If you’ve arrived here wondering what sets headphones for kids apart from regular headphones, you’ve certainly arrived at the right place! As an adult, buying a pair of headphones is relatively easy. In most cases, we will look for comfort and performance while trying to keep costs reasonable. Things change when we need to buy headphones for kids though, there are more factors and safety regulations to think about before we go into making a purchase. We will talk more about that below, but first, here are the winners from our selection of the best headphones for kids.
The Mpow CH6S Headphones for Kids has everything you’re looking for in a pair of kid’s headphones. The excellent sound quality is matched only by its unique features. From an in-line controller capable of adjusting audio output for different environments to a daisy chain link to share the experience, the CH6S packs a whole lot of bang for the buck. Prioritizing safety and comfort first, the CH6S can handle anything from movies, music to online classes.
Best for Toddlers
With smaller 32 mm drivers and a maximum audio output level of 85dB, the JBL JR 300 Headphones for Kids will provide loads of entertainment while ensuring safety. Its comfortable padded ear cups are specially made for smaller ears, and its limited features ensure parents are left in control.
Best Budget Option
Our budget pick is the Snug Play+ Kids Headphones. They’re available in various colors and patterns and offer an affordable plug-and-play experience. Snug has gone all out here by including a foldable design that makes travel and storage easy. The cushioned headband and soft ear cushions provide maximum comfort while putting out excellent audio quality. Although the Play+ does not have an in-line control or microphone, it’s a sure winner for those on a tighter budget.
Our Premium Award goes to the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Kids Headphones. Although wireless headphones aren’t suggested for toddlers, older kids will like this more ‘grownup’ looking headset. With studio-grade audio quality and a passive design that blocks up to 82% of ambient background noise, the BT2200 provides kids with clear and crisp sound. Even better is the long-lasting battery that goes up to 18 hours on a single charge, ensuring the fun never stops.
Safe and Strong
Most headphones for kids have a sound limitation to protect kids’ ears. However, our award for the safest headphones goes to the iClever HS14. Its build quality is something special in that it can be bent and crushed without damage. Choking hazards are a concern among little kids, and iClever has also tried to ensure that the tangle-free wire is made from a premium nylon fabric that is sturdy enough to withstand pulling and dragging. Whether your child has a knack for breaking things or they’re somewhat clumsy, the HS14 will protect them from themselves. Did we mention it also has outstanding sound quality and a snug fit for all ages?
Enjoy the Music and Protect Their Hearing
When we reach our mid-thirties, most of us will have some form of hearing loss compared to children. The reasoning behind this is that they have not yet been exposed to loud noises for such a long period of time.
When we mention loud noises, you’re likely thinking of all the possible sounds that may have depreciated your hearing over time. Maybe it was listening to the television and radio over the years. Perhaps it was general day-to-day life in a busy city, but in most cases, however, it is high levels of volume directed to your ear canal at close proximity. What do we keep near our ears for long periods of time? Well, the answer lies in the very thing you seek to buy today. Headphones can be the main culprit of hearing loss over a long period of time.
This shouldn’t scare you, and it doesn’t mean you’re going to go deaf anytime soon. As technology evolves, however, we have seen a new generation of entertainment arise. Most of us only had access to computers and headphones in our teen years. With the rise of tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches, our children have discarded their toys and want to traverse into the digital playground. As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure they are protected at all times and to ensure what we buy keeps their hearing healthy for many years to come.
Below we will discuss some of your frequently asked questions surrounding the safety of headphones for kids. At the bottom of this article, we’ve also listed some features and aspects to look out for when buying your first pair of child-friendly headphones.
When are kids old enough for headphones?
There is no set age at which a child should be allowed to use headphones, but generally, ages four and up are appropriate. Headphones require some form of control, and you need to make sure your children understand the responsibility that goes along with them. Headphones are not the most durable items, and a toddler could easily throw them onto the floor and break them. Sure, some headphones are made more durable than others, but your child should not be using them as a toy. If your child can ask for headphones, then they are likely ready for them.
What is the recommended volume for headphones?
