Best Noise Cancelling headphones for autism in 2020

We highly recommend the Mpow noise reduction earmuffs as the best noise cancelling headphones for kids with sensory processing disorder since they are comfortable, have soft padding and have a high NRR.

Mpow Noise Cancelling Earmuffs

  • High noise reduction rate
  • Have adjustable headband for comfort
  • Soft padding
  • Lightweight and easily portable even for kids

Headphone NamePictureNRR (Noise reduction Rating)FeaturesPurchase
Mpow 035 Noise reduction Headphonempow 035 noise reduction headphones28Has soft padding
Best fit for kids and adults
Check Lowest Price on Amazon
Fun and Functionfun and function autism earmuffs20Has soft padding
Can fit babies as well as small adults
Check Lowest Price on Amazon
Safety Workssafety work headphones for autistic kids24Can fit babies as well as small adultsCheck Lowest Price on Amazon
3M folding23Can fit babies as well as small adultsCheck Lowest Price on Amazon

When you really need to cancel loud noises for autistic people or even muffle it out with ambient music sound, then the budget Anker space NC earmuffs are what you are really looking for. Coming with its Bluetooth adaptability, soft padding and low clamping force, the sensory headphones are a good fit for autistic teenagers who want to reduce noise while at the same time look hip and cool.


While you and I might find the sounds normal when we walk into the local stores, people with autism and sensory processing disorder do not. In fact, they hate going to parties, school lunchrooms, soccer stadiums or any other social gatherings where there will be loud music or lots of people talking. The noise makes them irritated and distracted. They will not be able to concentrate on anything until they have some noise cancelling headphones or earbuds that eliminate the extraneous noise.

Due to over-responsiveness to stimuli, they usually have a reaction called ‘fight, fright or flight’ where the individual just thinks of ways to escape from the too much noise. This could be seen when the person tries to block their ears so that they do not have to be over stimulated by the noise, they create a ruckus as they try to run away and fight off whoever is preventing them from doing so. Because of this need, we are today going to look at the best noise cancelling headphones for autism.

In our review, we look at the effectiveness of the headphones in eliminating background noise, the decibels of noise that is reduced by the headphones (which ideally should be between 20 to 26 dbs), ability to still hear conversations near you as well as the durability of the headphones. Design as well as comfort are also key when investing in the best headphones for autistics.

However when buying noise cancelling devices, you need to consider the environment of your child as well as where they are going to be wearing the noise cancelling headphones at. You do not want them to wear these devices if they are going to cross the road and fail to hear as cars honk them off the road or when their names are called out, sirens are blaring since this could lead to accidents. Some of the places where the child can wear these headphones include:

–In the school cafeteria

–Movie theater


–School bus

–Shopping mall


Other than headphones which are not at all discrete, one can also use noise reduction earbuds that are more discrete so that you can eliminate noise in rowdy places without people noticing that you are wearing anything.

What to look out for when buying your noise cancelling/reduction headphones for sensory processing disorders

  • Noise reduction as opposed to noise cancelling

While most people are looking for noise cancelling headphones, I greatly oppose this as it might cause safety issues. Noise cancelling or blocking headphones cut out all the sounds from the exterior environment. You really do not want this as your child might not hear the honking of cars, fire alarms or their name being called out. You would rather go for a noise reduction gadget with a good NRR that muffles the unwanted sounds.

  • Padded headband

Your headband needs to be padded for extra comfort to your child.

  • Earmuffs that do not go into the ear

Kids with autism or sensory processing disorder would not want earphones that go into their ears as this could cause a lot of discomfort. The best alternative therefore would be earmuffs that go over the ears without really going in.

  • Noise reduction rating in terms of decibels

A good noise reduction rating in terms of decibels or what is popularly abbreviated as NRR is 20-26.

  • Proper clamping force

Most of the headphones sold online come with a foldable design for saving on space. You will find that as you unfold and place it over the ears, there is a clamping force that the headphones have. You need to make sure that this clamping force is not too much as to injure or cause discomfort in your child.

  • Soft design with no hard edges or corners

Since this will be a gadget that will mostly be used by kids, you want it to be as safe as possible. It is therefore important to check that the edges and corners have a soft design that will not end up bruising or cutting into the tender skin of your child.


Noise Cancelling Sensory Headphones for Autistics

So without wasting time, let us delve into our gadgets.


