Category Archives: Choosing Headphones and Earbuds

Shop Smart- Buy Durable and Cost-effective Headsets Like the AVID AE-39

Think headphones can be high-quality or affordable, but not both? Think again! Meet the AVID AE-39 headphones.

AVID EDUCATION AE-39

The AVID AE-39 headphones are top-of-the-line USB headphones featuring a noise-canceling microphone. This model was created with sound quality in mind, as well as the rigors of daily home working and school environments. The AE-39 is equipped with AVID’s signature nylon braided cord, which is sturdy and resistant to twisting. The 1.8m / 6-foot cord with inline controls allows for a wide range of motion during operation, allowing for a more engaging working environment, and then folds up into a Velcro tie for easy storage. You may use the inline controls to mute the microphone and alter the volume of your headphones without having to touch your computer, allowing you to focus on your conversation while knowing that changes can be made quickly if necessary. The vinyl ear pads and headbands are easy to clean and store using any gentle over-the-counter cleansing product, making them ideal for frequent use. The AVID AE-39s can be adjusted to provide the best possible comfort. They have a lightweight on-ear design with a microphone boom and an adjustable headband.

What Are the Features of the AVID AE-39?

Quality Headphone Drivers

When choosing a headset, the headphone drivers are an essential feature to put into consideration. The driver of a headset is the component that grants audio impulses to the user and transforms them into audible sound waves. Magnets and a membrane/diaphragm are commonly used in the AVID AE-39 drivers. The diaphragm is spontaneous due to electrical signals, and these spontaneous vibrations produce sound waves that users can hear. The diameter of the headphone drivers used in the production of AVID AE-39 is quite broad, and the wider the diameter of the headphone driver, the better the sound quality. 

When working with low tones, this is very critical. The speaker diameter is also essential for the AVID AE-39 headsets, given that it is an over-the-ear headset. Similarly, the connector you choose is equally crucial as the speakers you utilize. The most popular materials used by AVID AE-39 headset producers are stainless steel, gold, and bronze. The type of material utilized determines the quality of the headphones’ electrical conduction, these materials used by AVID AE-39 producers give their headphones the best quality.

Top-notch Sound Sensitivity and Pressure

Ideally, AVID AE-39 is constructed with good sound sensitivity. This is what the term “sensitivity” means: the ability of the headphones to detect sound, even at the tiniest change/volume. This word is used interchangeably by manufacturers with sound pressure. They are used to indicate how loud the headphones can be. Sound pressure levels are used to quantify the sensitivity of headphones, commonly reported in decibels per milliwatt (dB/mW). In contrast, sensitivity reflects how efficiently an electrical signal is translated into a sound wave.   

The sensitivity of a headphone is important since it aids in understanding how to control volume and how volume affects voltage. Sensitivity is measured in decibels per voltage (dB/V) and is proportional to frequency. To change the loudness of AVID AE-39 by 6 dB, for example, the voltage must be increased by two times. As a function of resistance, sensitivity affects volume. Higher volume gives higher sensitivity and reduced resistance, albeit there may be extra noise. This extra noise is only noticeable when there is no sound playing. However, with AVID AE-39 having a higher sensitivity, it’s expected to be very loud.

Impedance (Electrical Resistance)

AVID AE-39 operates on electromagnetism. So it’s crucial to understand how electrical resistance (or impedance) influences the sound quality and this type of headphones you’re about to buy. Impedance is measured in Ohms and influences the power of headphones in that the higher the resistance, the more power is necessary to power the headphones.   

High-end headsets like AVID AE-39 have a higher impedance, about 300 Ohms or more, and need an amplifier to operate efficiently. In contrast, headphones for mobile phones have lower impedance, about 40 ohms or less, thus needing less power. This may seem like a pro, but low-impedance requires more current, which causes frequent vibrations that produce sound. For this reason, there will be an audible background hiss when utilizing low-impedance headphones. This results in performance problems. With AVID AE-39, you can’t encounter this problem as the impedance is high.

Frequency Response

Frequency response is a phrase used to indicate the range of sound frequencies that headphones can produce. Frequency responsiveness is normally measured in Hertz (Hz), with the higher number signifying the frequency that produces high notes (usually labeled as “Bright”) and the lower number indicating the amount of bass produced (usually indicated as “Dark”). The AVID AE-39 headphone has a specified frequency corresponding to human hearing frequency, usually between 20 and 20,000 Hz. This makes it perfect for use.

Other features of the AVID AE-39 headphones include:

  • CONNECTIVITY 

This USB microphone headset allows you to quickly connect to your PC or Mac computer. The headset requires no drivers. 

  • CABLE LENGTH

The AE-39’s 1.8m (6ft) long braided cable is for exceptional durability and prevents the tangling you can get with plastic-wrapped cables.  

  • NOISE-CANCELING

The boom microphone has noise cancellation technology to limit background noise, giving you clear discussions. This feature makes AVID AE-39 one of the best options for school headphones

  • INLINE CONTROLS

The AE-39’s simple inline controls let you instantly mute your microphone and alter your headphone level during calls.   

  • COMFORTABLE DESIGN

Lightweight, on-ear design and adjustable headband are perfect for home working. Really comfy and cooling to wear for extended durations.

What Are the Benefits of the AVID AE-39 Headsets?