If your child wants to start listening to music or shows, then a pair of headphones below 85 decibels (dB) is a good starting point. Decibels are the measurement of sound and fluctuate depending on the type of thing you’re listening to.
Generally, a whisper would be around 30 dB, a conversation would be about 60 dB, a loud motorcycle engine would be 95 dB, and anything over 120 dB would cause immediate damage to your ears. Therefore, the trick when choosing headphones is to get something that is around 85 dB to provide enough performance for an enjoyable listening experience but doesn’t damage your ears over time. Statically, noise above 70 dB may damage your hearing if played for prolonged periods, so it is suggested that you keep listening times to a 1-hour maximum.
Headphones’ decibel values are not the only way you can ensure your children are protected against high volumes. Various apps can limit the actual volume on your device. Setting and locking your child’s tablet at 50 percent of the maximum volume will guarantee that safe listening levels stay consistent.
Are headphones safer than earbuds?
There’s a common myth that headphones can be regarded as safer than earbuds when looking at sound intensity. Earbuds fit directly into the ear canal, so some may assume the sound level will cause more hearing damage. However, this is false and means that buying any pair of headphones will not deal less damage. Over-ear headphones especially can lock sound in and have the same effect as an earbud would. It’s all about volume control and sound limitation when protecting your children’s ears.
Our Selection of the 10 Best Headphones for Kids
1. Mpow CH6S Kids Headphones
The Mpow CH6S headphones are an excellent option for kids wanting a comfortable build design, unique features, and customizable sound quality. The built-in microphone and 3.5mm connection make it easy to use with most devices. Its foldable compact size allows it to be easily transported in backpacks and suitcases, so it’s an excellent travel companion. Whether your child wants to use the headphones for entertainment or online classes, the CH6S has it all covered.
What separates the Mpow CH6S is the level of customization that has gone into the design compared with other headphones in this under 20-dollar price range. The CH6S comes equipped with an in-line controller that can be used as a ‘volume limiter.’ A flick of the switch will allow the headphones to be switched to either 85dB for everyday environments and 95dB for noisier environments and a clearer sound. You should note that a ‘safe’ volume would be 85dB for children; we would advise the 95dB option only to be used for short amounts of time.
Moving onto the build quality, the plush circular ear cups fit snug around ears without providing any pinch throughout long listening sessions. The cushioned and stretchable headband allows the headphones to be adjusted for any head size, and the enlarged breathable ear pads provide a sweat-resistant experience in warmer climates. The Mpow CH6S is available in various colors, including blue, green, pink, purple, and black.
In terms of performance, Mpow promises Hi-fi Stereo sound and exceptional vocal clarity when using the microphone. The 40 mm drivers deliver deep bass, crisp mids, and clear highs, making them a good all-round pair of headphones. The in-line controller also includes a multifunctional button that will allow kids to answer phone calls while listening to music on their smartphones.
Finally, the CH6S headphones have a unique ‘sharing function’ included under each ear cup. The audio port allows multiple headphones to be connected so they can share the same audio source. This means that kids can listen from the same device using two separate CH6S headphones without any splitter needed! If you’re looking for something that works with all devices and comes with all the features you could need, the CH6S might be what you’re looking for.
3 Reasons To Buy It
2. Noot K11 Foldable Stereo Headphones
The Noot K11’s is a relatively inexpensive pair of headphones that cater to travel and comfort. They do not come with any fancy in-line controllers or built-in microphones, but what they lack in features they make up in flexibility and strength. If you’re looking for a simplistic adjustable pair of headphones for kids aged three and up, then the Noot K11 is worth looking at.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the headphones come in five design colors: black, mint, navy, skyline blue, and pink. These headphones have been made with travel in mind, so the headband is adjustable, and the earcups are foldable. If your child wants to stuff these into their backpack, you shouldn’t have to worry about any breakages. Noot offers a 24-month warranty on the headphones with excellent customer service support.
The earcups themselves are made from a plush synthetic leather material that helps block ambient noise and provides comfort for little ears. You should note here that the headphones can also wear headphones, but Noot has taken extra precautions to make sure toddlers can use these headphones. The soft padded cushioned headband can adjust to all head sizes.
