Back to School: The 10 Best Wireless Headphones for Students of All Ages


That unmistakable sound of excited parents can mean only one thing, it’s Back to School season! Time to start shopping for pens, highlighters, notebooks, and… wireless headphones? Yes, a good set of wireless headphones really can help kids with their schoolwork. It’s just a matter of finding the right pair for your child. From grade school to grad school, we have an option for students of all ages.

We’ll look at models that can help tune out noisy dorm rooms or pesky siblings at home, either via passive noise isolation, or with active noise-canceling circuitry; headphones with built-in mics, so kids away on campus can use them to check in with family back home. All can be used to better absorb material through audio-based textbooks and study guides, or to simply take a break and enjoy some music with friends between classes. Below you’ll find a selection of the best wireless headphones you can buy, from venerable brands such as Bose®, Beats, Sony, Sennheiser, and more.

Sennheiser HD1 Free

The HD1 Free headphones feature a behind-the-neck cable design ending in stainless-steel, in-ear buds that are engineered to produce powerful bass and detailed vocals when listening to your favorite music. The design offers security when wearing them, because the magnetic buds can be snapped together, closing the loop in between use. They offer a decent amount of passive noise cancellation when you find the right tip, and there are four different pairs to choose from.

Sennheiser HD1 Free In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Making and taking calls is also possible with a built-in mic and in-line controls, and they can pair with up to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, so you can switch quickly between, say, your smartphone and a tablet. They offer six hours of battery life, which should last most of your school day. These headphones are an ideal choice for the student who wants a set of headphones that can work well at school and at home.

If you’re a fan of Apple devices, then the Beats by Dr. Dre BeatsX could likely be your perfect pair. They feature Apple’s W1 chip, and that means you can say goodbye to painful Bluetooth pairing. Just pair them once with an Apple device, such as an iPhone, and that’s it. Turn them on again and get them nearby, and in seconds a pop-up with a “Connect” button pops up on your iPhone. And since it’s linked with your iCloud account, your iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, everything is already paired with the BeatsX. Students jumping from the phone at home to the iPad in class will appreciate these. You also get two more hours of battery life over the previous two options.

Beats by Dr. Dre BeatsX In-Ear Headphones

Bose SoundSport Free

If you’re the kind of student who gets up early for a jog and heads to practice after class, then you might really enjoy the SoundSport Free, from Bose. These in-ear buds drop the cable altogether and provide high-quality audio reproduction without distraction. They provide noise isolation and, thanks to the included charging case, a lengthy 15 hours of playback before needing a recharge. They are sweat- and weather-resistant and come with StayHear+ tips, so you can run across campus without worry. Even though there’s no wire, you still get a built-in mic for calling friends for missed homework, or to tell Mom you’ll be home on the weekend to do laundry again. It’s an all-day option for students of every stripe.

Bose SoundSport Free Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Apple AirPods

If you’re a student who simply needs a discreet set of truly wireless headphones for both listening to your favorite music, and audio-based books, study guides, and other educational content, then the Apple AirPods may be the perfect choice. Thanks to the Apple W1 chip, they feature easy pairing with Apple mobile devices, such as an iPhone or iPad. A built-in microphone allows for hands-free calling or controlling digital assistants. They offer up to five hours of playback, but more than 24 hours when you use the included charging case.

Apple AirPods Wireless Bluetooth Earphones

If you want to get more Ivy League with enhanced audio reproduction, then you should explore the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8. Also truly wireless, the E8 earbuds offer expertly tuned audio from Bang & Olufsen sound engineers, designed to provide an authentic and powerful audio experience. A digital signal processor is also included for tuning with equalization and gain. They also offer touch-based controls. Just tap the outside to answer a call or manage audio playback.

B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Wireless In-Ear Headphone

Bose QuietComfort™ 35 Series II

If your dorm is as peaceful as a riot in a dance club, then you should really consider a set of over-ear, active noise-canceling headphones, such as the Bose QuietComfort 35. Bose has packed a lot of active noise-canceling technology into these Bluetooth headphones, and that’s on top of the passive isolation of padded over-ear earcups. You even get to choose your level of noise cancellation. You can set them to Off, Low, or Full.

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise reduction is also incorporated into the dual integrated microphones, which actively reject ambient noise for clear conversations. You get 20 hours of streaming audio playback, and that’s just with 2.25 hours of charging, but you have the option of going pure noise-cancellation for a nearly weekend-long 40 hours. Pairing is convenient with both Bluetooth and NFC support.

Another option to consider are the Beats by Dr. Dre Studio3, which are also an over-ear, active noise-canceling option, but like the previously mentioned BeatsX, feature the Apple W1 chip for super-easy, cross-device pairing of your Apple mobile products.

Beats by Dr. Dre Studio3 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM2

For students majoring in acoustics or audio engineering, or just students who love audio in general, check out the WH-1000XM2 from Sony. They are over-ear, active noise-canceling headphones like the QuietComfort and Studio3, but these incorporate powerful 40mm drivers with Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) diaphragms that can cover a full range of frequencies up to 40 kHz. They support High-Resolution Audio, and the S-Master HX hi-res audio amplifier helps to reduce distortion. You also get DSEE HX for upscaling compressed digital music, and LDAC for streaming more audio data over Bluetooth.

Sony 1000XM2 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

JBL JR300BT for Kids

Even grade-school kids deserve some quality audio. The JR300BT headphones feature on-ear earcups for a small amount of noise isolation, but unlike many headphones out there, they are engineered specifically for kids. Whether they are pairing them with a tablet for report research, or their phone for their favorite music, these wireless headphones can only get as high as 85 dB to protect their hearing. They are also compact and foldable, so they can be tossed easily into a backpack.

JBL JR300BT Kids Wireless On-Ear Headphones

Bose Sleepbuds

OK, so these are not wireless headphones, but they do help to give students something they so desperately need before a big day at school—sleep. Nothing beats a good night’s sleep to keep you alert and focused, especially when you have a big test or final exam the next day. The Bose Sleepbuds are specifically engineered to get you the rest you need by masking out common noises that can keep you awake. They also can provide relaxing sounds to fall asleep to, and they will wake you with a gentle alarm only you can hear. The StayHear+ Sleep tips keep them in place, and the compact size makes them ideal for side sleepers.

Bose Noise-Masking In-Ear Sleepbuds

So, which pair of wireless headphones are you hoping to get for the start of school? Do you think we left out some important models? Let us know in the Comments section, below!