  • It’s simple to clean and maintain.  
  • Ideal for one-on-one user interface.  
  • Reliable and long-lasting  
  • Noise cancellation property helps in maintaining maximum focus.  
  • The AVID AE-39 has an ambidextrous design 
  • The headband can be adjusted perfectly for a custom fit

What Are the Specifications of the AVID AE-39 Headset Available? 

  • Impedance sensitivity: 100dB @ 500Hz w 1mW input
  • Plug type: USB
  • Magnet material: 32 Ohms @ 500Hz 
  • Volume control: In-line
  • Speaker size: 40mm Ferrite 
  • Earpads: PU leatherette 
  • Microphone type: Bidirectional method of boom rotation 
  • Color: Silver and black 
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20KHz
  • Channel balance: Within 6dB 
  • Mic sensitivity: -42dB  V/Pa
  • Max input power: 30 mW 
  • Cord: 6′ nylon braided effectively with ear cup strain relief
  • Headband: Adjustable with enough tilt
  • Packing: 40 pieces per carton

You’ll be amazed by the level of quality and durability that comes from this highly-affordable set of school headphones!

Recycling Headsets and Other Electronics: What’s the right approach?

Americans throw out between 300 and 400 million electronic devices every year, equaling approximately seven million metric tons, making the U.S. the world’s second-largest producer of e-waste (behind China). A recent survey of Americans between the ages of 18 and 38 by Decluttr found that 60% threw away one or more electronic devices between March and June 2020, rather than recycling them. The top three items discarded were charging cords, headphones, and cellular phones, a not surprising finding given COVID restrictions have made headphones and headsets a mandatory piece of equipment in many schools and businesses.

Once a device is tossed into the trash, it is typically taken to a U.S. landfill, incinerated, or exported to a foreign country. Though e-waste represents just 2% of America’s landfill trash, it accounts for 70% of the toxic waste, due to dangerous chemicals and metals, including lead, mercury, and zinc, which can leach into the air, soil, and water. The Basel Convention, an international treaty aimed at reducing hazardous waste exports, has raised awareness, but the sheer magnitude of the problem escapes easy solutions. 

Given the rapid pace of the development of new technology, not surprisingly, e-waste is the fastest-growing type of waste. According to a U.N. report, there was a 17% increase in e-waste globally, to 52 million metric tons, between 2016 and 2021. It is, therefore, imperative that each of us learn where and how to dispose of our electronic devices

Many cities and communities offer recycling days for e-waste, many of which are at no cost to the residents. Additionally, a website called Earth911 allows you to type in your zip code to find e-waste options in your area. The EPA lists the recycling policies of several retailers, which typically limit the number of devices they accept, and manufacturers, which tend to offer recycling only for their own products. 

What if you represent a business or school with a large number of mixed-brand devices?

Cyber Acoustics, maker of popular computer peripherals, is offering the first large-scale sustainability program to accept wired headphones, headsets, and earbuds made by any manufacturer for recycling. Once you’ve collected at least 10 of these devices, all you have to do is register on the company’s website and they’ll send you a box to collect your old or broken devices, along with a prepaid shipping label.

“Our primary goal with this program,” explains Cyber Acoustics’ COO Steve Erickson, “is to give schools and businesses a way to properly dispose of headsets and headphones that are good for the environment.” 

Cyber Acoustics pledges that the plastics, metals, and other components in the returned devices will be properly sorted, discarded, recycled, or re-used, and not end up in landfills. The program will also help recover valuable materials and reduce the resources needed for new products. Several dozen schools across the U.S. have already requested bins from the company to help recycle their school headphones

The headset recycling program is just part of Cyber Acoustics’ commitment to sustainability. The company has redesigned its packaging to be more compact and efficient, utilizing 100% recyclable materials, and is taking steps to eliminate single-use plastic and other non-recyclable products.

“We’re all about providing solutions, and that doesn’t stop at electronics. Smarter packaging and longer-lasting products are just the first steps. We are constantly taking action for a better tomorrow and are committed to a continuous process of innovation, adaptation, and change to better our planet,” adds Erickson.

How other brands are doing their part 

To help motivate students to go green, PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally provides materials, including videos, lesson plans, posters, and prizes. It even has a fun formula for tracking and measuring a school’s progress. One of PepsiCo’s partners is WeAreTeachers, an organization of educators which offers additional ideas for K-12 recycling programs, including conducting regular waste audits. Project Green Schools also offers a number of useful ideas to encourage environmental awareness and reduce waste in schools.

Thanks to Cyber Acoustics’ recycling program for headphones, along with numerous other electronics recycling programs sponsored by various corporations and nonprofit organizations, it’s now easier and more convenient than ever to properly dispose of broken or outdated electronic items. 

By joining the fight to preserve our planet, Cyber Acoustics will hopefully influence other companies that manufacture headphones and earbuds to follow suit, positively impacting our processes for responsibly and sustainably manufacturing, shipping, and recycling goods and preserving our beautiful planet for future generations.

Sources

Great Lakes Electronics Corporation. chatterbuzz. January 6, 2017. How Does Recycling Electronics Help the Environment. https://www.ewaste1.com/how-does-recycling-electronics-help-the-environment/

Mayer Alloys Corporation. Ilene Lubell. April 27, 2018. 5 Shocking Environmental Effects of E-Waste. https://info.mayeralloys.com/ewaste-blog/5-shocking-environmental-effects-of-e-waste

Logitech H111 Headphones Are Uniquely Designed for Students

Finding headphones for students can be a hard process, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. By purchasing headphones or a headset designed specifically for education, educators can ensure students are receiving the right headphones for their needs. From their durable materials to comfortable designs, kids of all ages will love these headphones. 