The headphones come with 40 mm stereo drivers and have a volume of up to 93 dB. Since the headphones do not come with an in-line volume controller, we would advise lowering the volume on the device you’re listening to. The K11 has a 3.5 mm connection and should be compatible with all computers, tablets, and smartphones. The nylon braided cord has also been made with a premium fabric that prevents tangling and tears.
If your child is looking for a simple pair of headphones to listen to music on their way to school, this might be an ideal option. The foldable earcups and 24-month warranty will allow them to take them anywhere while providing a pleasant-sounding experience.
3 Reasons To Buy It
3. Elecder i37 Headphones for Kids
Elecder was established in 2016 and is a brand that specializes in headphones. The i37 model is a favorite among girls for its bright colors and ultralightweight build. It is very similar to the Noot K11 headphones in terms of features but offers a much cuter design and comfort for extra sensitive ears.
The Elecder i37 foldable on-ear headphones are advertised as having excellent sound quality. Their signature is crisp audio around the mids and highs while retaining some thunderous bass in the lows. You may question if the booming bass may have any adverse effects on the ears, but the brand ensures that the headphones have a maximum volume level of 85 dB. This means that the headphones provide an immersive sound experience while retaining all safety precautions.
The actual build quality is lightweight and flexible. Like the Nook K11 headphones, these offer foldable ear cups for easy storage in backpacks. Additionally, you can also stretch the 1.57-inch headband to cater to all head sizes, and extra padding has been applied at the top to provide maximum comfort for long periods of time. The earcups themselves are cushioned and will block out any background noise so your kids won’t have to worry about what’s going on around them.
Unfortunately, the headphones do not come with a microphone or in-line controller, so your little one will not be able to make any phone calls. However, the 40 mm drivers inside will still provide an excellent listening experience for movies, music, and gaming. The premium nylon fabric cord is tangle-free and is equipped with a 3.5 mm stereo jack. This makes it an excellent option for gaming consoles, computers, kindles, or tablets.
If your daughter is looking for a pair of colorful headphones with excellent sound quality, the i37 might be what they’re after. The lightweight design and sweat-resistant build quality make it an excellent addition for all environments and a comfortable experience throughout.
3 Reasons To Buy It
4. Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Headphones
In our buyer’s guide, we suggested that you may want to avoid wireless headphones because of their occasionally hefty price tag and limited battery life. However, if your child does not want headphones that look like ‘kids’ headphones, and it isn’t their first time owning a pair, then the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Headphones may offer a good bridge between wired and wireless performance.
Before getting into the specifications of the headphones and their features, it is important to know that the BT2200 can be regarded as a ‘premium’ pair of audio equipment. The brand tries to offer a bass-forward audio experience while retaining clear mids and highs without going above 85dB. In other words, the BT2200 tries to imitate the sound you’ll likely want to hear out of sound enthusiast headphones as an adult. However, all these features and improved sound comes at the sacrifice of a higher price. If you’re ok with spending a little more on your kid’s headphones, then continue reading.
The BT2200 comes in five colors: black, blue, gray, pink, and purple. The headphones have an adjustable headband and cushioned ear pads for maximum comfort. Unlike many kid-friendly headphones, these retain a nice sleek design that you can use for many years to come. The headphones’ controls are found on the actual earcup and include volume, power, and a Bluetooth sharing button. The nice part about these particular headphones is that you can use them in wireless or wired mode, so you’ll never have to worry about the battery running out. The BT2200 can last for up to 18 hours on a full charge, but results may vary depending on the volume level.
Inside the headphones themselves, you’ll find 40 mm drivers. As previously stated, the sound quality is of a high standard and is further improved by the background noise isolation technology. Although the BT2200 headphones are packed with features, they are also incredibly lightweight and work up to 30 feet away from the Bluetooth source. Puro Sound also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on these headphones and an additional 1-year warranty period. Overall, if your kid is looking for a sleek wireless pair of headphones with incredible audio quality, the BT2200 might be just what they’re looking for.
See our full review on the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Headphones here.
