The best headphones for students in remote learning can help to make lessons more enjoyable and promote greater focus, boosting lesson retention and student success.
There are lots of factors to consider when picking a pair of headphones specifically for remote learning. Noise cancellation can be helpful if the student is in a noisy and potentially distracting home. Decent microphones built-in can also be useful if online class interaction is expected – ideal in the case of a presentation project during which being heard clearly is important.
Wired or wireless headphones is another consideration. While a wireless set can be more free and comfortable, it can also be more expensive and, of course, require recharging.
Comfort is a hugely important feature as these headphones could be on for long periods. Cushioning that allows for both soft feel on the ear as well as breathability to avoid overheating, are both worth thinking about.
So, all that considered, here are the best headphones for students who are learning remotely.
1. Sony WH-1000XM4: Best headphones overall for students
Students need look no further than the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones as these do it all. These are one of the best pairs of headphones for active noise cancellation, making them ideal for noisy home environments in which focus is important. But these also offer an impressive 30-hour battery life so only one or two charges are necessary to get through the school week.
Crucially, these are very comfortable with a soft memory foam cushioning that is gentle on the ears while also remaining breathable to avoid overheating. The five microphones in these headphones will isolate your voice from any background noise, delivering it with the utmost clarity – ideal for being heard when in an online class.
These are expensive but can be used beyond the virtual classroom with features such as DSEE Extreme upscaling for top quality sound. There's even a sensor that automatically pauses music when you remove these and plays again when you put these back on. The 360 Reality Audio feature that lets you listen to music as if you are in a concert hall also adds to the value.
Want to save a buck? Go for the previous generation Sony WH-1000XM3, which are available for a little less with little noticeable difference.
2. Plantronics BackBeat Go 810: Best affordable wireless headphones for students
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 headphones are a superb option for students who don't want to blow their budget but still want some top features and decent quality. The result is comfortable over-ear headphones that also look great and offer active noise cancellation.
The sound quality is excellent with a balance and warmth that you'd expect from a far more expensive headset. Tech from the company's more high-end kit is crammed in to get that warm sound and consistent wireless connection that make these headphones a pleasure to use. Or, more to the point, make you forget you're using headphones – leaving more focus on remote learning.
The microphone is built-in and clearly picks up a voice for interactive online experiences. Combined with the noise cancelation quality, it makes for an insulated, clear, and focused remote learning experience that can go on all day thanks to the comfort of those ear pads.
3. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone: Best value in-ear for students
The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone takes value for money to another level with a super affordable yet highly capable setup that's ideal for students in remote learning. The in-ear nature of these make them unobtrusive and allows you to appear like you're not wearing headphones while on video.
But it's the audio quality that makes this jump out at the price point. Grammy award-winning sound engineer Luca Bernard has tuned these to take full advantage of those triple drivers. The ergonomic tips make these comfortable while also passively keeping out background noise.
The remote feels a little plastic but at this price something has to give and since students likely won't use the remote much anyway during classes, this is a super setup.
4. Lypertek Tevi: Best truly wireless earbuds for students
The Lypertek Tevi earbuds let students go totally wireless for ultimate comfort and freedom of movement during remote learning. These do this while also remaining relatively affordable when you consider how much tech is crammed into these little buds.
Sound quality is decent and even surpasses that of some big-name rival brands that charge far more. Battery life is useful at 10 hours, with a case that extends that to a total of 70 hours – more than enough for a week of classes and beyond. Then it's a high-speed USB-C charge to get back quickly to full power.
The built-in microphone makes these a do-it-all solution for remote learning. But the IPX7 waterproofing also make these great sports earbuds, adding even greater value.
5. Apple AirPods Pro: Best for Apple fan students
The Apple AirPods Pro are very expensive, and there's no getting away from that with an Apple product. Yet these manage to justify that price. These are designed to work seamlessly with Apple devices and also offer some truly impressive noise cancelling.
Not only is outside noise removed for the listener but also any excess audio is removed for the microphones, meaning students can hear and be heard clearly. The various silicone earbuds allow the user to find the ideal fit, making these viable workout buddies too.
Get five hours on a charge but pop these back in their carry for a total longevity of 24 hours, making this ideal for remote learning without worry about charging.
6. Sony WH-CH510: Best value on-ear headphones for students
The Sony WH-CH510 on-ear headphones are a great student option for remote learning as these straddle the line of affordability and quality. These are wireless and offer Sony-level superior sound quality, and feature a light plastic build to keep the price, and weight, low.
Despite the comfy lightweight build, these manage a whopping 35 hours on a single charge before a quick recharge via USB-C. Of course, these won't offer active noise cancelling for that price but the cushioning does a good job of drowning out most background noise passively anyway. These are on ear, not over ear, so these headphones may not be as comfy or as noise cancelling as others.
There's a built-in microphone for interactive classes. The only downside is a lack of 3.5mm jack, so you can only use these wirelessly and charging before any class will be essential.