We picked the best kids headphones that you can buy in 2020
|Elecder i41 Budget Pick||✗||✗||✗||Check|
|Mpow CH6 Editor's Pick||✔||✔||✗||Check|
|CozyPhones Kids Headphones||✔||✗||✗||Check|
|Riwbox CT-7S Editor's Pick||✔||✗||✔||Check|
|GBD Unicorn Kids Headphones||✗||✗||✗||Check|
|PuroQuiet Strong Runner-Up||✔||✗||✔||Check|
|SoundPEATS Kids Bluetooth Headphones||✔||✗||✔||Check|
You are thinking of buying a pair of headphones for your kid. Maybe their birthday is coming up, or they desperately need it for homeschooling. That’s probably why you ended up here.
If you think picking headphones for kids is just about cool designs, then you are sorely mistaken. There are pitfalls that a parent can avoid and we have this comprehensive guide written for you.
In this article, we’ll be showing you the factors to consider when buying a pair, and the best kids headphones to get.
If you are looking for earbuds exclusively, you should check out our best earbuds for kids article.
What Exactly Are Kids Headphones?
Generally, it is safe for a child to use normal headphones, getting a kid-friendly headphone will save your nights of worry.
You might ask: What are the differences between normal headphones and kids headphones?
Both types of headphones allow your child to listen to music but normal headphones have some risks that your child might face. A kids headphones have safety features that mitigate these risks.
So what kind of dangers are they vulnerable to when using normal headphones?
Premature hearing loss
As one grows older, the audible frequency range gets narrower. This is perfectly normal due to aging.
This is why a kid can hear certain frequencies that an adult will fail to notice. The extent of “hearing loss” varies from person to person.
A headphones can get loud, like “harmful” loud. Prolonged exposure of sound at a harmful level will damage their cells of the cochlea (a portion of the inner ear), resulting in hearing loss.
Most children, with no parental supervision, have no concept of a “safe” volume level.
The headphones is made up of several parts (headband, ear cups, ear pads, etc). Each parts can be made from different types of materials such as plastics, rubber, metal, etc. There are no regulations to ensure all these materials are non-toxic.
But headphones are not edible material, right? Why should we as parents bother?
Well you should, if your child is a toddler (1 – 2 years) or even pre-schooler (2 – 5 years). Children from these age groups have the tendency to put anything they can get their hands on into the mouth.
Some portable headphones have hinges that allow the ear cups to be folded up and stored away easily.
However, some hinge designs are not kid-friendly and your kid might end up having their finger pinched by the hinge.
Other than looking out for the above dangers, there are also other factors that you should look out for as parents.
Check out our next section where we list down all the important factors one should consider while looking for a pair of kids headphones.
How To Pick The Best Headphones for Kids
Selecting the right headphones for your kids is more than just considering the safety features. Kids in different age groups have different needs and every kid has his/her own preferences too.
Hence, these are some of the important questions that a smart parent can ask themself:
- What safety features should I look out for in a kids headphones?
- How do I know the headphones are made from non-toxic materials?
- How long can these headphones last?
- How do I prevent my children from fighting over the headphones?
- What headphones design are generally well-liked across children over different age groups?
We have listed out the important guidelines below that will help you answer those questions.
(Click on the title below to expand)
In terms of safety feature, protecting your child’s hearing should be the most important concern. Hence, headphones with volume-limiting capability is crucial.
So what are volume-limiting headphones?
These headphones have a special function that cap the volume at 85 dB.
But why 85 dB though, you might ask?
That is because the World Health Organization mandates that 85 dB is the highest safety exposure that one can listen to maximum of 8 straight hours.
For reference, a headphones can get as loud as 120 decibels or even higher.
How to find volume-limiting headphones?
Most manufacturers will state that their headphones comes volume-limiting capabilities. It can be activated with a toggle switch or comes as default.
However, not all manufactures are trust-worthy. Make sure to look into their reviews that the volume-limiting function works and is not just a a marketing gimmick.
Toddlers are notorious for putting almost anything into their mouths. Apart from teething, these little rascals will bite, chew, and even swallow random objects as if doing so helps reduce their stress levels or simply dispels the boredom.
So, hopefully, you will be relieved to learn that the headphones your tot is mistakenly chewing on were made from non-toxic/food-grade materials.
Some kids’ headphones are designed to be compact. To achieve this, manufacturers have included hinges so they can be easily folded and carried around.
