Headphones for watching movies

Macalicious2011

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Original poster
May 15, 2011
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Hello
From next week I will occasionally have to watch movies/shows using headphones instead of using my sound system.

My content sources are ATV and PS4 for Blurays. It goes without saying that I need Bluetooth headphones.

Unfortunately most of the articles and recommendation guides I have read aren't helpful. Unlike headphones for music, a good mod range with clear dialogues is very important.

Does anyone have recommendations?
 

0970373

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I bought the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) last year for flights and winter in NY (they double as ear muffs!). Works great w/ the ATV also. They sound great to me. I don't have trouble making out the dialogue. But same for my AirPods when I've used them w/ the ATV.
 

570934

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I bought the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) last year for flights and winter in NY (they double as ear muffs!). Works great w/ the ATV also. They sound great to me. I don't have trouble making out the dialogue. But same for my AirPods when I've used them w/ the ATV.
Oh that comforting silence of sound cancelling headphones. Like stepping into your own little world :)
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

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I use AirPods and they are truly incredible for using with the Apple TV 4K. Most importantly no lip sync issues AND just as important - they are so light in the ear that you don't know that you're wearing them.
If you must have headphones, then Bowers and Wilkins take a lot of beating in terms of sound quality, reliability, design and construction. Their P5 and P7 range are simply beautiful.
[doublepost=1543444942][/doublepost]
Beo H9i for a incredible all rounder Or the new the new Dolby Dimension for home theatre, movie specific audio.
The H9i seem to have very poor reliability issues. Sadly, a lot of BeoPlay products are poorly made and have constant faults. Their profit mark up is huge and it's not uncommon to see them at less that half of the RRP if you look around. Amazon last week had many BeoPlay products at half the RRP.
 
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570934

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I use AirPods and they are truly incredible for using with the Apple TV 4K. Most importantly no lip sync issues AND just as important - they are so light in the ear that you don't know that you're wearing them.
If you must have headphones, then Bowers and Wilkins take a lot of beating in terms of sound quality, reliability, design and construction. Their P5 and P7 range are simply beautiful.
[doublepost=1543444942][/doublepost]

The H9i seem to have very poor reliability issues. Sadly, a lot of BeoPlay products are poorly made and have constant faults. Their profit mark up is huge and it's not uncommon to see them at less that half of the RRP if you look around. Amazon last week had many BeoPlay products at half the RRP.
Not a clue, both my older H6 set worked great had them for quite a few years so recently bought the H9i set for the noise cancelling. No issues and sound incredible :)
 

phrehdd

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Oct 25, 2008
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If hearing dialogue is the issue, the problem may not be with any headphone but rather the source of the audio. How are you connecting your bluetooth headphones (what is the headphones actually connected to via bluetooth?).

If you have the money the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (over the ear not on ear) is a bit costly but for movies (and music for that matter) an excellent choice. If the price doesn't scare you away, they are balance nicely and have good attack when it comes to sound effects and more. I prefer the sound of wired headsets and don't mind the cable but if I went bluetooth only, these would be "in my cart" first and only.
 
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Macalicious2011

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May 15, 2011
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If hearing dialogue is the issue, the problem may not be with any headphone but rather the source of the audio. How are you connecting your bluetooth headphones (what is the headphones actually connected to via bluetooth?).

If you have the money the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (over the ear not on ear) is a bit costly but for movies (and music for that matter) an excellent choice. If the price doesn't scare you away, they are balance nicely and have good attack when it comes to sound effects and more. I prefer the sound of wired headsets and don't mind the cable but if I went bluetooth only, these would be "in my cart" first and only.
I like the price of those and prefer over the ear than on the ears. Dialogue clarity was emphasised because some headphones that are music biased and have overpowering bass.

I use AirPods and they are truly incredible for using with the Apple TV 4K. Most importantly no lip sync issues AND just as important - they are so light in the ear that you don't know that you're wearing them.
If you must have headphones, then Bowers and Wilkins take a lot of beating in terms of sound quality, reliability, design and construction. Their P5 and P7 range are simply beautiful.
[doublepost=1543444942][/doublepost]

The H9i seem to have very poor reliability issues. Sadly, a lot of BeoPlay products are poorly made and have constant faults. Their profit mark up is huge and it's not uncommon to see them at less that half of the RRP if you look around. Amazon last week had many BeoPlay products at half the RRP.
Great tip. I’d didn’t consider the AirPods but have read great things about from. The benefit of them is that I could also use them at work or in the gym which I wouldn’t with a big set up headphones.


