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10 Best Headphones for Autism in 2023

Special Headphones for Kids and Adults Suffering From Autism

Best Headphones for Autism

Do you or anyone else in your family have autism? If the answer is yes, then this post is for you. We know your problem, and we know its solution also. To those uninitiated, noise is perceived differently by people with autism. When there is a loud noise in the background, it is challenging to concentrate and act normally. Wearing headphones can assist an autistic child or adult in maintaining proper control, even in noisy environments.

Now, you might be wondering which headphones to purchase. Due to the wide range of headphones available on the market, we completely understand your confusion. Therefore, we put together a comprehensive guide to help you find the best headphones for kids and adults with autism. First, let us tell you a little about some basic things related to autism and noise to be better informed.

Roundup of the Best Headphones for Autism

Overall Best Headphones for AutismVanderfields Ear Defenders Adult Foldable Hearing Protection Ear Muffs Noise Canceling
Best Headphones for Autistic KidsMuted Designer Hearing Protection For Infants & Kids
Most Comfortable Headphones for Adults With AutismProCase Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs
Most Comfortable Headphones for Autistic KidsALPINE HEARING PROTECTION Muffy Earmuffs for Kids
Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Autistic KidsProCase Kids Ear Protection Safety Ear Muffs
Most Stylish Headphones for Autistic KidsSnug Kids Ear Protection
Most Durable Headphones for Autistic Kids3M Kids Hearing Protection PLUS
Best Earplugs for AutismLoop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs
Best Budget Headphones for AutismHeartek Noise Cancelling Headphones Kids Adult Earmuffs Shooting Ear Protectio
Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Adults With AutismClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection

Are Loud Noises Harmful for Children and Adults With Autism?

The quick answer is yes. Audio hyperactivity is a prevalent problem in children with an autism spectrum disorder. Besides, it is the most common sensory hypersensitivity in those with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s. People with hypersensitivity to sound have difficulties in loud environments such as movie theatres, birthday parties, supermarkets, crowded streets, etc. They hear sounds that people not on the autism spectrum cannot hear.

According to some, this sound is similar to having a microphone that picks up and magnifies everything. And the sound can hurt their ears, similar to a dentist hitting the nerve in their ear canal. Those not on the autism spectrum can now easily imagine the pain and the amount of stress that loud noise can have on kids and adults with autism. It’s as if they’re allergic to the outside world, and headphones can help them stay outside longer and tolerate the sounds of everyday life.

Are Noise Canceling Headphones Good for Autism?

Yes, they are, as people with autism or auditory processing disorder often find it difficult to function in noisy environments. Background noise is distracting and makes it difficult for them to sort out what is essential from what isn’t. Here, noise-canceling headphones come as a boon for them and can provide sensory overload reduction.

Noise-canceling headphones for autism are beneficial for people who suffer from auditory processing disorder in a noisy environment. Besides, These headphones can lower the overall decibel level of the surrounding environment while still allowing them to hear when someone speaks to them directly.

Things to Consider While Buying Headphones for Autism

Now, let us walk you through the various factors you need to consider before purchasing.

Noise Reduction

You can choose between noise reduction and noise cancellation when purchasing headphones for autistic children or adults. Choosing one over the other depends on how you intend to use it. For example, if you’re going to be listening to music in a public place, like the road, you’ll want noise-canceling headphones. If you’re going to be seated for long periods in a noisy place, noise-canceling headphones will come in handy.

Noise Reduction Rating(NRR)

Their noise reduction rating indicates how your headphones can block out ambient noise. The best headphones have a rating of 20 to 26. It is something to keep in mind before making a purchase.

Sound Quality

It is an essential feature because both adults and children have different needs when using headphones. Furthermore, if the headphones are too big, children will not use them properly. As a result, the sound quality suffers, and you may have to regularly reposition them on the head. That does not sit well with children.


Children’s headphones must have a softer design. It ensures that there will be no harm done to anyone. Check that the product’s edges and corners are soft and do not risk bruising the skin or causing injury to you or your child when inspecting it.

It’s critical that the product’s design features vibrant colors and isn’t too large or heavy for your child to use or remove quickly. Vibrant color will pique your child’s interest and keep him entertained, while a lightweight product made of soft materials will be easy for him to hold and remove quickly.

