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To select the best kid headphones, we started by prioritizing safety because a child’s hearing is still developing. To that end, we specifically focused on headphones that featured a volume limiter — whether it was built-in or billed as a manual option. No one should be exposed to sustained loud noise, but especially for children, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that they not be exposed to more than 85 decibels. Beyond hearing protection, other core factors included ease of use, durability, and enhanced functionality beyond audio playback. We also used the same core factors to select the best headphones overall. You can check out our top picks.
This is why we selected Nenos Children’s Headphones as our top pick. It features a factory pre-set volume limiter, can be manually paired with another set of headphones to allow two children to watch or listen to the same content, and is designed to stand up to even the roughest wear and tear.
The Nenos Children’s Headphones are our top pick because they offer a factory preset volume limiter, multiple color choices, and a convenient flexible design all in one product. Best of all, you can manually connect these headphones with another pair by using an auxiliary cord for shared media access. The design features plenty of cushioning both on the ear cups and in the headband for a comfortable fit that’s ideal for prolonged use. If you prefer a lightning connection though, you’ll want to check out the best lightning cable headphones.
You’ll appreciate that the factory pre-set limiter takes the guesswork out of monitoring the decibel level on your child’s headphones. The simple and colorful design is ideal for younger children, specifically between the ages of three and eight.
Not every child likes traditional-style headphones, which is why the CozyPhones fleece headband headphones are our honorable mention. Available in 19 colorful character styles, this headband features built-in headphones, a sturdy braided cord with a 3.5-millimeter jack, and most importantly — a volume limiter. Not exactly the best headphones for running, but kids will love them. The limiter is a factory preset for a maximum output of 90 decibels to protect your child’s ears. So, parents always have peace of mind that their child isn’t exposed to dangerously high noise levels.
You’ll appreciate that the actual speakers are only an eighth of an inch thick for a comfortable fit and low profile that won’t make the headband look bulky. The comfortable and flannel construction makes these headband headphones ideal for flights, road trips, or even for little ones to wear in bed. The LilGadgets Untangled Pro is another option with a similar max volume limit of 93dBs. and a battery life of 12 hours. It reduces outside noise as well, which helps discourage kids from blasting damaging volume levels and protects their little ears.
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If memorizing decibel level recommendations is confusing, you’ll like that the Mpow over-ear headphones take out the guesswork with an easy-to-use switch that lets you toggle between the higher setting of 94 decibels for noisy environments like flights and the WHO’s recommended 85-decibel level for regular usage. Mpow takes things a bit further by making these headphones family-friendly. In sharing mode, you can connect two headphones via the additional auxiliary jack in the right earphone. With this feature, two children can listen to the same media while only one set of headphones is directly connected to a media device.
Other features include an adjustable headband that will grow with your child, a foldable space-saving design, and a 90-degree angled 3.5-millimeter auxiliary jack to prevent cord damage. Choose from six colors to match your child’s style and personality. It has most of the features we love about the best headphones
Related: Also check out the best over ear headphones.
The Elecder i37 Kids headphones offer strong sound fidelity and audio playback thanks to their 44-millimeter drivers and strong bass. You might find that you’ll want to borrow your children’s headphones thanks to the sound quality. Additional features like sweat resistance and noise isolation make this ideal for use while playing in the park or during sports practice.
Kids don’t have to worry about the best Bluetooth headphones for working out. The auxiliary cord with a 3.5-millimeter jack measures almost five feet in length, giving you plenty of flexibility and movement. Meanwhile, the adjustable headband and foldable design make these an easy accessory to keep on hand while traveling or to leave in the car so that your kids are never without their headphones. Also, check out the Puro Sound Labs BT2200, another one of the best kids’ headphones. These Bluetooth headphones block out 82% of ambient noise for a better listening experience. To find out if these really give a better audio experience, read our comparison guide on Bluetooth vs RF headphones.
