Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The world is a noisy place. Heck, sometimes I wish I had noise-canceling headphones. But if your child has Autism, ADHD, or anxiety disorder, being out in noise can be brutal. These various conditions can make it nearly 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?

If it's good enough for LeBron, it's good enough for my kid. (and they're pink!)
If it’s good enough for LeBron, it’s good enough for my kid. (and they’re pink!)

Not necessarily.

Autism Headphones

Celebrities wear noise-canceling 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 has been very open about his struggles with ADHD, so it's no surprise he wears sound-canceling 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.

The colors on these headphones are so fun!
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 has been very open about his struggles with mental illness (and he wears Beats!).
Justin Bieber has been very open about his struggles with mental illness (and he wears Beats!).

Choosing the 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 Headphones

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 cancel 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. Technology has come a long way in the past decade. My son wears earbuds 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 earbuds and earplugs 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 earplugs 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.

The fact is, many of these sound-canceling headphones are a status symbol because all the athletes wear them. Our kids are already a target of 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

Banz makes a line of headphones just for babies and toddlers.

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

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.

Fun and Function also makes a set for little ones.
I love my Blue microphone for podcasting, so I am going to try their headphones for myself.

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, a 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 has sound-canceling headphones in various price ranges.

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.

You can never go wrong with Bose.
Beats by Dre are the originals.

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 the movement of your head as you go about the day.

The other cool thing about Beats is that you can get them at so many stores. 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 here 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 acceptable! Cancellation, however…. gets 2 Ls. Always.

