The best headphones for teachers in remote learning situations can make a huge difference to the quality of a lesson. From being more clearly heard, to hearing more clearly yourself and, of course, remaining comfortable for long periods of time – there are many factors to consider when buying the best headphones for distance teaching.
Headphones need to have a microphone built-in, ideally, to allow teachers to be heard clearly and naturally, without background noise, distortion, or the need to speak loudly, as many computer microphones will cause.
Another factor to consider is comfort. Even the most cushioned headphones can get uncomfortable, or too hot, after long periods of use. Get the right material and style and this won't be an issue.
Wireless or wired? Another consideration that pulls in the issue of pricing. Then there are those with active noise cancellation, which raises the price but means greater quality again.
So, all that considered, here are the best headphones for teachers who are teaching remotely.
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1. Sony WH-1000XM4: The best headphones overall for teaching
The Sony WH-1000XM4 active noise cancelling over-ear wireless headphones are not only the best for teaching but are one of the best pairs of headphones you can buy. These are lightweight and feature a comfortable design with soft memory foam cushioning that's breathable, making them perfect for long periods of use. The 30-hour rechargeable battery life also supports this well.
The active noise cancelling is superb, so any noise from the washing machine or cars outside will be drowned out, allowing you to focus on the sound of the students. Five microphones in these headphones work to pick up your voice and block out background noise, so your students will get a crystal clear audio feed from you.
The DSEE Extreme upscaling means these offer superb quality sound, no matter the feed. These also have a sensor that automatically pauses music when you remove them and plays again when you put them back on. The 360 Reality Audio feature lets you listen to music as if you are in a concert hall – maybe not a school feature but a nice addition that lets you use these headphones all the time to help justify that price.
2. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone: Best value in-ear for teaching
The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone name might not be appealing but everything else is. These are the best in-ear headphones you can buy for quality and features at a price this low. Being in-ear, these are subtle for teaching class over video.
Thanks to the triple drivers, and being tuned with Grammy award-winning sound engineer Luca Bernard, these offer sound quality way above the price tag. The same goes for design and build quality. While the remote, which features a microphone, is plastic, the rest feels high-end and like it will last. These are also super comfortable with ergonomic tips to suit any ears comfortably.
3. Plantronics BackBeat Go 810: Best affordable wireless headphones for teaching
This Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 headphones are a great way to get the active noise cancellation and over-ear comfort of high-end headphones, but without the big prices that go with it. Despite the affordable price, these offer warm and well-balanced sound, a reliable wireless connection, and impressive 24-hour battery life.
The built-in microphone allows for clear voice pick-up when teaching a class while the cushioned ear pads accommodate extended use over long periods. The fact these also look good enough to wear out and about is just a bonus.
4. Lypertek Tevi: Best truly wireless earbuds for teaching
The Lypertek Tevi earbuds are an affordable way to get wireless earbuds that still offer decent quality audio. These make for a very non-intrusive look that will make your students think you don't even have anything in your ears. Yet you will have clear audio with a balanced and natural delivery that makes hearing all voices very easy.
Battery life at 10 hours is good for earbuds of this kind and should be more than enough to get you through a couple of days of teaching before needing a quick charge via USB-C or the charging case, which is good for 70 hours.
These are also waterproof, allowing you to worry less about inadvertent damage and also making these a great option for exercising with too.
5. Sony WH-CH510: Best value on-ear headphones for teaching
The Sony WH-CH510 on-ear headphones are some of the most affordable wireless options out there, yet they still offer great quality. While the build is plastic, the sound quality is far superior to what the price would suggest.
These lightweight and comfortable headphones even manage to cram in a stunning 35-hour battery life before needing a quick charge via the USB-C port. The microphone is built-in and works well for the price.
The lack of 3.5mm audio jack is pretty standard these days, but that does mean you'll need to be powered up for these to work. It's also worth noting these are on-ear rather than over-ear, meaning they have smaller cups, which may be less comfortable after long periods.
6. Apple AirPods Pro: Best for Apple fans teaching
The Apple AirPods Pro are really great earbuds that offer a superb design, as you'd expect from Apple, but also great quality. The reason these are lower down this list is that they're so expensive. But for that money you get a set of comfortable and well-fitted earbuds that are totally wireless yet offer active noise cancellation.
All that should mean you appear with very little in your ears yet can be heard clearly by students as you hear them well, too. These are especially suited for those using Apple devices such as a Mac or iPhone, in which pairing happens seamlessly. The buds last up to five hours on a charge but the included case tops these up with a 24-hour limit before that needs a charge.