Noise Cancelling Headphones

Hi there,

My son has Aspergers and learning difficulties.  He is extremely noise sensitive and struggles at school.  I am trying to research the best noise cancelling headphones/ear defenders.  I have bought him some ear defenders on Amazon which he has tried out today but they didnt help.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.



  • Hello, my 6yr old boy with Autism and is sound sensitive / light sensitive.
    I realise this post is old but felt this answer might still help people in the future like this site has helped me so many times.

    I have tested many headphones with him but to be honest, for most of them he says he can still hear "the noises". The headphones don't really stop noise, they muffle it which I'm sure is great for most people BUT, for my son, that wasn't enough as he could still here the muffled things he didn't want to hear.  This isn't great if you still need to hear the teacher but for him, it wasn't listening to people one to one that was the issue, but more the inability to escape from the noises if he really needed to - completely escape, so he could calm down.

    You can read lots about "white noise" which can help people concentrate on a sound and blank out the other sounds as a distraction. So, sometimes, muffling the noises doesn't always help - but distracting them away into noises they like CAN help.  The cheap 3M's do the same work as the expensive ones so just go for the 3M if you want to try mufflers.

    Boring Techy Bit (because I was obsessed with finding a solution)

    Anyway, given I needed to find simple headphones that could play distraction sounds, I then went looking for Noise cancelling headphones that could also play music into them wirelessly - meaning, you could stick an SD Card into them and it would play the mp3 music on them - no cables, easy turn on, easy turn off and nothing for your child to mess around with and create complications.

    This was actually a nightmare to find - you can get BlueTooth ones, wired ones, Noise Cancelling ones (but only so you can hear your bass music into them - not for playing soft music).

    Finally, I decided to make my own so....

    I bought these (yes they are expensive)

    >  Removed the 3 buttons for "FM Radio" + BlueTooth Mode (literally popped them out with a flat scredriver)
    >  Replaced the gap with some cool black mouldable plastic (its like putty and goes hard) - Shape it into hole, pop it out, add loads of glue, pop it back in.

    >  Issue then was that the music ALWAYS started at full blast volume with deep bass which then involved fiddling with buttons to turn it down each time. So to solve this, I took the ear pieces apart (really easy - clips apart with 4 screws underneath) and placed some foam over the speakers so they touched the vibrating part which not only softened the bass but also reduced the volume to a nice level - meaning you could just turn them on, they started auto-playing music and they were perfect 

    This meant I now had noise cancelling headphones (he could wear without music) but then also came with a micro SD card to let him listen to soft music out and about or when he needed to escape from the noise.

    All you do then is find the sounds your child likes or can calm them (I've used rain, the sea, a distant thunderstorm) on one micro SD card and then put some mellow happy songs on another that he likes. So they can be useful for his condition, but also a fun way for him to walk around listening to his favourite music without cables, or beeping lights, buttons to mess with etc.

    That's probably overkill sorry but yes - try lots of different things.
    Personally, if I was you - try the cheapo ones and if nothing changes, test the soft music idea.

    Hopefully, a manufacturer will make these.
    I've contacted the company above to see if they could do a Noise Cancelling set with Micro SD and no BASS.


  • Bravo!

    Love your Dad ingenuity. Thumbsup

    I don't have autism (that I know of.)

    But I'm proudly listening to my green and black PowerLocus noise cancelling headphones right now.

    To block out the annoying woman in my open-plan office who works in social media. Grimacing


    P.S. Also good for noisy libraries.

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