7 Best Kids Headphones That are Safe for Your Child (New Research)

Kids' HeadphonesKids do need special headphones that can keep their ears safe and prevent any hearing loss when they grow up. We all love to turn it up on our favorite beats but doing so frequently can be troublesome with our ability to hear. The best kids headphones are more than just those colorful designs. These headphones need to feature volume limits so that their young ears remain protected.

In this post, we will provide you with some of the best kids headphones that we have tested out for you. Read on to find the best ones that you can find on the market from some of the top brands out there!

Top Picks for Best Kids Headphones

Why Do Kids Need Special Headphones?

There are various reasons that kids require specially designed headphones. We have listed them down below,

-     Kids’ hearing differs from adults’

Younger ears have the better hearing ability as compared to people who age over 30s. Kids can hear frequencies that most old people are not able to hear. The reason behind that is wearing out hearing. Kids haven’t been exposed to the loud elements that are present in the world as compared to adults. So there hearing is good and it will get damaged if they start using headphones with loud volumes.

-     Hearing loud sounds from a younger age

Intense but quick bursts of loud sound don’t do the damage; it is the continuous exposure to high levels of sound that do the damage. So among adults listening to your favorite songs at high volumes continuously creates the problem of hearing loss over time and most of the credit goes to headphones. We are living in the smartphone era and for this reason, kids start using these headphones at a very early age. Therefore, protecting them from loud sounds is necessary.

-     Kids are not smart to be safe on their own

Kids don’t know the full consequences of what they are doing and for this reason, they will continue to do what they like if you don’t stop them. They will carry on doing anything until something bad happens. As an adult, you must make them understand that hearing loss induced by noise cannot be reversed. Consequently, any hearing loss at an early age will be problematic in the long run.

-     They are not gentle either

You don’t have to bother purchasing an expensive headphone for your young one because he/she will love to throw things around for no reason. Kids will eventually break something that you give them and this is just the story of life about which you can’t do much. Therefore, you only need to buy them a piece that is good enough to produce good sound and are good quality durable kids headphones.

Recommended Volume Limiting Levels for Kids

First and for most, you need to be careful about the headphones that are labeled for kids and don’t come with volume limiting feature. Not all of them are very concerned about this aspect. For this reason, we have only reviewed the pieces that do come with this particular characteristic.

According to research conducted by American Medical Association back in 2010, the hearing loss incidence among the US adolescents aging between 12 and 19 has gone up from 14.9% (1988 to 1994) to 19.5% (2005 to 2006). The experts say that headphones are a significant contributing factor in this scenario.  

Most of the kids’ headphones have an audio output under 85dB but not all of them limit the volumes in the same manner. You can opt for a Bluetooth model because it will not exceed the marketed limit of volume. But the youth headphones that also come with wires will have a different volume-limited when wired as compared to when using Bluetooth.

Noise comparison level when choosing kids headphones

Image Credit: Webmd.com

-     The debate of 85dB

This debate is about what should be the ideal volume limit. And the norm for the kid’s headset is 85dB. Some manufacturers like LilGadgets claim that this is safe for eight hours of continuous listening. They also say that two hours of listening to 93dB is also safe provided that the listening time is cut down to two hours.

After that, there should be a break of at least ten minutes. This technique is very useful for you if you will monitor your child all the time. However, if you can’t do so then you need to go for an 85dB hard stop for keeping your child safe from being exposed to long hours of high volume listening.

-     Noise exposure works just like sun exposure

In reality, noise effects humans especially kids the same way that the sun does. If the sun is too bright then prolonged exposures have a negative impact. Similar is the case with noise and if you hear it at loud levels for too long then hearing impairment or loss is inevitable. Now as kids have sensitive skin so they should be exposed to sunlight for very long times. And this works the same way when we talk about high volumes because of their extra sensitive hears. The key here is that you need to give the cell in your ear some rest to recover and to clear out any waste. With the shorter time of rest, they won’t be able to clear it out and it will result in hearing loss.

-     WHO suggests differently

The World Health Organization has a different suggestion from what headphone manufacturers like LilGadgets claim. WHO says that you shouldn’t hear anything that is over 85dB for more than 60 minutes! This is backed by the research conducted by OSAH back in the 1970s claiming that 92% of the research participants that were exposed to eight hours or more of 85dB sounds on daily basis didn’t have any handicapped hearing loss.

The point of focus here is the term ‘handicapped’ which means that the research is not talking about the point that those people didn’t have any hearing loss but they were not handicapped by this exposure. And it doesn’t reassure or establish the claims of the companies like LilGadgets.

