As a teacher, you’ll know first-hand how difficult it can be to keep the full attention of your class. Whether it’s nearly home time or it’s been a long day, students who aren’t engaged miss out on the opportunity to learn and achieve their full potential.
Luckily, there is a solution, and it comes in the form of classroom headphones. Headphones help students focus and avoid distractions, and are more affordable than you may think. In this post, we’ll be discussing the key things to look out for when purchasing headphones for educational use, and why they are a worthwhile tool to introduce to your students to support their learning.
Cubase for schools
When purchasing headphones, there are a few key features to consider. Prices can range from £5 to £100+, so it’s vital you understand the needs of your class before purchasing.
Factors to consider:
Headphones that are uncomfortable to wear will not fare well in any classroom. You don’t want to buy headphones that are too tight to the point of discomfort, or too loose to the point of them falling off. For best results, you’ll need to choose headphones which are easy to wear and provide a snug fit and are easily adjustable. Look out for key comfort features, including volume control, soft ear pads, and a flexible headband that is able to be easily adjusted to each student’s preferred fit.
Alongside comfort, it’s also important to keep the durability of the headphones you are purchasing in mind. While they may see a slightly increase in initial outlay, more durable headphones can be a more cost-effective choice in the long run. We recommend AKG K52 as one of the most durable headphones for the classroom, thanks to their replaceable ear pads.
Depending on the activity, noise cancellation headphones for your classroom can provide a fantastic advantage for your students in helping them to focus. As busy school classrooms are not soundproof, they can easily become distracted by the level of noise that’s surrounding them. Noise cancelling headphones can effectively shut out any external sounds and allow students to fully immerse themselves in their activity.
Headphones with in-built microphones can help students to actively take part in development activities, language learning, and other audio based activities such as music creation software.
Wired vs Wireless
Wireless headphones are capable of connecting to any device which is Bluetooth enabled. While wired headphones are still a conventionally popular choice for education, wireless headphones can be more of a convenient option as they allow students to move around freely while within Bluetooth range. This way, you won’t need to worry about headphones tangling or the possibility of your students accidentally pulling their headphone cable while standing up, which could cause damage to equipment, or them!
Bluetooth headphones will often come at a slightly higher cost, but shouldn’t be damaged quite so easily.
Recommended headphones for schools
Numark HF125: Available with a 6.35mm Jack or 3.5mm Jack, these DJ style stereo headphones work with both PC systems or MAC. With their powerful sound and build quality, they can be easily plugged into classroom musical equipment with sockets such as keyboards.
Numark are our most popular headphones, thanks to their entry level price point, comfort and sheer simplicity.
Stagg SHP-2300H Studio HiFi Headphones - 3.5mm: Designed for monitoring, recording, and compatible with DVD, TV, HiFi and MP3 players, these compact yet strong headphones provide dynamic use for both classroom and home applications. Delivering fantastic audio performance they’re ideal for more technical applications such as music suites and audio production.
AKG K52, AKG K72, or AKG K92: These lightweight but equally tough closed-back headphones will allow your students to bring out their skills and talents.
K52 is best for students who need detailed sound while rehearsing and tracking, while K72 features an extended frequency range and offers a screw-on plug that adapts the same phones to personal music players and other professional gear.
Similar to K72, K92 further extends the high frequency performance and features a gold-plated screw-on adaptor plug to prevent oxidation. The replaceable ear-pads ensure a great lifespan too, as any wear and tear can be repaired without replacing the whole unit.
Types of headphones
While that lays out our favourite individual headphones, let’s quickly run through the different types of headphone available and their use cases.
Covers the entire ear to provide an immersive experience with premium sound quality.
Offers maximum comfort.
Suitable to wear for a prolonged duration of time.
Their large size can take up room and make them tricky to transport from place to place.
Ears can become warm while wearing which may be unpleasant for certain children.
Over ear units tend to be slightly more expensive than alternatives, due to the extra padding and overall sound quality achieved. Our over-ear headphone range varies from £10-£56.
Stagg SHP-2300H (£10)
AKG K52 (£33)
Presonus HD7 Headphones (£23)
AKG K72 (£42)
AKG K92 (£56)
Offers an accurate and wide sound space.
Provides comfortable padding.
Usually more compact than over-ear headphones.
