Back To School Headphone Buying Guide 2020
With back to school season just around the corner, it's time to start shopping for supplies, clothes, books, and school headphones! As virtual and e-learning become a part of the new normal, a pair of quality headphones are becoming an integral part of students' lives. From attending online classes to studying in noisy rooms and catching a break for some time, a lot can be done with quality headphones.
There is a large variety of headphones available for students now- which means you can get exactly what you need for the school season. While shopping for headphones for school, there are going to be a lot of choices to make. To help you with finding the best one, we'll dig into the most common questions and considerations and guide you in making the right choice.
Types of Headphones: Form Factor and Use
Based on the form factor of the headphones (on-ear, and over-ear) and their uses (noise cancellation, 2-way communication), headphones can be categorized into different types. Let's go ahead and see what those are.
Over-Ear Headphones, also known as Circumaural Headphones, go over the ears and cushion them completely. These headphones provide a crisp and clear sound output. They are ideal for drowning out all outside noise and creating a distraction-free environment. The cushion can be made of silicone, rubber, foam, etc.
On-ear headphones, on the other hand, are worn on the ears but these do not enclose the whole ears. Also known as supra-aural headphones, these are the most commonly used ones. These headphones also provide noise reduction, though it may not be as much as over-ear headphones. However, it is still enough for distraction-free learning. The cushion is mostly made of foam to provide comfort in prolonged use.
Earbuds are a smaller variety that is put in the outer ear, not inserted inside the ear canal. These headphones do not provide any type of cushioning and are not as suited for prolonged use. There is no noise-cancellation in such headphones. There are disposable earbuds available for testing and single-use as well.
In-ear headphones are similar to earbuds, the major difference being that they are inserted inside the ear canal. The cushion is mostly made of foam, plastic or silicone rubber. They provide significant noise cancellation and are useful for reducing ambient noise.
While headsets are not considered as headphones, they have a similar style and may be over-ear or on-ear along with a microphone. These are mostly used where 2-way communication is needed and the student may have to speak or record their voice.
How would you connect headphones to your device, be it a PC, tablet, or mobile? This is an important consideration since many devices are now coming without any dedicated ports and may support wireless connectivity only.
The 3.5mm audio jack was the standard method for connecting audio devices. However, in the bid for thinner and more compact devices, many mobile and tablet devices are doing away with 3.5mm jack. Most headphones will have a cable that can be plugged into this.
Bluetooth is quickly becoming the most common method for connecting headphones. Most PCs and almost all mobile and tablet devices have Bluetooth which can be used to connect headphones. Do note that such wireless headphones are battery powered and will require periodic recharging. Consider the battery life before buying them- you don't want a pair of headphones whose charge does not last even a single day.
USB headsets are commonly used when 2-way connectivity is required, especially for audio and video conferencing. These headsets can only be used with PCs and not with tablets or mobile devices. A USB headset is useful when the primary use is to attend online classes and calls where the student may also have to speak. They are also ideal for setting up a computer lab in schools.
Once you have figured out what type of headphones are needed, the next step is to find the right accessories. From extra adapters to storage boxes, let's see what all you may need.
Accessories for sanitization
Hygiene and sanitization are extremely important, especially in current times. In cases where headphones may be used by more than 1 person, maintaining hygiene must be a priority. There are various accessories to help accomplish that. Sanitizing wipes, disposable ear covers, and UV light irradiation are some of the things that you can consider to keep them germ-free.
Headphone Jack boxes
A headphone jack box can connect multiple headphones and allow students to participate simultaneously. The media source can be anything ranging from a cd-player to boomboxes and more. These can connect anywhere from 6-8 headphones and record or playback audio int the classroom as desired.
Cables, adapters, and splitters
A splitter can be used to split a recording in multiple headphones. Adapters are useful for plugging one type of cable into another. Cables, such as extension cables, are useful in cases where the headphone cable may be smaller and you have a greater distance between the source and the listener.
Storing headphones neatly requires a specialized storage box or solution. You can get a charging station for wireless headphones or a storage rack for wired headphones with organizers, etc to keep everything organized and tangle-free.
Assistive Learning System
An assistive learning system helps cut the background noise, amplifying the audio at the right level for listeners. A single system is enough to deliver sound up to a 150-feet distance. Assistive learning can help deliver sessions in classrooms and allow students to focus without any distractions.
With this information, you should be able to narrow down your choices to a few select ones. But what after that? How do you find the ideal school headphones? We will give you a few tips to help with just that.
What to consider while buying headphones?
Different headphones emphasize different regions of the audio spectrum. In simpler words, headphones suited for attending online classes may not be the ideal choice for listening to music. Thus, you need to get an idea of how good the sound quality is so that you can get the ones ideal for your preferred use.
Design, size, and storage
Over-ear headphones are great for listening to at home and in class, but they are a hassle when it comes to portability. You will need a small backpack to stow them in. Earbuds and in-ear headphones are ideal for listening to when on the move and are also highly portable.
Wired v/s Wireless
This is one of the biggest considerations- wired v/s wireless models. While wireless earphones are great in many aspects like portability, ease of use, and lack of cables, there are issues too- especially the frequent need for recharging. If you want the best sound and microphone quality, wired headphones are the best choice.
With every meeting and classroom going virtual, having a headphone with a mic will be a useful thing. Check the input quality- not every headphone with a great sound output may have an equally good mic. It should have some form of background noise reduction.
Most headphones come with at least a 1-year warranty. Do check the warranty coverage before you buy one. This will ensure that you get the most out of your investment and do not have to bother with buying another one for at least 1-year.
As the school year is set to begin, it is time that you finalize and place orders for headphones to ensure timely delivery. Companies like Learning Headphones are ideal for this as they ensure a personalized experience is delivered to each customer. Your bulk orders would also be delivered on time and after all quality checks to ensure minimal hassle.
Having a few extra pairs of headphones ensures that in case any headphone is damaged, there is a replacement available that does not hamper learning. You can also refer to special care guides for school headphones to maintain them and ensure a longer life.Taking care of a few simple points will ensure that you are able to get the best back to school headphones and facilitate a seamless learning experience for all students.
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