Why is Volume Limits Important?

In ethical terms, there are no means for the researchers to exactly pinpoint and study the fact that how much sound is too much for human ears. Of course, no one wants to become deaf just for the sake of some science study! So there are some critical points to consider here,

  • The exposure of daily noise doesn’t only include listening to high volumes of media. It also includes noise produced by these sources like traffic, airplanes, workplace, construction activities, and anything else that you hear loud daily. This is all exposure to environmental noise.
  • Media exposure along with exposure to environmental noise will increase the noise consumed up to more than 70dB. This is your daily intake of noise and with extra sensitive younger ears the effects get amplified.
  • If your kids are exposed to this type of sounds then the amount of time for safe listening is greatly reduced.
  • Thus, the point that WHO made to listen to nothing more than 85dB and for less than one hour is very valid.

What to look for when choosing best headphones for kids?

There are some important features that you need to consider before buying headphones for kids. We are listing them down and will briefly illustrate how they contribute to your right buying decisions.

-     Style and outlook

You just have to make sure that you don’t allow your kids to grab the first pair that they see and feel attracted to it. Your kids know nothing about the quality, performance, and durability of anything. For them, they just want their favorite cartoon character on it, or something similar to someone they have seen wearing at school. It is you who has to decide about all the safety features of that particular product.

-     Durability

This one counts a lot because kids love to get their hands on everything they like and then break it apart. It’s just in their nature. You cannot change that but what you can do is do buy a pair that offers exceptional build quality and superb durability that is just right for kids with headphones.

-     Hearing safety and protection

The headphone that you are considering to buy for your kids must come with hearing protection and there should be a volume limiter on it. If it ain’t there you shouldn’t buy it no matter how attractive it looks in terms of design and price. The volume limiter should also work as per the rules set by W.H.O. and not by any brands because that is just a marketing stunt.

-     Price

There is no point in going for the expensive pair because your kids don’t care how much you have paid for it. They just want it and that’s it! Though it is entirely up to you that how much you are willing to pay to get them their favorite headphones but still kindness is not in the repertoire.

-    Wireless

It is a better option if you consider buying the best wireless headphones for kids because they will have the same decibels as marketed or mentioned on the package. Therefore, you will be sure about what sound levels your kids will be listening too.

What makes a perfect set of headphones for kids?

A perfect pair of headphones that is just right for your kid is a pair that particularly features a volume limiter. This should be your number one priority. If this feature is not there then you should not consider buying that particular model.

Your second top priority is durability. Kids are bound to break stuff so your headphones are into it as well. It is better to invest in a pair that can take the toll. Your third priority should be the style or look of the headphone. After checking a pair for volume limits and durability, you should start looking at the colors and designs available in that model and go for the one that your kid loves.

What Do Pediatric Ear Experts Say?

According to the pediatric experts going for the volume limiting range is not your only option here. You must also monitor your child listening habits very closely. If that is not possible then you can turn down the volume to less than 60% of the maximum and top it out. Your best bet is to go for wireless models because they can not produce high sounds.

Difference between Kids Headphones and Adult Headphones

The primary difference between these two types of headphones is that the adult models are equipped with all the bells and whistles to provide the listener with a top-notch listening experience. On the other hand, the child headphones don’t produce that much quality because kids are not into the details of the stuff that they are hearing.

They both do come with volume-limiters but in the case of kids headphones, the limit is far more restricted as compared to the adult models. In terms of design, the kids’ models are more colorful and cartoonish while the adult models are much more subtle with all the hints of elegance.

Best Kids Headphones Reviews

1.      Best Overall - BT2200 Kids Over-Ear Headphones by PuroSoundLabs

The BT2200 is the best headphones for a digital piano that you will find on the market. We loved it because it is a wireless model and its volume has an 85dB limit. We were highly impressed by its ergonomic construction and its lightweight design. The ear cups are cushioned as well.

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Kids Volume-Limiting Over-Ear Wireless Headphones

Image Credit: Amazon.com

  • All-day comfort

The BT2200 is designed to provide your little one with all-day comfort. This construction is best for your kid to wear it for long hours as well. The lightweight headphones will not tire your kid and s/he can enjoy listening to whatever s/he likes.

  • Ambient Noise Reduction

This headphone will limit the heights of volume but not it's quality. It is capable to provide your kids’ ears with all the sound details crisply but at low volume output. The pair can reduce the ambient noise by 82% and will keep the surroundings quiet and peaceful.  

