Parents must prioritize their children’s hearing and select appropriate headphones to prevent any potential damage. Choosing the right headphones for kids is essential, especially for activities like remote learning. Additionally, child-specific headphones can be beneficial during long trips, such as flights or train journeys, as they allow children to watch movies and keep themselves entertained.
Factors like fit, comfort, and design should be considered when selecting headphones, along with limiting the amount of time children spend wearing them, regardless of the volume level. This article has compiled a list of the best smart headphones for kids, considering sound quality, volume limitation, comfort, and safety.
Best Headphones for Kids
Here are the top-rated headphones recommended for children.
1. iClever TransNova BTH16
This headphone is highly recommended for children due to its wireless functionality, excellent sound quality, limited volume, and affordability. It offers long-lasting battery life for Bluetooth headphones and is lightweight and comfortable to wear with an adjustable headband. During our testing, we confirmed that the volume is limited to 85dB, ensuring the safety of your child’s hearing.
After a full charge, setting up the headphones is easy through Bluetooth 5.0 pairing. Additionally, they come with a detachable cable for situations when the headphones need to be used without battery power. The earpiece features basic controls for playback, call management, and voice assistant activation.
The headphones include multicoloured LEDs on each earpiece for added fun and style. These can be easily turned on or off with a button, allowing your child to customize their headphone experience.
2. ONANOFF BuddyPhones School+
Like the iClever TransNova BTH16, the onanoff buddyphones offer excellent sound quality and are foldable and affordable. However, the main difference is that the Onanoff buddyphones are not wireless. These headphones are designed specifically for remote learning and feature a high-quality microphone that allows for the addition of another headset. Additionally, they come with a mic-less cable for situations where the microphone is not needed.
The audio quality of these headphones is impressive for both the wearer and the listener. They incorporate a kid-safe volume-limiting feature set at 85dB, ensuring a practical and safe listening experience without being too loud or too quiet. The headphones also provide effective passive noise cancellation.
The over-ear design of the headphones offers comfort and adjustability and comes with various stickers for customization. Available in colours such as Blue, Pink, Green, and Yellow, they also include a convenient carry bag for easy transportation.
3. ONANOFF BuddyPhones Cosmos+
The Cosmos+ headphones offer exceptional wireless audio quality, rivalling some of the best kid options. They have all the essential features, including a detachable boom microphone for video calls. The audio experience is enhanced by including active noise cancellation, effectively blocking unwanted background noise.
To ensure safe listening levels, the headphones offer three audio modes: Toddler Mode limits the volume to 75dB for ear protection, Kids Mode allows for a maximum of 85dB, and Travel Mode increases the volume to 94dB to drown out external noise. It is advisable to stick to the lower levels whenever possible. A Study Mode is also available, which isolates voices and enhances vocal clarity, making it beneficial for online learning and studying.
The headphones have a durable travel case and feature USB-C charging for convenience, eliminating the need for the older micro USB connection. In case the 24-hour battery life is depleted, a separate audio cable is available for wired use. One potential drawback is that the design may appear more suitable for younger children and not appeal as much to older kids.
4. Puro Sound BT2200 Plus
While the BT2200 Plus headphones may not be suitable for younger children, they are a great option for older kids. These wireless headphones deliver high-quality sound, although they may be slightly louder than other models. It’s worth noting that they are not foldable.
The volume of the BT2200 Plus headphones is limited to 85dBA, which we found to be more than sufficient for safe listening. The headphones utilize DSP-based volume-limiting technology, actively monitoring volume levels and engaging the limiter only when the sound reaches 85 dBA.
Since these headphones use Bluetooth connectivity, they need to be charged. The battery life of “up to 20 hours” should be ample for most journeys. Additionally, they charge via a USB-C cable, which is more convenient than the fiddly micro USB commonly found on kids’ headphones.
The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus headphones come at a higher price than many other kids’ headphones. However, their superior audio quality, solid build, and wireless functionality make them strong contenders for our top favourites.
5. imoo Ear-care Headset
The remarkable feature of the imoo Ear-care Kids wireless headphones is their clever design that keeps the speaker positioned away from the eardrum. Instead of placing the speakers directly in the ear canal, they are positioned just in front of the ear, allowing the sound to be directed into the ear while still allowing outside sounds to be heard. Surprisingly, the leakage of sound to the surrounding environment is minimal.
Specifically designed for children aged 4-15, the Imoo headset is lightweight, weighing only 30g.
The headphones’ volume is limited to 85dB, although they may seem slightly louder than other models. However, we were less concerned about this aspect as the sound is not directly delivered into the child’s ear canal, reducing potential harm.
6. Snuggly Rascals
These headphones are designed to wrap around the child’s head and can be adjusted using Velcro, ensuring a secure fit. They provide audio and warmth for the child’s ears, and their design makes them less prone to falling off or breaking compared to regular headphones. The headphones are extremely comfortable, and the flat speakers embedded within the material are hardly noticeable.
The sound quality remains good despite being covered by fleece and a child’s long hair. While the maximum volume is specified at 85 decibels, it tends to be on the quieter side of the audio spectrum. This feature will be appreciated by parents who are concerned about protecting their children’s hearing. The speakers can be easily removed, and the headband can be washed in a machine for convenience.
7. JVC HA-KD5 Tiny Phones
The JVC Tiny Phones (HA-KD5) are constructed with good craftsmanship and feature comfortable soft padding that also helps to minimize noise leakage. The headband is wide and appears sturdy. The volume limiter set at 85dB is effective, offering a slightly louder volume than the Griffin MyPhones but still within an acceptable range compared to other models tested.
The headphone cord measures 0.8m, which is suitable for use with laptops, tablets, and phones, but it may require an extender if used for TV viewing.
Ensuring these headphones are worn correctly for optimal comfort is important. There are markings indicating the right (R) and left (L) sides, but if your child has difficulty distinguishing between left and right, they may complain if the headphones are mistakenly worn the wrong way around. However, this could serve as a learning opportunity for them to differentiate between left and right.
The headphones are not excessively small and should fit most children’s heads, so the name might inaccurately suggest that they are only suitable for very young kids, which may discourage some parents from considering them.