3 Reasons To Buy It
5. JBL JR 300 Headphones for Kids
JBL is a trusted brand that has been around for over 70 years. They’re manufacturers of high-quality audio equipment and have now tried to create a pair of headphones suitable for kids. The JBL JR 300 has a playful design yet maintains an excellent audio output with rich bass and crisp highs. With its comfortable fit and included sticker set for customization, these headphones will be a great choice for younger kids.
The JBL JR 300 is available in red and blue, with a clear matte finish to avoid blemishes or streaks. The earcups are made from a lovely soft cushioned feathery material that provides an excellent fit for over-ear and on-ear listeners. If you’re buying these headphones for a toddler, chances are they will likely fit over-ear, which is great for sound isolation; however, most kids aged five and up will probably have them fit on their ears. Whatever the case may be, the JR 300 provides a breathable soft fit.
The headband is also adjustable, and you can fold the earcups inwards for easy storage. Inside the earcups, you will find cloth-covered grills labeled L and R. These will house the 32 mm drivers that put out a maximum of 85 dB. JBL has tried to ensure that these headphones will limit sound to keep your kids hearing safe while listening. However, it is important to note that the JR 300 does not come with an in-line controller to adjust the volume. Instead, a 3.5 mm male connector can plug into any smartphone, tablet, or computer. You will therefore have to change the volume on the device itself.
You may think that the 32 mm drivers are slightly small, and the sound will be somewhat lacking. However, JBL has managed to enable its stereo headphones to output a solid sense of bass. The headphones don’t get overwhelmingly loud, but if you crank up the volume, your child should have no problem enjoying their favorite music or TV show. As for the mids and highs, they retain a lovely bright and punchy presence. Instruments and vocals will be received clear without any distortion or piercing sound.
The JBL JR 300 certainly gives its money’s worth in terms of price to performance. The added sticker pack is a bonus to get your kids excited about customizing their headphones and making it theirs.
3 Reasons To Buy It
6. VOGEK On-Ear Headphones
The Vogek lightweight stereo headphones are marketed for both children and adults. If your kids are nearing their teenage years, they may want a more grown-up pair of headphones that offer all the features they’d want in the modern world. The headset sports premium comfort and an excellent listening experience, all within a budget price range. If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that will be an easy day-to-day essential while looking cool on the school bus, the Vogek lightweight will make a great addition.
Upon first inspection, you’ll notice that the headphones are simplistic. There are no fancy patterns or eye-catching stickers but rather a solid color surface. The Vogek comes in seven colors: blue, black, gold, pink, navy, brown, and red. These are all complimented by either a black or white pair of earcups. The ear cups are made of protein leather and memory foam, which means they will be comfortable around the ears for longer periods. They also provide great noise isolation, so if your kid travels on public transport, they will block out surrounding noise.
In terms of portability, the earcups also have a ‘swivel’ action which allows them to lay flat for compact storage. The headband is also padded and adjustable, so you’ll be able to test these out before letting your child have a go. Inside the earcups, you will find 40 mm drivers that deliver a complete yet balanced sound. The bass is not overwhelming, whereby the Vogek offers a more neutral output. The result is a pair of headphones that simply sound good without any strangeness in pitch.
What separates these headphones from most ‘ kid-orientated’ headphones are the little features on the 3.5 mm cable. There is an in-line controller and microphone for hands-free phone calls. The in-line control button is also multi-function and can be used to play / pause tracks and skip/rewind.
Additionally, the metal connector and anti-bend spring found on the 3.5mm connector dramatically improves the longevity of traditional ‘L’ shaped connectors. There is less probability of stress on the cable, and this, in turn, provides better mobility. In other words, if your kid puts their phone in their pocket, the cable will insert downwards instead of bending as an ‘L.’
The Vogek lightweight headphones provide a tangle-free experience to make travel and storage easy. They offer comfort, cable stress prevention, and features that most older kids will use daily. If good sound performance and a general day-to-day headset are what you’re in the market for, then you can’t go wrong with Vogek.
3 Reasons To Buy It
7. Nenos Kids Headphones
The Nenos Kids Headphones are recommended for children aged 3 to 8 years old. They come in various colors and act as a ‘plug-and-play headset with no additional buttons or switches. If your kids are too young to be fiddling with their volume and tracklist, and you’d prefer to remain in control, then the Nenos are worth checking out.