To say that kids can be rough on things is a bit of an understatement. If you’re not interested in buying multiple replacements for the same item, the iClever Kids Foldable Headphones are a smart and durable option. The flexible headband can be rolled, folded, and twisted without causing damage. And the braided nylon auxiliary cord is sturdy enough to stand up to what your child throws at it.
More importantly, the built-in volume limiter controls sound to a maximum output of 94-decibels. The adjustable headband and soft ear cups ensure a comfortable fit for your little one. You’ll also appreciate the lightweight design, coming in at just over six ounces.
These top-rated on-ear headphones you purchase for a preschooler aren’t the same as those for your older kids. Older children tend to be more responsible, and also need headphones that feature more functionality than simple audio playback. The PeohZarr On-Ear Headphones are designed to not just play sound but to answer phone calls, as well as control volume and track selection. They’ll appreciate the fact that these headphones are lightweight at less than seven ounces, making them solid headphones for teens and tweens.
Other important features include a foldable design for easy storage, and a 90-degree braided nylon auxiliary cable with a 3.5-millimeter jack. They’ll also enjoy the noise-isolating feature to stay focused while they study or read. Because of that, they could be considered the best noise-canceling headphones for kids. Plus, these headphones are available in three colorways.
If you’re buying a pair of kids headphones for the first time, you might be reluctant to splurge on a pricier pair of over or on-ear headphones instead of earbuds. In that case, the Koss Portable On-Ear Headphones are a smart and affordable first step for you to take with your little one. While these headphones lack the functionality and design aesthetic of the other models on our list, they do help your child get used to wearing headphones and to learn how to properly use electronics. Like other models, they feature an adjustable headband for the perfect fit.
But you’ll also like that the auxiliary cord is four feet long, with a 90-degree angle 3.5-millimeter jack to prevent breakage. Even though these headphones don’t offer a manual volume limiter option like some of the other models, the output is factory preset to 91 decibels. The Koss headphones are available in six colorways. Another affordable product is the JLab JBuddies Kids Headphones, which is a pair of comfortable wired headphones that have safety features that limit the volume and protect sensitive ears with hypoallergenic ear cushions.
Buying headphones for your kids is a little different than shopping for a pair for yourself. While you might be more focused on enhanced features like Bluetooth connectivity and sleek designs, your priorities are going to be different when you shop with your child in mind. However, you should keep in mind that with this particular product, price shouldn’t be the primary factor in making your selection.
The biggest factor you need to prioritize for children’s headphones is to protect their hearing. A child’s hearing doesn’t fully form until well into their later teen years. Meanwhile, the incidence of hearing loss between the ages of 12 to 19 is on the rise. The WHO recommends that children should avoid exposure to sustained noise above 85 decibels. But not all headphones marketed as child-friendly are designed to limit noise above those levels. To that end, the majority of the headphones we reviewed feature a volume limiter that controls audio playback to within the safe ranges of 85 to 94 decibels.
The second factor we considered was durability. Children are notoriously rough on basically everything they touch, and headphones are no different. We focused on headphones that featured braided nylon cords with special attention to auxiliary jacks with a 90-degree angle. That 90-degree angle ensures that the cord won’t prematurely break at the jack from wear and tear. In addition to this, we also prioritized headphones with flexible headbands and folding designs for easy storage and decreased risk of breakage.
Enhanced functionality is another major consideration. This can range from controlling track selection and answering calls to pairing headphones for simultaneous playback options. Within our review, you’ll find plenty of options that feature enhanced functionality for older children, as well as one particular pair of headphones — the Mpow Over-Ear Headphones — that allow you to manually pair headphones with an auxiliary cable for a shared listening experience.
Finally, design matters too. Children — just like adults — have a favorite color, animal, or cartoon character. And that means it’s important to give them agency by selecting headphones that reflect their personality and interests. All of the headphones we featured on our list come in more than one color or style, which will give your little one a feeling of empowerment.