Earmuffs On the Outside of the Ear

Most people prefer Over-the-ear headphones with earmuffs over in-ear headphones. Because you’ll be wearing your headphones for extended periods, choose a style you’ll be happy with.

Headband with Padding

A padded headband will provide you with greater comfort, even when the band is worn for extended periods if you want to get that extra level of comfort that can make all the difference, look for a product with a padded headband.

Proper Clamping Force

While headphones’ clamping force is critical to their ability to stay in place while worn, they should be kept to a safe level. This is because too much clamping force would be uncomfortable for both kids and adults.

Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) vs. Passive Noise Cancelling

Headphones equipped with active noise cancellation can effectively block out all background noise, including traffic and other intrusive sources of distraction. ANC works by generating sound waves that cancel out incoming sounds, causing the two sounds to cancel each other out altogether.

This feature improves sound control and noise cancellation, and a battery powers the ANC function. On the other hand, passive noise cancellation employs the traditional canceling or reducing noise: covering the ears. The Noise Reduction Rating measures its effectiveness.

The better the noise cancellation, the higher the NRR rating. So, if you have an earmuff with an NRR of 20, it reduces all incident noise by 20 decibels. Besides these, durability, material, and compatibility with other electronic devices are features you can check to ensure that you are getting the best value for the money.

Top 10 Headphones for Children and Adults With Autism

After thorough research and testing, we have compiled this list of 10 headphones for children and adults with autism that can provide them relief, comfort, and instant respite from noisy environs.

1. Vanderfields Ear Defenders Adult Foldable Hearing Protection Ear Muffs Noise Canceling

Overall Best Headphones for Autism

  • Offers noise reduction of up to 125 decibels, which is significantly more than most ear muffs
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Uses two layers of noise-dampening material
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Effective at canceling out background noise while studying or reading
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Budget-friendly price
  • We did not experience any issues with these headphones

Vanderfields’ ear muffs work through passive noise reduction, which means that sound is absorbed in the earcups’ large, spongy shape.

On the plus side, these are one of the lightest noise-canceling earmuffs on our list. You’ll notice the difference if you have to wear earmuffs for more than a half-hour.

The disadvantages of passive noise cancellation include the inability to stream music through the ear muffs and the lack of additional sound filtering provided by active noise cancelation. Besides, this pair is easier to throw on and go than our other suggestions because there are no batteries to worry about or charge.

These noise-reducing headphones can reduce noise up to 125 decibels which is great for adults with autism, even though they only use passive noise cancellation.

In conclusion, the Vanderfields Ear Defenders Adult Foldable Hearing Protection Ear Muffs Noise Canceling do a great job protecting your ears and making you or your loved one who is autistic feel better and more comfortable. We really liked these headphones for their comfort and light weight.

View on Amazon: Vanderfields Ear Defenders Adult Foldable Hearing Protection Ear Muffs Noise Canceling

2. Muted Designer Hearing Protection For Infants & Kids

Best Headphones for Autistic Kids

  • Lightweight and collapsible
  • Adjustable
  • Fashionable
  • Hearing protection that is ideal for children with special needs
  • Certified by ANSI for children’s safety
  • A headband with soft padding and cushioned cups
  • Versatile for kids of various ages
  • Younger children are unable to put them on by themselves

Muted Designer Hearing Protection ear muffs for babies with a stylish design and a noise reduction rating of 27 decibels are among the best ear protection options for children. ANSI standards for children’s safety are met by this set as well.

In addition, we found the softly padded headband and cushioned cups of these earmuffs very comfortable, making them a real deal for older children and babies. Parents will also appreciate this set because it is lightweight and collapsible for easy travel.

These are the best noise-canceling headphones for babies and children who need extra or enhanced hearing protection and are stylish. Children with Asperger’s or autism can use these earplugs to protect their ears during loud events like fireworks, sporting events, and concerts.

This set is appropriate for children of all ages, from infants to preteens. Moreover, they come in beautiful patterns that kids and older children love and feel stylish.

In conclusion, we understand if you have an infant or a kid with autism or Aspergers, you might be very concerned about their physical wellbeing. These headphones will certainly curtail some of those worries and make you and your kid breathe a little better.

