What is the best pair of headphones for kids? The safest? Most comfortable? Budget-friendly? These are some of the questions my friends who have young toddlers ask me. It’s important to take a few elements into consideration, and for that I never give them an exact answer. We will list these in a bit, but first and foremost you need to think about your budget and an even more important aspect: your children’s precious ears. It’s very risky purchasing a normal pair of cans, such as going with studio headphones since these go rather high and there is a chance the volume could be accidentally turned up, hurting their poor ever-growing ears they will be using for the rest of their lives!
Please note that this article is not directed toward children under 13 years of age, as defined by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6506) and any regulations promulgated thereunder.
How to choose the best headphones for your toddler
Shopping for your toddler’s headphones doesn’t need be a daunting task. Here are the most important factors to take into consideration when you’re sifting through the numerous models around the net.
- What is your budget? Keep in mind how much you want to spend, but also the fact that these may break at any moment! Perhaps investing in a cheaper is safer all-around in case of some drops, twists or bends.
- Make sure they have volume limiting technology. It is not recommended for any human ear to go above 80dB, let alone children. We made sure to list headphones are kids-safe only. See photo on the right for a visualization and more info. Source: World Health Organization.
- Do you want them to be wired or wireless? We recommend wireless for convenience, but if your children’s audio playing device does not support Bluetooth you will have to go with wired.
- Keep your eyes out for the reviews on comfort levels. Nobody likes an ear that hurts after a few hours of use. We made sure the headphones we picked had word of comfort for those precious ears. Although we’ve heard that experts state children should not listen to audio sources with headphones for more than two hours a day, so be cautious.
- What color or style would you like the headphones to be? We all know our children have picky preferences! A lot of these offer some very cool designs, so it may ultimately make or break which pair of headphones you’ll be choosing for them.
Our picks for the best headphones for kids
The following is our list of picks for the best headphones for kids. Keep in mind your budget, style and whether or not you want wireless; everything else we made sure was there with our picks, such as volume safety and comfort. Let us know which pair you end up going with!
LilGadgets Untangled Pro
Up first we have the Lil Gadgets Untangled Pro, one of our favorite pairs of headphones that are quite new to the market, but already have numerous positive reviews on Amazon. These are wireless and can be paired with any music playing device that has Bluetooth technology. We really do recommend getting some wireless headphones for your young one as they become more prominent in the tech world today — they only make life easier. The Untangled Pro is perfect for traveling without having to tamper with any wires. The comfort is also great here, with not only two soft ear pads but a plus is the headband being the same material as well. It’s adjustable to form to the shape of your child’s unique noggin.
The advertised battery life (goes up to 8.5 with full use) seems to be long enough unless you’re going for a day-long trip or use without access to a charger. The only downfall would be if you don’t have a device which supports Bluetooth; however, this still comes with a 3.5mm audio cable for connecting directly to the sounds source. If your child likes to dance they may fall off as well, but any pair of headphones (even these being over-ear) have that chance since they’re not completely stuck to their ears. You can read our full LilGadgets Untangled Pro review for more info. They’re great and highly recommended — only $50 retail, too! Comes in blue, pink, white and black. This is our pick for the best headphones for kids.
Here’s another pair of the best headphones for kids worth looking at, and the Sony MDR-222KD is much cheaper coming in under $20 retail. It only comes in black or pink, but if you can get around the lack of color choices and the wire, this is one of our favorite budget-friendly pairs for children. The volume-limiting is key here, coming with an actual cable that allows this. They’re also quite small and light-weight, perfect for our young ones (although Sony advertises for children 8 and up, you can go a bit lower).
They’re adjustable to help with sizing, so don’t worry about that with these. What’s great about the cheap price is perhaps being able to buy a few pairs for backups, or at least you’ll have in the back of your mind to give your child freedom when using it knowing you didn’t break your wallet for them. The sound quality isn’t as nice as a lot of headphones out there but I doubt our children can even notice! Grab these if you are looking for a cheaper pair and can sacrifice having a wire and lack of color options.
Kidz Gear Wired
Here’s one of our favorite wired kids headphones and it’s pretty cheap coming in under $30. What’s most important here is the volume limiting technology which they call “KidzControl” that only allows a max volume of 80-90dB. With this in mind, we’re in the clear for protecting our young one’s ears, let alone you get numerous color options as seen in the photo to the left. It has a built-in volume control knob if they ever need to adjust their level on the fly giving us some convenience.
The Kids Gear Wired are stated to be a designed fit for 2 years and older and live up to the claim since they’re very lightweight and easy on the ears. Another plus is their lifetime warranty — perfect for those accidental breaks and saving money. The only thing is the wire — we’re into wireless for kids, but if it’s what you want, this is a great pair to take into consideration for your toddler.
Maxell Safe Soundz
The Maxell Safe Soundz are another pair of the best headphones for children to be looked at, but the standout feature with this model is probably the unique style it has. As opposed to the other models we’ve spoken about having a mere solid color finish, these have some nifty abstract pattern designs on the sides of them. Stated to be for kids aged 6-9, I’ve read them be worn by a few younger or even older as well, although recommended for older children. You might just want to be careful with the volume the younger your child is. The sound quality is feasible for any child listening to music, tv shows or movies. Not to mention they’re under $30 retail to keep it easy on your wallet.
They’re stated to be a bit sturdier than the Sony headphones in our list and perform about the same. They’re adjustable as well which is always a must since our young one’s grow so fast, and the foam is very soft to ensure a comfortable fit without any ear pain with extended use. There have been a few reports of them breaking here and there so be wary. They also may be a bit hard to hear in noisier environments due to lack of sound isolation, so go with these if you plan on being in a more quiet setting.
Kid Safe Over the Ear Headphone
The designs make these stand out from the rest, so if your child has a particular interest in aesthetics, take a look at these as the best headphones for children. Aside from the nice styles, you get a full range stereo sound so the quality is quite nice for the price. The pads are also extra soft for comfort and the volume is limited with a Kid Safe technology to give us 80% of maximum volume for that just-in-case mind state of security (also volume control included).
Very budget friendly again being under around $30 retail. They’re fairly sturdy to give you a quality build in case of drops or other mishaps. We haven’t been able to find anything about a warranty on these so be careful in terms of banking on that. Spiderman, My Little Pony, Batman, Barbie, Hello Kitty and more. Grab this for a highly reviewed pair of headphones for your child, especially if they’re into one of the specially-made designs. We love the Kids Safe Over Ear for some for those children with a certain personality in mind.