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.


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 Caldwell

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.

  • I use Beats Studio Wireless religiously! For the train commute to work, jamming all dat at work, to playing XBOX One, and now for my new Apple TV!
  • So you never take them off?
  • I have an old pair I bought years ago, it's Bluetooth Version 2.0 and supports A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, and HFP profiles. Will it work with the new Apple TV?
  • I got the Jabra MOVE headphones based on Wirecutter and have enjoyed them a lot and found the $80 US price really reasonable. If your BT headphones can connect to multiple devices, you should be careful about disconnecting them before you go out of range of one of the devices. Mine get stuttery for a while if it's connected to my iPad and iPhone but then I walk out of range of the iPad.
  • I have a pair of yellow ones from monoprice and like them quite a bit
  • Can you use more than one bluetooth headphone at a time? If not, is there a bluetooth receiver solution that two headphones could be plugged in to?
  • One BT "sender" will deliver audio to one BT sound device only at a time. There might be a solution, but for BT specifically, I do not know any. Conventional wireless headphones using their own transmitters (AKG et al) allow for multiple cans to be connected, but the transmitters do only connect to a headphone out, which the ATV does not have (and these things do normally not sound really great either).
  • I know of one brand that can share sound. JBL has a few with something called shareme. To headphones can get the same sound.
  • I love my Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless cans. Very good battery life (and can be used with the included cable as well), very comfortable, sound fantastic for almost every kind of music (unless you want Beats' signature bass hell) and offer pretty good isolation without being oversized. They also support hands free iPhone use (built-in microphone and remote buttons). They are a bit pricey, but I do not regret the purchase at all.
  • Another vote for Jabra Move - excellent sound quality for the price, does what you expect, comfortable. Sent from the iMore App
  • I would steer clear of the beats - I own some... Not the best sound quality and the build quality is highly questionable. Not a fan.
  • I agree. If you're 15 and all you listen to is hip hop or dance music their fine, I suppose. But other than that Beats phones are terrible in my opinion. i tried listening to jazz music using a few different models of Beats and the sound was brutal. Same thing when I tried them on classical. There was no high end. I'd avoid Beats at all cost, unless, as I mentioned, you're a kid.
  • I used to hate Beats also, but my wife just got a pair and they're vastly improved from the their early days. Still lots of bass, but it's no where near as overpowering and the sound is much much better.
  • The blog-post title should include 'over-the-ear', as there are no in-ear buds listed. I've been using the Jaybird X2's and they sound great with the ATV4. Binge-viewing friendly for up to 8 hours on a charge ;-) Bluetooth is working good overall with the new ATV, I also tried out (and returned) the FireTV2 and Roku4. Of the 3, the AppleTV4 has been the only one susceptible to signal interference when listening wirelessly. It's not awful, but it happens whereas it didn't with the other 2. The 'what did they just say' command comes in handy...
  • Bose on-ear sound link SOO comfortable, great sound and battery life. Can be connected to 2 devices at a time, love them.
  • 2nd on the Bose OE Soundlink. I love mine. With my iPad, Mac, iPhone, etc. Great sound, very comfortable, and long battery life. Not cheap though, but the build quality and portable design are excellent. Sent from the iMore App
  • Have you tried connecting the Bose to the new Apple TV? I noticed on the Bose website, in the FAQs of their headphones - they say they're not good with TVs.
  • They aren't good for TVs only because most TVs that have Bluetooth only receive a Bluetooth signal. The apple TV will transmit a Bluetooth signal any Bluetooth headset should work. Sent from the iMore App
  • Jabra Revo.
    Purchased last year and have been using them BT and plugged in. Comfortable, good battery life, excellent sound, great touch controls. Recharge with USB cable and listen via USB or BT at the same time. Even look good without being overly showy.
  • I agree. I got a pair about a week ago and have been loving them so far.
  • Just in case anyone else is wondering HOW to pair headphones with the Apple TV! ( At first I was in Audio, trying in vain to get it to pick up my headse). It's under Devices! From Apple
    "Pair your Bluetooth accessory Use these steps to pair a Bluetooth accessory to your Apple TV (4th generation):
    Put your Bluetooth accessory in pairing mode using the instructions that came with it.
    On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. Your Apple TV will search for nearby Bluetooth accessories.
    Choose your Bluetooth accessory.
    If asked, enter a passkey or PIN. On your Apple TV, your accessory should now appear in My Devices.
    Some Bluetooth accessories aren't supported on Apple TV (4th generation), including Bluetooth keyboards.
  • I have the Bluedio t2s and they are easily the best value headphones out there. For only $30 you'd be hard pressed to find better sound quality and battery life. No idea how they can be only $30.
  • Has anyone tried Bluetooth speakers and can you control the volume with the remote's volume buttons?
  • The remote's volume buttons only work with the main TV speakers. Period.
    Regardless of what add-on speakers you get (Bluetooth, optical, etc.).
  • I use the Bluedio R+ Revolution ($79 on Amazon). It’s pricier than the Bluedio TS2s, but is superior in every conceivable way. The sound from these cans is FANTASTIC! It’s crisp, clear and has a wide sound stage. In my comparisons, they are far superior to Beats Studio. The Beats still sound muddy to me and simply not worth the price. They have eight drivers (speakers). Four in each ear (Two 50mm and six 13mm drivers) with a frequency response of 5Hz-25kHz. They have Bluetooth 4.0 with aptx. This gives them equivalent of wired sound over Bluetooth. Additionally, you get 25 hours of music play back, 28 hours of talk time, several equalizer presets, NFC as an alternative for pairing, built-in micro SD card slot for playing music, built-in mic for answering calls and a host of call management features. I have several quality head phones, including Harman/Kardon CLs, but these are my go to set.
  • Can anyone make a recommendation on wireless/Bluetooth earbuds to use with Apple TV 4G. For me they are more comfortable at night than an over the head set - just cant find the right pair to use.
  • Can you do a review of the new Sennheiser PXC 550? Sent from the iMore App
  • Bought my Bose QC35 last 6/29/16 and i still have 20% battery life. I've been waiting for these to die and nada. Great headphones. I wear them about 5 hours a day.
  • Bull. You've been wearing them five hours a day for two weeks and they still have 20% battery life? Absolute BS.
  • This is just a thinly disguised advertisement for Bose. :-/ Beats Studio bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones *consistently* rate equal to or above any of the Bose headphones list here on most reviews, so obviously this reviewer is severely biased.
  • Well, anybody using the words "audiophile" and "Bose" (or "audiophile" and "noise cancelling") in the same article has proven utter lack of competence. Bose's QC series has the best noise cancelling functionality out there – nobody doubts that (I have mine for the same reason, mainly for flights), but good sounding or even faithful sounding they are not. They sound completely flat with far too many mids (like everything Bose makes), and the noise cancellation filters out some frequencies of the music, too. The latter is not Bose's fault – that is how NC works. Really no need to use NC in the own living room.
  • Bose overrate crap! Sent from the iMore App
  • As happy as I am with my QC35s, they aren't worth the price.
  • ...yeah, I still find all Bluetooth audio to be inferior. Someone gave me a set of Beats wireless headphones, and I virtually always use the 3.5mm cord that came with them. Just better sound, which is something I actually care about if I'm going to be putting on headphones. The convenience factor of wireless just doesn't outweigh sound for me. As for my AppleTV, if I need privacy I have a nice set of wired Sony studio monitors that I can feed out of my Home Theater amp. (And yep, I'm one of those people that will scream bloody murder if Apple axes the 3.5mm jack from the new iPhone.)