7 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Autism | ADHD | Anxiety

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?

lebron james wearing beats noise canceling headphones
If it’s good enough for LeBron, it’s good enough for my kid. (and they’re pink!)

Not necessarily.

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.

michael phelps adhd headphones
Michael Phelps uses Sol Republic headphones to assist with his ADHD.

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.

reese witherspoon wearing headphones
Movie stars too! Reese Witherspoon wears Skull Candy.

If someone has a problem with someone wearing headphones out in public, that’s their problem. Not yours.

justin bieber wearing beats
Justin Bieber has been very open about his struggles with mental illness (and he wears Beats!).

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.

Yes, I have had many clients have noise canceling headphones as an accommodation on an IEP. It’s very common. Just ask for it as part of your Parent Concerns Letter.

Noise Canceling Headphones for Autism

noise canceling headphones for toddlers

These Banz headphones for babies are only $35 right now on Amazon. Noise reduction rate: 31 decibels, according to their website.

blue sound canceling headphones

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.

blue headphones

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.

Skull Candy: These cool headphones are shown above on Reese Witherspoon. They have a cool name, cool logo and their headphones come in a ton of cool colors. Perfect for school kids.

Sol Republic: Above, shown on Michael Phelps. They’re pretty affordable too.

master-and-dynamic-mw65-noise-canceling-headphones-black-brown

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.

bose colorful sound cancelling headphones

Or maybe plain black and brown is not your thing. In that case, check out these from Bose.

row of beats by dre sound canceling headphones

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.