  • Seamless switching

Another feature of this headphone that we loved is its seamless switching. This feature makes all the controls very easily accessible. With the help of the Bluetooth button which is a multifunctional button on this piece allows your kid to start/stop, on/off volume +/- at will. This button can also transfer calls to the headphone.

Pros

  • Most comfortable headphones
  • User-friendly controls
  • Multifunctional Bluetooth button
  • Ambient noise cancellation headphones for kids
  • 18 hours of battery life

Cons

  • Not the durable headphones you are looking for

Verdict

If you want the total package then this is the best option that you will find on the market at this price by far! Your kid can also consider it as school headphones.

2.      Best Headphones for Travel – JR300 On-Ear Headphones for Kids by JBL

JBL is all about quality and their JR300 kids headphone is no different. We were highly impressed by the price of this piece because it is considerably low as compared to the BT2200 that heads our list. The good thing is the low price here doesn’t mean that JBL has compromised on quality.

JBL JR300 On ear kids headphones small

Image Credit: JBL.com

  • Customized earcups  

The earcups on these cool headphones are customized. This means that they can fit well with different types of ears and will conform accordingly. It guarantees a comfort fitting to lower the strain on the young ears of your kids.

  • Highly portable

This is probably the best feature that sets this pair apart from the rest. These are effectively your on-the-go toddler headphones that your kids can pack up and carry wherever they want. The design itself is very compact and it is foldable too.

  • Sticker sets

If your kids are into personalization then this is the pair that we will recommend to you. Your purchase will also include some stickers that your kids can use to give their headset a personal touch just the way they have always wanted.

Pros

  • Wireless design
  • Sound level below 85dB
  • Customized fitting
  • Highly portable
  • Stickers for personalization
  • Low price

Cons

  • Ear cushions lose their skin
  • Relatively poor sound quality

Verdict

This is much more of a starter option for your kid if you are buying the first pair of headphones for him/her. Low price and well-balanced features make it worthy of your consideration.

3.      Best for sharing with Buddy – Pro Kids Bluetooth Headphones by LilGadgets 

We think that this headphone from LilGadgets s designed for slightly older kids. If your kid is new to headphones then this is not the right option for you to consider. These are excellent headphones with volume control.

LilGadgets Kids Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Image Credit: Amazon.com
  • Sound greater than 85dB

These headphones are capable of producing high-quality sound at 93dB. This means that you will have to top the volume up by 60% of the maximum. In addition to that, you will also have to monitor your kid to avoid any hearing issues in the future.

  • SharePort technology 

The best feature that we recon is its ability to share. You can conveniently connect multiple headphones to the device and provide your kids with a buddy system. In addition to that, you don’t have to need any splitter for doing this either.

  • Durable

Another excellent feature of this headset is that it has top quality polycarbonate construction while the external side of the set features SoftTouch materials. The headphones will last for a long time to come no matter how your kids use it.

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Bluetooth sharing
  • SharePort technology
  • 12 hours listening time
  • Quick to set up and use

Cons

  • The Sound produced is greater than 93dB
  • Requires close monitoring

Verdict

If you can do close monitoring of your kids then you need to buy this headphone from LilGadgets. The sound quality is without a doubt the best one in this category.

4.     Best for Durability –  BuddyPhones Explore OnAndOff

This is another excellent option for you to consider from OnAndOff. We loved its very portable design and it comes with user-friendly controls.

ONANOFF Kids Volume Limiting Headphones
Image Credit: Amazon.com
  • 85dB capped

These best audio technical headphones are an award-winning pair because it comes with an inbuilt safe volume feature. This means that your kids will not be able to pass the 85dB barrier when listening to music.

  • BuddyCable System

Just like the previous model on our list from LilGadgets, the BuddyPhones come with quick sharing ports so that multiple pieces can be connected to a device.

  • Tested for durability

OnAndOff runs strict quality assurance tests on all their products and this pair is not an exception. This is one of the best on the market when it comes to performance and durability.

Pros

  • Very durable
  • BuddyCable sharing
  • Award-winning design
  • 85dB capped
  • Foldable design
  • Custom stickers

Cons

  • After a while, one of the sides start to flicker

Verdict

It is not a bad choice especially if you consider its price. The controls are very easy to use and this thing is designed to last.

5.      Best for Compatibility – JBuddies by JLab 

JLab provides you with an option that you can either buy a foldable model or a non-foldable based on your kids’ requirements. With 90dB sound output, this headphone also requires you to monitor your little audiophile.

