The Best Kids Headphones for 2021

The Best Kids Headphones for 2021

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ModelRecommendedPink noise dBAMusic/Leq dBAPanel feedback and editor notesOnanoff BuddyPhones InFlight (toddler mode)✅69.376.1Fine, if you can keep the limiter dial set to safer modes.Maxell Safe Soundz 3-5✅69.579.5These fit the age described, but our little kids found the earpads “too hard” on their ears and therefore “uncomfy.”Kidrox✅75.683.7Massive on our toddlers. The “extension pad” didn’t stay put. On the “hate list” for the older kids, because “the foam is hard and they’re so weird.”Onanoff BuddyPhones InFlight (big kid mode)✅76.984.8The InFlight has a volume-options dial on the side that’s easy for kids to adjust on their own, so we don’t fully recommend this pair.iFrogz Little Rockers✅77.482.2Neither our toddlers nor our big kids were into this pair. Older kids thought it would break easily and didn’t like the fit.Coloud Boom Kids (minimum setting)✅77.482.7The lowest setting on the dial is in safer ranges, but we don’t love the guesswork involved. Additionally, our panelists found that the plastic green pegs on the headband pushed into their cheeks.Onanoff BuddyPhones Play (via Bluetooth)✅77.780.9We like these a lot. Good build, good sound, affordable price. They get a little louder than we’d like when corded (see below), but they are a decent alternative to our pick.JLab JBuddies Folding✅78.286.7The headband was too large for our toddlers, who ripped these headphones off. Our bigger kids put these on the “hate list” because they “feel really plastic and breakable.”Onanoff BuddyPhones Cosmos (toddler mode ANC on)✅78.581.9Sturdily built with kid-friendly looks and fair ANC. But adult-sized earcups and headband fit tweens and older better than younger kids, and “airplane mode” isn’t within safer ranges.Fuhu Nabi (kid setting)✅78.783.3Our toddlers called this model too big, while the older kids put it on the “hate list” because it’s “heavy and the cushion on top pushes into your head.”MEE KidJamz (switched on)✅79.884.4This measurement is with the “hidden limiting switch” on. Older kids might be able to thwart the switch with a pencil. One of our panelists said, “They’re okay. I like others better.”JLab JBuddies Studio Wireless (2020) (via Bluetooth)✅79.984.3Though our bigger kids preferred the sound and feel of the Puro BT2200, this pair was their favorite of the less expensive options, and limiting can’t be thwarted.JLab JBuddies Studio Wireless (2020) (via cable)🆗80.586.4Though our bigger kids preferred the sound and feel of the Puro BT2200, this pair was their favorite of the less expensive options, and limiting can’t be thwarted.Maxell Action Kids🆗80.683A toddler top three, and great for car seats with narrow head protection. Older kids found this set too small. Be careful with the removable decorations, however.Puro BT2200🆗80.885.0Beloved by all ages, and within claimed volume limits, these headphones were the number one pick for every panelist.JLab JBuddies Studio🆗80.987.5Too big for the 3-year-olds, but the older kids loved the cushy earpads and sound. Note: Larger/older noggins (12 years and up) may find this model too snug. The lifetime warranty is also a nice feature.Direct Sound YourTones🆗81.083.3Great isolation, but the fit was huge on our toddlers. One of our big kids said, “These squeezed my head and gave me a headache.”Puro OEH-200🆗81.786.5The only “lice-proof and water-resistant” headphones, these were too big for our little ones, and our bigger kids weren’t huge fans of the foam on the headband. But they do sound good, and might be a good school-issue option.Onanoff BuddyPhones Cosmos (toddler mode ANC off)🆗81.884.4Sturdily built with kid-friendly looks and fair ANC. But adult-sized earcups and headband fit tweens and older better than younger kids, and “airplane mode” isn’t within safer ranges.Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore🆗82.188.6Our toddler pick—our little kids loved the fit, and the set folds up for easy portability. Safer volume. Too small for our bigger kids, however.Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave🆗82.387.6We adore that this pair is waterproof, sturdy, and cute. Based on wireless measurements, it would be a runner-up, but with its cable, it may get too loud (see below).KidzSafe🆗82.489.7Too big for our 3-year-olds, and one 11-year-old said, “They hurt my cheekbones. Too tight on my face, and the cord is weird.” But the volume was reasonable, at least.JBL JR300BT🆗82.887.5Not uncomfortable, but the foam felt cheap to older kids. And the lack of volume controls and the inability to listen corded aren’t ideal.Kidz Gear KidzControl wired (with dongle)*🆗82.888.3As with the wireless Kidz Gear model, neither our toddlers nor our big kids were thrilled with the fit.Zamkol Kids Wireless Headphones🆗82.987.6This pair measured in safer ranges out of the box, but it’s too easy to toggle to a max of 95 dB, which is louder than we’d recommend. There is no way to listen corded, the earcups don’t swivel so fit may be an issue, and the sound is just okay. Bass notes can distort.JLab JBuddies Play (via Bluetooth)🆗84.088.4Great option for gaming or remote school, with a retractable mic and mute button. But the sound is somewhat coarse.Onanoff BuddyPhones Galaxy (with dongle)*🆗84.088.7A solid option if your kiddo needs a boom mic, but not as solidly built, and doesn’t have wireless capabilities.Maxell Safe Soundz 6-9🆗84.088.8The big kids on our panel didn’t mince words: “Too small, plasticky, and feel like they’re gonna break easily.”Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet (via Bluetooth)🆗ANC on: 84.5
ANC off: 80.3ANC on: 82.8
ANC off: 85.6These are built well, sound great, are within safer ranges, and have effective noise cancelling, but they are expensive and louder via the cable (see below).Puro IEM200 (in-ear)🆗84.688.3If you need in-ears for older kids, these are a good choice. Definitely not for the little ones (choking hazard), and easier for older kids to lose.Rokit Boost Chill🆗84.989.2Our little ones weren’t enthusiastic, perhaps because of the weight. Our older kids were “fine” with them, just not as excited as with other models. A decent option.Puro BT2200 (supplied cord)🆗85.290.3With the Puro corded, the resistor can reach volume levels just beyond what we consider safer for longer-term listening in our Leq test. Use with care.JVC Tinyphones HA-KD3🆗85.291.8“Uncomfy,” said our 3-year-olds. “Too small and plastic,” declared the 4- to 11-year-olds.Kenu Groovies🆗85.790.3Our panelists weren’t fans of the unpadded headband and the non-swiveling earcups. The ability to share music was neat, but they’d prefer others. “Just okay.”Onanoff BuddyPhones InFlight (airplane mode)🆗85.893.7The airplane-mode volume is unsafe for listening longer than approximately two hours, so definitely use with care and take other noise exposure into account.Sakar Kid-Safe (My Little Pony)🆗86.389.0We thought the kids on our panel would be swayed by characters. We were wrong: The little ones ripped these right off, and the big kids were way too savvy. “Uncomfortable, plastic, cheap.” The adults were schooled.Etymotic ETY-Kids3🆗86.688.9We don’t recommend in-ears for toddlers due to potential choking hazards. Our big kids, meanwhile, weren’t into the pine-tree tips.iClever BoostCare IC-HS12🆗8794.6Though parents liked the cute designs, our kid testers weren’t as impressed. But if your lil’ one likes the look, the designs are soft and safe, and the headphones measured within safer ranges on our tests.JLab JBuddies Play (via cable)🆗87.291.6Great option for gaming or remote school, with a retractable mic and mute button. But the sound is somewhat coarse.LilGadgets Untangled Pro (BT)⚠️88.092.7One of our big-kid panelists picked this pair as his favorite, tied with the Puro. “Comfy, fit well, and good sound,” he said. Sadly, unsafe volume levels bumped it from our picks.Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet (via cable)⚠️ANC on: 88.0
ANC off: 83.5ANC on: 90.2
ANC off: 87.6When used properly with the supplied cable, this set is louder than we’d like if you have the noise cancelling on. When used improperly, it’s not as great (see below).Onanoff BuddyPhones Cosmos (kids mode ANC on)⚠️88.491.9Sturdily built with kid-friendly looks and fair ANC. But adult-sized earcups and headband fit tweens and older better than younger kids, and “airplane mode” isn’t within safer ranges.Puro JuniorJams⚠️88.593.0We like these headphones for the ability to connect two pairs via cable so kids can share one device, but we prefer the more solid-feeling and grown-up–looking metal build of the Puro BT2200.Sony MDR-222KD⚠️89.291.7Our 3-year-olds were okay with this set but liked the flexible headband on the Maxell better. Our older kids thought it was too small and didn’t like the foam.Fuhu Nabi (parent setting)⚠️89.394.6The Nabi has parent/kid settings for volume that are very easy for kids to defeat when unsupervised.JVC Tinyphones HA-KD6⚠️89.790.9Too big for our toddlers, “stiff and uncomfortable” according to our big kids.Sakar Kid-Safe (Batman)⚠️n/a (breakage)93.9One of