Let’s begin by saying these headphones do not come with an in-line controller or microphone. It’s a simple pair of headphones that pops onto your head and does what it’s intended to do. However, that does not mean there’s no personalization for the kids. The headphones still come with an adjustable headband to get the right fit and various colors and patterns. Girls might like the patterns, especially with a “unicorn” and “cat” theme being available among multiple colors.
As with any pair of kid’s headphones, the Nenos are made with child safety in mind. Although there is no volume control on the device, the sound intensity is capped at around 85dB. Additionally, they have also been made with a lightweight plastic shell and soft earpads for a comfortable fit. These are over-ear headphones, and you can expect them to enclose smaller ears with ease. The Nenos headphones have been marketed for ages 3 to 8 years old, so older children may experience some problems with the fit. This may result in an ‘on-ear headphone experience, which can affect sound performance.
Inside the headphones, you will find 40 mm drivers that output adequate sound quality. As the headphones cater to young children, these aren’t going to sound high-end. However, the sound is still clear and shouldn’t cause any damage due to the limited volume. A cool feature of these headphones is the daisy chain link that allows multiple headphones to be connected. No adapter is required, and you can plug another headset in and lead the 3.5 mm connector to your audio device. Children who want to share a tablet or computer will have no problems.
The Neno headphones are also foldable and can go wherever your child wants. They can be easily stored in suitcases and backpacks, so travel is made easy. In summary, if you’re looking for a comfortable pair of simple headphones that can be interlinked to share audio, the Nenos will provide everything you’re looking for. They’re a no-fuss pair of headphones that are easy to use and catered towards the youngest of music enthusiasts.
3 Reasons To Buy It
8. iClever HS14 Headphones
Does your child have a knack for breaking things? Well, the iClever HS14 headphones might be your safest option on this list. Not only will the headphones protect your kids from hearing loss, but they will be able to withstand a lot of damage themselves. With their extraordinarily tough and durable build quality, the iClever will be a winner among those who are prone to accidents.
What makes the iClever HS14 headphones so indestructible, you may ask? Well, for starters, unlike most headphones out today, the headband is completely twistable and flexible. By flexible, we don’t just mean you can adjust it for a perfect fit, but it can literally be bent and squished in all directions without taking any damage. If your kids throw the headphones on the ground or have a mini tug of war with their friend, the HS14 promises to never break in half or shatter.
Its durable build quality also never sacrifices comfort. The earmuffs have been made of memory-protein material that gives it a leather finish. Not only do they look nice, but they’re incredibly comfortable and breathable on the skin for long periods of time. Although the headband does not have as much cushioning as competitors, it still fits snug on the head. The likely cause of this is to prevent tearing should any twisting occur. It’s also good to know that the earcups are foldable and wrap inside the headband frame easily, making travel and packing easy.
As for sound, the iClever headphones promise an immersive experience. The volume is limited to 94dB, and although a bit higher than the recommended 85 dB standard, the HS14 still provides excellent protection for kids’ ears. How does iClever ensure protection at a higher volume level, you may ask? This has to do with the driver size, which is 30 mm. Therefore, the volume level is raised a bit higher to compensate for the smaller driver that has to push a bit harder to get a good audio output. The sound itself is crisp and clear; however, due to the 30 mm restriction, the headphones somewhat lack bass.
The iClever HS14 headphones offer one more layer of protection, found in its tangle-free cable. Made from premium nylon fabric, the 3.5 mm connector can also withstand a certain extent of pulling and rubbing. That brings us to the colors and variation of the HS14 design. The traditional black and blue combination does not come with an in-line controller; however, the recent pink, yellow and green designs have included one. These newer variations also come with microphone support and a multi-function button for answering calls and controlling music playlists.
If you’re looking for a durable pair of headphones, you cannot go wrong with the iClever HS14 headset. You can also switch to the in-line controller and microphone variation for a few extra dollars, which will be a hit among kids wanting to chat with their friends. Whatever style you choose, the iClever headset is ready to take on any computer, tablet, or smartphone.