1. Decibel Defense

decibel defense earmuffs for noise reduction

As the name suggests, these headphones defend your ears from the high decibel noise and deafening volume of blaring music in school parties. They come in different colors and the design too is well accentuated making them a great gift item for autistic teenagers. Their head size is adjustable so they will fit you no matter whether you have a big or small head.


What we Loved about the Decibel Defense headphones

  1. Wide range of colors
  2. Great for teenagers owing to the awesome design and wide range of colors
  3. Effective in cancelling out noise while still making it possible for you to have meaningful conversations with someone near you.
  4. Good for autistic people who still want to maintain focus despite being in a noisy place that would otherwise distract them.

What we did not like about the Decibel Defense headphones

  1. One of my autistic students found them to be too tight and the plastic actually tore his ear skin while he was trying to remove them.

2. Fun and Function Noise Reduction Headphones

Fun and function headphones for sensory processing disorder

One thing that I love about Fun and Function company is that they always produce quality products that are suited for children with sensory processing disorder. And so when I learnt that they stock noise reduction headphones, I had to have a look at them so as to know whether they are of high quality as well as effective. And the truth is that Fun and Function, as always, did not disappoint me.

The product does a great job in muffling unwanted background noises so that your kid can concentrate with the task at hand without having to hold their ears in irritation. They are durable and therefore you get true value for your money when you invest in this headset. The Fun and Function headset would be perfect for noisy environments such as when your kid is going to the grocery store, movie theater or restaurant and they want to muffle all the unwanted noise away.

What I loved about the Fun and Function Noise Reduction headphones

  1. Effective in muffling unwanted sounds
  2. Durable
  3. Quality design
  4. Easily portable since they are light in weight.

What I did not like about them

  • Rather stiff to get your head into.

noise cancelling headphones for autism

3. NoiseLESS Earphones


One great thing about the NoiseLESS earphones is that they will reduce external noise by 26 decibels. The plastic outer cover is easily adjustable and will comfortably go round the head of a child without compromising on their comfort. The adjustable cups will comfortably cover the ears of your young one to the maximum so that the headphones completely muffle any unwanted outside noise that might interfere with the focus and concentration of the child. The APS plastic material can also be easily cleaned and is highly durable so you do not have to worry about feeling ripped off when you buy this headset.

Key features of the NoiseLESS Earphones

  • Adjustable cups
  • Noise reduction by 26 decibels
  • Maximum cover on the child’s ears therefore a good fit for autism
  • Easy to clean APS plastic material

4. Safety Works Super Soft Earmuffs

noise reducing headphone for autism

As the name suggests, the earbuds are super soft and will therefore be a great fit for your child who wants to muffle any unwanted noise so that they can avoid distractions and auditory senses overload. They have a proven noise reduction rate of 24 decibels, adjustable cups as well as a cushioned headband for extra comfort.


5. 3M Folding Earmuffs

The 3M folding earmuffs are foldable to occupy a small space and once unfolded, will provide a custom fit for your autistic child who wants some noise reduction. With a noise reduction rating of 23 decibels, you are assured that your child will be comfortable and will not get a meltdown due to too much auditory senses overload.

6. Mpow 035 Noise Reduction Headphones


When you are looking for headphones that will help reduce noise say when you are shooting, are autistic with sensory overload, want to concentrate in noisy places, then the Mpow 035 noise cancelling headphones should be something that you give much thought to. Specifically designed for hunters as well as archery, the Mpow earplugs have a noise reduction rating of 28 decibels which is an all-time high uniquely designed for people who might lose their hearing ability were they to shoot or hunt without protecting their eardrums.

Kids facing sensory processing disorder would also benefit from this Mpow though I feel that the 28 decibel NRR might be a little too much. You see when you are having a kid who needs noise reduction, you should see that the NRR is only between 20 to 26 decibels. Above 26 is a little too much and the kid might be completely cut out from the background noise which is not very advisable. They need to still hear when cars are beeping or when the teacher calls them out.

What we loved about the Mpow 035 headphones

  • Soft padding and headband would be comfy for yourself or even your kid
  • Large earplugs work to make sure no noise gets to the kid wearing them
  • Comes with a carrying bag and is therefore a good one for when you are travelling.

What we did not like about it

  • High NRR rating could make your kid not hear necessary noise that they need to hear. Unless you live in a very noisy place, that 28NRR is too much and could completely muffle sounds so that your kid will not hear when you are calling them or when spoken to.