View on Amazon: Muted Designer Hearing Protection For Infants & Kids

3. ProCase Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs

Most Comfortable Headphones for Adults With Autism

  • Includes four high-quality chisels ranging in size from 1/4 to 1 inch
  • Comes with two ear protection earmuffs
  • Soft, thick paddings ensure maximum comfort
  • Both earmuffs have a noise reduction rating of 28 dB
  • Can extend headband to accommodate larger heads
  • Each ear cup features ample room for larger ears
  • Fitted with faux leather to help prevent overheating
  • Conveniently foldable and compact for transport
  • We did not experience any issues with these headphones

ProCase Noise Reduction is an excellent ear protection product to purchase if you want to give it to your loved one or keep it yourself. We found the paddings on the cups thick and soft, making them comfortable to wear. This also alleviates the discomfort associated with wearing such a tight ear muff.

Multiple layers of sound protection also ensure that most loud noises are muffled and do not irritate you. You’re still aware of what’s happening around you, but sudden and loud noises are much easier to deal with. You’ll be able to keep your ears safe from the dangerous noise levels thanks to the earcups’ generous space and thickened noise-dampening foam.

These ergonomically designed headphones also have 360° rotatable ear cups for a nice snug fit atop your head and retractable stainless steel on the side for a comfortable fit on all head sizes.

In conclusion, according to us, the ProCase Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs offer unparalleled noise protection to grown-ups with autism. The supremely padded ear muffs offer excellent comfort and are suitable for continuous use.

View on Amazon: ProCase Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs

4. ALPINE HEARING PROTECTION Muffy Earmuffs for Kids

Most Comfortable Headphones for Autistic Kids

  • Stylish appearance with a suede finish
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Foldable and comes with a free carry case
  • Comfortable for continuous use
  • ANSI S3.19 (US) and CE EN352-1 (EU) certification
  • Great noise reduction
  • Not recommended for toddlers (fits 5-16-year-olds)

Let’s face it; most earplugs are purely functional from an aesthetic standpoint. Even though they’re more expensive, the Alpine Muffy kids’ ear protectors are a step up if sleek-looking gadgets are what you want for your kid with autism. Kids would love to wear colorful sets to a trendy café or a concert.

The adjustable headband will comfortably fit around most children’s heads and ears, allowing you to listen to your favorite music without fear of damaging your child’s precious hearing.

The Alpine Muffy earmuffs for kids easily fit children’s growing heads. The adjustable headband will always fit snugly around your ears. The high-quality materials are soft, easy to clean, and, most importantly, extremely comfortable.

They are ideal for school, home, travel, or any activity where you want to protect their hearing. Besides, they’re also lightweight and foldable, so you can take them wherever you go!

In conclusion, the ALPINE HEARING PROTECTION Muffy Earmuffs for Kids are fun, colorful, and comfortable children’s earmuffs! They have the best acoustic attenuation on the market (up to 28 dB!). They use hypoallergenic material, so there are no allergic reactions or irritations on the skin.

View on Amazon: ALPINE HEARING PROTECTION Muffy Earmuffs for Kids

5. ProCase Kids Ear Protection Safety Ear Muffs

Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Autistic Kids

  • Soft PU leather padded headband increases comfort
  • Adjustable headband
  • Versatile; suitable for work, play, study
  • 360° rotatable ear cups
  • Solid construction
  • At times, they do not adjust sufficiently for larger heads

These wireless headphones are perfect for kids who are autistic and have a hard time with certain sounds. We found them lightweight, and they blocked out most loud sounds. But, of course, you can still hear a little, which is fine. These headphones keep autistic kids from getting overstimulated by sounds that they do not like and have no discomfort wearing them.

One remarkable thing about them is that these headphones do not entirely cancel out noise; instead, they reduce the volume of the outside world. But, of course, you can still talk to kids, but they won’t hear the noise of appliances, cars, or strangers in the background.

Kids with autism can take them to big/loud events, concerts, shooting ranges, and daily use and enjoy their lives like the other kids. Besides, they can decorate them with stickers to make them stand out.

The ear cups have two layers of sound dampening foam, making them large and comfortable. They provide all-night or all-day comfort with breathable and skin-friendly imitation leather in the cups.

In conclusion, ProCase Kids Ear Protection Safety Ear Muffs are fantastic headphones for kids with autism. In fact, they are the most versatile headphones for autistic kids. They’re suitable for listening to music, playing, studying, and more.

