March 15, 2023 3 min read

Investing in audio equipment for schools is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. Schools need to think about several things, such as the number of students, whether the equipment will be used every year, what devices it will be used with, and how the purchase will affect their budget.

One of the critical decisions that schools need to make is choosing between headphones and earbuds. Both products serve a similar purpose, but they have distinct advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Headphones

Headphones have been around for a long time and remain a popular option for audio equipment in schools. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using headphones:


  • Headphones are suitable for extended use as they provide better comfort for extended periods.
  • They offer excellent noise isolation and sound quality, which makes them ideal for focused learning.
  • They are durable, and many models are designed to withstand rough handling, making them an ideal option for younger students.


  • They tend to be bulky, making them less portable and harder to store.
  • They can be more expensive than earbuds.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Earbuds

Earbuds are small, portable audio devices that have become increasingly popular in recent years. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using earbuds:


  • They are small, lightweight, and easily portable, making them ideal for students who need to use them on the go.
  • They are usually less expensive than headphones.
  • They take up less space, making them ideal for classrooms with limited storage.


  • They tend to be less comfortable than headphones, especially for extended use.
  • They don't offer as much noise isolation, which can be a problem in noisy classrooms.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Headphones and Earbuds

When deciding between headphones and earbuds, there are several factors that schools should consider:

1. Student Age

The age of students is an important factor to consider when deciding between headphones and earbuds. For younger students, most earbuds don't fit comfortably in their ears, and their volume levels can be unsafe. It is recommended to choose over-ear or on-ear headphones for kids in third grade and below. The Flex Phones by Learning Headphones is an excellent over-ear option designed explicitly for kids. They're practically indestructible, and their built-in volume control keeps noise levels safe for kids.

2. Cost

Cost is a priority for everyone buying learning headphones, whether it's teachers supplying their classrooms out-of-pocket or administrators carefully watching the school's budget. Earbuds are typically less expensive to produce and ship,making them less expensive for you. However, if you're hoping to use your audio equipment for years, sturdy headphones or headsets may end up being cheaper in the long run.

3. Sharing School Headphones or Earbuds

If students will be sharing the equipment, headphones are typically the better choice. Most people are understandably uncomfortable sharing earbuds with others. For shared devices, we almost always recommend headphones over earbuds. If you prefer earbuds, you can choose disposable earbuds and provide a fresh pair for each use or encourage students to keep the pair they use for as long as it works. For reusable earbuds, always sanitize between each use and go with plastic or silicone ear cushions over foam ones as they'll be easier to clean.

4. Storage Space for School Headphones & Earbuds

With increasing class sizes, many classrooms feel overcrowded. Earbuds can save room in cramped classrooms. If you prefer headphones for their durability, you can choose slimmer models and get creative with your storage solutions. Our headphone storage hacks can help you keep your headphones organized and out of the way.

5. School Headphones Usage Requirements

Consider how long, how frequently, and for what purposes your students will wear their classroom headphones or earbuds. Earbuds can get uncomfortable with several hours of wear and may not offer the same level of noise-canceling as over-ear headphones. Earbuds are typically a great choice for low-stakes activities with intermittent classroom use. For higher-stakes activities that last more than an hour, like standardized testing, headphones tend to be more comfortable.

Overall, choosing between headphones and earbuds for schools requires thoughtful consideration of various factors. Learning Headphones offers a wide range of high-quality audio equipment that can meet the specific needs of your school. To learn more, check out their School Headphone Buying Guide and email to get started.

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