These hinges can potentially pinch your child’s skin or even catch in their hair. Pinch-free hinges in their headphones will prevent painful situations like these from happening and ensure safe listening.
Noise-isolation or “passive-cancellation” is the ability of your headphones to block out any kind of external noise with a physical barrier.
On-ear and over-ear headphones have ear pads that reduce environmental noise from interfering with what you are listening through the headphones.
There is another type of noise-cancellation call Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). They also suppress external noise but they do it with the clever use of a microphone. They are efficient at blocking out low-frequency sound.
Both types of noise-cancellation minimizes the need to increase the volume level of the device for your kids to listen better.
However, take note that ANC headphones requires the use of batteries.
Durability is another feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. For one thing, it saves you the expense of having to buy the same thing over and over again.
If you’re going to give your child a pair of headphones, you can expect that they’ll be chewed on, played with, thrown around, or simply be battered by everyday wear and tear.
That said, finding one that can withstand different degrees of infantile destruction, will be a pretty great buy!
Siblings fighting over their toys is one of the many inconveniences parents face every day.
No parent wants to deal with such annoyance if it can possibly be avoided. If your kiddos fight over listening to videos or music, no sweat, some headphones let you share audio without the need for an audio splitter.
Certain headphone brands have added an extra audio jack or a headphone slot to their phones so another child can easily join in on the fun.
Features like this come in handy when you’re traveling, visiting a hospital, or in a restaurant waiting to be served, etc.
Sound quality is an understated factor when considering a pair of kids’ headphones.
Parents think that young children are not sensitive to acoustics and it is not worth the trouble/money to get a pair with great sound quality.
I would agree that we need not go the extent of getting audiophile-quality headphones but the sound quality must at least be decent enough to make sure your child enjoy his/her time on the headphones.
Look for a pair that has a neutral sound signature. This means that the bass is not overly emphasized, the mids are not recessed and the trebles are not overly bright. You should check out our article on audio frequency spectrum to find out more.
If you are looking to buy a pair of wireless headphones or one with ANC for your kids, the battery life is definitely one that you should look out for. Headphones with good battery life should be able to last you at least 4 – 6 hrs.
If the battery life is shorter than that, they should provide the option of attaching a cable to mitigate this shortcoming.
The basic requirements that one should look for while evaluating normal headphones applies to kids headphones as well:
- Comfortable headband: It should have soft padding to not create pressure at the top of the head
- Adjustable headband: A good pair of headphones should have adjustable headband so that it can fit heads with different sizes. This will allow you to share the headphones with different age group.
- Plush ear pads: Earpads cover the ear of your child and if the ear pads are made from thin cushion, they will be able to feel the pressure from the ear cups easily.
- Reasonable clamping force: The headphones should be snug while worn but the clamping force cannot be too strong. This will result in headache and your kid might not even be able to use it for more than 10 mins.
- Weight: A heavy headphone will put additional pressure on the kid’s head and reduce the effective usage time. Aim for a pair of kids headphones that is less than 200g.
Children often want to stand out from the crowd and often like quirky-looking stuff they can show off to their classmates and friends. So, for them, the aesthetic aspect of the headphones is a big deal.
Fortunately, manufacturers know that the first thing kids are concerned about is how cool the phones are going to look. The variety of designs and colors available gives you loads of options to choose from. Just make sure you’re hip enough to know which ones the kids think it’s cool to be seen in.
If you want the headphones to be shared among your children of different age groups, getting a pair with a cutesy design is definitely not the way to go (Unless everyone agrees on that style!).
Go for a more neutral or under-stated look so that your older children (especially those in the tween group – 9 to 12 years old) will not gagged with disgust while sharing the headphones with their younger siblings.
8 Best Headphones for Kids
Here are the best headphones for kids that we have picked:
1. Elecder i41 Kids’ Headphones
- Connection: Wired
- Great noise-isolation
- Durable cable
- Comfortable ear pads with adjustable fit
- Good sound quality with strong bass
- Mature look suitable for older kids (7 – 12 years)
The on-ear design of Elecder i41 helps block noise and isolate the music. This means there’s no need for your kids to turn up the volume when listening to their playlists on music apps.
This wired headphones’ nylon-covered cable minimizes potential tangles when stuffed hurriedly into your kid’s bag.
The durable nylon covering also reduces overall wear and tear due to usage over time.
Comfortable to wear
The ear pads on the Elecder i41 are extremely comfortable. Even though they’re made from thick foam, they don’t make the toddlers’ ears too hot over when worn for long periods, according to many parents.
