Classroom Headphones and Headsets Buying Guide



Use this guide to help you choose the best headphones or headsets for your educational needs.

State Testing Headphone Requirements

Before making a decision, there are a few things you will want to understand:

Read about How Califone Headsets and Headphones are being incorporated into the Common Core Curriculum


Mono Headphones vs. Stereo Headphones

Mono Headphones

Mono Headphones transmit a single sound signal over a single channel.

Mono headphones should be used with audio technology such as:

  • Record Players
  • Listening Centers
  • Cassette Players and Recorders

If mono headphones are used with stereo technology, the quality of sound will be very poor and can cause damage to your equipment. Mono can also be referred to as monaural or monophonic.


Stereo Headphones

Stereo Headphones transmit a double sound signal over two separate channels. Stereo headphones distribute their sound more naturally.

These types of headphones should be used with audio technology such as:

  • CD players
  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • or anything with a stereo output

If stereo headphones are used with mono technology, the quality of sound will be very poor and can cause damage to your equipment. Stereo can also be referred to as stereophonic.

Switchable Headphones

Switchable Headphones eliminate any compatibility issues by providing the option of switching from mono to stereo sounds. If you are unsure of which output your technology source has, switchable headphones would be your best choice because they can switch from mono to stereo or vise versa.


Binaural Headphones

Binaural Headphones use two microphones, arranged with the intent to create a 3-D stereo sound sensation for the listener of actually being in the room with the performers or instruments. Simply put "hearing sound with both ears".

These types of headphones can come as Mono or Stereo outputs.

Califone Deluxe Stereo Multimedia Headphones 

See our Selection of Califone Stereo Headphones

Comfort of Your Classroom Headphones

Comfort is very important when purchasing clasroom headphones, especially for educational purposes. Uncomfortable headphones can be a distraction to anyone, especially children. Consider the following when making a decision to buy headphones.

Adjustability of Headphones

Many headphones are manufactured to fit children from grades K-12. If you are unsure, let us know which age groups you are purchasing for and we will help you make the best choice. 

Ear Cushionsclassroom-headphones-and-headsets.jpg

The typical ear cushion is made of foam and then covered with a vinyl or leatherette material. Vinyl and leatherette covered ear cushions are easier to clean, which in turn helps prevent the spread of lice. Most schools purchase individual headphones for each student to prevent the spread of lice or germs. We also offer replaceable ear cushions for schools who have a tighter budget. 

Volume Control of Headphones

It is important to give students the freedom to control their own volume, especially when using a single listening center for multiple students. Most volume controls can be found on the outer ear cup or the cord. We also provide headphones where the volume can be adjusted on each ear.


Wireless Headphones

If your goal is to have shared audio lessons or use your headphones in an environment with young children, you may want to invest in wireless headphones to prevent any cord tangling or distractions. Consider the following when making a decision to buy wireless headphones.

Frequency of Wireless Headphones

If your headphones are being used in a school, library or anywhere that other wireless headphone systems will be used, make sure you are on a different radio frequency. Otherwise, the sounds will interfere. Also, make sure that if you purchase additional wireless headphones that the headphones are on the same frequency as your transmitter.

Broadcast Distance of Wireless Headphones

How far your students can be away from the transmitter without losing sound. Most wireless headphones can be 100’ away from the transmitter before losing sound. 

Charge Time of Wireless Headphones

The length of time it will take to fully charge your headphones. Make sure you leave yourself enough time between classes or lessons to have your wireless headphones fully charged.  They are after all, wireless!

Battery Life of Wireless Headphones

The continuous number of hours that your headphones can be used on a fully charged battery. Many wireless headphones have a battery life of up to 40 hours!


Plug Styles for Classroom Headphones


1/4” and 3.5mm Plugs

The typical classroom headphone has either a 3.5mm plug or a ¼” diameter plug. Before purchasing any school headphones, make sure you are aware of the type of input your technology requires. If you are unsure, most technology comes with an adapter that allows you to convert your plug from a 3.5mm or a ¼”.  

USB Plugclassroom-headphones-with-usb-plug.jpg

Some types of headphones come with a USB plug, which eliminates the for a sound card because it connects directly to your computer.

Check out our full line of Classroom Headphones.


Computer Compatibility for Classroom Headphones

Before purchasing your headphones, check the compatibility of the classroom headset with your type of computer. Whether it be a PC, Mac or iMac because not all classroom headphones are compatible with all computers.


Cord Styles for Classroom Headsets

Depending on your environment, the age of your users and your listening source, you will want to choose the best cord for your classroom headset. Consider the following when making a decision based on the style of cord you need. 

Length of Headphone Cord

For individuals, use a short-length cord. For multiple students or groups that are all listening to audio on headsets at once, use a longer-length cord.

Type of Headset Cord

Straight cords are preferred for older children or adults because they tend to be longer and can be a choking hazard to younger children. Coiled cords for classroom headphones are more flexible and typically have straight ends which prevent tangling when multiples are being used with a single listening source. Coiled cords for school headsets are preferred for younger children because they are more durable and thicker for their everyday use.

Durability of Your School Headphone Cord

Although many school headphones come with a cord that is permanently attached, there are also headphones that come with replaceable cords. If your headphones are being used in a computer lab, library or an environment where they will be used frequently, it would be best to purchase headphones with a replaceable cord to better help prevent damage.

Check out our complete line of School Headphones.


Boom Microphones on Headphones


Classroom Headphones are available with a boom microphone attachment.  Boom microphones work well in situations where a response is required.  The boom microphone allows the student to hear their responses through the headphone.  Teachers can record the student's voice, and provide feedback to the student.

Boom Microphones work well in these situations...

  • Card Readers
  • Speech Classes
  • Foreign Language Laboratories


See our selection of Headphones with Boom Microphones


Listening First Stereo Headphones by Califone

Listening First Headphones by Califone


Language learning and Common Core assessments are only two reasons why it's critical to match the right headset to the mobile device or computer. Watch this video so you'll know how!



If you need help determining the right school headphone for your individual situation, please give us a call today.



Delivery Options

Dock to Dock:

The driver will unload onto your loading dock or your staff to unload from the end of the truck. 

Lift Gate:

To get the products to ground level and your staff would bring inside.

Lift gate and Inside:

Door must be a minimum of 52” wide.

This is for Ground Floor Door Delivery – NO steps.