I bought the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) last year for flights and winter in NY (they double as ear muffs!). Works great w/ the ATV also. They sound great to me. I don't have trouble making out the dialogue. But same for my AirPods when I've used them w/ the ATV.
My only corners about dead silence is the ability to hear if anyone in the house is asking for me. Interesting I recently read s review about Microsoft’s new headphone and they are really clever. The right cup has a movable rim for adjusting volume while the one on the left cup can adjust noice cancelling which can even amplify external sounds using the built in mic.
 

0970373

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My only corners about dead silence is the ability to hear if anyone in the house is asking for me. Interesting I recently read s review about Microsoft’s new headphone and they are really clever. The right cup has a movable rim for adjusting volume while the one on the left cup can adjust noice cancelling which can even amplify external sounds using the built in mic.
You can turn noise canceling off so they are like normal headphones. The model I have also has adjustable levels of NC depending on how much external sound you want to filter out. I love them.
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

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Feb 9, 2009
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I got to say that with all of my years of wearing headphones - studio use, radio presenting over the years, my favourites of this moment in time are the AirPods.
They just work!
They always seem charged - I use them daily when running into the city and on the way to the gym and charge them maybe once every 2 or 3 weeks for 1 hour! They never have issues - no dropouts, no sync issues. They are stress free and to me, that's what great headphones are all about. There's a reason why you see them everywhere now. They are just plain decent. Honest.
They are the only ones that I take on my flights now. Wearing leather cushioned headphones in hot countries is horrible - hot sticky ears!
I love the AirPods. I can keep them in my skinny jeans or shorts pocket no problem or in a man bag etc. They are just neat and i'm excited to see future generation designs over the next year or two. The amount of earphone cables that snapped around the 3.5mm jack plugged into my iPhone over the years was crazy - even Atomic Flood superdarts with kevlar cable, guess what? They snapped after 18months of use.
Even for editing in FCPX on Macs, I love the lightness of the AirPods. They just work. Now read long term reviews of B&O E8 earphones at £260 and you'll see poor build quality, left channel quieter than the right, bluetooth dropouts, hard to connect to device issues. Some companies get things right, right from the start and others fail due to rushing products to the market or simply pure greed. Apple gets it right first time.
10 out of 10 for the AirPods. They have class!
 
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campyguy

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Mar 21, 2014
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I use a couple of Sennheiser solutions for myself and my hard-of-hearing mom, who is living in one of my houses. Bear with me, I feel that BT is not the correct solution as it's a bit limiting in options. IMHO my hearing is quite decent and I'm satisfied with my RS185 wireless cans - TOSLINK connection to my TiVo Bolt and minijack connection to the LG display I use as my "television". The RS185 is intended for music but it's not biased toward any sound profile - I'm an owner of 3 different Grado cans including the new wireless GW100 cans, and I find that that RS185 cans are pretty neutral...

It's the solution that I chose for my mom that you might be interested in - it's intended for different sound profiles relevant to what one watches on a television. After about 4 years of listening to mom gripe about not being able to hear what was being pushed out over the speakers of the stereo I bought for her, the Bose Solo I bought for her, the (you get the point...) - I drove her to the hearing specialist, and it was determined that she was pretty much deaf in 5 of the 7 hearing measurement points; not that this is relevant to you. She's got hearing aids, and they work great - When. She. Wears. Them. :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

My solution - she uses it every day now, and she's a happy girl - is a combination of Sennheiser's Flex 5000 and paired with a now-discontinued pair of their Open Pro cans (semi-closed cans). The Flex 5000 is a wireless dongle that allows one to connect wired cans to the dongle - there are several different sound profiles that can be toggled, it's really quite brilliant and I've used it several times myself. The Flex system seems to have been made generally for movie/television consumption. My mom has told me that she's heard bits - dialog, music, background elements - that she couldn't discern for decades. I manage her Netflix DVD queue, I get a kick of hearing her laugh about dialog she missed in the past.

The Flex 5000 and Open Pro pairing gets a 10 from me, this coming from an owner of $10k+ of audio equipment...
 
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Macalicious2011

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:D
The Flex 5000 and Open Pro pairing gets a 10 from me, this coming from an owner of $10k+ of audio equipment...
Thanks. I actually considered a transmitter receiver. The Flex 5000 is likely miles better than a £8 one I bought and returned two years ago.

However the brief for my headphones has changed now that I will go from commuting to work in a car in 5min, to commuting to London in 90min. This change in job also give me a reason to splurge more on a set of wireless headphone without my other half objecting


Today I finally msnsged to visit Curry’s and John Lewis. What instantly stood out are the Bose QC35 Series II. Wearing them is utterly euphoric thanks to the amazing comfort, fantastic noise cancelling and stellar sound quality. They make me feel encapsulated in a bubble or in an invisible room in public. :eek::eek:

I did find the Sony WH-1000XM2 to sound almost as good. However the QC35 are simply lighter and more over-the ear comfortable. Secondly they also support google assist which I believe will be god sent for making calls, sending WhatsApp messages, having news dictated and changing song without having to take out your phone on a rainy or freezing day.

