Best Bluetooth headphones for Apple TV

Why the Bose QC35 is the best

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Immerse yourself into another world.

When looking for TV headphones, I've got a couple of must-fulfill requirements. They should probably be noise-cancelling (or immersive enough to not warrant it): If you're interacting with your TV and need headphones, chances are you're doing so to either drown out the current world, or have your fellow housemates's activities avoid being drowned out by the sound of a Halo campaign.

They need to be low- or no-latency: There's nothing worse than trying to watch your favorite show and having your favorite characters' voices be a millisecond behind the actions.

They also have to be comfortable: Whether I'm playing video games or watching a movie, I'm likely going to be doing so for quite some time; any Bluetooth set that pinches my ears or squeezes my head is going to lead to headaches and annoyances very quickly.

Finally, their battery should be solid: I don't want to have to worry that my headphones will die in the middle of a crucial scene or game level.

On those three criteria, the Bose QC35 passes with flying colors. With a projected 40-hour battery that often meets or surpasses that metric, lightweight and comfortable earpads, multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, top-tier noise cancellation, and on-ear controls, the QC35 provides an immersive experience while you're watching a show or playing games on the Apple TV; one so great you often don't want to take these headphones off. They are pricy. But the quality and comfort you get from that price is more than worth it.

Comfort and battery are a non-issue here, and the Bose QC35 remains my favorite headset for active noise cancellation, though other manufacturers like Sennheiser are hot on the company's heels. And my one niggle with noise cancellation — occasional wind noise as picked up by the headset's microphone — is less of an issue sitting on the couch than walking through a windy New England street. The Bose's sound quality is solid, though it's not going to compete with high-end audiophile options; it can blow out heavy bass sounds, though I've rarely encountered this in the movies, tv shows, music, and games where I've tested the headset.

These features aren't without a cost — $349, to be precise. And I'll freely admit, it's a lot to drop on a pair of headphones. But after months with the QC35s, they're still just as comfy and reliable as the day I bought them — no scratches or cracks in the plastic, or tears in the earpads or headband. For headphones I use both in the living room and across the country, that's an impressive feat in of itself.

What about in-ear headphones?

Why we're skipping them this time

In-ear headphones can be a great way to watch television or play games on your Apple TV, but they can also be very particular — largely because our ear canals are all shaped very differently. For a guide that necessitates earphones being worn for a long period of time, I find it difficult to recommend earphones that may or may not be comfortable for your ear canals for lengthy sessions.

That said, there some great in-ear options, including Bose's QuietComfort 20 (opens in new tab) and the Jaybird X2 (opens in new tab); if you prefer in-ear listening for your TV watching, you can't go wrong with either of those options.

Conclusion

For folks who can afford to drop a few hundred dollars on a great Bluetooth set, the Bose QC35 is one of the best out there; if you're looking for a more affordable set, check out the Jabra Move.

Updated September 2017: These are still our top wireless picks for your Apple TV.

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.