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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 fitness fanatics. 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
We think these are some of the best wireless headphones you can get for less than $100. Super comfortable, and with incredible battery life and sound quality. Perfect for the home, gym, or commuting. more
Six hours of battery life and gym-proof water resistance make the JBuds Air Icon True Wireless a great audio companion. At this price, they're a steal. more
These earbuds will suit your every speed for the perfect running experience. The pair is designed with secured fit for a no-hassle run and also has powerful bass that boosts your energy in every run. 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
Play all day long with 24-hour battery life and these comfortable over-the-ear headphones. JBL bass for music and handsfree operation for phone calls and talking with digital voice assistants. 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
These headphones consistently top "best of tech" lists for their exceptional noise cancelling, solid build, comfort, and great sound - everything you could want in a pair of headphones. more

Powerbeats 3

$134 $200
Beats' Powerbeats 3 tethered Bluetooth earbuds are among the best on the market, appealing to athletes and businessmen alike thanks to their minimalist design and fantastic sound quality. more
Ultra comfortable and with a long-lasting battery, these over-ear wireless headphones have great sound quality, and tons of features thanks to the excellent Jabra mobile app. more
These immensely popular headphones are one generation old, but they still have all the features you need like exceptional sound quality, a built-in microphone, and killer noise cancelling. 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
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
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
Get some of the most popular Bose headphones out there -- the older generation QuietComfort 35 IIs -- for a reduced price thanks to this refurbished option. 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
Music enthusiasts will enjoy the Beats Solo 3, offering a 40-hour battery life and Fast Fuel technology, granting listeners 3 hours of playback when charged within 5 minutes. more
Get Bose's popular noise-cancelling earbuds at a lower price by trying out these refurbished models. more
Alexa-compatible headphones combine quality audio streaming, active noise cancellation, and hands-free calls in one device. Runs on battery or cable connection. 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
With sweat and dust resistance these are ideal earbuds for working out, but their super-power is built-in Tile tracking so you never need to worry about lost earbuds again. more
Appreciate the captivating world of sound with these earbuds from Technics, offering noise-canceling features and enhanced audio quality during calls. more
These are a great alternative to AirPods if you're an Android user. The highly rated Jabra Elite 65t are a great gift for true wireless freedom. 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
With a battery life of 30 hours, the RB-M500B can deliver powerful bass with its ultra-low bass response technology for hours on end. more
Developed for athletes in conjunction with Under Armour, these headphones are waterproof and made of antibacterial material. Get the bass sound to keep pumping. more
These are some of the most popular noise-cancelling headphones on the market. With great sound, exceptional noise cancelling, and super clear microphone, these are the perfect headphones for work. more
The lightweight Sennheiser delivers comfort with its velour-covered ear pads and all-around device compatibility, ranging from phones to computers. 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.

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