes it easy to plug & play. However, it’s more common to find stereo RCA audio jacks in older models, and these jacks require an RCA-to-3.5mm female adapter like CableCreation’s 3.5mm to RCA Cable.
You may also consider purchasing an extended adapter cable to get some reach, depending on how far you’re from the TV. While this type of setup is simple & affordable, it’s not the best in most cases since you may not really like to have a long cable snaking through the middle of your living room.
But newer TVs could be slightly trickier. A lot of TV manufacturers have, for long, nixed analog outputs, replacing them with digital optical output. This digital output looks like a tiny, square-shaped door, which is normally outlined in bright red light, or fitted with a rubber cap.
You need a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for this configuration. This lets you plug in a 3.5mm headphone jack and also helps in converting the audio output to a suitable format for playback in your pair of headphones.
Again, you may also require a headphone extension cable like the type linked above to enable you to kick back.
Connecting to the Remote Control of Your Streaming Device
This is a more convenient option, which involves plugging into your set-top streaming device’s remote control if such is available. If you’ve been contemplating buying a set-top box, this is the best time to do so.
The only drawback you may notice about wiring your headphones in this manner is, you can only listen to the content, which your streaming hub provides. If you’re watching TV mainly from your cable box, it won’t work.
Connecting via an External Audio Device
In devices such as A/V receivers or even external speakers, you’ll often find an accessible spot to plug in your headphones. You’ll find this especially useful if you’ve multiple source devices (such as a streaming device, a cable box, antenna, and others).
You’ve to check your hardware to determine if there’s a headphone output, or you might make use of one of the output-adapter setups (like the digital optical adapters or RCA) mentioned above. The majority of A/V receivers will come with a quarter-inch headphone input in the front, and that doesn’t require more than a simple adapter.
Almost all users will find wireless headphones & adapters much more convenient for a home theater setup in the living room, even though the connection process could be a bit more involved.
TV Bluetooth streaming: Nowadays, television sets are constantly adding Bluetooth streaming as a standard option. If you own Bluetooth headphones, check to determine if your TV has Bluetooth support. (You can find this info somewhere in the audio section of the settings.)
If your TV comes with support for Bluetooth, consider setting your headphones to pairing mode. Then, follow the onscreen instructions to have everything up & running.
But one thing to note in this case is latency. A lot of Bluetooth connections create a small amount of lag between the TV & the headset. Though this isn’t an issue while streaming music, even nominal lag can bring about sync issues between the audio and the onscreen video. This makes the actions on the screen occurring some fractions of a second before hearing the sound.
This can be quite pesky, especially to audio-centric users. Thus, you’ll want to ensure that your TV or headphone combination doesn’t cause any lag before going down this route.
Models that feature newer Bluetooth codec versions (version 4.0 or higher) could be the best choice. A lot of factors can cause latency, however.
Bluetooth via the set-top box: Streaming video devices such as the Apple TV 4K and the Amazon Fire TV Cube also stream audio through Bluetooth.
When you’ve put your pair of Bluetooth headphones in pairing mode, simply follow the onscreen instructions, which you’ll find below the Bluetooth settings for your streaming box. Then, you’ll start streaming immediately.
Do keep in mind that this technique will only let you listen to streaming content from the specific device it’s paired with and isn’t effective as an all-in-one solution.
Again, always ensure neither of your devices (the headphones or the box) brings about latency.
External Bluetooth adapter: If your TV has no Bluetooth connectivity and you also don’t have a streaming device with Bluetooth, what you need to is to outfit your TV with a Bluetooth transmitter.
The devices hardwire into the TV and emit a Bluetooth signal and are of many forms, such as 3.5mm dongles, USB dongles, and even breakout boxes.
If you can get a Bluetooth adapter that’s compatible with the audio output format of the TV, you can pair Bluetooth headphones easily to it. This is done by merely following the pairing instructions with each device.
Also, the majority of devices state latency issues. For this reason, take this into account before making a purchase.
Streaming with soundbar: Certain soundbars let you stream Bluetooth audio from your smartphone and also let you stream sound from them using Bluetooth. This feature comes quite handy for users with Bluetooth headphones because any audio that’s sent to the bar can be streamed.
Again, pay attention to lag. Fortunately, more feature-packed soundbars could also adjust for latency, or let you do this in the settings. You surely wouldn’t like to get a soundbar only for this purpose. However, if you need better audio generally, this may be well worth looking into.
Radiofrequency (RF) headphones: RF headphones from makers such as Sennheiser and the likes connect to a base charging station, wired directly to a TV or other output devices like a cable box. No matter the kind of hardware you’ve, you need to match the types of connection between the base station & the TV or a similar source device.
You can double-check the types of connections (such as RCA, optical, 3.5mm output, and others) since you may need an adapter for linking. Despite these potential additional steps, radiofrequency headphones are a great tool for connecting wirelessly because they typically offer better range and much less latency (if any at all) compared with Bluetooth headsets.
Connecting via Gaming Consoles
Gaming consoles offer you another easy route for connecting to your TV with regular headphones or, perfectly, a dedicated pair of gaming headphones.
Nearly all consoles provide some form of headphone connectivity, which enables you to stream TV shows & movies from mobile apps, such as Hulu and Netflix, and play Blu-rays, along with gaming.
Let’s look at how to connect to each primary console via either wired or wireless connections.
Xbox One, Xbox One S & Xbox One X: Use of headphones is slightly trickier and more restrictive on Xbox One, in addition to the Xbox One S and the 4K-ready Xbox One X, which are its recent iterations.
If you’ve wired headphones & headsets, double-check that your controller features a 3.5mm jack. You’ll find this option on the newer editions of the Xbox One controller. However, older versions will need an adapter from Microsoft.
PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro: The PlayStation 4, as well as, PS4 Pro are perhaps the easiest gaming consoles when it comes to connecting headphones or gaming headsets. This is because they support many common types of connection and simple setup (do note that a lot of common Bluetooth headphones may not be supported, though).
The techniques for the connection are the same in both versions of the console. And if you prefer the wired option, you’ll find a 3.5mm jack on the PS4’s standard Dualshock 4 controller, just below the PS button & between the thumbsticks.
Simply plug in your pair of headphones, and you’re all set!
If you’re making use of a wired or wireless USB headset, plug the dongle directly into one of the USB ports on your PS4 console. The console should instantly recognize your headset and start playback.
Please, bear it in mind that certain USB headsets are built for PC and need driver downloads or additional software to make use of features such as surround sound or EQ settings.
Though there’s some basic functionality in these headphones on the PS4 console, the best thing is to find PS4-specific models to enjoy the best experience.
To wrap up this post on the best home theater setup for headphones, we’d like to explain that some supported Bluetooth headphones are also an option on PS4. If you want to pair these headphones, ensure they’re in pairing mode, often accessible through the power or pairing button.
Then, choose the Settings tab on your PS4 home screen and navigate down to select Devices > Bluetooth Devices.
At this point, your Bluetooth-enabled headphones should show up if they’ve entered discovery or pairing mode. But you might have to give the console some time to search for them, and only headphones compatible with PS will work.
Should that fail to work, you can also consider plugging the device into your PS4 console via a USB cable and give the console a couple of minutes to identify the new headphones.
By making use of the tips and information given in this guide about the best home theater setup for headphones, you’ll find watching TV series, movies, playing games riveting in the super-cool ambiance this cinematic experience creates in your living room.