Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
The world is a noisy place. Heck, sometimes I wish I had noise-cancelling headphones. But if your child has Autism, ADHD or anxiety disorder, being out in noise can be brutal. These various conditions can make it near impossible to process what someone is saying if there is a lot of background noise. And, sometimes just the sheer volume of noise or conflicting sounds can be sensory overload for people with autism.
So, it’s becoming more and more common to see kids and adults wearing sound-canceling headphones out in public. Which, at first, might seem like you’re making a public announcement, right?
Autism Headphones (for everyone!)
Celebrities wear noise-cancelling headphones all the time. Particularly athletes. They use them for the same reason autistic people need them–to block out noise and distractions so that they can focus. To avoid sensory overload.
It makes no sense to me that athletes can do this and be cool, yet some feel the need to bully our kids for it.
If someone has a problem with someone wearing headphones out in public, that’s their problem. Not yours.
Choosing Best Headphones for your ADHD Child
I would engage the wearer in the purchase as much as possible. They need to like the way they look and the way they feel on the head. I’m also a huge fan of reading customer reviews online. Go to the store if you can and try them out. Do you want just muffling of the sounds around them? Or are you going to connect them to a device so that they can hear preferred sounds or music?
Ask about the return policy, particularly if they are out of the package.
How do you know which ones are best? You’re just going to have to try and see what you like.
Sound Canceling Headphones for Sensory Overload
When doing your research, you want to know how many decibels of sound will be canceled. The average conversation is about 60 decibels, but sustained listening to 85 decibels or more can cause hearing loss and damage.
Noise Cancelling vs Noise Isolating
You also want to educate yourself (especially if you’re buying a pretty expensive pair) on noise-canceling vs. noise isolating. Noise isolating headphones block ambient noise with a seal against your ear, while noise canceling ones cancels the actual sound waves.
This is also what makes some headphones much more expensive than others. You’re paying for the blocking and for high quality sound/music to come out of the headphone. The headphones with just one feature will be far less money.
Saving Money on Headphones
These can be super expensive! But, I will say this. My husband has the good ones made by Microsoft to go with the Surface. And, they work much better than the pair I got at Five Below. You have to find the best you can at your price point.
I have not heard of anyone being successful at getting insurance to pay for noise-canceling headphones. However, I have had OTs give them to clients/patients and I’m sure they billed for them somehow. Sensory tends to be an OT kind of thing, so that is where I would start if you wish to pursue this. Ask your child’s OT.
And, some of the cheaper ones are only $20-$40 so it may not even be worth it to fight your insurance company.
Won’t earbuds work just as well?
They might. Try them. The technology has come a long way in the past decade. My son wears ear buds to play Xbox and do things on his phone and he can’t hear me when I talk to him. Or at least he does a very good job of pretending he can’t hear me.
But the nature of earbuds means that their very structure may not allow for enough sound blocking. Keep in mind that ear buds and ear plugs are very small and can be a choking hazard.
Reverse Hearing Aids
If your situation cannot be resolved with earbuds or headphones, contact an Audiologist. It won’t be cheap, but you can have ear plugs and things specially made and molded for your ears. Professional musicians and others get them all the time. They need to hear some specific sounds, like the sound of their voice or instrument, but do not want the long-term hearing damage that comes with being a live music performer.
Accommodation on the IEP?
It goes without saying, but only buy a pair that you’re willing to replace if they are lost or stolen. Or, consider a “good” pair of headphones for when your child is with you, and a cheap pair to take to school. Fact is, many of these sound-canceling headphones are a status symbol because all the athletes wear them. Our kids are already a target for bullying. Let’s not make them a target for theft too.
Noise Canceling Headphones for Autism
These can be found at Fun and Function and come in lots of colors. According to their video, noise reduction rate is about 20 decibels.
I’ve included these Blue headphones next because I am so pleased with my Blue microphone for my podcast. All of their stuff is affordable and has a cool retro look to it.
Sol Republic: Above, shown on Michael Phelps. They’re pretty affordable too.
These Master and Dynamic headphones come in affordable to very expensive models. The brown is good if you want them to blend in with hair and not be so noticeable.
Or maybe plain black and brown is not your thing. In that case, check out these from Bose.
Ok, now we’re getting fancy. Around here, all the middle school boys want Beats by Dre. First, these put out sound, not just cancel it. That doesn’t mean that you have to hook it up to something. Because this is what you’re getting for more money: Pure ANC is a form of noise cancellation that uses advanced algorithms to monitor the sounds around you and adjust the level of noise cancellation to best match your environment. Pure ANC also evaluates fit and adjusts for leakage caused by hair, glasses, the shape of your ear, and movement of your head as you go about the day.
The other cool thing about Beats is that you can get them so many places. Even Target and QVC carry them now.
Well, that’s 7! Your student will be thrilled with their new headphones, I’m sure. And hopefully it will help them manage their noisy situations better too. Good luck, and hear are some deals from merchants who sell noise canceling headphones for autism.
Bothered by that “L”? Me too! But it turns out that both canceled/cancelled and canceling/cancelling are both acceptable! Cancellation, however….that gets 2 Ls. Always.
