There are so many back-to-school headphone deals it’s difficult to contain our excitement, and we think you’ll agree. But as everyone is gearing up and preparing for their return to work, or their return to school, many of us are also trying to navigate the idea of buying or upgrading gear like laptops, stationery, apparel, or even accessories like headphones. The best back-to-school headphone deals are always a great place to look, but where do you go if you don’t know what you’re looking for?
Back-to-school headphone sales are a dime a dozen, and that’s great, to an extent. Sometimes, however, it seems like all of those back-to-school headphone deals going on create more noise, muddying up the waters. What brands are the best? What should you be looking for in a new pair? What features are must-haves that you cannot live without? That’s what we aim to answer in this guide.
Choosing headphones can be a more complex decision than you might think, especially when there are so many amazing back-to-school headphone deals out there.
Here’s what you want to think about when selecting a pair:
- How will you be using them? – Think about the different ways you’ll be using the headphones. Are you going to be living on campus? Will you be using them primarily in your dorm or class? Will you use them during workouts or runs, or will you have another pair for that? Choose headphones that match your particular scenario. For example, if you’ll be wearing them during workouts then you definitely want a wireless pair.
- What’s your comfort zone? – Do you loathe over-the-ear designs that cover your head, ears, and sometimes more? Would you prefer a cozy pair that can be worn for hours upon hours at a time? Are you going to wear them around the back of your head, as opposed to the top? Think about your comfort zone and choose a pair that matches.
- Wired or wireless? – It’s a relatively simple choice, but there is a trade-off. Wired tend to sound better, with higher quality audio. Wireless headphones are untethered, allowing you to move around, but sometimes the quality and signal can suffer as a result.
- Do you have a brand or age preference? – From Sony to Bose, Sennheiser to Apple, there are many different brands. Before you start looking, consider whether you have a preference and if you do, how bleeding edge you want your headphones? Do they have to be brand new and just released, or can they be an older, just as capable model?
- Closed or open back? – Headphones with a closed-back are designed to cup and surround the entire ear, encapsulating them in an ultra-sensory pocket. Open-back headphones have vents or holes to allow better airflow, but sound also leaks out. Open-back also creates a more natural, acoustic sound, whereas closed-back headphones sound more like a studio or controlled space.
- Noise-cancellation or not? – In many cases, you won’t have a choice because modern headphones tend to include some form of noise cancellation, along with transparency modes. You can usually disable the feature if you don’t want it, but you also have the option to choose headphones that don’t even incorporate it at all. It’s entirely up to you.
What sets the prices?
You may be wondering why some headphones are much more expensive than others, even with the best back-to-school headphone sales going on? There are a lot of factors that influence the price, including:
- Sound quality
- Noise cancellation
- Upscaling technologies
Of course, these are just a few examples and this is not a comprehensive list. If you have a tight budget, you may need to sacrifice some features to meet your ideal price point, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting worse headphones. Some of the best back-to-school headphone sales include models that are near-perfect at a certain price range.
What are the best back-to-school headphones for 2021?
While sifting through all of those back-to-school headphone sales it helps if you already know some of the best models and brands to watch for.
A solid reference is our guide on the best headphones for 2021, but you also may want to check out some of the best headphones for kids. Finally, if you’re on a tight budget, the best headphones for under $100 is another excellent guide.
Whatever your preference, there’s sure to be something just right for you.
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