When it comes to picking a set of headphone for your little one, the qualifications are a bit different than looking for yourself. Durability, sizing, and volume limiting features are all important considerations.
Since kids don’t necessarily know what’s best, you want to make sure they don’t bombard their growing eardrums with insanely loud noises (as appealing as that may be to them), so volume limiting is a must-have feature. If you’re interesting in an in depth look at volume limiting and why your kids should have headphones equipped with it, check out our detailed guide at How-To Geek here.
Pair volume limiting with headphones sized for a smaller head and you’ve got a perfect recipe for comfortable and safe headphones for kids. We’ve dug through the available options to hand pick the best headphones for your family.
The Best Premium Pick: Puro Sounds Labs BT2200 ($80)
If only the best will do, the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 is pretty much where it’s at. These headphones feature a well designed, small overall footprint for little heads, offer built-in volume limiting, and are Bluetooth for cord-free operation. They pretty much tick all the boxes we were looking for in a premium set of headphones for your little one.
The volume is limited to 85 dB, which is the maximum recommended volume limit recommended for extended listening, with a built-in volume slider on the left side. This headset also features 82% noise isolation, which means the limited volume shouldn’t make it harder to hear when outside noise gets loud. Given that the primary reason kids crank the volume up in the first place is to hear their game or TV show over external noise, the noise cancellation feature goes a long way towards helping avoid turning the volume up in the first place.
While the headphones are Bluetooth (v4.0), they also included an option for a wired connection—this is great in a situation where Bluetooth isn’t an option. And the volume limited works regardless of which connection method is being used. They also offer up to 18 hours of battery life, which hopefully won’t all be used up in one single session.
At $80, these are the most expensive headphones on our list, but they also include all the features you could want in a child-friendly headset.
Best Budget Wireless: LilGadgets Untangled Pro ($50)
If $80 seems a bit steep for a headset your kid is likely going to break anyway, but you’re still looking to go wireless, the LilGadgets Untangled Pro is a good alternative. These headphones offer a lot of the same features found in our premium pick, like volume limiting, Bluetooth, and noise reduction.
Volume limiting on the Untangled Pro is a little bit higher than some of our other picks—it caps volume at 93 dB. That’s lower than the 100+ dB range many devices can push out but not limited full to the 85 dB threshold mandated by European Union safety regulations. Otherwise, you get the same Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and 12 hours of playback time—slightly less than our premium pick.
Where the Untangled Pro stands out, however, is with its “SharePort” feature, which allows multiple sets of headphones to share the same source device without the need for adapters. This is excellent for families with multiple children. Given the lower price of these headphones, you can get a couple pairs for just a bit more than a single set of our premium pick.
Best Budget Wired Pick: LilGadgets Connect+ Premium ($16)
If you don’t want to have to think about whether or not your kid’s headphones are charged, you’ll want to go with a wired pick—this can, of course, be a hazard for younger children, so that’s something to consider. Much like our budget Bluetooth pick, LilGadgets is the way to go here, too.
The Connect+ is very similar to the Untangled Pro, just with a standard wired connection. The volume is limited to 93 dB, they’re kid-sized, and they feature the same SharePort tech found in the pricier model. They also come in five colors, which is a nice touch.
For $16 a pop, you can get two sets of these for less than one set of the Bluetooth model. Killer deal if you don’t mind the wired connection.
Honorable Mention: CozyPhone ($20)
Sometimes it gets cold outside. Sometimes kids hate wearing actual headphones but you’re sick of hearing Peppa Pig. Sometimes you need a third reason, but you’ll have to come up with that one on your own.
Regardless, CozyPhones are a unique take on headphones for kids, because it’s more like a headband/ear warmer with built-in head speakers. It’s super cool. Or warm. Whatever.
And because it’s for kids, it features our main qualification for kids headphones: volume limiting. This wired headset limits volume to 90 dB. It’s also robust, featuring a design that’s “made to be used by kids”—the band is flexible and won’t rip; the cord is braided to avoid kinking and damage.
CozyPhones are offered in a variety of styles, like Purple Frog, Blue Unicorn, Yellow Smile, and my personal favorite, FOX.
A Note on Shared Sources
If you have more than one kid and want them to be able to use the same audio source, there are a couple of options for that. You could go with the LilGadgets headphones highlighted above, which feature SharePort for using more than one set of headphones with the same source. If you have a different set of headphones in mind, however, you can also pick up an audio splitter—the AmazonBasics model splits the connection up to five ways for just $10. But it also requires wired headphones.
Otherwise, if you’re looking to get a wireless connection from a wired set of headphones, you can add a Bluetooth adapter. We rounded up the best of the bunch, so check that out if you’re interested.