Steelseries do a range of USB headphones with a built in sound card to give surround sound. Strange you get sound from iplayer but not from films. What app are you using have you chceked to see if sound is muted on it.
is that you can have it as loud as you wish and the rest of the world is none the wiser.
Much better than ear plugs, you can spend anything from £5 to £200. In my opinion, spending £5 is a waste of money but the range £25 to £50 should buy you quality that exceeds almost all normal PC, Surround Sound, Systems.
By the By. Don't waste money on Surround Sound Head Sets. Your ears are not built to tell you where the sound in coming from. Turning your head slightly, your brain, and possibly, the hairs on the back of your neck, tell you when a sound is coming from behind you.
Even though they plug the brands they sell, the advice is sound and will point you in the right direction.
I have a pair of Koss Open Backed phones. I have no idea what they would cost now but I paid £18 for them in the mid 70's. They're light, fit comfortably and are great for Movies on the PC and well as the Heavy Rock that I grew up with.
I'm also something of a Guitar fanatic and they handle Julian Bream's finger work superbly.
Get a half decent set and they'll be with you for life.
If your sound card driver has an equalizer option, you may find it easier to understand the dialogue if you change this so that the upper frequencies come through louder than the lower ones. In fact there is usually a preset level optimised for vocals.
if you can go into one of the big electrical retailers and try different ones for comfort then search for them at the cheapest price on the web, but if you can, ask the store if you can listen to something so as to get an idea of their sound quality.