Recommendations for a Noise Cancelling Headphones for a 6 Year Old

I am working with a 6 year old who has a few challenges. Quite often (when distressed), loud noises bother him too much. Occupational Therapist suggests using of noise cancelling headphones. Unable to decide if the parents need to keep buying some cheap headphone every 6 months or buy a good one to last a bit. Any advice?

Any recommendations for a noise cancelling headphone please? Will be used in school when it gets noisy, in recess and after school care. I have let him use my Bose QC 35 headphones on a few indoor occasions which help him a little bit - I don't think headphones like the QC 35 will reasonably block out a class full of loud year 1 kids (and are fairly expensive). I think the recommended
headphones will have to be sturdy and battery operated as, in class we could just expect him to put them on and block out the noise - but should be able to use them when home watching a movie. Any wireless headphones that just play whitenoise?

Ear plugs seem to be the best option to me - but I wanted to find out if there are other options before recommending this.

Comments

  • +1 vote

    Sony do have some decent noise cancelling headphones that are more affordable than the XM3/XM4s. A Sony H900N (or CH710N) for example can be had for sub-$200 and has great battery life. I used a H900N for a long time and was quite happy with it. What device will they be using it with?

    •  

      Thank you for replying. The device use will almost always be at home with an android device (phone/tablet).

  • +2 votes

    What about noise masking? It works a lot better for bursts of noise, like the buds Bose make for sleeping - https://www.bose.com.au/en_au/products/headphones/noise_mask...

    Not sure how it'd go with a kid who doesn't like loud noises though, it might make it worse if it's the noise itself that is the problem (since the sleepbuds do make noise themselves but it's meant to be more targeted. Amazfit make a cheaper version of them (like they always do) as well, the Zenbud.

    Might be worth talking to an audiologist as well. I'm deaf in one ear (about 99.8%) so to test it they have to play very loud noises. They have some kind of static audio that goes in the other ear to make sure I'm not just hearing it out of my ear that works

    •  

      Thank you for replying. I will suggest the Bose option to the parents - but I already know at ~$400 its a no go.

      Good suggestion on talking with audiologist. Personally, I find it hard to believe that the kid has partial hearing loss in one ear - but can be seen in visible distress around loud noises. May be its to do with sensitivity.

      Are these the amazfit buds you are talking about? https://www.kogan.com/au/buy/xiaomi-amazfit-powerbuds-black-...

      • +1 vote

        These are the ones I was thinking - https://www.amazon.com.au/Amazfit-Blocking-Soothing-Comforta...

        They don't play music at all, just dead noise to block out any other sound. Not sure if it's the best idea as it's meant to put you to sleep, but that would certainly calm him down.

        I found it hard as a kid being deaf in one ear as I don't have the ability to tell where sound comes from, could be similar with a hearing issue. If someone is yelling I have to spin around looking at who has their mouth open. Now in my 30's I've well and truly gotten used to it, but it was sometimes hard as a kid.

  • +3 votes

    He may not like ear plugs in his ears. Maybe ear muffs might be a better bet. The problem is noise cancelling headphones are good for blocking out repetitive noises but not so good for short loud noises. You need the experts to identify what the kid’s,particular, issue is. Some supermarkets have quiet time sessions to help people who are distressed by loud noises and over lit shops.

    •  

      Thank you for replying. I agree ear muffs might be better. The only thing the OT said was what was already obvious - when the kid is irritated/frustrated/angry even normal volume of things triggers him. When the kid is happy not so much.

      • +1 vote

        Does he have any particular music, or noises, that calm him down? Perhaps an MP3 player might help.

  • +2 votes

    No noise cancelling headphones will mask classroom noise completely, but I think the OT’s suggestion is a good one. I’d probably not go for anything too expensive in a classroom environment, as even more expensive ones can break easily. I’m not sure if you can get something like this via NDIS or if the school has access to funding, but it might be worth asking. Some people also just use ear muffs, like the ones in for working with noisy machinery, which you can buy at Bunnings.

    I struggle with concentrating in noisy environments myself and have used some not too expensive Sony noise canceling headphones (sorry not sure of model). I play classical music at times if I have to really get into writing a document.

    I’d suggest trying a few different things before committing to a big purchase. Usually it takes kids a few tries before they take to things. If you can borrow anything or buy low cost to start it won’t be too much of a financial blow if it doesn’t work out.

    • +1 vote

      Thank you for replying. NDIS has flat out refused to pay for anything other than OT sessions. The school is dependent on parents to provide. I think the kid should start with ear muffs (my only concern at introducing at this age was they are going to be a bit too tight and can drive the kid away from them) - no harm with trying for a short period though.

  • +1 vote

    Plantronics BackBeat GO 810 Wireless Headphones, Active Noise Canceling Over Ear Headphones are $90 at Amazon.

    I have an earlier model of over ear Plantroncis NC headphones (BackBeat Pro 2). These look almost the same. If they perform as well then they are a really good deal.

  • +2 votes

    I'd go for some TaoTronics. They're cheap and have ANC.

    It isn't good ANC but will get the job done.

    • +1 vote

      +1, I've had a pair of ANC Taotronics headphones for 2 years or so and they hold up well.
      I bought it for ~$60, the ANC isn't really too good compared to the XM3s I owned, but for the price, it's a great buy.

  • +1 vote

    Maybe consider picking up a second hand pair of XM2s? I'm sure they have decent ANC and they go for around $150 to $200 on Gumtree.