Aside from the comfy ear pads and the cloth-covered wires, Elecder i41 headphones have a headband that can easily be adjusted to fit children of different sizes.
Strong bass makes for exciting music
The headphones has a sound quality where the bass is stronger. This type of sound signature makes the listening experience more exciting (That’s why Beats headphones are popular). Such a sound signature suits older kids better.
Elecder i41 headphones for kids come in the following four colors:
However, unlike the look of Nenos children’s headphones, Elecder i41’s colors and designs give off a “grown-up” vibe that would appeal more to your tweens.
Although the Elecder i41 phones have good noise isolation features, they lack volume-limiting function.
This wired headphones would be better suited to tweens, who, in most cases, can operate the volume control unaided. Parents do, however, need to keep a watchful eye on grade-schoolers and below to prevent the occurrence of unexpected and potentially harmful volume blasts.
Aside from this, some buyers have noted that one or other of the headphones is liable to stop working completely after only minimal use.
2. Mpow CH6
- Connection: Wired
- Volume control switch (Max Volume: 85dB or 94 db)
- Durable, adjustable headband
- Balanced sound signature
- Shareable audio
- Foldable with pinch-free hinges
- Built-in microphone
- Suitable for most kids (1 – 12 years)
Limit volume to 85 dB or 94 dB
The Mpow CH6 has a volume limiter that you can switch on and off. This control switch caps the maximum volume at two leves:
- 85 dB (which is considered a safe volume according to the World Health Organization)
- 94 dB
If your kid wants to enjoy louder music (be sure to keep it to a short listening time), the volume limit can also adjusted to 94dB.
Siblings can enjoy the same listening experience with this wired headphones. These colorful headphones for kids feature shareable audio with a built-in 3.5mm jack that will fit most headphones. This design means you no longer need a splitter to enjoy shared music.
Balanced sound signautre
The Mpow CH6 has a balanced sound signature where the weightage of the bass, mids and treble are equal. This type of sound quality makes for a comfortable and enjoyable listening time.
This pair of kid-friendly headphones is suitable for a child age 1 and above due to its less aggressive sound.
Durable, Adjustable Headband
Young children will often have this innate sense of curiosity to test the limits of their toys. It’s safe to say that they may have found their match with Mpow CH6 that has a well-constructed headband. It is extra flexible and is guaranteed not to break easily even when accidentally sat on.
Another important feature why most buyers kept coming back for Mpow CH6 is how the headband can be adjusted to fit children of different ages.
Comes with mic
The headphones also comes with an inline microphone that your child can use for remote calls with their teachers and classmates.
The Mpow build quality is slightly on the cheaper side so people looking for premium feel should take note of this.
3. CozyPhones Kids Headphones
- Connection: Wired
- Wide variety of cute designs
- Comfortable fleece headband
- Suitable for 1 – 5 years old
The cute eye-catching designs of these kids’ headphones range from assorted animals to popular cartoon characters from shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Paw Patrol.
With CozyPhones, your kids aren’t limited by the simple color combinations offered by most headphone brands. Kids can turn into a unicorn, a pirate, or even a bunny every time they wear their CozyPhones headphones.
Comfortable Fleece Headband
By using fleece, CozyPhones have elevated the comfort level of headphone headbands. Fleece is a very warm and comfortable material that is used extensively for many items of clothing and bedding aimed at children, toddlers, and babies.
Comfort is the highest-rated feature of CozyPhones, which your kids can easily experience for a very affordable price.
Bring Along on Your Outings and Car Rides
Since CozyPhones is using fleece fabric on their headphones’ headbands, it is much easier to fold and store these headphones, as you please. The use of fleece is an absolute game-changer in the portability game when it comes to headphones’ headbands.
Fold it and easily put it in your bag so your child can freely listen to their iPad or any other personal listening devices, anytime, anywhere!
Aside from that, the fleece headband can double as an eye mask which can help tone down the brightness of the surroundings so your child can get a well needed nap even in broad daylight. What’s more is how the headband is completely washable and washer safe.
While Cozyphones got multiple praises for its innovative design, there are still quite a few parents who were not satisfied by it by saying that the bands don’t fit most of the children. Some say it’s too big while others say that it’s too snug.
Due to the cutesy design, you will find it hard to get the older children to use this type of headphones.