Top Recommendation

One of our top picks for high-quality, affordable school headphones is the Logitech H111 Stereo Headset for Education.

LOGITECH H111 STEREO HEADSET FOR EDUCATION

This headset is primarily focused for students and offers a simple way for kids to connect with fellow students, teachers, learning programs, and more! In addition to quality features like a 180-degree rotating microphone that provides better voice capture, background noise reduction and left or right side positioning, the H111 for Education delivers on durability, comfort, compatibility, hygiene, and peace of mind necessary for headphone use in schools. Here’s how.

Durability

The H111 for Education uses higher quality, more durable plastics designed to ensure that students can’t easily destroy, chew or break any of the components on the headphone. It also has reinforced wiring and strain relief so kids can use them all day long without risk for breakage.

Comfort

The H111 for Education features an adjustable headband and soft ear cushions that give students a great, comfortable fit for all-day use. An extra-long 4.5-foot cord allows students to stand, stretch, or move during the day as needed. 

Compatibility

Because school headphones are manufactured for students in schools across the country, they almost always feature the traditional 3.5mm jack, a standard USB cord, or both, meaning they’ll be usable in over 90% of devices used in schools—including Chromebooks, desktops and tablets. The Logitech H111 Headset for Education is compatible with virtually all computers, featuring a standard 3.5mm jack for easy use. It’s Chromebook certified and compatible with most operating Systems (Chrome OS™; Windows® 7, 8, 10 or later; Mac® OS 10.10 or later).

Easy to Clean

Now more than ever, keeping school headphones clean and sanitized is an absolute necessity. Manufacturers of classroom headsets understand the importance of a design that is easy for educators and school administrators to keep clean between uses. Quality school headphones for kids will often feature headbands, ear cushions, and microphones made from materials that can easily withstand regular cleaning and sanitation with the use of proper cleaning products. The H111 for Education meets CDC Cleaning Guidelines and is designed and tested to withstand disinfecting after each use.

3-Year Warranty

What makes the Logitech H111 Headset for Education even more unique is the extended 3-year warranty that comes with it. Most warranty options for other headsets and headphones only offer up to one year manufacturer’s warranty. Logitech for Education offers purchasing peace of mind with a 3-year commitment to your product satisfaction.

Finding durable, comfortable, easy-to-clean and compatible headphones for students no longer needs to be a chore. Educators can find the right headphones for kids when they consider the unique needs of students in the classroom. To learn more about the Logitech H111 Stereo Headset for Education and how it’s uniquely designed for students, visit Encore Data Products.

Are JLab Headphones Comfortable for Small Children?

As more and more of our children’s school experience becomes technology-focused, the use of school headphones becomes more prevalent, with even the youngest students engaging in activities that require headphones at school at least once or twice per week.

In fact, due to the unprecedented events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been no school years more reliant on technology, including school headphones, than 2020 and 2021.

As schools closed down for in-person learning and pivoted to remote learning to help protect students, faculty, and staff from contracting the coronavirus, we all learned something about the importance of having the right equipment on hand to help young students cope with the seismic shift in their school routine. Suddenly, having school headphones that not only produced good sound quality but also were comfortable for hours of wear became extremely essential. 

Now that kids are largely back in school, having headphones designed for their comfort is still an important consideration for teachers and parents alike, as they continue to use them for daily lessons as part of in-person instruction. Today we’ll take a look at the popular JLab children’s headphones to see whether they are a top choice for comfort, quality, and durability.

About JLab

Founded in 2005, JLab is a top manufacturer of innovative headphones, earbuds, and accessories for men, women, and children. The brand strives to deliver what they call “accessible innovation”- in other words, top-quality audio and cutting-edge technology at an affordable price. As the number one kids’ headphones brand in the United States, it’s safe to say that JLab knows a thing or two about designing school headphones with kids’ comfort in mind! 

Popular JLab Kids School Headphones

With a variety of styles optimized for learning, gaming, and more, the JBuddies line of school headphones is sure to offer something for everyone! Here’s a look at some of the most popular JBuddies models available.

JLAB JBUDDIES STUDIO KIDS ON-EAR HEADPHONES

JLab JBuddies Studio Kids On-Ear Headphones With In-Line Microphone

Featuring their patented Cloud Foam on-ear cushions, the JBuddies Studio school headphones offer ultimate comfort and focus at an affordable price. Optimized for kids’ comfort, the JBuddies Studio Kids headphones feature smooth-sliding metal adjustments and a feather-light build to provide long-lasting comfort for all-day use in school or at home.

The compact stainless steel headband is equipped with a plush memory foam cushion for maximum comfort and is adjustable to fit growing kids from ages 6 to 16. Since these school headphones are designed to grow with your kids, you can count on them to be part of your child’s learning experience for years to come. 

With plush, foldable ear cups that rotate 80 degrees and a braided, tangle-free nylon cord, the JBuddies Studio Kids school headphones are as durable as they are comfortable! Teachers and parents who know how rough young students can be on school equipment will breathe a sigh of relief to see how virtually indestructible these school headphones are for little fingers. 