- Cancel out the world with smart noise cancellation
- Noise cancellation automatically senses your environment with Dual Noise Sensor Technology
- Long-lasting listening with up to 35 hours of battery and quick charging
- Smartphone compatibility for hands-free calls and use with your voice assistant
- Wireless Bluetooth streaming with NFC one-touch
- Lose Noise and Focus On: Mpow H17 active noise cancelling technology effectively reduces distracting low frequency background noises like airplane cabin noise city traffic or a busy office makes you focus on what you want to hear enjoying the pure audio source at the press of a button.
- Fast Charging Function for 45H Playtime: 10 minutes of charging give you 2 hours listening time A built-in 650mAh battery won't allow your headphones power off you can enjoy your world without noise for 45 hours' long time in Full charge. Note: Turn off ANC to avoid power consumption if headphones are not in use.
- Extremely light weight with Soft Protein Ear Pads: Mpow H17 new noise cancelling headphones adpots Genuine Protein Earpads for your wearing comfort And the headphones only weights 7. 2oz(204g) for long-time wear Enjoy an improved and fully customizable fit with swiveling ear cups adjustable & foldable headband and super soft ear pads.
- CVC6.0 Mic for Online Class/Home Office: Built-in CVC 6. 0 microphone ensure crisp clear calls Compatible with Android/iOS smartphones and tablets MP3 MP4 iPod PC TV and other Bluetooth enabled devices, making them ideal for when you’re working at home, taking online classes, or traveling. Note: The microphone can only works on Bluetooth mode.
- Brilliant music experience: In superb silence you hear full-balanced bass and hi-fi tunes with exceptional clarity delivered by 40mm powerful drivers of Mpow Active Noise Cancelling Headphones attracting your full immersion in songs movies videos Audio books etc.
- Active Noise Cancelling technology. Significant noise reduction for travel, work and anywhere in between. Advanced active noise reduction technology quells airplane cabin noise, city traffic or a busy office, makes you focus on what you want to hear,enjoy your music, movies and videos. The noise cancellation function can work well both in wire and wireless mode.
- Proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers. Deep, accurate bass response. The Active Noise Cancelling around-ear headphones from COWIN give you crisp, powerful sound and quiet that helps you enjoy your music better. The goal that provide Customers with better sound quality, is our constant pursuit.
- High-quality built-in Microphone and NFC technology. COWIN E7 provides high-quality built-in microphone for hands-free calls, Which is convenient for you to free yourself from wires. NFC pairing aided by voice prompts, promises quick and stable connection with your Bluetooth enabled devices, Powerful Bluetooth Function.
- The professional protein earpad and 90° swiveling earcups. More durability and comfort, Enjoy high-quality, Long-listen comfort. Skin texture, lightweight comfortable around-ear fit you can wear all day long. Gentle Reminder: please take off the headphone every 2-3 hrs to get your ears relax, in order to get better hearing enjoyment, and keep the head comfortable.
- 30 hours playtime per charge at Bluetooth mode. A built-in 750mAh battery won't allow your headphones power off, you can enjoy your world without noise for 30 hours' long time. Don't need to worry the power shortage problem on the long travel. 18-month warranty and quick response & friendly customer service. Dedicated customer service team, provide you with quick response and friendly customer service, which will always serve for you and certainly satisfy you.
- 3 levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
- Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
- Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
- Balanced audio performance at any volume
- Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, access to future updates, and more through the Bose connect app. USB cable: 12 inch
- Powerful noise cancelling headphones — 11 levels of active noise cancelling let you enjoy music, podcasts, videos & calls without distractions
- Astonishing sound — Crisp, clear details. Deep, full bass. These wireless headphones produce exciting, lifelike sound that’s full and balanced at every volume level
- Unrivaled voice pickup — A revolutionary microphone system adapts to noisy and windy environments so your voice always sounds crystal clear on calls
- Keep your head up and hands free — With easy access to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant for music, navigation, weather, and more, and intuitive touch control on the earcups — you can stay connected without reaching for your phone
- Premium design and comfort — With a lightweight stainless steel headband and earcups tilted for the perfect fit, you can comfortably wear these Bluetooth headphones for hours
- Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation Personalized: Perfect for office, café, bus, train, car etc. Escape the sounds of the city with industry-leading noise cancelation. Personal Optimizing analyses personal characteristics like head size, glasses and hair, then optimizes sound to you. Lose yourself in silence. Reduce Ambient noises by up to 90%
- CVC 8.0 Mic & Bluetooth 5.0: Upgrade Bluetooth 5.0 technology promises ultra-fast and stable connection. CVC 8.0 noise-reduction microphone optimizes calling quality to enable you to stay in touch while listening to superior music.
- Hi-Fi Audio Sound & Deep Bass: Truly authentic sound. Dual 40mm large-aperture drivers to deliver produce Hi-Fi Audio make the headphones perfect for handling heavy beats and can reproduce a full range of frequencies up to 40 kHz.
- USB-C Turbo Charging & 30-Hour Playtime: A charge keeps you powered all day with approximately 30 hours of play time. Or a 10-minute quick charge provides up to 2 Hours of listening.
- Carrying Bag & Foldable Design: Super soft, pressure-relieving memory-protein earpads evenly distribute pressure and increase ear pad contact for a stable fit. Carrying Bag Makes It Easy to Carry and Store.
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