A Guide to Selecting Headphones for Kids
Whether we’re on a computer, tablet, or just our cellphones, we want to listen without disturbing people around us. A good pair of headphones or earbuds are practically a necessity. But, parents should be concerned if their children listen through headphones to music that’s too loud. Even in adults, sounds above 90 dB, which are the equivalent of a subway train or motorcycle zipping by, can cause gradual hearing loss. This hearing loss can happen even if your child doesn’t feel any pain due to the noise. Therefore, it’s wise to get headphones that can limit the sound level of what your children listen to. That’s where kids’ headphones come into play.
Besides noise-limiting features, they’ll also usually come in interesting colors that your children can change according to their mood so that it never gets boring. Also, they’ll have special padding around the ears and on the headband for greater comfort. And some kids’ headphones are foldable so that they can take them along with them to school or to friends’ houses.
All told, there are a lot of nice kid-friendly features in these special headphones. Let’s look at the options!
What's special about headphones for children?
There are a few things to consider when purchasing headphones for children:
- Firstly, you want to make sure the headphones are comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
- Secondly, you want to make sure the headphones are durable and can withstand being dropped or thrown around.
- Thirdly, the headphones should have a limit to the maximum volume they can reach, so as not to cause hearing damage to young ears.
- Lastly, you want to make sure the sound quality is good so that your child can enjoy their music or movies.
Types of Headphone For Kids
Looking over the Best Reviews Guide of the best kids’ headphones, we see that there are two main configurations:
Wired without Bluetooth option: There are headphones that use a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, with a cable connection to a laptop, computer, tablet, or cellphone. An example is the JLab JBuddies Studio Over-Ear Kids Wired Headphones. The cable is made from a special tangle-free braided nylon, with a 90-degree jack plug, which puts less strain on the jack than a straight jack plug. That’s especially important with kids, who tend to move around a lot while listening.
JLab JBuddies Studio Over-Ear Kids Wired Headphones
Wireless, with an audio cable option: There are also wireless headphones that use Bluetooth technology that give you the option of attaching the wire to a 3.5 mm jack. An example is the LilGadgest Untangled Pro Wireless Kids Headphones. It uses a detachable audio cable so that the headphones won’t get damaged if you tug on them. Also, if the battery is running low, you simply plug in the headphones to continue listening, without any delay!
LilGadgest Untangled Pro Wireless Kids Headphones
What reviewers say
Here are some impressions of customers regarding their choice of kids’ headphones:
Great for flights: For children who fly often, the headphones that they provide on the plane don’t do a good job of eliminating the noise of the plane. One customer who used the LilGadgets Untangled Pro Wireless Kids Headphones was very impressed with the sound quality while flying.
Foldable and portable: Many of these kids’ headphones are foldable, so it’s no problem putting them away in a carry-on bag. Also, some of them are meant to not have any sharp edges when folded, so that it’s safe for kids’ little fingers.
Easy to use controls: Check that the headphones have intuitive controls (some parents complained about headphones that had controls that were a bit difficult to get accustomed to). The BuddyPhones has a button on the cord that allows the child to switch to microphone mode if they have to talk on the phone or interact with a game.
Good for audiobooks: A customer who bought the BuddyPhones Explore+ said that it was great for several kids to listen to an audiobook at the same time! It keeps the kids entertained while they’re learning!
Here are some tips and important features to look for when selecting a pair of headphones for kids:
Age limit: Take note of the age limits on the headphones that you buy. Some are recommended for children ages 3-7, while others, like the JLab JBuddies Studio Over-Ear Kids Headphones, are good for children and young adults studying in high school!
Safe sound levels: Children’s ears are more prone to hearing damage from listening to loud music. One of the major features of kids’ headphones is their noise-limiting feature. Some have a maximum volume setting of 85 dB, but the iClever TransNova Kids Bluetooth Headphones have three settings: toddler mode, with a maximum of 74 dB; study mode, with a maximum of 85 dB, and travel mode, with a maximum noise level of 94 dB.
Battery life: Wireless kids’ headphones differ in their battery life. Some give 20 hours of listening time on a full charge, while some, like the iClever, give 45 hours of battery life! If you just charge them up for 10 minutes, that will suffice for 4 hours of listening time!
Passive and Active Noise Cancellation: Just like for adults, there are noise-canceling headphones for kids. Some use passive noise cancellation, by simply providing padding around your ears so that ambient noise won’t enter. That’s the method behind the BuddyPhones School & Safe Audio School Headphones for Kids. But some headphones use the more sophisticated active noise cancellation: they record the noise from the environment, and then play it back slightly out-of-phase, so as to eliminate the outside noise. This is a feature of the JBL Wireless Over-Ear Noise-Cancelling Kids Headphones. However, active noise canceling will use up the battery more quickly. So, you must keep that in mind.
Sharing: The BuddyPhones School & Safe Audio School Headphones have an adorable “BuddyCable” feature, where you can hook up the 3.5 mm jack from other BuddyPhones Headphones together. This way, as many as four children can listen at once!
BuddyPhones BuddyCable, hooking up 4 pairs of headphones
We went through the features of some of the best kids’ headphones. Whether your child wants them for school, recreation, or to entertain themselves while traveling, a sturdy pair of kids’ headphones is a great idea! They’re made for comfort, perfect fit, and most importantly, to protect your child’s eardrums by not being too loud. Pick up a pair today!