Picking The Right Headphones for Education

When it comes to purchasing education headphones, there are a lot of things to consider. To help you order your headphones for any classroom, we answer the top questions for headphones using our own collection, which will help you decide between various headphone types and models.

Stereo or Mono?

The first question to ask yourself when purchasing headphones is to consider what type of audio they will be used for. The listening content is a key clue to picking between stereo or mono. When it comes to simple, single-source audio recordings such as audio books, language repetition tapes, or single-origin audio, monoaural headphones will allow students to listen to the recordings fully. Stereo, or surround sound, usually involves recordings that bridge together many audio components–songs, music, television or film, video games–that create a full-sound environment. For educational situations that involve multimedia, stereo headphones are best.

If you need headphones that will be used in diverse settings (a language lab one day, but a studio the next, for example), you can have both at once. For classrooms, libraries, or audio labs that need mono and stereo applications, buying models like the AVID Education AE-808 Over Ear Headphones have a mono/stereo switch to allow for different media formats to be listened to without switching headphones.

Over-Ear, On-Ear, or Earbuds?

Considering over-ear, on-ear, or earbud models matter when you think about listening time and environment. Each style has its own advantages, especially when you consider noise cancellation, portability, and comfort. For instance, not all will find earbuds comfortable due to the fact that they sit in the ear canal, but over-ear headphones worn over time can feel sweaty and uncomfortable. In addition, over-ear headphone units can feel heavier than on-ear or earbuds, which can make students less intent to stay focused. All designs however (depending on the quality of the headphones), have the ability to isolate noise and allow for an immersive listening experience. Over-ear models tend to be better at naturally blocking out sounds from the outside environment, which could be a selling point for exams or busy settings.

Disposable or Not?

In addition, consider longevity and listening time. Audio labs or classes that involve extensive and long listening times would want to allocate their budgets towards high-end listening headphones to ensure quality and a longer lifespan. For one, they can be more comfortable for students, and in addition, better quality headphones are made to withstand extended use over time. In the long run, spending your budget on quality headphones will have you money over time.

For classrooms that use headphones less frequently and in less stressful situations, disposable headphones can be worth your budget. They provide great sound quality, and are great for reducing the spread of germs.


Age groups also matter when factoring in what types of headphones you will want, especially when considering the lifespan of the headphones you want, or when considering any safety features.

For example, with younger students and their hectic nature, disposable headphones can be key to maintaining a worry-free classroom, especially if headphones get tangled or break. Teachers who have larger classes might appreciate disposable headphones that can be easily replaced. However, smaller children will also benefit from headphones that have a limited volume threshold to protect their hearing, such as the largely indestructible Hamilton Buhl Flex Phones. The Hamilton Flex Phones are also great for a small age group that grows quickly over time, due to the snap-on extension fit. Your budget, time, and classroom environment will be the biggest consideration when picking between a more long-lasting model or a disposable, simpler model.

Overall, by pinpointing what your headphones will need to accomplish, finding the right pair should be easier. For any help or advice, contact us–our team can help you find the right pair of headphones for your education setting.