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 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 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.

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
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WHCH710N: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headset with Mic for Phone-Call, Blue (Amazon Exclusive)
10,669 Reviews
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WHCH710N: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headset with Mic for Phone-Call, Blue (Amazon Exclusive)
  • 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
Bestseller No. 2
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control - Black
53,298 Reviews
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control - Black
  • Three 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
SaleBestseller No. 3
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Black
23,151 Reviews
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Black
  • Industry-leading noise canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technology
  • Next-level music with Edge-AI, co-developed with Sony Music Studios Tokyo
  • Up to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10 min charge for 5 hours of playback)
  • Touch Sensor controls to pause play skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls
  • Speak-to-chat technology automatically reduces volume during conversations
Bestseller No. 4
Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds - Bluetooth Wireless Earphones, Triple Black, the World's Most Effective Noise Cancelling Earbuds
12,187 Reviews
Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds - Bluetooth Wireless Earphones, Triple Black, the World's Most Effective Noise Cancelling Earbuds
  • Noise cancelling earbuds – Engineered with the world’s most effective noise cancelling. Bose controllable noise cancellation and full Transparency Mode allow you to eliminate distractions, let your surroundings in, or a little bit of each.
  • High-fidelity audio – An exclusive acoustic architecture brings your music, podcasts, and videos to life, while Volume-optimized Active EQ keeps the sound crisp and balanced at any level.
  • Comfortable wireless earbuds – Three sizes of StayHear Max eartips are included for a secure fit. Crafted from soft silicone, they provide passive noise blocking with total comfort.
  • Simple touch controls – It’s as easy as tap, swipe, or press. Control your noise cancellation settings, pause, play, and volume right from the side of the earbud itself. Enable it all in the Bose Music app.
  • Noise-rejecting microphones – Tiny microphones work together to focus on your voice, filtering out surrounding noises for fewer distractions during phone calls.
SaleBestseller No. 5
SENNHEISER PXC 550-II Wireless NoiseGard Adaptive Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone with Touch Sensitive Control and 30-Hour Battery Life, Black
1,829 Reviews
SENNHEISER PXC 550-II Wireless NoiseGard Adaptive Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone with Touch Sensitive Control and 30-Hour Battery Life, Black
  • Superior sound quality and active noise cancellation: The PXC 550-II Wireless delivers Sennheiser legendary sound quality. Active noise cancellation reduces the ambient noise around you and can be adjusted to your preference
  • Exceptional battery performance up to 30 hours: The PXC 550-II Wireless delivers up to 30 hours of battery life. You can travel from London to Hong Kong and back with just one charge
  • One touch access to voice assistant: With the touch of a single button you have access to your AI helper: Siri, Hey Google and Alexa
  • Touch pad control: A touch pad on the right ear cup provides volume, play, stop, pause and track skipping control. Touching the ear cup allows you to take an incoming call. Controlling this headset is instinctive and easy
  • Smart pause (activated via the app), auto on:off: Swivel the ear cups to turn off, sensors detect when you wear the headphone and play, pause music
Bestseller No. 6
FALWEDI Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Apt-X CVC8.0 48H Music Playtime Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone Type-c Fast Charging Deep Bass Over Ear Headset for Travel/Work, Black
1,604 Reviews
FALWEDI Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Apt-X CVC8.0 48H Music Playtime Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone Type-c Fast Charging Deep Bass Over Ear Headset for Travel/Work, Black
  • -Newest AMS 3415 Active Noise Reduction Technology- Qualcomm QCC3005 + Austrian AMS, the high-end noise reduction solution of FALWEDI wireless ANC headphones provide you a speed noise reduction experience through upgraded active noise canceling technology. Denoising depth is up to 28db, no matter what noisy environment you are, just easily turn on the ANC switch, it can restore your quiet and comfortable music world.
  • -Fast Charging & Unimaginable Battery Life- Type-C port fast charging technology and built-in 1000mAh rechargeable battery can effectively support music playback for up to 2 hours after 5 minutes quick charge. After fully charged, its stable battery life offer 48 hours music playtime and allow up to 90 hours using time on non-music noise reduction mode. Playtime will be effected by volume, music type and ANC mode. Please turn off ANC to avoid power consumption if headphones are not in use.
  • -Noise-reducing Microphone & Bluetooth Mix Wired Dual Modes- Built-in 2 pcs CVC 8.0 top quality noise reduction microphone, help for improving your call quality and suppressing external noise. Even in noisy outdoor environments, you still can easily get a clear voice to talk to your friends without interference. FALWEDI S6 ANC headphones also support Bluetooth 5.0 and 3.5mm AUX wired input dual modes to meet your different usage needs and wearing habits.
  • -Apt-X Format Decoding Support & Superior Stereo Sound Quality- Dual 40mm large diameter dynamic driver design, priority Apt-X format decoding support, bring you with a crystal-clear stereo sound and captivating deep bass, its superior sound quality and first class sound experience, is the best choice for you to enjoy music better and immerse yourself in the music world.
  • -Comfortable Wearing Feeling & Portable Foldable Design- High imitation protein leather ear pads with professional ergonomically design, can perfect wrap your ears. Utilizing a combination of cozy breathable mesh material and adjustable headband, make your pressure release and feel comfortable even when you worn for a long time. Portable foldable design, suitable for you to carry on business or journey.
SaleBestseller No. 7
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, 22 Hours of Listening Time, Built-in Microphone - Matte Black (Latest Model)
4,819 Reviews
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, 22 Hours of Listening Time, Built-in Microphone - Matte 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. 8
Sony MDRZX110NC Noise Cancelling Headphones, Black
8,271 Reviews
Sony MDRZX110NC Noise Cancelling Headphones, Black
  • Over ear, Noise isolating Headphones. Connectivity Technology: Wired
  • 30mm Neodymium Driver. 110 dB MW – Power off, 115 dB MW – Power on
  • Up To 80 Hours Of Battery Life
  • Frequency response:10 22,000 Hz
  • Impedance (Ohm) Power ON 220 ohm, OFF 45 ohm (at 1 kHz). Cord Length:3.94 feet

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