Bestseller No. 1
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, 40H Playtime, Hi-Res Audio, Deep Bass, Memory Foam Ear Cups, for Travel, Home Office
42,490 Reviews
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, 40H Playtime, Hi-Res Audio, Deep Bass, Memory Foam Ear Cups, for Travel, Home Office
  • Incredible Sound Loved by 20 Million+ People
  • Hi-Res Audio: Custom oversized 40 mm dynamic drivers produce Hi-Res sound. Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones reproduce music with extended high frequencies that reach up to 40 kHz for extraordinary clarity and detail.
  • Reduce Ambient Noises By Up to 90%: Our team of engineers conducted more than 100,000 tests in real-life scenarios to fine-tune Life Q20’s 4 built-in ANC microphones and digital active noise cancellation algorithm. As a result, the hybrid active noise cancellation can detect and cancel out a wider range of low and mid-frequency noises such as cars and airplane engines.
  • 100% Stronger Bass: Our exclusive BassUp technology conducts real-time analysis of the low frequencies to instantly strengthen the bass output. Double press the play button when listening to bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop for an amplified listening experience.
  • 40-Hour Playtime*: Up to 40 hours of non-stop playtime in wireless active noise cancellation mode (at 60% volume) is extended to an enormous 60 hours in standard music mode. A single charge gives you enough juice to listen to over 600 songs or soundtrack multiple long haul flights. And when you’re in a rush, charge Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones for 5 minutes and get 4 hours of listening.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, 22 Hours of Listening Time, Built-in Microphone - Midnight Black (Latest Model)
19,904 Reviews
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, 22 Hours of Listening Time, Built-in Microphone - Midnight Black (Latest Model)
  • High-performance wireless noise cancelling headphones
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices.
  • Pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC) actively blocks external noise
  • Real-time Audio calibration preserves a Premium listening experience
  • Up to 22 hours of battery life enables full-featured all-day wireless playback
SaleBestseller No. 3
JBL Tune 660NC: Wireless On-Ear Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation - Black
1,146 Reviews
JBL Tune 660NC: Wireless On-Ear Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation - Black
  • The Tune 660NC wireless headphones feature renowned JBL Pure Bass sound, which can be found in the most famous venues all around the world.
  • Keep the noise out and enjoy your music with active noise cancellation.
  • With Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Streaming, you can stream wirelessly from your device and even switch between two devices so that you don't miss a call.
  • Listen wirelessly for 44 hours with active noise cancelling for long-lasting fun. Or for up to 55 hours with BT only. Get 2 hours extra with just a 5-minute charge using the convenient USB Type-C cable. Enjoy endlessly in wired mode, using the detachable cable provided.
  • Easily control your sound and manage your calls from your headphones with the convenient buttons and the mic on the ear-cup. Or use the ear-cup button to quickly reach your device's voice assistant.
Bestseller No. 4
Jabra EXTREME2 - Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headset (Renewed) (Black/Silver)
261 Reviews
Jabra EXTREME2 - Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headset (Renewed) (Black/Silver)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is factory refurbished, shows limited or no wear, and includes all original accessories plus a 90-day warranty
  • Mono Bluetooth headset with optimized noise cancellation for reduced background noise and excellent call clarity under any environtment
  • Noise Blackout 3.0 technology; HD Voice ready technology; spoken Caller ID, battery and connection status with Voice Guidance
  • A2DP audio streaming capabilities; connects to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously
  • Up to 5.5 hours of talk time and up to 10.5 days of standby time
Bestseller No. 5
PurelySound E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, 20H Playtime, Rich Deep Bass, Comfortable Memory Foam Ear Cups for Travel, Home Office - Black
1,085 Reviews
PurelySound E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, 20H Playtime, Rich Deep Bass, Comfortable Memory Foam Ear Cups for Travel, Home Office - Black
  • Advanced Noise Cancellation Technology: Inhabiting a private space anywhere with PurelySound Active Noise Cancelling Headphonoes E7. Advanced Active Noise Cancellation reduces 94 percent of the noise around your environment, ensuring you can fully immerse yourself in music, calls or complete silence while traveling, exploring or relaxing.
  • Unmatched Call Quality: Advanced call technology uses the Bluetooth headphones’ high-quality microphones to greatly enhance call quality, blocking out more wind noise and background distractions. This enables crystal clear sound, so you can make and answer calls with complete confidence, even in the most challenging conditions.
  • Exceptional Music Clarity: Experiencing exceptional sound quality and music clarity, with the freedom of going wireless. PurelySound wireless headphones are known for their superior audio quality, with advanced 45mm speakers - for great music, wherever you are listening, you can enjoy exceptional music clarity with purpose-built speakers, and your music will be sounding better than ever.
  • Supreme Comfort: Upgrade to a whole new level of comfort, with a superior ergonomic fit that’s so comfortable, you’ll barely even feel it. We’ve combined soft memory foam with premium self-adjusting earcup swivels, offering unprecedented comfort and canceling up to 52 percent more background noise.
  • 20 Hours Listen Longer: PurelySound E7 over-ear headphones give you 20 hours of a single charge. Enough to keep the quiet and your music going throughout even the longest red-eye flight. And they charge with USB-C in up to 2 hours. 15-minute charge gives you up to 2 hours of playtime.
Bestseller No. 6
Rose Gold Active Noise Cancelling Headphones with Microphone,INFURTURE Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, Deep Bass, Memory Foam Ear Cups, Quick Charge 40H Playtime, for TV, Travel, Home Office
5,589 Reviews
Rose Gold Active Noise Cancelling Headphones with Microphone,INFURTURE Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, Deep Bass, Memory Foam Ear Cups, Quick Charge 40H Playtime, for TV, Travel, Home Office
  • Reduces most environmental noise: Infurture Noise Cancelling Headphones adopts the latest noise reduction technology, a combination of active noise reduction and passive noise reduction, which can detect and eliminate a wider range of low and intermediate frequency noise, such as car and aircraft engines and Busy office.
  • USB-C Fast Charging Function for 40H Playtime: 10 minutes of charging can provide you with 2 hours of listening time. You can enjoy a noise-free world for up to 40 hours. Note: If you do not use Bluetooth Headphones, please turn off ANC to avoid power consumption.
  • 90° swiveling earcups and Universal Comfort: The memory foam earcups can be gently shaped on your ears, and the swivel joints of the headband will automatically adjust the angle of the earcups to fit your head shape.​​ And the Over Ear headphones only weights 7. 2oz(204g) for long-time wear.
  • High-quality built-in microphone and Bluetooth 5.0: Built-in CVC8.0 microphone can ensure clear calls. You can make hands-free calls, which allows you to easily get rid of the shackles of wires. Note: The microphone can only work in Bluetooth mode.
  • Powerful bass effect: 40mm drivers can bring better bass. Infurture's active noise-cancelling surround ear headphones bring you crisp, powerful sound and quiet sound, which will help you enjoy music better. Extraordinarily silent listening to fully balanced bass and high-fidelity tones, with extraordinary clarity.
SaleBestseller No. 7
Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, HROEENOI JZ02 Bluetooth Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Headphones with CVC 8.0 Microphone Deep Bass Headset, 40 Hours Playtime for Travel Work Phone - Black
3,002 Reviews
Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, HROEENOI JZ02 Bluetooth Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Headphones with CVC 8.0 Microphone Deep Bass Headset, 40 Hours Playtime for Travel Work Phone - Black
  • 【Reduce 95% Noise】HROEENOI noise canceling headphones with microphone advanced ANC noise cancellation technology, which isolates the 95% surrounding noise. Suitable for Android, Phone, no matter at home, work, or travel.
  • 【HIFI & Stereo Sound Quality】HROEENOI bluetooth headphones can reproduce treble up to 20kHz for full-bodied sound with excellent clarity. It will make you feel like a live concert.
  • 【40 Hours Playtime】HROEENOI wireless headphones provides up to 40 hours of music playback time while in ANC. You can charge it through the Type-C port. Charges in 10 minutes, play 4 hours of music!
  • 【CVC 8.0 & Bluetooth 5.0】Bluetooth 5.0 means faster, more stable transmission; CVC 8.0 technology makes an efficient and stable connection and provides true wireless freedom for your calls.
  • 【Gift for Choice】Adjustable headband of the over-ear headphones makes it suitable for children, teenagers, and adults. The foldable design is easy to store and carry, and the soft protein ear cups with sponge padding can fit our ears. A gift for kids, boyfriend, and father.
SaleBestseller No. 8
Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones - Triple Black
6,878 Reviews
Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones - Triple Black
  • Noise cancelling wireless headphones – The perfect balance of quiet, comfort, and sound. Bose uses tiny mics to measure, compare, and react to outside noise, cancelling it with opposite signals.
  • High-fidelity audio – The TriPort acoustic architecture offers depth and fullness. Volume-optimized Active EQ maintains balanced performance at any volume, so bass stays consistent when turned down and the music remains clear when turned up.
  • Quiet and Aware Modes – Choose Quiet Mode for full noise cancelling, or Aware Mode to bring the outside into the around ear headphones and hear your environment and your music at the same time.
  • Personalize your audio. Adjustable EQ allows you to set the bass, mid-range, and treble levels to your personal preferences or select one of several preset options.
  • Up to 24 hours battery life – Enjoy 24 hours of battery life from a single charge. A quick 15-minute charge offers 3 hours when you’re on the go, or plug in the included audio cable to listen for even longer in wired mode.

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