Headphones Make Great Gifts for Graduates

Do you have a son or daughter or sibling who is graduating from high school or college this year? Of course the greatest gift you have given them is the opportunity for a higher education. But if you are looking for something tangible to give as an acknowledgment of the significance of getting a diploma, a pair quality headphones will surely be appreciated and put to immediate use.

This week there are some smart deals to be had on headphones that are sure to make any newly-minted graduate more than happy to trade that graduation cap and gown for stylish, high fidelity personal audio.

True Wireless Earbuds

There’s a decent chance your proud new graduate is going to want earbuds, not big headphones.  but don’t let them get stuck in the purgatory of using a “regular: pair of Apple Airpods.

If they are Apple users and committed to the iOS ecosystem then the Airpods Pro makes a great gift. otherwise there are some great options from other companies including Sony, and Sennheiser. And if they are high school graduates, it’s possible that what they really want us a pair of Beats.

Apple Airpods Pro

The current gold standard in true wireless earbuds, in particular if you use the iOS platform. However these Bluetooth earbuds will work with Android phones as follows pair up with devices such as a PC. But to enjoy their full functionality, they should be used with an iPhone or iPad.

The big deal feature here, versus regular Airpods, is that the Airpods Pro uses eartips to seal new year canal, which has the dual benefits of increasing fidelity and to blocking out some ambient noise, and on top of that they add active noise canceling.

Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds

A top choice for Android users, Sony’s expertise in making great headphones and in particular it’s long experience in making exceptional earbuds translate into a True Wireless your board that offers great sound as well as Sony’s vaunted noise canceling technology.

24-bit processing means you’ll enjoy high resolution audio, a 10 minute quick charge gives 90 minutes of listening time and the carrying case extends battery life out to 24 hours.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Sennheiser is known for making seriously good headphones. A perfect example is the Momentum True Wireless 2. These earbuds feature custom 7 mm drivers and have active noise cancellation. The earbuds will last for seven hours between charges and with the included charging base you can get 28 hours of total playtime before you have to plug in again.

Compatibility with Google Assistant as well as Apple Siri make these create headphones for using with smart phones.

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Sometimes the only right answer to “what headphones are those” is “Beats” however the brand is not the comically exaggerated, fidelity be damned headphone maker since it was acquired by Apple. And in this case you are getting a new design, premium sporty True Wireless headphones.

You’ll know if these are the right headphones for your newly minted graduate.

Full Size Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

Certainly, some people don’t like earbuds. Since you are their sibling, parent or grandparent, you probably have a good idea what their preference is that regard. so, if they like full-sized cans, roll with it. Get them some headphones that they can use for all sorts of activities, a pair of premium active noise canceling wireless full-size headphones.

The main players in this category are well-known, Sony and Bose are fighting it out for the most comfortable, best noise canceling headphones under 500 bucks. but there are also compelling options in a similar price range from companies like Sennheiser, Bowers and Wilkins, DALI and Cleer Audio.

Sony WH-1000XM3

Generally considered the winner of the noise cancellation wars, this Sony is also one of the most comfortable full-sized headphones you can buy. It is an Amazon’s Choice product with a 4.6 star rating (out of five), with over 9300 ratings.

When you engage Sony’s app, the capabilities of these headphones are expanded to 360 sound. You can find tune the active noise canceling to your environment for the ultimate in performance. You can also choose how much background noise to mix in, when absolute silence is not desired.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Back when flying was a thing, as well as commuting on trains, the Bose QuietComfort QC35 II were the headphones you’tr most like you see on somebody’s head. This is assuredly for a good reason, the headphones live up to the promise of their name. Namely, they are very comfortable and they offer highly effective noise cancellation.

These headphones also carry an Amazon’s Choice designation and have a 4.6 star rating, derived from over 20,000 ratings.

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Known as one of the best makers of high-end speakers in the world, with a reputation that stretches over decades, Bowers and Wilkins is all about great sound. But is also a British company that understands style, design and is uncompromising in its quest to deliver a perfectionist product. It is through this lens that one can appreciate the design of the PX7 wireless noise canceling headphones.

The overall listening experience approaches that of chief competitors Bose and Sony, but in a package that has a more sophisticated and luxurious look and feel. Give the gift of uncompromised wireless sound, give you your newly graduated son or daughter Bowers and Wilkins PX headphones.

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

While distinctly on the premium side when it comes to price, a pair of Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 headphones will surely be appreciated for the luxurious high-fidelity listening experience they provide.

With external touch controls that you take calls and active noise cancellation along with transparent hearing (audio pass-through), these are great headphones for noisy environments. But active noise cancellation can also take a relatively quiet listening space and make it effectively silent, allowing the listener to hear the most subtle details in a mix.

Your son or daughter has graduated from school, now help them graduate to higher fidelity sound with Sennheiser Momentum Wireless headphones.


Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries aka DALI is known for its high-performance speakers. Now the company offers premium full-sized adaptive noise canceling headphones to compete with the likes of Sony, Bose, Bowers and Wilkins and others. The DALI iO-6’s $500 MSRP puts them at the high end price wise compared to the most popular competition, and the active noise canceling is not is strong as what you’ll find with Sony repose, but a focus on fidelity and use of premium materials potentially justifies the price.

The key points are that these headphones sport a fresh design that reflects their Danish heritage (DALI stands for Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries), and they are a cool choice of a gift for graduates who like things that are off the beaten path.

Cleer Audio Flow II

Last but not least is probably the most unfamiliar headphone brand in this list. But Cleer Audio is a company that needs to be taken seriously when it comes to high performance headphones that represent a good value. The company aims to meet or beat the value provided by Bose and Sony with the Flow II.

If you’re buying a gift for graduate who is not attached to name brands or corporate legacies, they may well appreciate what Cleer Audio is all about: Hugely effective noise cancellation, extreme comfort and Google Assistant built in.

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