So far the QC35 are my reference and are discounted by £40 to £289 until the end of the year. This weekend I will try to visit a few gift stores and try more expensive headphones.

It’s a shame that it’s not possible to try in-ear ones.
 
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0970373

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:D

Thanks. I actually considered a transmitter receiver. The Flex 5000 is likely miles better than a £8 one I bought and returned two years ago.

However the brief for my headphones has changed now that I will go from commuting to work in a car in 5min, to commuting to London in 90min. This change in job also give me a reason to splurge more on a set of wireless headphone without my other half objecting


Today I finally msnsged to visit Curry’s and John Lewis. What instantly stood out are the Bose QC35 Series II. Wearing them is utterly euphoric thanks to the amazing comfort, fantastic noise cancelling and stellar sound quality. They make me feel encapsulated in a bubble or in an invisible room in public. :eek::eek:

I did find the Sony WH-1000XM2 to sound almost as good. However the QC35 are simply lighter and more over-the ear comfortable. Secondly they also support google assist which I believe will be god sent for making calls, sending WhatsApp messages, having news dictated and changing song without having to take out your phone on a rainy or freezing day.

So far the QC35 are my reference and are discounted by £40 to £289 until the end of the year. This weekend I will try to visit a few gift stores and try more expensive headphones.

It’s a shame that it’s not possible to try in-ear ones.
Great choice! lol. I love mine and they are awesome on the subway/tube/train. I like that you can adjust the amount of noise cancelling on them. Enjoy!
 

dfs

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2008
330
153
California
If hearing dialogue is the issue, the problem may not be with any headphone but rather the source of the audio. How are you connecting your bluetooth headphones (what is the headphones actually connected to via bluetooth?).

If you have the money the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (over the ear not on ear) is a bit costly but for movies (and music for that matter) an excellent choice. If the price doesn't scare you away, they are balance nicely and have good attack when it comes to sound effects and more. I prefer the sound of wired headsets and don't mind the cable but if I went bluetooth only, these would be "in my cart" first and only.
Amen to that! The advent of HD (let alone 4K) made good photography look better, but it also made bad photography look worse. The same is true for sound: good speakers or earphones show up lousy sound for what it is, and there's plenty of it out there.
 

LCC0256

macrumors member
Dec 5, 2017
54
23
Martinez, GA. USA
Would someone please educate me on this subject? I have my Apple TV 4K wired to my Yamaha RX V 483 AV via HDMI. I am going to be using Beats Studio 3 wireless with the Apple chip for my headphones. Do I connect to my Apple TV or my Yamaha AV? The Yamaha has the ability to connect via bluetooth.
 

Macalicious2011

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Original poster
May 15, 2011
980
614
London
This morning I finally listened to the Sony 1000XM3. Although they, at a glance, almost look identical to the XM2 they are noticeably lighter than the XM2 and are on nearly on par with the Bose QC35 II in comfort.

When it comes to sound the XM3 are a league above the QC35 whether I was listening to music or watching movie trailers. The price difference is £50 but the sound more like £100-150 when you compare them. Sony have done an awesome job and the fidelity gives me a sense of home away from home.

My phone uses USB type C which is a huge bonus. I will wait for Christmas sale around the 26-27th before pulling the trigger.

Interestingly, two people bought a set of of the QC35 II while I was trying the XM3 at John Lewis. Neither of the customers even bothered to look at the Sonys headphone an arm lenght away. I don't blame them though as Bose does good marketing, has great reputation and has userfriendly displays in stores.
 
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Macalicious2011

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I have pulled the trigger! I ended up paying £279 instead of £329 for the Sony WH-1000XM3 thanks to a 10% discount code, Curry's vouchers bought at 6% discount and a unexpected £2.50 discount my the store manager! :D I love charging them using my Pixel 2 XL fast charger. Less cable madness at my bedside!

The Google Home Mini is dirt cheap at £29 down from £49 so I have bought one as a gift for my other half who uses Google assist on her Samsung everyday. :)

 

campyguy

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Mar 21, 2014
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I have pulled the trigger!
I haven't listened to the XM3 yet, loved the XM2 but never pulled the trigger as I could always snag my GF's pair. She headed back to Belfast for several weeks and took her XM2 cans with her and I ended up popping for a pair of Grado GM100 cans for my Mac (using them right now...) to go with my Sennheiser RS185 for video consumption (love the virtual surround sound). A few of my friends have popped for the XM3 and love them, with a caveat that I'm passing on to you FYI...