JBuddies Kids- Volume Limiting Headphones
Image Credit: Amazon.com
  • Less than 90dB sound

This headphone uses wired technology and for this reason, the sound quality is going to be a lot better but it will still be less than 90dB. We loved the compatibility options that this headphone has to offer.

  • Exceptional compatibility

These headphones for tweens are by far the best when it comes to compatibility. It can work with many devices and MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

  • Lightweight and comfortable

JLab has made sure that they use lightweight materials in the construction of these headphones. The JBuddies are very comfortable to wear with the highly customized design that snag fit on the little ears.

  • Limited lifetime warranty

JLab is all about quality products and after-sale services and for this reason they stand behind their products. These headphones come with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Maximum compatibility options
  • Very ergonomic and customized earcups
  • Lifetime warranty (limited)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Sound is almost 90dB
  • Needs monitoring of your kid

Verdict

If your kid requires plenty of options when it comes to compatibility then this is the right choice for you.

6.      Best for Splurge – MDR-222KD Kids Headphones by Sony

There is no doubt that Sony is one of the biggest brands when it comes to media management. The MDR-222KD offers good value of your money and is the best alternative for kids over 8 years. These are one of the best headphones for classical music with volume limiting feature.

Sony MDR-222KD Childrens Headphones
Image Credit: Amazon.com
  • High impedance

This pair offers high impedance which means that the sound output s going to be well within the 85dB threshold. Your kids can use it for long hours without any issues.

  • Wired technology

Sony has used wired technology with high impedance so that only the sound output gets halted and not the performance. The quality of sound that this headset can produce is one of the best available in this category.

  • Easy to fit

The headphones can open up to fit an adult’s head as well. The earcups have a customized shape to fit any size of the ear without any problem.

Pros

  • Wide opening headphones
  • Customized earcup design
  • Good quality wired output
  • High impedance for low-level sounds

Cons

  • Suitable for bigger kids

Verdict

If you have an eight-year hold in your home then this headphone will work very well for him/her.

7.      Best for budget – Limited On-Ear Kids Headphones by AmazonBasics

If budget is your concern then this is the best choice for you to explore. We loved the colorful pink headphones but you can also go for one other color option. You if you are looking for girl headphones then this can serve you well.

AmazonBasics Volume Limited On-Ear kids Headphones
Image Credit: Amazon.com
  • 5-way splitter

As this headphone focuses on the price, it still comes with some handy features like a 5-way splitter. Your kids will easily share the device with this buddy system.

  • Volume-limiter

This headphone also comes with volume-limiter technology that AmazonBasics has designed according to the standards set by EN.

  • 3.5mm jack

This headphone comes equipped with a 3.5mm jack. This means that it is compatible with several devices, tablets, and smartphones.

Pros

  • As per EN standards
  • Conveniently priced
  • 5mm jack supported
  • Volume limiter available

Cons

  • A lot more of a basic headphone

Verdict

This is the best children’s headphones if you are looking for a budget-friendly option.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are any headphones safe for kids?

No, not just any pair of headphones is safe for your kid. The kid’s headphones come with some special features that suit the young ears the best. These headphones must come with volume limiting features and they should be very durable as well. Some kids friendly headphones manufacturers make pairs that can produce sounds higher than 85dB and claim that they are safe for listening but they are not if your kid uses them for long hours.

  • Do Kids Need Microphones?

Again, microphones are amplifiers that can turn up the sounds and this can and this can add to the noise exposure that your kid has to deal with daily. You have to balance it out when it comes to listening to headphones and using the microphone. But we would suggest that your kid needs to wait for it until s/he can use it properly.

  • How Much Should You Spend on Kids' Headphones?

Spending on your kids’ headphones is entirely up to you. You can either buy a cheap priced headset for your little one but it is only going to last that bit longer. O the other hand you can also opt for an expensive piece but you know how kids do their things. It is better to invest in durability and quality.

Conclusion

To sum it all up we would like to mention that the most integral of all features that you should consider when buying a kids volume-limiting headphones. You must make sure that the headphone that you are considering doesn’t produce sounds more than 85 decibels. Durability is another critical factor to consider so that your kids can do all the manhandling with it. It is best for you to go for a wireless or kids Bluetooth headphone because these models will have the exact number of decibels mentioned on the packaging.  

So which one of these have you tried for your kid? Did we miss something that you would like to mention? Let us know by dropping a comment below.

Happy shopping!


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