4. Riwbox CT-7S Cat Ear Bluetooth Headphones
- Connection: Wired and Wireless
- Volume-limited (Max volume at 85dB)
- Cat ears shaped, with LED light
- Built-in microphone
- Foldable headphones for easy storage
- Suitable for 3 – 7 years old
Amazon’s Choice for Wireless Headphones for Kids
Supports both wired and wireless connection
Sometimes, having a headphone cable can be hazardous. Children are always moving, always pacing, jumping, what have you! Having the option to go wireless can lessen the risk of your child getting dragged by the wires or the device being dragged accidentally.
To change from a wired to wireless connection, users just have to unplug the braided cable from the headphones and connect it with an audio device via Bluetooth connection.
Pairing should be a relatively painless process as the wireless headphones is commended by its buyers for its ease of connectivity.
Another noticeable feature of the Riwbox CT-7S is the built-in microphone. This allows the children to Facetime with their parents and do remote conference calls with their teachers and classmates.
Colorful LED Light
Toy manufacturers usually add a blinking light feature on their toys to make them more interesting to children. Such quirky feature can be seen on the headband and on the cat ears of the Riwbox CT-7S.
Worry not, the LED lights aren’t permanently on. You can easily turn off the light feature by pressing a button on the device. This will allow the wireless headphones to extend its battery life.
The overall cuteness of the Riwbox CT-7S along with the Bluetooth connectivity couldn’t spare the headphones from minor criticism.
Some mentioned that the Bluetooth connection fails occasionally. Some have mentioned that the LED lights can’t stop working but above all, the general critique is how the headphones stop charging after a while.
Despite the charging issue, the headphones are still well-received especially by younger kids because of the fancy LED light feature and its foldable nature for easy storage.
5. GBD Unicorn Kids Headphones
- Connection: Wired
- Unicorn design with flashing lights.
- Foldable headphones with pinch-free design.
- 3.5mm wired headphones compatible with most devices.
- Comfortable materials for stress-free listening.
- 12-month replacement warranty.
- Suitable for 5 – 9 years old
Unicorn Design with Flashing lights
The main feature that makes this headphone from GBD stand out is the unicorn design with flashing LED lights.
The GBD unicorn design headphones has two options for the light. You can change it to either the blinking option or the steady light option.
The headphones’ LED lights are powered by a replaceable CR2032 battery. The manufacturers decided to go “old-school” and ditch the rechargeability in order to limit users’ exposure to radiation. But even if it uses a button battery, GBD have included a spare with every purchase.
Pinch-free Foldable Headphones
The buyers have all commended how well-made the GBD unicorn design headphones including its foldable nature which makes the headphones portable and easy to store.
Rest assured, the hinges of the headphones were designed to be pinch-free so it’s safe for use even for your little toddlers.
Designed for Comfort for Stress-free Listening
Among the important factors when buying headphones is how the foam pads must be made from lightweight and soft materials to prevent accidental scratches or any form of irritation to your children’s delicate skin. The good news is GBD meets this standard.
Also, having very snug headphones is not a problem with the GBD unicorn design headphones because the pair is completely adjustable and perfectly fits children ages 3 to 9 years old.
While most headphones sellers on Amazon boast a responsive customer service, GBD outdoes them by providing their buyers a 12-month replacement warranty for the GBD Unicorn Kids Headphones.
The headphones have no volume limiting function hence, it is dangerous for younger kids to use it without parental supervision.
The cutesy function appeals more towards the younger kids (<9 years old) thus, your older kids might not want use it (unless they are a unicorn fan).
6. Mumba Kids Headphones with VoliBolt Ears
- Volume limiting (Max volume level at 85dB)
- Highly durable headband
- 3.5mm wired compatible with most devices
- Shareable audio
- Food-grade material
- Comes in two sizes/designs:
- Medium for kids ages 3 to 8
- Large for kids ages 3 to 9
Highly Durable Headband
Children are little forces of nature to the point that one can’t help but wonder how they can destroy a toy without the use of any other material aside from their teeth or their little hands.
It’s great to know that the Mumba kids headphones with Volibolt ears are made from a very strong material that can withstand strenuous twists.
Made from Food-Grade Materials
Even if we’re talking about headphones, one shouldn’t overlook the kind of materials that the headphones are made from. Like we said, your kids will chew on almost anything.
They probably won’t chew on vegetables but you can expect that they will chew on even the most random things such as their pencils and of course, their headphones.
As parents, you can rest assured that Mumba Volibolt headphones are made from non-toxic and food-grade materials that are safe for children’s use.