As on-ear headphones don’t completely cover the ear, this allows students to both enjoy high-quality sound while still being able to hear their surroundings and carry on conversations with others in class.
On-ear headphones are considered to be not as sound effective as headphones that sit directly on the ear.
While they are designed to be comfortable, they are not recommended to wear for a long time. This is because some students may not like the tight-on-ear fit that is necessary for the best listening position.
They can be easier to lose due to their small size.
Our selection of on-ear headphones can be a cost effective choice for classrooms, ranging from £8-£10:
Headsets with microphones:
Supports elearning: headsets with microphones are usually compatible with most software programs and learning platforms.
Encourages independent learning and makes for a fun, interactive experience.
Ideal for video calls.
Minimizes background noise.
Depending on the model, they may not be compatible with your school’s equipment and devices
On average, the price for headsets with microphones start from £10.
Noise cancelling headphones
As the name suggests, classroom noise cancelling headphones provide a better listening experience by blocking out distracting noise and allowing students to remain concentrated on their activity.
The volume of sound doesn’t need to be high, which can reduce the risk of temporary hearing damage.
Noise cancelling headphones’ microphones and circuit need power, so you’ll need to keep them regularly charged.
Sound quality can be compromised due to the way that they are structured and designed.
The design complexity of noise cancelling headphones makes them a costly choice in comparison to conventional headphone types. The price for noise cancelling headphones can vary from £8-£185, depending on quality required.
How to store headphones in a classroom
Why use classroom headphone storage?
It’s easily done. Headphones can be misplaced, broken or vandalised.
Teachers already have a hectic schedule, and a headphone storage solution protects headphones from damage, makes them easy to transport and most importantly - keeps them all in one place. Keep yourself organised with a sturdy headphone storage bag or case. By keeping all of your classroom’s headphones in one secure and reliable place, you’ll be able to both save time and the possibility of costly damage.
Larger headphones may require storage solutions such as stands or racks.
Headphone Stands/Racks for Classrooms
Like with anything, headphones can eventually wear out if they’re not stored appropriately. Headphone stands or racks can be a great solution to avoid headphones being inadvertently stepped on or damaged, and can reduce the chance of loose cords from becoming tangled.
Headphone stands or racks are especially useful for key learning areas in schools such as language labs, computer labs, and music rooms. Some stands can hold up to 6-12 headphones per classroom, while mobile racks can hold dozens and be wheeled from one room to another.
Our range of Monarch Storage units are multipurpose and are ideal for headphones thanks to easy access and study design.
If your headphones are in regular use with a dedicated or fixed desktop, we suggest you avoid regularly unplugging them as this can cause wear and damage to the computer. Instead, consider installing hooks to keep cables tidy and headphones within easy reach.
DIY Storage Solutions
If you’re looking for a temporary storage solution for your classroom headphones, there are fortunately many innovative ideas that you can try out! These could include using name-labelled plastic drawers, a clothes drying rack, or a plastic door shoe organiser. For teachers who want to really test out their DIY skills, you can even try making headphone organisers for your classroom using Binder Clips on the edge of a desk or repurposing a cardboard tube to create a rail.
What are the benefits of headphones in the classroom?
Headphones can greatly encourage students of all ages to actively participate in activities, and they can give children a confidence boost to allow their voices to be heard. In fact, their voices won’t be the only ones that will be heard - yours will be, too!
Headphones can even be effectively utilised as hearing aids when streaming sound directly from a microphone. This can make learning an inclusive experience for children with hearing impairments, allowing them to be at the same advantage as their classmates.
Headphones can also be an especially powerful tool when teaching languages. A clear teacher voice allows children of many hearing abilities to pick up on important subtleties in pronunciation, which in turn can help them to quickly improve their grasp on fluency.
When kids are away from the comfort of their home, they’re bound to become restless and hyperactive at some point in the day. This can be especially true for children who find it difficult to focus around the constant chatter in the classroom. Headphones can also both enable productive learning and provide a sense of comforting personal space for students.
Moreover, headphones can provide students with an auditory break from a number of potentially ear-damaging noises, such as construction noise, traffic, or even just the day-to-day loud noises of an energetic classroom.
Above all, it's undoubtedly clear that one benefit stands out the most: headphones are an effective learning tool that can fundamentally enrich your student’s educational environment. Take the first step in enhancing your student’s learning experience by exploring our exciting classroom headphones range today!