Best Headphones for Kids
Welcome to our round-up of the best headphones for kids. As any parent can tell you, children are complex creatures, and they change fast. That’s why this list considers different age groups when recommending headphones. You don’t want to send your nine year old to school in headphones made for toddlers!
For our first section, we will look at kids aged 2-8 years of age. All of these headphones have volume limiting functions, so you can make sure that your child’s hearing is protected from unexpected jumps in volume from games or movies. The recommended maximum decibel level for kids is 85 dB, as recommended by auditory health organizations.
Another recommendation is to limit the time listening to headphones to two hours per day. Even if the volume is at 85dB, long sessions of uninterrupted noise can also lead to damaging effects on hearing.
Our second section focuses on headphones for kids 8-12 years of age. With these headphones you can trust the kids to set their own volume limits, but also factors like portability (going to and from school) and coolness come into play.
Headphones for Kids Aged 2-8:
1. Crayola MyPhones
Crayola recently launched these headphones (in association with Griffin Techologies) and they really managed to hit this one out of the park. The durably constructed headphones can take a serious beating. They also come with crayola markers and stickers that you can use to decorate the ear-cups and headband to make them uniquely yours. They have volume limiting circuitry that keeps the decibel level from exceeding 85 dB, so you don’t have to manually set it.
Unfortunately Crayola offers these headphones in only two colors: pink and blue. However, after your kids are done with the stickers, you probably won’t be able to tell what color it was.
2. Sony MDR-222KD Children’s Headphones
Sony’s headphones make specifically for kids are the best sounding headphones on this list. The smaller-earcups and head band are designed for kid-sized heads. These headphones are recommended for kids aged 8+, but many customer reviewers haveemntioned that the headphones fit perfectly on their 4-5 year old kids’ heads. The reason I put these headphones in this section is that it comes with a volume limit control. If you plan on raising a young audiophile, you could do worse than these Sony headphones.
3. Kazoo MyPhones
These headphones are, at their core, the same technology as the Crayola MyPhones above. But instead of Crayola earcups they have KaZoo characters, including cute frogs and pandas. They still have the same volume limiting circuity and super durable construction. If you are squeamish about teaching your kids to draw on their electronics, these cute animal ear-cups might be preferable.
Click here to view Kazoo Headphones at Griffin.com
4. Phillips SHK1031 Headphones
These kid-friendly headphones are budget friendly, have volume control and sound pretty good too. The adjustable headband will visit most heads, although with these adjustable headbands you have to be sure not to get your hair caught in them. Again these headphones are only offered in two colors: blue and pink. Why can’t they use more colors?
5. Kidz Gear Headphones
Kidz Gear has a wide line of kid-friendly headphones with volume minimizing controls. There are actually many different types: wired headphones, wired specifically to use with Apple products, and wireless (for use with car’s DVD systems. The Apple-specific Kidz Gear headphones have even more stringent volume limits, which unfortunately makes them too quiet for airplane travel. If you plan on taking your kids on a plane trip, then getting the regular wired headphones is a better option. It will still plug into Apple products no problem.
Headphones for Kids Aged 8-12
For this section, instead of focusing on headphones with strict volume controls, we’ll focus on headphones that can survive the rigors of daily backpack travel. We’ll also highlight some headphones that kids will love.
1. Sennheiser HD201 Headphones
While not designed specifically for kids, these headphones are great sounding headphones that are durable and the headband will adjust to fit on most children’s heads. The high impedance means that kids won’t be able to turn it up too loud. The closed-back headphones are also just great headphones overall: deep bass, lots of energy. For $25 they’re a great set of headphones that the adults in the house can use when the kids aren’t around.
2. SLYR Skullcandy Gaming Headset
An amazing way to get peace and quiet for a few hours? Let your kids play video games with a gaming headset on. As your kids enter the pre-teen years they will likely start getting into gaming (if they aren’t already). Whereas a lot of gaming headsets are priced at around $300 (and only work with one system), the SLYR (from Skullcandy) is compatible with the XBOX 360, PS3, PC as well as most mobile devices. The durable construction means it can a beating, which is a big plus. There’s a mixamp where you can set volume levels for gameplay and chat (for online gaming). There’s also an equalizer to let you control the sound even more. Overall this gaming headset strikes a great balance between being budget-friendly and versatility. There’s also wireless gaming headsets available if that’s your preference.
There you have it! If you’re still unsure feel free to browse our Top Picks section of the headphones shop for more highly rated headphones.