The iOS Sony app offers the option for customization of the sound/codec, which supports high-quality codecs such as LDAC or Apt-X HD - if you make changes via the iOS app to the EQ or other settings, the headset can get reverted to "lesser-quality" codecs like SBC. IMHO that's a bug that will get addressed in an app or FW update, just thought I'd pass it on.

Regardless, I'm going to give the XM3 a spin after the New Year. Just don't forget to burn in your cans before passing final judgment!
 
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Macalicious2011

macrumors 6502a
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May 15, 2011
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I've now had the Sony WH-1000XM3 for a week and here's an update.

APPLE TV USAGE:

Sound quality: I've been using them in the evening for 2-4 hours watching content while cuddling my newborn.

When it comes to TV shows the headphones are borderline preferred to my sound system. While dialogues are very clear the headphones truly shine when it comes to projecting ambient noises that sound directors spend countless of hours adding. Whether it's a party or park scene you get a very authentic feel of the ambience.

With cheap headphones ambient noises are lost and when using a sound system you need to crank up the volume to hear them. I love the ability to enjoy the full sound spectrum even at low volume no matter where I am inside our outside the home! :)

Watching shows on the iPad is now fun as the brilliant sound makes is viewing experience feel bigger. The headphones are great for movies too but the bass is simply no match or replacement for the punch and rumble I feel in my body when watching action movies using my sound system.


Usability: I had reservations about the gestures but using them is intuitive and second nature. Instead of feeling for buttons I simply double tap to pause any film I'm watching or swipe forward to skip a YouTube video.


Side note: Over the past week I've seen a few people with B&W PX and Beoplay H9i. The former are simply stunning in blue and gold:p. Admittedly I've had a bit of envy because I don't love the design of the XM3. However the XM3 very comfortable, have a superior feature set, a hard case, Google Assistant support and better battery life.

Therefore I'm 100% happy with my choice.


She headed back to Belfast for several weeks and took her XM2 cans with her and I ended up popping for a pair of Grado GM100 cans for my Mac (using them right now...) to go with my Sennheiser RS185 for video consumption (love the virtual surround sound).
Nice. My last pair for open back headphones were Koss Porta Pro!
 
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Macalicious2011

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 15, 2011
980
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A small update about the headphones

Dissapointingly video and audio are out of sync when watching YouTube on either my Pixel 2 XL or the iPad but when watching YouTube on the Apple TV.

It's frustrating but the solution around it is using the accompanied 3.5mm cable. Thankfully there is no lag with audio lag when using ATV as a 3.5mm cable would not have been a workable solution.

Other than that battery anxiety isn't an issue as I can go a few days without charging the headphones.
 

andy317

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2008
44
2
A small update about the headphones

Dissapointingly video and audio are out of sync when watching YouTube on either my Pixel 2 XL or the iPad but when watching YouTube on the Apple TV.

It's frustrating but the solution around it is using the accompanied 3.5mm cable. Thankfully there is no lag with audio lag when using ATV as a 3.5mm cable would not have been a workable solution.

Other than that battery anxiety isn't an issue as I can go a few days without charging the headphones.
Glad to hear you are liking the XM3's.

I'm debating whether to get a pair as I can get them for £270 myself. I currently have the AKG Y50BT's and I'm not sure whether it's worth upgrading mainly due to the price. I can always pass the AKG's to the wife.

Decisions?!

One of the things putting me off other than the price is the cracking/popping sounds people are experiencing according to Reddit. It seems to be an issue with the ear cups or the headband and since it's only a 1 year warranty, doesn't fill me with confidence.
 

Macalicious2011

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 15, 2011
980
614
London
Glad to hear you are liking the XM3's.

I'm debating whether to get a pair as I can get them for £270 myself. I currently have the AKG Y50BT's and I'm not sure whether it's worth upgrading mainly due to the price. I can always pass the AKG's to the wife.

Decisions?!

One of the things putting me off other than the price is the cracking/popping sounds people are experiencing according to Reddit. It seems to be an issue with the ear cups or the headband and since it's only a 1 year warranty, doesn't fill me with confidence.
I will look up the cracking/popping sound as I haven't experienced it. I got mine for around £270 too and dropped £33 on a 3 year Curry's no quibble repair/replacement if they get faulty, develop a crackle of get stepped on.

The AKG Y50BT have very good reviews. However the XM3 are over-ear and not on-ear which makes a huge difference in comfort and not feeling like you are wearing headphones. I can have mine on for 4-5 hours without miss my sound system.

Although they are expensive they are worth it and even my other half's dad was might impressed by a 3min demo even though he has good Bose headphones from a few years ago.

If you won't get much wear out of them then it's better to stick with the AKG Y50BT.
 
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