9 Tips for College Students to Choose the Best Headphones

Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you have to scrimp and save when it comes to your headphones. They’re one of the most important accessories in the digital age, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest they’ll improve your academic performance too. If you want to know how music shapes the brain there’s a whole host of interesting research out there. And if you want the best tips on how to find the right headphones for you, look no further. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

Choose your budget

First things first we need to get the boring part out of the way. As a student it’s understandable if money is tight — you’re studying full-time after all. But what you need to do is accept it, come up with a suitable budget, and then stick to it. It’s easier said than done, but it’ll ensure you don’t have to give up everything else for a couple of months just to be able to get the right headphones. Make sense?

Decide where you’re going to use them

Some students will only ever be seen in public with their headphones, others keep them in their dorm room and only use them for intensive self-study periods. Whichever you choose is totally up to you, but give it some thought before you rush out and buy a pair. That way you’ll be able to get a set that covers all the bases. Here are a few common ways students use their headphones:

  • Studying at home to get themselves pumped up late into the evening
  • In the library on campus to drown out the ambient noise
  • Walking to lectures to focus the mind for the intense learning experience that lies ahead
  • Working out in the gym or running in the evenings to blow off some steam

Think about going wireless

Wireless headphones are always worth some consideration, especially if you’re someone who’s likely to follow that last bullet point above. They say that once you go wireless you never go back, and it’s also the case that you won’t realize how useful and practical they are until you try them for yourself.

The only problem is that they do cost a little more. With this in mind, you’ll want to think about how often the wire is really going to get in the way. If you still think it’s a deal- breaker, then go wireless; otherwise, you might be better off spending the extra money on a higher specification pair of wired headphones. The choice is yours, folks.

Try a pair of over-ear headphones on for size

Now we come to the different styles of headphones. The connoisseurs out there will talk until the sun goes down about the hundreds of different styles on offer, but there’s only really 2 main categories you need to know about:

  • Over-ear headphones allow you to immerse yourself in your music whilst adding a stylish finishing touch to your outfit. Because they’re not really size limited they also offer unrivaled high-end performance if that’s what matters most to you
  • In-ear headphones are much more discreet, can cost considerably less, but still pack plenty of sounds

The key thing is to try each of them on and see if you like the feel. Over-ear headphones can feel a little hot and heavy if you’re not used to them, or you get the wrong pair. What you’re looking for is a light pair that seem to float by your ears. You’ll know what we’re talking about when you find them.

See if you find in-ear headphones comfortable

Next, you can try on some of the in-ear headphones to see what you think about them. You’re looking for a pair that fit naturally in your ears and don’t start to shake loose when you walk. If you’re struggling to find a pair that fit, but know you don’t want over-ear headphones either, look at some of the sports variations of in-ear headphones. They have little bands that go round the back of your ears holding the buds in place.

Give a little thought to noise-canceling tech

Ask anyone who writes for the best academic writing sites out there and they’ll tell you that ambient noise is the best concentration killer known to man. Noise-cancelling headphones are great at blocking out the vast majority of repetitive background droning and humming that characterizes large study spaces on campus.

AC, idle chatter from hundreds of students, and even passing traffic all add to the noise which can slow your studies more than you think. By being able to flick a switch on your headphones and drown it out you’ll be breathing new life into your studies.

Choose headphones that you can move around with

If you’ve already opted for wireless headphones then you can probably gloss over this part, but if not, you’re going to want to pay attention. As you get into university life you’ll find that music is what really makes it come alive. If you’re off-campus there’s going to be lots of bus rides and walks in all weathers to get to your lectures, so make sure you choose headphones that you can easily go from A to B with.

Check how much battery life you’ll get

Now we’re starting to get to the business end of things it’s time to check how much battery life you can get. If you have wireless headphones, then you’re going to want to look up how quickly the Bluetooth is going to put your phone to sleep. And if you’ve heeded our wise words and opted for a noise-cancelling pair of headphones then you need to know they are battery powered in most cases.

If you find a pair you like, borrow some from a friend

Last but not least we come to the acid test: try before you buy if at all possible. If you have a friend or classmate who owns a pair, ask if you can have a listen to an album. That way you can check you like the fit and love the sound.

Final Thoughts

Being a college student is an exciting time, and it gets even better if you can study while listening to your favorite tunes. If you find the perfect pair of headphones for you then you’ll be able to tune in when you’re on the way to campus, working out in the evening, and of course, studying. Give the tips above plenty of thought and then get busy finding the right fit for you. You won’t regret it that’s for sure.

Chris Wilson

Chris is one of the guys behind HeadphoneSelection.com. He is an Electronics Engineer by profession and he enjoys expressing his real-life experiences with technology and sharing it with others.