In addition to being designed for kids’ comfort throughout the day, the JBuddies Studio Kids school headphones are also tested and approved for safe listening levels, with a built-in volume limiter at 85 decibels. This means that even the youngest students will be protected against future hearing loss from prolonged use of school headphones.

The in-line microphone feature allows kids to easily participate in remote learning sessions, language labs where voice response is required, and more. Best of all, each set of JBuddies Studio Kids headphones comes with JLab’s exclusive lifetime warranty, so you can be guaranteed lasting quality for the life of your child’s school headphones.

The JLab JBuddies Studio Kids On-Ear Headphones are an excellent value for parents, school administrators, or anyone else in search of high-quality, high-performance school headphones.

JLab JBuddies Learn On-Ear Kids Headphones With Retractable Microphone

JLAB JBUDDIES LEARN ON-EAR KIDS HEADPHONE

Like the Studio Kids model above, the JBuddies Learn school headphones are designed especially for kids ages 6 and up. The on-ear design features comfortable Eco Leather™ cushions and a padded headband to provide long-lasting comfort for lessons, homework, and more. 

A built-in volume regulator safely ensures that kids never listen past 85 decibels, and the design allows the school headphones to be folded easily for storage and transportation to and from school. The JBuddies Learn model features a retractable microphone that can be used for remote school sessions, gaming, and programs that require voice response, then discreetly tucked away when not in use. Students can easily plug their JBuddies Learn school headphones into a PC, Mac, or Chromebook for use.

 

 

The JBuddies Learn headphones include a number of high-end features for a comparatively low price.

 

JLab JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones

For the youngest learners who may not require all the bells and whistles of a built-in microphone, it’s hard to beat the JBuddies folding kids headphones for comfort, quality, and style. Tested and approved for safe listening with a volume limiter at 85 decibels, the JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones are designed for kids ages 2 and up. Comfort features include pillow-soft ear and headband cushions, a folding, compact design, and pinch-free hinges to ensure no little fingers get caught.

Durable, spill-resistant materials help protect the JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones from everyday accidents, but parents and teachers can also rest assured that each pair is backed by the JLab Lifetime Warranty for added protection.

 

Best of all, the JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones come with 8 fun 3D character stickers so that each child can add his or her own personal touch!

The JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones are a must-have for any parent or teacher looking for safe, high-quality school headphones for toddlers, preschoolers, or kindergartners.

JLab has become a leading brand for school headphones thanks to its commitment to putting comfort and quality first. It’s tough to beat these school headphones in terms of what they offer versus how much they cost. By investing in a pair of JLab school headphones for your kids now, you can be sure they’ll serve them well for years to come.

Kids Headphones & Safe Listening This Summer

Summer has arrived and that means summer travel, kids spending time at the pool, beach, or lake, and listening to tunes or playing games on a smartphone or tablet with headphones. Have you ever wondered if the headphones you’re buying your kids are safe for their little ears? With a recent study out about kid’s headphones and potential hearing loss, it’s reassuring to know that JLab’s JBuddies kids headphones ensure the volume only goes to safe levels and are safe for your toddler, preschooler, tween or teen. Tested and approved, JLab provides a volume regulator in the headphones to ensure your kids never listen past 85 decibels, which is the limit set by the National Institute for Safety and Health back in 1998, according to the New York Times.

Some brands however, market their headphones as being safe for listening but are turning out to exceed 85db; which at full volume, could cause damage in only a few short minutes. Researchers offer advice that even with a regulator it’s still important to provide supervision to your kids listening habits, and to try and maintain their volume at about 60% (nytimes.com).

Back in 2017, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) published a study for hearing loss among adults based on noise inducing causes and the vital signs of damage. According to the CDC, “Nearly one in four adults (24%) had audiometric notches, suggesting a high prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss.” Essentially, noise-induced hearing loss is more common than we even realize, often unrecognizable among adults. The damage happens over time and can start at an early age. This is why safe listening habits need to be practiced early with young kids.

“If a parent is an arm’s length away, a child wearing headphones should still be able to hear when asked a question.” (nytimes.com)

The Wirecutter, an association of The New York Times, hosted the thorough study with about 30 kids on the panel and chose our JBuddies Studio Headphones as the best corded big kid headphones.

The Wirecutter’s Lauren Dragan and Brent Butterworth noted that “despite claims that kids headphones limit volume to 85 decibels (the level the World Health Organization considers “safer”), up to one-third of the kids headphones we tested exceeded that level when measured with pink noise, allowing higher volumes—sometimes much higher,” the article noted. (thewirecutter.com)

To read the full in-depth article on the testing process and the headphone results check it out on The Wirecutter, or read more about safety on The New York Times.

References:

The New York Times: Children’s Headphones May Carry Risk of Hearing Loss

The Wirecutter: The Best Kids Headphones 

CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention): Vital Signs: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Among Adults – United States 2011-2012

 

Closing the “Learning Loss” Gap

The COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly every aspect of ordinary life almost overnight. Everything we once took for granted — watching our children’s soccer games, grocery shopping, and having friends over for dinner– suddenly became fraught with concern over our health and the well-being of our loved ones. Life as we knew it ground to a sudden, frightening halt as new regulations and restrictions were put in place to help minimize the spread of the novel Coronavirus. The resulting closures of restaurants, stores, and offices across the country and around the world continue to affect our economy as we work to rebuild from the events of 2020.