Other than being a volume-limiting headphones, the Mumba kids headphones with Voltibolt ears have the ability to share audio without the use of a splitter.
Most of the buyers have complimented how the design reminded them of Pokemon fan-favorite character, Pikachu, with its color combination as well as the bolt design. But there were hardcore fans who were quick to point out that it resembles Pikachu’s tail more than its ears.
- Connection: Wireless
- Volume-limited (Max volume at 85dB)
- Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
- Comfortable for stress-free listening
- Battery life: 22 hours
- Suitable for 3 years old and above
Kid-friendly volume control
On top of limiting the volume to a safe level of 85dB, the PuroQuiet comes with active noise cancelling feature.
Puro Sound Labs made it their mission to protect the hearing of children.
This sounds like a pretty technical process. But here’s how ANC works:
Comfortable Materials for Stress-free Listening
PuroQuiet did not only think about the function part when they designed the headphones, they also thought about the design very well. The PuroQuiet is designed for comfortable listening with its lightweight and soft materials.
While some of the headphones we featured in this list only had foam on the underside of the headband, PuroQuiet was designed to have the headband be covered entirely with foam.
Up to 22 Hours of Non-Stop Listening
Battery life is often the main worry for wireless headphones. With a full charge, PuroQuiet can play sounds for up to 22 hours of non-stop playing without the Active Noise Cancelling feature. Without the ANC feature, it can still play for up to 16 hours non-stop.
Such a feature is valuable for parents who are going on long car rides or even a long flight with their little kids.
The ANC of the headphones needs to be turned off separately from its Bluetooth functionality. So if your kids forget to turn off both, the battery will get drained by the next day.
8. SoundPEATS Kids Bluetooth Headphones
- Connection: Wired and Wireless
- Volume-limiting capacity
- Battery Life: Up to 20 hours of non-stop playing time
- Made from food-grade, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic materials
- Washable ear pads
- Suitable for 3 years old and above
Compatible with Bluetooth 5.0
Listen Non-stop for up to 20 Hours
SoundPEATS is equipped with a 500mAh battery that charges completely in three hours and your kids can listen to their iPad, iPod, iPhone, Kindle non-stop for up to 20 hours straight without charging.
But, even if the battery runs out you can have the option of attaching the included wire that is compatible with most devices that have 3.5mm slot.
Made from Food-grade Materials
Like we said, we cannot stress how important it is to have food-grade materials when it comes to kid-friendly headphones.
The good thing is, SoundPEATS considered that their headphones must be made from food-grade, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic materials that are safe for use around children.
Washable Ear Pads
The ear pads aren’t only made from durable and food-grade materials, they also can be removed from the ear cups and be thrown in the washer. This helps with the hygience level of the headphones.
Sadly, the hinge is not pinch-free and your kid must be careful while adjusting the headband.
Alternatives for Kids
In case you’re thinking about bringing your baby to a wedding, a party, or even when their brother or sister is playing an instrument at home, their hearing should be protected. To help parents do this, they could purchase ear muffs that do not play any sound to help protect their precious little one’s hearing against unnecessary noise.
Baby Banz Earmuffs – Infant Hearing Protection
Baby Banz has a Noise Reduction Rating of 31dB
Baby Banz is a well-known brand of children’s safety equipment. Their earmuffs are buffed with a noise reduction rating of 31dB to help lessen or even block out background noise.
The kid-friendly product has been praised for its lightweight nature and how it is able to cover a baby’s ears completely.
While most of the buyers have expressed their positive reception of Baby Banz earmuffs, some were not very satisfied.
Some buyers stated that the product could do better at blocking out the noise and that the product looks like it was made unsatisfactorily.
While it is endearing to express your love to your child through gifts, it is even better to show that you truly love them by caring about their health and safety.
As a responsible parent, we highly recommend that one must consider the volume-limiting capability as the number one factor to look out for when buying kid-friendly headphones.
And to recap, here are the other factors that you should take note:
- Food-grade, non-toxic materials
- Noise-cancelling or noise-isolating headphones
- Foldable headphones must have pinch-free hinges.
- Comfortable for a long period of use
- Durable enough to endure the wear and tear from children’s rowdiness
- Aesthetic appeal to lessen your child’s boredom.
- Audio sharing, because sharing is caring!
With this comprehensive buying guide, we hope that it will help you find the best headphones for your little one.
If you’ve found the one for your child, share it with the rest of our community and sound off in the comments section below! Or if you want to save this guide, you can pin the picture below.