the earpads fell off right out of the box, and we couldn’t get it back on. Then the headband snapped during measurement. If cautious adults could break this pair, it would stand no chance against kids. Total fail.LeapFrog Headphones⚠️89.996.7Way, way too big for little noggins, and our older kids weren’t enthusiastic. They didn’t dislike this pair, but with so much competition, they found many others they liked better.Onanoff BuddyPhones Play (via cable)⚠️90.495.2Although this pair is within recommended ranges via Bluetooth, we’d exercise some caution when using it corded.Onanoff BuddyPhones Cosmos (via cable ANC on)⚠️90.894.8With noise cancelling off, this pair measured even louder: 93.8 dB with pink noise and 97.2 dB with music/Leq. Age modes don’t work via cable.AmazonBasics On-Ear Headphones for Kids⚠️91.895.0Too big according to our 3-year-olds, and middle of the road in comfort for our 4- to 11-year-olds.Onanoff BuddyPhones Cosmos (kids mode ANC off)⚠️91.894.5Sturdily built with kid-friendly looks and fair ANC. But adult-sized earcups and headband fit tweens and older better than younger kids, and “airplane mode” isn’t within safer ranges.LilGadgets Connect+ Pro⚠️91.897.5This set went over the recommended volume limits in our tests. Interestingly, LilGadgets designed it to limit at 93 dB, claiming that noise isolation helps protect hearing. But we found the isolation to be minimal.iClever BTH03 – Wired⚠️92.097.1Though the lights are fun, the earcups don’t swivel, so it can be hard to keep this pair on. The microphone is basically unusable, so don’t pick these for video-chat purposes, either.iClever BTH03 – Bluetooth⚠️92.297.2Though the lights are fun, the earcups don’t swivel, so it can be hard to keep this pair on. The microphone is basically unusable, so don’t pick these for video-chat purposes, either.Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave⚠️92.697.1We like a lot about this set, but we would recommend it only for wireless use. With a 24-hour battery life, that could be doable.iClever BTH12 (via included cable)⚠️94.298.6The lights are neat, but the earcups on this pair don’t swivel, so the earcups don’t lie flush. This means it’s a challenge to keep sound in and noise out. Plus they are louder than recommended through the cable.Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet (via cable used backward)⚠️94.395.7If the cord is backward or you use a third-party cable, the volume limiting doesn’t work. We recommend marking the cable and supervising kids when they’re listening while corded.Onanoff BuddyPhones Cosmos (travel mode ANC on)⚠️96.599.3Sturdily built with kid-friendly looks and fair ANC. But adult-sized earcups and headband fit tweens and older better than younger kids, and “airplane mode” isn’t within safer ranges.LilGadgets Untangled Pro (wired)⚠️96.199.5Wired, the volume limiting on this pair was even worse.LilGadgets Connect+⚠️98.7104.0Volume problems aside, these were a mixed bag with our kids. The headband was too large for the toddlers; half the older kids liked the rubber feel and fit, while the other half found them uncomfy.Onanoff BuddyPhones Cosmos (travel mode ANC off)❌100.0101.9Sturdily built with kid-friendly looks and fair ANC. But adult-sized earcups and headband fit tweens and older better than younger kids, and “airplane mode” isn’t within safer ranges.Kidz Gear Bluetooth*❌101.7107.6Completely failed our volume tests, and our toddlers and older kids disliked the plastic headband and “uncomfy” fit.Kidz Gear KidzControl wired (no dongle)*❌105.6110.5The included dongle is the key to volume limiting—without it in place, the volume goes off the charts. But it’s so easy to remove and lose that we can’t guarantee it would stay in use.Coloud Boom Kids (max setting)❌106.1112.1A dial inside the earcup allows parents to set the volume limit, but it offers no guidance on the settings. We’d rather not have to guess on what is safe. We took this measurement at the highest dial setting.Puro BT2200 (third-party cord, or cord reversed)❌107.9110.6A flaw with our pick: If the cord is backward or you use a third-party cable, the volume limiting doesn’t work. We recommend marking the cable and supervising kids when they’re listening while corded.MEE KidJamz (switched off)❌108.1112.6The small switch that activates volume limiting makes a massive difference in levels. We took this measurement while it was switched off.Kidz Gear Bluetooth (via cord)*❌108.4114.4With the included cord, this pair did even worse on our volume-limit testing.

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