Bestseller No. 1
Soundcore Anker 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
46,304 Reviews
Soundcore Anker 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.
Bestseller 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 - Shadow Gray (Latest Model)
28,588 Reviews
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, 22 Hours of Listening Time, Built-in Microphone - Shadow Gray (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
Bestseller No. 3
INFURTURE Rose Gold Active Noise Cancelling Headphones with Microphone Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, Deep Bass, Memory Foam Ear Cups, Quick Charge 40H Playtime, for TV, Travel, Home Office
7,921 Reviews
INFURTURE Rose Gold Active Noise Cancelling Headphones with Microphone 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.
Bestseller No. 4
Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones - Triple Black
11,261 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. Bluetooth range-up to 9 m (30 feet). Compatible App-Bose Music app
  • 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.
Bestseller No. 5
RAVIAD Wireless Earbuds Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Wireless Bluetooth 5.2 with Microphone Charging Case 30H Playtime in-Ear Hi-Fi Stereo IPX7 Waterproof Headsets for iPhone airpod pro/Android
5,146 Reviews
RAVIAD Wireless Earbuds Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Wireless Bluetooth 5.2 with Microphone Charging Case 30H Playtime in-Ear Hi-Fi Stereo IPX7 Waterproof Headsets for iPhone airpod pro/Android
  • 【HiFi True Wireless Stereo Earbuds】The Bluetooth earbuds come with a 13mm vibrating diaphragm and HD rendering technology that catches every detail of the music. Pick up the wireless earbuds from the charging case, and access your phone's Bluetooth settings to pair your bluetooth headset in just one step, and the paired device will automatically connect them the next time. The headset supports Bluetooth for IOS/Android/Windows devices.
  • 【Active Noise Canceling】CVC+DSP active noise canceling technology works by capturing ambient noise during a call so that the other party can hear a clear voice message. With this CVC noise-canceling technology, you can make sure your partner hears you clearly when you're out on the phone or riding a bike in the wind.
  • 【Touch control your devices of iOS or Android by the earbuds】the noise cancelling earbuds support dual-ear touch control, providing convenient operation on the volume control, previous/next song, pause and answer calls along as well as voice assistant control. Bringing you the true wireless experience when you use the iOS or Android smartphones, pc, tablets, laptops, TV... Also, nothing is more important than workout always with music.
  • 【30H Playtime】The earbuds can be in the charging box to charge for about 4-5 hours. Usually, the headset can support about 5 hours of music time when it is fully charged, which means the usage time is extended to 30 Hours.
  • 【Bluetooth 5.1/One Step Pairing】Advanced Bluetooth 5.1 chip, lower power consumption, faster transmission, to ensure a stable connection. In the Bluetooth connection range, open the device Bluetooth, and open the charging box, you can quickly pair, wireless earbuds automatically connected to the previous Bluetooth device.
SaleBestseller No. 6
JBL Live 460NC - Wireless On-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones with Long Battery Life and Voice Assistant Control - Black
3,359 Reviews
JBL Live 460NC - Wireless On-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones with Long Battery Life and Voice Assistant Control - Black
  • The JBL Live 460NC wireless headphones feature 40mm drivers and a sound signature that can be found in the most famous venues all around the world.
  • Keep the noise away and stay focused on the music with Adaptive Noise Cancelling. The Ambient Aware technology allows you to safely walk busy streets by increasing ambient sounds, while with TalkThru music is lowered and speech is amplified so you can easily chat keeping your headphones on.
  • Get help from your preferred voice assistant using your voice or with a tap on the earcup. Activate Nose Cancelling or Ambient Aware, check the battery life or power off your JBL Live 460NC simply with your voice. Use the all-new JBL App to easily set your preferred voice assistants.
  • Stay in touch with your world by managing calls with the buttons on the ear-cup. The mic technology allows for perfect stereo calls.
  • Rock on for up to 50 hours (or up to 40 hours with ANC and BT on). Then, stop for a quick 10-minute charge to get extra 4-hour fun.
Bestseller No. 7
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WHCH710N: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headset with Mic for Phone-Call, Black
21,240 Reviews
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WHCH710N: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headset with Mic for Phone-Call, Black
  • 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.Note:If you face issue in Bluetooth connectivity please turn off the Bluetooth function for a couple of minutes, then turn it back on
  • Wireless Bluetooth streaming with NFC one-touch
Bestseller No. 8
Srhythm NC25 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Bluetooth 5.3,ANC Stereo Headset Over-Ear with Hi-Fi,Mic,50H Playtime,Voice Assistant,Low Latency Game Mode
12,526 Reviews
Srhythm NC25 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Bluetooth 5.3,ANC Stereo Headset Over-Ear with Hi-Fi,Mic,50H Playtime,Voice Assistant,Low Latency Game Mode
  • Digital Active Noise Cancelling Technology(ANC): Professional advanced noise cancellation silences up to 90% of machine noise. Cancels noise from aircraft, subways, cars and crowds,so you can focus on what are you doing. (Kindly Note:it’s NOT 100% noise cancelllation,Human talking CAN NOT be elimated and ANC is less effective in quiet environments).ANC Works well both wired and wireless
  • Provides High-Res Audio in Silence: Features a dual 40 mm HD high-resolution audio driver, along with 360° omnidirectional noise-cancelling ANC technology, a high-response diaphragm, lightweight voice coil. Delivers peerless sound with no interruptions.Sometimes quality just needs to be heard.Find the rhythm of your soul
  • 50+ Hours Music Enjoyment: A built-in 1000mAh battery won't allow your headphones power off, you can enjoy your world without noise for 50 hours' long time with a single charge.or plug in 3.5mm stereo audio cable to prolong using time when battery is low
  • Unique Foldable Lightweight & Ergonomic Design: The professional-grade protein ear-pads,100° inward rotation and 120° inward folding ear-cups with superb LIGHTWEIGHT only 0.4 lb for maximum comfort, even during long periods of use. Folds away compactly for easy storage when travelling. Ergomonic headsets' structure and multi-level adjustable headband to get the best suitable size for you
  • Low lantency gaming mode: Only press the Multi-function button three times, enter the low latency gaming mode. Enable you to experience the immersive gaming environment with seamless music

When you purchase items from Amazon from this site, I receive a small percentage at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting A Day in our Shoes.

Similar Posts