3 Reasons To Buy It
9. Snug Play+ Kids Headphones
The Snug Play+ headset is very similar to the Nenos headphones mentioned above. It has comparable features and is also recommended for children between 3 and 8 years old. However, at a much more reduced price and with various colors and patterns on offer, the Snug Play+ offers an easy plug-and-play experience with excellent stereo sound.
One of the main attractions of the Snug Play+ headphones is their sharing capabilities. Like other higher-end kids’ headphones, the Snug Play+ has a daisy chain to connect multiple headphones into one media device. If you’re looking to buy more than one pair of headphones for your kids, you’ll usually have to spend quite a bit on adapters or extra tablets so everyone can watch their favorite show. However, it makes it super affordable with the Snug Play+ budget price without any other cables needed.
Although the Play+ headphones are somewhat limited in features, they have not overlooked build quality and durability. The headset is designed to withstand drops and general pulling without breaking. Additionally, the headphones fold up and can be taken anywhere when loaded in a backpack. Not only are the earcups foldable for storage, but the headband has an adjustable length. This ensures a comfortable fit no matter the head size, in addition to the comfortable padded earcups.
Surprisingly, the Snug Play+ headphones have 40 mm drivers that output up to 93dB of volume. 40 mm is usually a standard driver size; however, these headphones can produce adult stereo sound quality. They’re not overly loud but still manage to have an overall warm sound signature. They’re not bass-heavy enough to damage ears, and the highs aren’t piercing to the point of discomfort. These are simply good headphones for kids in terms of overall price to performance.
The Snug Play+ connects via a 3.5 mm jack and is compatible with almost all media devices. There is no microphone or in-line control, so you will have to adjust the volume through your sound settings. In short, the headset offers good quality at an affordable price. The sharing daisy chain feature is a bonus. If you’re looking for a simple pair of headphones for casual trips and occasional music marathons, the Snug Play+ has it all to keep your little one happy.
3 Reasons To Buy It
10. LilGadgets Connect+ Kids Premium Headphones
The LilGadgets’ Connect+ headphones are designed not only for your kids but to raise awareness and keep the outdoors clean for everyone. LilGadgets strives to bring children a pair of premium quality headphones so they can enjoy and experience their favorite music and movies. In addition to the headphones, every sale donates a small portion toward bullying prevention and environmental cleaning projects. If your kids are looking for a solid pair of headphones and you’re interested in supporting a good cause, the Connect+ offers this and more.
LilGadgets’ mission is to provide kids with a premium product, and they have succeeded with their 40 mm drivers, complemented by the headphone’s passive noise reduction design. With the volume limited to 93 dB, parents can expect a safe listening experience for their kids while keeping the music locked around noisy surroundings. The frequency response is 20 to 20 000 Hz, so you can expect all the lows, mids, and highs to come through clearly without distortion. The overall sound volume isn’t too high to protect your child’s hearing, but the noise reduction makes up for this.
The actual headphones are made out of high-quality polycarbonate plastic, which is available in: green, blue, black, pink, and purple. The shell is relatively lightweight, so there shouldn’t be any discomfort when wearing the headphones for long periods of time. The recommended age is 3 to 7 years old; however, the headband is also adjustable to fit older kids.
A nice little feature is the 4 ft cable that is braided nylon with an in-line microphone. The cable is longer than traditional headphones, so there will be some room to connect them to a computer if need be. It’s always important to know that the 3.5 mm connector found at the end of the cable is for audio-only when using a computer. The microphone will only work on smartphones when taking calls. To use the microphone on a computer, you will need to buy an additional adapter.
The Connect+ is also perfect for travel with its compact and foldable design. The headband cannot bend like the iClever HS14, but the earcups can fold inwards. Finally, LilGadgets’ have also included a ‘SharePort’ like the ones found in the Snug Play+. You will be able to interlink different headphones to listen to the same audio device without any additional cables. With that being said, the more Connect+ headphones you buy to interlink, the better. LilGadgets’ kids and environmental campaigns seeking to make a change is a reason alone to choose them over competitors offering similar features.