Perhaps one of the most seismic disruptions to our society was the closure of schools due to the pandemic. Students from pre-kindergarten through college were suddenly unable to gather in school buildings for traditional classroom instruction and instead had to quickly pivot to remote learning over Zoom or other video conferencing apps.

This provided a new series of challenges and roadblocks that teachers, parents, and students alike faced as they worked to navigate the uncharted waters of distance learning. For some schools, the mere act of ensuring that each student had access to a reliable internet connection and a laptop or tablet was the most daunting obstacle. Other school districts struggled with maintaining adequate attendance, mitigating issues with technical difficulties, and ensuring that students were effectively learning at a distance when teachers could not physically be there to check their work in real-time.

Parents of school-age children faced their own set of challenges with remote learning. Many parents, who were also working from home due to the pandemic, found themselves having to monitor their children’s school sessions while also trying to attend their own online meetings and do their own work. In a nutshell, remote learning was largely an unpleasant experience for everyone involved, especially in the early days of the pandemic in Spring 2020.

After taking the summer to re-evaluate their remote learning strategies and address the pain points that had arisen over the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts nationwide were able to fine-tune their remote programming, provide training to teachers on basic usage of equipment and technology, and outfit students in need with Chromebooks, tablets, and school headphones that could be used to optimize their remote learning environment at home. A number of districts even offered payment assistance to families without reliable Wi-Fi in their homes, to better ensure that students would have fewer technical difficulties to overcome in a typical school day. Remote learning, while still not perfect, has come a long way since March 2020, and can now be seen as a viable solution in the future for days when children cannot attend school in person due to inclement weather or other concerns.

But what about the children who struggled the most with online learning? Students who had been placed on IEPs, in addition to ELL/ESL students, were statistically most at risk for losing much of what they had learned prior to the onset of the pandemic. This “learning loss gap,” as it is called, measures how much students may have regressed as a result of being unable to attend school in person.

For school administrators and faculty across the nation, the learning loss gap was always accepted as a foregone conclusion from the start of the pandemic. “One of the things we realize is that no matter how good a job we do, there’s going to be a regression and there’s going to be learning loss,” Mark Secaur, the deputy superintendent of the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools in Woodmere, New York, told EducationWeek. “And a lot of the work we’ve done is to try to identify the gaps that will be caused by this and try to mitigate them.”

Closing the Learning Loss Gap in 2021

With the advent of COVID-19 vaccines for people ages 12 and up, and vaccine approval for children under 12 on the horizon, the future is looking much brighter for the 2021-22 school year. 

School administrators are planning to use the coming school year and the apparent normalcy that is anticipated to return with it to help close the learning loss gap and bring students back up to pre-pandemic reading and math levels.

For many districts, this means starting the school year early by offering summer school programs at no cost to parents. The Baltimore City School System has taken this one step further, making summer school attendance mandatory for all students in the district who are currently failing in their studies. According to the Baltimore Sun, the mandate has caused some controversy but is still believed by the district to be the best possible way to provide outreach and intervention to the students who need it most.  

Other districts that are offering summer school programs on a voluntary or mandatory basis plan to make the best use of available technology to help close the learning loss gap. Specialized learning technology for ELL students allows them to progress and practice at their own individual paces by digitally tracking progress, strengths, and weaknesses to create a customized learning experience. 

Students who have access to high-quality school headsets, such as the AE-55 model from AVID, are able to utilize this technology and work through their custom language lessons free from distraction or background noise. Available with both USB and TRRS plugs to accommodate any device, the AE-55 is a top choice for educators for use with listening centers, ELL language learning labs, and more.

Thanks to the dedication and diligence of our teachers and school administrators, as well as the availability of cutting-edge educational technology, school districts nationwide are hopeful that we will be able to effectively close the learning loss gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The road ahead is not going to be an easy one, but our schools are committed to seeing that our students gain back what they’ve lost over the past 18 months and emerge even stronger than before.

Make Distance Learning Less Challenging by Using Quality Headphones

Go ahead, ask any parent- what’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face this past year? 

Overwhelmingly, the answer will likely have something to do with juggling their own work-from-home schedule with the responsibilities associated with their children’s homeschooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ve just passed the one-year anniversary of the day that life as we know it was turned upside-down, and it’s been a turbulent ride for many of us who had to navigate the tricky, frustrating waters of working from home while supervising the education of our school-aged children attending school via Zoom. Parents, teachers, and children alike have had a tough time adapting to the challenges posed by distance learning, and it’s safe to say that we’ll never forget 2020 for as long as we live.

Now as more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine and state-by-state case totals trend downward, we’re finally beginning to see a day in the not-too-distant future where the pandemic will come to a close and life will return to normal. Indeed, many school districts have already pivoted back to in-person learning on at least a part-time basis, and the outlook is good for a full return to pre-pandemic school schedules for the 2021-2022 school year. However, we’re not out of the woods yet, and a number of classrooms are still relying on distance learning for at least a fraction of their students. 

As seasoned distance learning experts thanks to the past year’s events, we can say we’ve learned a lot about how to make our kids’ school experience as successful and productive as possible even when they can’t be in person with their teachers and classmates. We’re a lot more experienced with distance learning than we were just one year ago, and we know what it takes to create a distraction-free learning environment that benefits everyone at home. 

