Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Best back-to-school headphone deals and sales for 2021

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.

Today’s best back-to-school headphone deals

A huge discount on what are easily some of the best true wireless earbuds you can buy. Awesome fit, battery life, water-resistance, sound quality, and noise cancellation are all here. more
With noise cancellation, water resistance, and interchangeable eartips for a more comfortable fit, the AirPods Pro are the most advanced AirPods in Apple's stable -- a must-have for audio lovers. more
Six hours of battery life and gym-proof water resistance make the JBuds Air Icon True Wireless Earbuds a great audio companion. At this price, they're a steal. more
With their exquisite build quality and super sound, the new AirPods Max over-ear wireless headphones are made for true audiophiles (and true Apple fans). more
Equipped with Apple's H1 wireless chip, the earbuds give you hands-free access to Siri, shared listening on Apple devices with other H1 and W1-equipped headphones, and up to 24 hours of battery life. more
The Beats Studio3 Wireless are a fantastic set of noise-canceling headphones for a number of reasons: They’re comfortable, well-built, and their bass-y sound makes them perfect for hip-hop fans. more
With the Sony WHCH710N, you can mute the outside world while you rock out to your favorite tunes. This pair has sensors that can detect the environment you're in and can last for up to 35 hours. more
For a more affordable option that still offers the comfort and quality of the Sony brand, these over-ear headphones are perfect for casual use at home or in the office. more
Get the AirPods Pro you want but save some money with these renewed earbuds. These pre-owned earbuds have been tested and cleaned by Amazon suppliers. more
Need a sweatproof pair of banded Bluetooth earbuds to take with you to the gym? The Elite Active 45e are what you need -- they're lightweight, sound great, and last for nine hours on a single charge. more
Enjoy Bose's excellent noise-canceling software in the convenient earbuds format, with this option for truly wireless buds. more
Comfortable and convenient, these wireless Sony earbuds have Extra Bass for low end you can feel, plus 15 hours of all-day battery life so you won't need to stop to recharge. more
With sweat and dust resistance, these are ideal earbuds for working out, but their superpower is built-in Tile tracking so you never need to worry about lost earbuds again. more
Play music all day long with 24-hour battery life and a comfortable over-the-ear fit, plus JBL bass for music and hands-free operation for phone calls and talking with digital voice assistants. more
Powerbeats Pros are super hard to get hold of, so if you're looking for a pair in vain you could consider picking up a refurbished pair for a steep discount. more
The latest version of the Powerbeats has an improved design, 15 hours of battery, huge wireless range, and hands-free Siri access -- all with that signature Beats sound. more
Experience JBL's signature Pure Bass sound with these wireless earbuds. The Dual Connect feature also allows you to customize the way you listen to music and answer calls. more
With up to 30 hours of nonstop listening on a single charge, the Skullcandy Indy Evo is an excellent way to pass the time with high-quality music to keep you motivated for nearly two days straight. more
Get Sony's outstanding noise-canceling software in a smaller earbud-style device with these true wireless buds, which are perfect for taking calls and listening to music. more
Music enthusiasts will enjoy the Beats Solo3, offering a 40-hour battery life and Fast Fuel technology, granting listeners three hours of playback when charged within five minutes. more
Enjoy true wireless freedom for your mobile gaming with the JBuds Air Play gaming earbuds from JLab, which feature patented latency-reducing technology that most wireless earbuds lack. more
Get the signature Beats sound with noise cancelation, hands-free Siri access, 22 hours of battery life, and excellent wireless range with the Beats Solo Pro. more
Get Bose's popular noise-canceling earbuds at a lower price by trying out these refurbished models. more
These earbuds include five earpiece sizes for a snug, comfortable fit and offers voice assistance for track selection, music playback control, and more. more
Bring the club close to your ears with the RB-M700B's built-in, three-level Bass Reactor, allowing you to feel the deep bass booming from the headphones. more
Drown out background noise and focus on the music with the Philips noise-canceling headphones. Enjoy up to 30 hours of playtime, as well as calls with friends, without any distractions. more
If you're a runner without the time to be chained to a socket, these Treblab X3 Pro wireless earbuds have a fantastic 45-hour battery life for nearly two full days of nonstop listening. more
These are some of the most popular noise-canceling headphones on the market. With great sound, exceptional noise canceling, and super clear microphone, these are the perfect headphones for work. more
Appreciate the captivating world of sound with these earbuds from Technics, offering noise-canceling features and enhanced audio quality during calls. more
With a battery life of 30 hours, the RB-M500B headphones can deliver powerful bass with its ultra-low bass response technology for hours on end. more

How to choose headphones for school or college

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

  • Brand
  • Sound quality
  • Design
  • Features
  • Accessories
  • 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.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors' Recommendations