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What features make the best headphones for teens? As with other headphones for music and gaming, performance starts with top-notch sound quality. Hearing acuity peaks in our teens, so the best on-ear and in-ear headphones for teenagers need clear, detailed, high-quality sound with decent frequency response across a wide range.
The best wired and wireless headphones for teenagers have comfortable, ergonomic designs suited for listening over long periods. The best wireless earbuds fit comfortably and avoid putting excess pressure on ear canals. Popular models also block out external noise, which is great if you want to act like you can’t hear whoever’s talking to you. Finally, wireless headphones for teenagers should have at least eight hours of battery life on a full charge.
Keep reading to learn more about the best headphones for teenagers on the market today and how to choose the best pair of headphones for your specific listening needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a lightweight, simplistic design, this device is comfortable for young people. It has an adjustable head beam and well-cushioned ear pads that provide a pleasant listening experience. The headset has a gorgeous color scheme.
Designed for teens and kids, the Rockpapa Comfort headphones feature a fun style that will appeal to a wide variety of individuals. This device has an adjustable head beam, fitting kids aged 6 and above. The headband is well-cushioned, so it doesn’t press the head. Heavily-cushioned ear pads with a durable liner provide a comfortable wearing experience. This headset features a 3.5mm L-shaped plug for connecting to a wide variety of devices. However, this model doesn’t have a microphone.
A 4.9-foot cord gives flexibility and can be used on regular desks and in-home theater rooms. This model has a brilliant green color scheme, and the headset is available in a variety of other attractive colors, including orange, pink, and red. This device has a lightweight, simplistic design that is easy to transport. It features premium materials that will hold up well in the face of regular use and travel.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Built-in hearing protection safeguards kids’ ears against very loud sounds. This model comes with a built-in mic for calls and comes with an audio splitter for sharing audio.
Teenagers seeking a multi-function pair will be pleased with the features of the iClever HS22 headphones. This unit comes with an integrated microphone, allowing users to make calls and chat in multi-player games. The device has a 3.5mm plug that connects to everything from smartphones to computers and gaming consoles. An adjustable headband offers flexibility. This headset has built-in hearing protection, safeguarding teens against sounds louder than 94 dB. However, it doesn’t get very loud.
Powerful 40mm dynamic drivers deliver crisp sounds that will appeal to music lovers and gamers. The headphones come with an audio splitter, allowing users to share music with a friend. This headset is foldable, so it can easily be stored and transported, and it has padded ear pads that are comfortable during long listening or gaming sessions. These earmuffs rotate 90 degrees, offering flexibility. A premium nylon cord resists fraying and tangling, and this headset is available in a variety of attractive colors.
Award: BEST FOLDING TEENS HEADPHONES
WHY WE LIKE IT: With an adjustable, cushioned headband and padded ear cups, this device is comfortable. It folds easily, fitting seamlessly into backpack pockets and small cases for hassle-free transportation. This headset has a built-in mic to facilitate calls and communication during gaming.
The Ailihen MS300 headphones deliver high-fidelity audio. With enhanced bass, this headset will appeal to music and gaming enthusiasts. It has an adjustable headband, fitting a wide variety of heads, and it was designed for both boys and girls. Weighing just 170g, this device is remarkably lightweight and it has a standard 3.5mm plug that connects to consoles, MP3 players, computers, and other devices. However, this model is a bit small for bigger teens.
A multifunction button enables controlling music playback, answering calls, and ending calls easily. This headset is foldable for simple transportation. It has an attractive Rose Gold color scheme and it’s available in a host of other alluring colors. This device has high-quality audio drivers that deliver refined audio playback. The headset has high-quality ear cups with comfortable ear pads that provide a pleasant wearing experience. A built-in mic allows making calls and communicating during gaming.
Award: BEST HEADBAND
WHY WE LIKE IT: With an L-shaped audio plug and high-quality nylon cord, this device is durable. It has an innovative, adjustable headband, fitting teens and children easily. This device has an alluring design with vibrant colors.
These Elecder i37 headphones have a versatile design that will appeal to music and game lovers. The headset has a 3.5mm plug, connecting seamlessly to various devices, and the plug is L-shaped for durability. This device has a well-cushioned headband, which is height-adjustable to fit a wide variety of heads. This headset folds, allowing users to stash it away in a purse or backpack for simple transportation. However, this device doesn’t have voice controls.