View on Amazon: ProCase Kids Ear Protection Safety Ear Muffs

6. Snug Kids Ear Protection 

Most Stylish Headphones for Autistic Kids

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Foldable design and portability
  • Adjustable
  • Padded ear cushions
  • Low profile clam design keeps them snug
  • Come in many colors
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Perfect for an active kid
  • We did not experience any issues with these headphones

Ear protection for children with autism Spectrum Disorders is provided by Snug Kids Ear Protection headphones (ASD). Everyone will be able to wear the over-the-ear frame thanks to its lightweight design comfortably.

Some children on the autism spectrum may experience distress and sensory overload due to hearing other family members’ loud activities, such as vacuuming or woodworking. The Snug Kids headphones have a 25 dB NRR, which can help alleviate that constant annoyance and will protect your child’s ears. As a result of this change in environment, the child can relax and de-stress. The foam padding around the ear cups also helps to create a tight seal, allowing the headphones to block out outside noise.

Blue, baby blue, yellow, red, purple, green, navy, and pink are just a few of the many hues available for the headphones. They come with many accessories as well. Using special hinges, you can fold the headphones into a ball-like shape that you can throw into your child’s backpack.

In conclusion, we found the Snug Kids Ear Protection to be one of the most stylish and durable headphones for autistic children. These headphones are available in a variety of styles and designs. Therefore, kids love them!

View on Amazon: Snug Kids Ear Protection 

7. 3M Kids Hearing Protection PLUS

Most Durable Headphones for Autistic Kids

  • 22 dB noise reduction rating qualifies it for low to moderate noise exposure
  • Ear cushion foam offers an effective acoustic seal and reliable protection
  • Made of high-quality material that provides an extended durability
  • ANSI S3.19-1974 Certified
  • Not suitable for continuous use

3M Kids are passive noise reduction headphones, and we found out that they do what they are for: they muffle/reduce the noise by physically blocking it. Of course, you will still hear things. These are just to reduce dangerous sounds to safer levels so that kids with autism do not feel out of place and participate in various activities.

We found these to be a comfortable fit while testing. To our surprise, they could expand to fit my full-grown head (they were at the max size, however), so you can rest assured that these will last for as long as your child requires.

These have amazing colors that aren’t character specific, a padded headband, can fold up, and are easily worn to fall asleep, as kids sometimes do.

If you have a kid who is sensitive to sound and don’t want typical headphones, which are bulky, plain, and would leave marks around the head and ears if worn while sleeping, 3M kids are the headphone you must buy, and we bet that you will feel a marked difference in the behavior of your loved one.

In conclusion, if your kids get bothered by daily sounds like the blender, the trash truck, or boisterous siblings, just invest in 3M kids headphones that offer excellent noise reduction and are of excellent quality.

View on Amazon: 3M Kids Hearing Protection PLUS

8. Loop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs

Best Earplugs for Autism

  • Incredibly comfortable to wear
  • Come in a variety of earbud sizes
  • Fashionable
  • Come in six stylish colors
  • You can still distinguish sounds; they simply reduce background noise
  • We did not experience any issues with these earbuds

Our testers unanimously agreed that the Loop set was the only pair they would be happy to use regularly. Long-wearing comfort and a generous supply of tips (four pairs) make these earplugs ideal for most people. They didn’t want to wear any of the other competitors’ noise-blocking earphones because they were uncomfortable or sounded too muffled.

Thanks to the Loop design, you won’t have to worry about your earplugs falling out of your ears while dancing or working out. It’s small enough to slip into even the tiniest of jeans pockets, but a keychain attachment would have made it less easy to misplace.

Compared to cheap foam earplugs designed to block all sounds, a good pair of universal-fit (aka musician-style) earplugs, such as the Loop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs, will provide a light-years-better listening experience, allowing you to hear music and voices more clearly.

Wearing them is an entirely different experience altogether. We have never been able to find an earplug that is comfortable to wear in small ears and effective at alleviating sensory overload.

In conclusion, if you are the one who has supersensitivity to sound and want a pair to drown out the ambient noise that is highly disturbing, we can’t recommend a better option than Loop Quiet Noise ear plugs. Their unique design is a great addition!

