Headphones for Movie Watching - Advice?


Active Member
Hi all,

This is my first proper foray into purchasing some 'proper' headphones for watching film / TV content. I recently upgraded to a 5.1.2 speaker set up with a Sony AVR but unfortunately it's below the main bedroom and the wife's complaints about the noise are becoming more frequent! I'm looking for some recommendations on some quality headphones but I'm not particularly clued up on this front, so any advice would be appreciated.

I'm not bothered about gaming use, as I already have a set of Hyper-X Cloud headphones that are perfectly adequate for online gaming. Ideally, I'd like some decent surround headphones (don't know if object based sound fields are supported?) with a reasonable level of bass - but understand that 'decent' is highly subjective. I've typically preferred wired headphones in the past but if I plug into the headphone port on my AVR, then I think I'm limited to 2 channel sound only - plus, I'd need a 4m cable.........

I've avoided wireless in the past as I didn't want to put up with RF interference or audio delay; is this still an issue with newer wireless headphones? I personally felt that wireless headphones lacked the depth / impact of wired, but being able to test out different headsets is somewhat difficult at the moment!

I'm aiming to spend somewhere ~£150 but can remain flexible,

I guess what I'm worried about is setting myself up for disappointment, where I spend a good chunk of cash on headphones that still can't match the experience of listening to the speakers - or offer no discernible benefit over some cheaper Sony headphones from Amazon.

Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


Senior Moderator
Likely setting yourself up for disappointment due to the immediate reference to and comparison to surround sound speakers

The very vast majority of headphones are stereo. They simulate surround sound effects; be it from an AV receiver, computer, smartphone, tablet or the PS5 and Xbox Series X

Surround sound headphones with actual multiple drivers are not common because having to fit so many drivers within a headphone cup space makes for poor sound quality tiny drivers

Speakers and headphones have different usage cases. That is the first criteria

The best thing you can do, free of charge other than your time, is to download the trial to Dolby Atmos on your computer or smartphone and test with your existing stereo headphones. That will provide a taster to surround sound simulation for stereo headphones


Active Member
Ah, thanks - this is really useful for managing my expectations.

So if I were to forgo surround and opt for stereo headsets, would I need to purchase some form of headphone amplifier or DAC to get the best sound quality? I do have a 6mm output jack on my Sony AVR but I have read that AVRs typically don't include headphone amplifiers and instead just use current limiting resistors.

I did test my current headset with my the AVR and I was underwhelmed in comparison to using it with my LG phone, which has an in-built Quad DAC.

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