A 4.9-foot nylon cord offers connection flexibility and it resists tangling. This device has a pleasant green color scheme and is available in a variety of other adorable colors. It has well-cushioned ear cups that support wearing for long hours. With a lightweight construction, this device is quite comfortable, and it has high-quality 40mm sound drivers, producing excellent hi-fi sounds with pleasant bass. This device has a sound-isolating design that blocks out extraneous noises, providing an immersive listening experience.
Award: BEST FOR NAPPING
WHY WE LIKE IT: Advanced BLE tech connects easily to phones, providing lossless, lag-free streaming. This device doubles as a napping mask, helping users to snooze off easily. Forehead controls enable hassle-free operation.
Users seeking a sleeping headset should consider these Perytong PTL06 headphones. They feature an innovative design that doubles as a sleep mask. This device uses Bluetooth, eliminating the need for wired connections. It syncs seamlessly with phones, allowing users to stream their favorite lullabies. This device has ultra-thin but powerful built-in speakers to deliver crisp sounds. A control panel located on the headband lets users control the music playback. However, this headset doesn’t have a 3.5mm connector.
A built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 10 hours of runtime before requiring recharging. This battery fully charges in just 2.5 hours. Using Bluetooth 5.2 tech, this device connects fast and reliably. It has a comfortable breathable fabric that is washable for hassle-free maintenance. This device has built-in microphones, allowing users to make and receive calls easily. It is lightweight and it’s recommended for people who have trouble falling asleep.
Award: BEST AUDIO CABLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: Folding easily for storage, this device fits in purses and backpack pockets for hassle-free transport. It has a pleasant design with an alluring color scheme. A durable 5-foot braided nylon cable with a right-angle plug offer durability.
The Noot K11 headphones have an attractive design that will appeal to kids and teens. This device has an adjustable headband, fitting smaller kids and bigger teens easily. The device has a folding design, so it’s easy to stash away for storage. With a 3.5mm connector, this headset plugs in seamlessly to a wide variety of devices, and it’s suitable for conference calls, music playback, podcast streaming, and gaming. However, the headband is not properly cushioned.
This device has a pleasant navy/teal color scheme, and it’s also available in, mint, skyline blue, and soft pink. Hearing protection tech limits the sound on this device to 93 dB for safety. This unit has a frequency response ranging from 20 Hz through 20kHz, delivering crisp treble and deep bass. The headphones have a 90-degree jack for connecting easily to smartphones and other gadgets. A 5-foot braided nylon cord provides durability and it resists tangling.
Headphones for kids or teenagers need not be explicitly designed with teens in mind, but if you’re looking for the best choice for teens among today’s headphones and earbuds, there are some key features that the highest-rated models tend to share.
The best headphones for teen usage generally offer balanced sound with plenty of detail so as not to require use at maximum volume. An ideal choice for teen listeners will generally be more durable, with useful features like water resistance, Bluetooth connectivity, and a foldable design.
Compared to adult headphones, headphones for teenagers are usually more portable and are more likely to feature a compact design for carrying in a backpack or pocket. They also typically have Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility for ease of use with mobile devices. This is great, especially if they need quality headphones for mowing the lawn.
Unlike studio models and specialized music production headphones, everyday wired headphones for teenagers don’t usually have XLR audio cord inputs. Still, they often have a USB-C port, a sharing port, or a 3.5mm aux cable port.
The finest neckband headphones and headsets sometimes have differences in quality of sound depending on their intended users. Teens may benefit from more detailed sound and wider frequency response but less volume. Younger people tend to have more acute hearing and often can hear higher frequencies than older people can, which is why seniors need the top TV headphones. Most hearing protection guidelines also call for lower long-term noise exposure for young people.
Thus, some of the most-recommended headphone models for teenagers may have a feature that lets parents limit the maximum volume or duration of use. Some higher-end modern headphones come with a companion app.
Teenagers may be more likely to misplace or outgrow their travel headphones, so affordable headphones are essential. Teenagers looking for excellent sound quality may prefer wired options to remain within a specific price range. Still, many teens prefer wireless headphones for listening and phone calls.
Unlike headphones for sleep and most recording headphones, popular headphones for teens rarely emphasize passive noise isolation. Other features that set teen-focused headphones apart include ergonomics for long listening sessions, active noise cancellation, fun colors, and other aesthetic features. Some popular models have a cat ear design, for example.
This is why you’ll want to see which ones work best for your teenager, and this includes comparing the best closed-back headphones and the top-rated open-back headphones.
Like other headphones, most sets for teens can play music from a mobile device or another audio source can work well for phone calls or audiobooks, and can block out ambient sound to some degree. Also, like other types of headphones, teen headphones can use earbud or one-ear speakers.
