Watching Movies at Home

I have recently discovered that when it comes to audio quality, there is an absolute best way to watch movies, and that’s at home. With headphones on. For the longest time I held true to the old adage that the theatre is the best place to experience a film. And it’s not difficult to see why: a 50 foot screen and a sound system that costs tens of thousands of dollars.

But there is a lot of variance when it comes to sound quality. Where you sit in the theatre matters a lot (the sound bounces off walls at create a weird cacophony of unintended reverberation. Studios give precise instructions on how the sound should be tuned in the theatre, but theatres don’t always follow those instructions (especially in small towns).

sennheiser rs180

The RS180 Headphones

What I have discovered recently is the magic of watching movies with headphones on. More specifically, wireless headphones designed for use with a television. I read an article about it and decided to splurge on the Sennheiser RS180 Headphones. They topped the list of the best headphones for tv.

I doubted that they could match the booming power and detail of a movie theatre.

Boy oh boy, was I wrong.

The TV headphones experience totally changed how I could watch movies. The little details, like the rubbing of a suit on an actor as he walked down the street, could suddenly be heard. It was also a more intimate experience. When I watch a movie at home and there’s a loud explosion, suddenly I become aware that I’m watching a movie. Did that wake anyone up? Is it disturbing the neighbors?
With the headphones I could watch a movie with my wife only a few steps away and she can’t hear a thing.

Audio Degradation?

The knock against TV headphones for the past few years has been audio quality. For the longest time, wireless headphones relied on radio signals to transmit from a receiver to the headphones themselves, and this resulted in weak, inconsistent sound.
Nowadays the best headphones transmit using bluetooth technology, which has also gotten much, much better in just the past couple of years. My Sennheiser headphones use a “lossless codec” when transmitting sound, which is a fancy way of saying there is no audible degradation.

In other words: in only the past two years or so has wireless headphones surpassed other sound systems to become the best way to watch a movie (or Netflix marathon!).


If you want to read up on lossless audio codecs, specifically “Kleer” (the one used in the RS180 Headphones, click here.