View on Amazon: Loop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs

9. Heartek Noise Cancelling Headphones Kids Adult Earmuffs Shooting Ear Protection

Best Budget Headphones for Autism

  • Convenient and attractive
  • Affordable
  • Simple to transport
  • Safety has been verified and approved
  • Includes a carry bag
  • Adjustable from small to junior to large for a snug fit
  • You cannot adjust the width

These are an excellent choice for those who want to save money without sacrificing quality. Each pair of HearTek earmuffs is available in various colors and patterns to accommodate you and your child’s taste and style.

We found that the comfort factor has been considered, with mounting ear cups assisting in evenly distributing the weight and pressure of the earmuffs. They’re also padded, which is great for wearing for extended periods. The cups self-adjust and provide an excellent seal for ear protection from loud noises and environs.

One of our favorite aspects is that they can be folded up and stored in a small space. Having earplugs readily available when you need them is a nice perk, especially if you’re on the go. They even include a carrying case.

With the right level of protection, you can still hear what’s going on around you while protecting your hearing. If you’ve been putting off trying ear muffs because you’re worried either you or your child will miss out on something, don’t worry; you won’t. You shouldn’t wait any longer; these headphones are worth giving a shot.

In conclusion, the Heartek Noise Cancelling Headphones Kids Adult Earmuffs Shooting Ear Protection provide you with a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 27 decibels, making it ideal for use during events like sporting events and parades to reduce irritant noises that can threaten someone with higher sound sensitivity.

View on Amazon: Heartek Noise Cancelling Headphones Kids Adult Earmuffs Shooting Ear Protection

10. ClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection Safety Ear Muffs

Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Adults With Autism

  • Compact design
  • Swivel cup design
  • Great noise reduction rating
  • Padded headband
  • Complies with ANSI and CE EN standards
  • Has SonicSeal- ClearArmor exclusive sound technology
  • We did not experience any issues with these ear muff

ClearArmor Shooters Hearing Protection Ear Muffs are classic, elegant black earmuffs of exceptional quality. We were impressed by this earmuff’s folding pad and headband features, which give it a solid feel.

This earmuff features an upgraded novel noise-canceling technology (SonicSeal) that provides excellent hearing protection in all weather and environments and is a blessing for those who are autistic.

We found the head design to be both comfortable and adaptable to various sizes and shapes. Another fantastic feature that makes it stand out is the swivel cups, making it very easy to fold. And everything comes protected by an industrial-grade plastic body.

As we all know, loud noises are an absolute no-no for people with greater sound sensitivity, which becomes a major liability at times. Therefore, these earmuffs make them generally function in noisy environs and when they are among loud noises emanating from everywhere.

In conclusion, the ClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection are designed to provide protection even in the loudest environments. So, suppose you suffer from a sensory processing disorder or are sound-sensitive. In that case, you don’t have to hold back to pursue your hobbies like shooting, hunting, etc. Go and indulge!

View on Amazon: ClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection

Frequently Asked Questions About Headphones for Autism

Why Do Kids or Adults With Autism Cover Their Ears?

Autistic children often have heightened sensitivity to sounds. As a result, sounds that we find tolerable may be unbearable to them, such as a fire engine, a baby crying, or the sound of a toilet flushing. One way to reduce their sound is to place a hand over their ears. When a child develops a fear of loud noises, they may learn to cover their ears as a coping mechanism for their anxiety.

Do Kids with Autism Like Headphones?

Autistic children can benefit from wearing the correct type of headphones to help them cope with the noises and sounds in their environment. And, of course, they will like to wear them as headphones will help them deal with loud noises, which are a source of irritation.

These days the headphones come specifically designed for kids, and they have great funky designs so kids will like them.

Final Words

To wrap the best headphones for autism, we could say if you are or you have a loved one who is an autistic person, headphones are a must-have item. We have compiled the list based on excellent quality and after many tests.

Hence, we highly recommend Vanderfields Ear Defenders Adult Foldable Hearing Protection Ear Muffs Noise Canceling for its outstanding performance at a great price. And, if you want to buy the one which suits both kids and adults, you can go for Heartek Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Ultimately, you are the decision-maker, you must make considerations based on your needs and requirements; thanks for reading and being such a good sport!