Headphones for teenagers pick up an input signal from a source device, such as a computer, game console, or mobile phone, and translate that audio data into electrical signals, which induce their built-in speaker components to produce sound. Budget headphones typically have smaller, non-dynamic drivers. In contrast, higher-end models may have multiple speaker elements and dynamic sound drivers using tiny, rare-earth permanent magnets for crisp audio and improved sound quality.
Popular headphones for teenagers include both wired headphones and wireless models. The typical wireless option uses Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, but some wireless headphones also use Wi-Fi. The various types of headphones for younger people include everyday travel headphones and earbuds for music and phone calls, gaming headphones and headsets, and high-quality music headphones.
Travel headphones usually have an in-ear form factor, making these earbuds ideal for convenient packing. Some wireless earbuds and Bluetooth headphones are also water-resistant, making them suitable for active teens.
Most wireless headphones use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery as a power source, while wired models use the audio cord or USB cord. Most current Bluetooth headphones, wireless earbuds, and wireless gaming headsets also enable wireless charging.
New headphones for teen usage can be a great idea to promote a healthy listening experience and ensure your kids can avoid ear damage resulting from loud music or loud gaming audio. Alternatively, you might find that tweens and teens find adult headphones to be uncomfortable and tedious to use.
Teenage girls and boys may find adult headphones bulky and awkward to wear for extended periods. Smaller or more adjustable pairs of headphones or earbuds with softer or more flexible ear loops may be an excellent choice if you’re looking for more comfortable headphones for teens.
You might also be looking for a new pair of affordable headphones for teens if you’re traveling this season or taking your kids on vacation over the summer. Useful features, in this case, include water resistance, a foldable design, wireless charging, and a built-in mic for phone conversations and social media. You might also look for models with a weather-resistant form for outdoor listening activities or a set of headphones with a sharing port so teens can listen together while traveling.
If you or your kids like to use noise-canceling headphones for school and everyday outdoor use, you might want to upgrade to a pair of headphones with extra safety features for teen usage. These features can include custom EQ sound settings, an aware mode to let in external sound, and volume limits to help prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
Headphones for teens can theoretically last as long as any affordable headphones for adults. Still, in practice, most teens’ headphones and earbuds last one to two years, compared to the five-year lifespan generally expected for headphones and other audio products in professional AV settings.
The most important factors determining how long headphones and earbuds last are their use and durability. Headphones used at home tend to last longer than travel headphones. Top wired headphone models generally outlast wireless Bluetooth headphones, which may be limited to the lifespan of their lithium-ion batteries.
Careless handling, liquid damage, heat, and dust can also affect headphones’ lifespan. Experts suggest keeping headphones and headsets away from extreme heat, dust, and humidity. Storing headphones on a quality headphone stand can also help prolong their useful life.
Various factors can help you decide on the best headphones for teen users. You’ll want to consider whether you need wireless connectivity technology and what types of devices you need to connect as audio sources. You also may want to consider whether you plan to use the headphones for gaming and phone calls or mainly for listening to music with high-quality sound.
Other important factors include outdoor activities, aesthetic preferences, and comfort preferences. Some teenagers find over-the-ear headphones annoying and unstable, while active teens may feel that typical wireless earbuds aren’t secure enough and fall out from time to time. Finally, you may want to consider whether blocking out ambient noise is important or if you’re mainly looking for high-fidelity audio in a portable format.
Will They Be Used for Outdoor Activities?
The best choice for headphones for your kids can depend on where and when they’ll be using them. Active teens may appreciate a set of durable and water-resistant headphones with distinct modes for noise cancellation and an aware mode that lets in ambient sound. If you have plans for hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities, you might want a durable pair of headphones with dust, drop, and water resistance. An affordable price can also be a big plus for adventure headphones.
If stable connectivity is a priority, look for a pair of Bluetooth headphones with Bluetooth 5.0 or newer. The latest standards allow for more bandwidth and can support high-fidelity sound. Battery life is also an important consideration. Teens may be haphazard about charging, so a wireless pair should have enough battery life for hours of listening.
Is Noise Cancelation Important?
Noise-canceling headphones can help promote focus or enhance a music experience. They can be beneficial if you or your kids use headphones for studying while other people in the house are making noise.
Do You Need a Built-in Mic? While the younger generations stereotypically eschew voice calls and voice mail, teens may still want headphones with a built-in mic for gaming or recording audio. Most headphones for adults come with the option of an inline mic with a volume button, while dedicated gaming headsets generally have microphones as well.