One word: headsets.

That’s right- headsets, perhaps the single most important piece of equipment, other than a laptop, that can make all the difference in your child’s distance learning experience. Regardless of the size of your home or the number of kids all participating in distance learning at once in your household, parents can rest assured that the headsets they purchased are allowing their young learners to concentrate on the lesson at hand without becoming distracted by background noise. In essence, a quality set of headphones amounts to a private, secluded learning space for every member of your family!

Headsets aren’t just advantageous for the young students using them, either: for parents who are trying to focus on their own online meetings for work, or who simply need some peace and quiet to get their own tasks done, headsets can significantly reduce noise and distraction. Imagine not having to hear your child’s noisy class discussions in the background while you are trying to finish a critical report or give a presentation to a client. A good set of quality headphones can make this dream a reality, making working from home and supervising distance learning a little more bearable!

Headsets with microphones attached can also come in quite handy for students participating in classroom discussions, as they can help pick up your child’s voice without also picking up every other noise in the background. For kids with younger siblings or pets who are prone to getting noisy, this can save them from unwelcome distraction and embarrassment. When kids are able to rest assured that their classmates won’t hear every little thing going on around them, they can present to the class with confidence when called upon by the teacher.

But how can you be sure you are purchasing the right set of headphones for your child? After all, there are numerous makes and models of headsets on the market at a variety of price points. Selecting the right set of headphones that fits not only your budget but your child’s distance learning needs comes down to the following factors:

Quality: It’s entirely possible to find a headset that meets your price guidelines but also offers a lot in the way of quality and performance. Look for well-known brand names of school headphones that have a reputation for quality. It’s always helpful to read consumer reviews to find out what other parents have to say about the quality of the headsets they purchased for their students.

Durability: Let’s face it- kids are rough on electronics, especially if they are younger elementary school-age students. Even if you don’t pay a lot for a headset, you’d probably like it to last a while before it gets broken by a careless drop to the floor or a frayed cord. Look for headsets with a reputation for durability to ensure that they can stand up to typical use and abuse. We recommend headphones designed for school use since the manufacturers keep durability in mind when designing headsets for children.

Affordability: It’s not necessary for quality headsets to cost a lot, and you shouldn’t have to pay a fortune for each child in your household to have his or her own set of headphones. You can find great headsets at virtually any price point that fits your budget. Select the price range you’re comfortable with prior to making your purchase, and stick with it- you’re sure to find great bargains for some surprisingly high-quality headsets!

The pandemic isn’t going to last forever, but there’s every indication that distance learning will continue to be part of students’ regular lives from now on. Schools have begun reverting to remote learning schedules in the event of snow or other severe weather. Bad news, kids- we may have seen the last snow day ever! 

Since it seems highly probable that teachers will continue to incorporate remote learning experiences into their students’ curriculum on at least a limited basis, having a quality headset is something that will benefit your child long after things get back to normal. By investing in a set of headphones for your student.

What Makes an Award-Winning Headset?

If you’ve had any previous experience with headsets, you already know that they’re not all created equal in terms of quality, durability,  and affordability. But what does it take for a headset to transcend “good” to become “multi-award winning?” Just ask AVID, the makers of the AE-55 headset model that just took top honors at the Tech & Learning ISTE Best Of Show 2020 awards and Tech & Learning’s 2021 Best Remote Learning Tools.

Meet the AE-55 Headset: Available in a variety of colors and with a choice between a TRRS or USB 2.0 plug, the AVID AE-55 checks all the boxes for quality, performance, and price. Starting from $17.99 for a USB headset and just $10.95 for the TRRS plug model the AE-55 headsets are designed expressly for student use, keeping comfort and durability in mind. 

Equipped with a bi-directional microphone that rotates 270 degrees, the AE-55 allows for an ambidextrous noise-reducing experience. A chew-resistant 6-foot cord with a Velcro tie emphasizes safety, durability, and convenient storage. Easy-to-clean removable leatherette earpads optimize comfort while also allowing for essential sanitation and protection against germs and viruses needed in today’s school environment. 

Best of all, the AE-55 is an affordable solution for educators looking for bulk TRRS or USB headsets for use in classrooms, libraries, computer labs, and more. School administrators can provide their students with award-winning performance and durability without breaking the bank and staying well within the school’s budget

About the Tech & Learning ISTE Best of Show Awards

Since 1980, Tech & Learning magazine has been a leading resource for educational professionals looking for ways to innovate in teaching and learning through the use of technology. 

Tech & Learning delivers the highest quality content and essential resources to manage, train, and teach technology, and its extensive marketing services division provides partners with unique, targeted, and highly valued products. An expert team of editors and an advisory board of top industry experts give subscribers an inside look at timely issues, hot trends, new products, and innovative strategies that support the work of K-12 educators and administrators. 

The Tech & Learning Best of Show awards are presented each year by ISTE (International Society for Technology Education), a global organization of educators who are passionate about the use of technology to transform teaching and learning. Billed as “the world’s most dynamic edtech community,” ISTE inspires the practice of teachers and school administrators across the globe, offering evidence-based professional learning, virtual coaching, and year-round academies to help educators learn and apply effective strategies for the transformational use of technology.

Each year, ISTE members are invited to attend a conference featuring keynote speakers, vendor demonstrations, and of course, the Tech & Learning Best of Show awards. Due to the pandemic, this year’s ISTE convention was held virtually in November 2020, and the AE-55 was one of only two models of headset that grabbed the prestigious Best of Show honors.  

