Noise cancelling headphones

5 replies (Jump to last post)

Elaine McGreevy


I am interested to learn of any research around the use of noise cancelling headphones and ASD children with hypersensitivity to noise. I understand that prolonged and persistent use can lead to increased noise sensitivity. But is there a case for intermittent use to allow children to escape the relentless exposure to background noises ( if this appears to be having a negative functional impact) ? I'm thinking about the possibility of using them for a period of quiet working in a classroom, or for walking along corridors at busy transition time in school, or for entering a noisy dining hall at school or for travel on planes. I would appreciate any advice and particularly what is current best practice. 

Edited on February 23, 2017 - 9:10am

Nathalie Dick

July 08, 2014 - 4:23pm

Hi Elaine

I am not aware of any specific research on pros and cons of using noise cancelling headphones for children with ASD.  However, this article on sensory distortions by Phoebe Caldwell has a section on the use of headphones which you may find useful.  

Best wishes


Network Autism Team


July 08, 2014 - 9:27pm

Thank you so much. Extremely helpful. I knew Phoebe had recently presented on their use so this is great to have this. 

December 24, 2018 - 12:23pm

There are many details can be found on Internet about Noise cancelling headphones which are mainly works on reducing undesirable ambient sounds using active noise control and how it is suitable for Autistic Disorder kids. I also want to know about. Will sure follow your post to get more updates.


April 12, 2019 - 11:50am

you should opt for active noise canceling headphones as they attempt to increase the quality of your music by using destructive interference to prevent auditory masking. In simpler terms, outside noise (a “masker”) can drown out notes that are similar in frequency, making them completely inaudible. By using Active noise cancellation tech (ANC), you can simultaneously make your music sound better in noisy environments, but you can also reduce how much pressure your inner ear is subjected to, staving off hearing loss.


April 22, 2019 - 3:05pm

As content researcher what I have discovered that Sony says new headphones cancel noise, but not people's voices. The biggest hog of wearing these headphones is losing the capacity of hearing the voices around you. Despite having some cool features introduced by Sony in its MDR-1000X. The headphones comes with quite a few noise-cancellation modes, which facilitate you with the option to block out as much sound as possible, or to filter in voices or ambient noise.