How did the AE-55 Win Best of Show?

According to Tech & Learning’s Best of Show judges, “The AVID AE-55 Headset has been reimagined and reengineered for the needs of 2020. They come with a headphone jack model or a USB model for different uses according to the device they are connected to.” In other words, the AE-55’s versatility, affordable price point, and design features made it the most attractive option for both in-person and remote learning needs for students. Their compatibility with virtually any electronic device allows them to nimbly shift from laptop to tablet to desktop computer with ease. In a world where “pivot” has become the buzzword of the year, the ability to shift gears is just as valuable for headsets as it is for businesses!

About the Tech & Learning 2021 Best Remote Learning Tools

As schools pivoted from in-person to remote and blended learning this past year, technology solutions were key to delivering quality, continuous learning. To celebrate the work of technology providers who stepped up to support this effort, Tech & Learning launched “The Best Tools for Remote & Blended Learning,” a new offering in its legacy Awards of Excellence program. 

Judges deemed these products as standouts for helping students, parents, and teachers succeed in these new learning environments. Eligible products included hardware, software, curriculum, security/safety solutions, PD, student information systems, and more. Categories included: Best Remote/Blended Learning Tools for Primary Grades; Best Remote/Blended Learning Tools for Secondary Grades; Best Remote/Blended Learning Tools for Higher Education.

“Despite the many challenges schools have had to face this past year, technology continues to be one of the key drivers for innovation,” says Tech & Learning Group Publisher Christine Weiser. “The winning products recognized here have supported continuous instruction throughout the pandemic, and we expect this momentum to continue into next year and beyond. Congratulations to all of our winners.”

As schools across the nation transition back to in-person learning, educators need to make sure their classrooms are equipped with cutting-edge technology that makes a bigger impact on the learning process. Now that students of all ages are more comfortable with various computer programs and video conferencing platforms, it’s possible that we will continue to see some elements of remote learning in the future of education, whether it’s in person or at a distance! By equipping students with the right headsets for the job, teachers can ensure that each child is getting the most out of a lesson, in a distraction-free environment.

If you are only able to make one purchase for your students this school year, let the AVID AE-55 be your choice! Purchasing AVID AE-55 TRRS or USB headsets for every classroom in your school is one way to ensure that students have access to multi-award-winning technology every day of the school year!

Troubleshooting Tips for your USB Headset

As we head into winter, it’s beginning to look like we won’t be heading back to school or the office anytime soon. With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing as the weather turns cold, many companies and school districts have made the decision to remain online only, with no in-person contact for at least the next several months. If you’re feeling stir-crazy and missing your office space or classroom, trust us- you’re not alone!

However, working or attending classes remotely doesn’t have to mean discomfort or distraction. Even if you’re sharing cramped quarters with a spouse and kids all working and attending school from home, you can still get into the zone with your own work or school commitments thanks to a USB headset that is compatible with your computer. Purchasing a USB headset is a great way to optimize your remote working or learning environment as we continue to adapt to our ‘new normal.’

But what if your new USB headset is having a hard time connecting over Bluetooth, or if you can hear the participants in your online meeting but they can’t hear you (or vice versa)? Like any technology, USB headsets are prone to occasional issues that can cause frustration in an already frustrating situation. Here are some handy tips for you to keep nearby next time your USB headset is giving you a headache. See if these work for you!

Problem: Your Wireless USB Headset Won’t Connect Over Bluetooth
Solution: This is a pretty common problem among wireless USB headsets that use a USB dongle to connect via Bluetooth to your computer or mobile device. Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple fix to re-establish connectivity. Simply “forget” the USB headset and then re-pair it to your device.

You can do this by clicking the Bluetooth symbol, normally located in the top bar menu of your laptop, or going into your System Settings menu and selecting Bluetooth. This will present a menu of Bluetooth-connected devices, including your wireless USB headset, that can be disconnected by clicking on them. In some cases, simply disconnecting and reconnecting will work just fine, but other times it may be necessary to forget the device and pair it once again as a new Bluetooth headset to have your computer recognize it properly.

Problem: You Can Hear Your Fellow Meeting Participants, but They Can’t Hear You
Solution: Whether your USB headset is wired or wireless, occasionally there may be an issue with sound output. If you can hear everything with your USB headset but your fellow meeting or class attendees have indicated that they can’t hear you, try these three quick steps:

  • Check to make sure you are not on mute over Zoom, Google Meet, or whichever videoconferencing platform your organization uses. It may be as simple as a click of a button!
  • Make sure your microphone volume is turned up. Many USB headset models have separate volume controls for headphones and microphone, and it’s possible that one is turned up and the other is turned way down!
  • Check to ensure that either the USB cord for a wired headset or the USB dongle for a wireless headset is plugged into your computer’s USB port and that the fit is secure. It is possible that the USB headset is not connected all the way- or at all!- to your device.

Problem: You are unable to hear anything through your headphones but your mic seems to work just fine.
Solution: Like the troubleshooting tips for a malfunctioning microphone, the solution to this one may be easier than you think! Try these things first:

  • Make sure your headphones are connected securely to your USB port, either with the USB cord of your wired headset or with the wireless USB dongle.
  • Check the volume control for the headphones- is it turned all the way down? Adjust until you can hear sound coming out.
  • Look at the sound settings on your laptop- it’s possible that your USB headset is not selected as the preferred audio output device.

If you’ve gone through these troubleshooting tips and are still experiencing issues, there’s a possibility that you may be having a more serious problem with your hardware. Try using a spare set of headphones to make sure the problem isn’t stemming from the laptop itself, and contact the help desk at your computer’s manufacturer to correct any issues.

It’s also possible that your USB headset may simply be worn out from excessive use and normal wear and tear, or that it may have been exposed to water damage or other injuries. If this is the case, contact the manufacturer for warranty and repair information.

People who have tried a USB headset for remote work, online learning, gaming, and more enjoy the enhanced ability to concentrate in a distraction-free environment, no matter where they are! Once you have purchased a USB headset, it can be quite difficult if not impossible to imagine life without it, which is why any malfunction or issue can be especially disheartening. Because of this, it’s important to take good care of your USB headset to keep it looking and working like new. Here are some safety and storage tips to help you make the most of your USB headset purchase for years to come.

  • If you have a wired USB headset model, make sure to bundle your cord when it is not in use. This will prevent your USB headset from cord damage that can affect its performance. We recommend a loose, figure-8 cord bundle secured with a twist-tie or zip-tie when you are not using your USB headset.
  • For wireless Bluetooth USB headsets that you plan to use on several devices, be sure to disconnect a device before connecting to a new one. Too many devices connected via Bluetooth can cause connectivity issues, especially if all the devices are within a 500-foot range of one another.
  • Be sure not to clean your USB headset with anything other than cleaning products that have been optimized for use with electronics. Alternatively, we find that a damp hand towel or dishcloth with a very small amount of mild dish soap is effective and safe for the exterior of your USB headset. Never submerge the cord or dongle to your USB headset in the water!

By following these tips, we hope your USB headset will continue to make your remote working or online learning experience as pleasant and productive as possible.

Best Chromebook USB Headsets for Schools

The first semester of the school year is in full swing, despite the fact that many students are still participating in remote learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The almost even split between children and teens who have returned to in-person learning and those who are still attending classes through Zoom, Google Meet, or another video conferencing platform means that teachers are relying on technology more than ever to effectively teach their classes and help their students understand and engage in their lessons, either in school or remotely.

In both instances, school headphones have become an essential part of the learning experience for students in elementary, middle, or high school. Those who are learning from home need a set that is comfortable enough to be worn all day, with a quality microphone and earphones that will allow them to clearly hear the teacher and respond to questions and in group discussions in a clear, easy-to-understand way. Those who have returned to campus need a set that is durable and can easily be transported to the computer lab and other areas of school without being damaged. Students can enhance their educational experience with school headphones that offer the right blend of affordability and durability, and schools can benefit from these headsets to ensure that students are receiving the important knowledge information conveyed in their lessons regardless of where or how they are participating in classes. Here are our top 6 picks for school headphones that help make distance learning go more smoothly for everyone involved.

Avid AE-55 – Not only does this model offer noise reduction and a cord that is easy to store, but the microphone can also be worn on either ear, making it easier for left-handed people to take notes during class. The Avid AE-55 is designed with comfort in mind and contains ergonomic elements to keep students from straining so that they can pay attention to the class rather than become distracted by their personal comfort.

 

 

 

 

Hamilton Buhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo ST2BKU – Schools that want headsets that are available for multiple uses will love this model. The headset adjusts to fit students of all ages. Its ear cups are soft and comfortable, but they are easy to clean in between uses, helping keep students safe and healthy. The cord is resistant to knots, which is a bonus for students who twist the cords.

 

 

 

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-6012 – With a padded headband and padded earphones, this headset is also a great model that can be worn all day. Yet, it is also durable enough to be used in a classroom setting with multiple students. The surface is easy to clean and sanitize, and the volume control is easy to find and adjust, which is great for a multitude of students.

 

 

 

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-5008 – A classic look meets modern function in this headset. Its traditional round earphones are reminiscent of older models, and also comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. This headset is adjustable with a microphone that can be used on either side. A USB plugin makes it easy to pair with many different computers and other devices, making it a good choice for use in and out of the classroom.

 

 

ThinkWrite TW120 Ultra Ergo – An ergonomic design helps students perform at their best without straining to see or hear. This headset is comfortable and durable. One of its best features is that it was designed specifically to limit exposure to damaging frequencies, which is a benefit for young ears. It is perfect for audio recording, testing and a plethora of other classroom uses.

 

 

 

 

ThinkWrite Ultra Durable 90119 – Made to withstand multiple uses from students of all types, this headset is a must-add to your child’s school supply list. Its microphone cancels out noise, making it perfect for teachers who like to record their lessons, or students who like using voice notes to study for tests. Another feature of this headset is that it was designed for iPads and Chromebooks.

 

 

 

 

One silver lining in this unprecedented and unusual situation that students and teachers face this school year is the availability of affordable, durable school headphones and other technology to help make the circumstances more adaptable. With so many available models, there is a pair of school headphones for every student in any situation. Whether they’re being used for test-taking, homework, distance learning, or other uses, these headsets will conform to sanitation guidelines while also being functional for everyday use. In order to help your student succeed this school year via remote or in-person learning, make sure that he or she is well-equipped with the right school headset to make his or her experience as comfortable as possible.