Baby headphones look like ridiculous oversized ear bagels, but they serve a very vital purpose. The best baby noise-cancelling headphones provide baby ear protection, which is something you probably don’t really think about until you find yourself at an outdoor music festival or waiting for a subway with shrieking brakes.
We live in a noisy world — one that’s growing noisier by the day. Infants and young children have particularly delicate eardrums that can easily be damaged by repeated exposure to loud sounds (anything louder than 70 decibels), which can lead to hearing problems.
The best thing you can do for your young one, then, is to invest in some hearing protection to break out whenever things get loud — at music festivals, restaurants, subways, airports, and so on. “Wearing hearing protection makes all of the sounds softer and can offer vital protection to ears that are still developing,” says Dr. Hanna Page, a doctor of audiology.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the easiest way to damage your hearing is by repeated exposure to loud sounds. That means everything from sirens to lawnmowers. Bear in mind that normal conversation is usually about 60 decibels, and decibel levels of 80-90 are considered safe. Anything at 90 or above, such as a subway or motorcycle, can damage hearing or cause hearing loss. A common rule of thumb that the American Academy of Audiology follows is that if you have to shout to be heard you should walk away from the loud noise to protect your little one’s ears.
The best ear protective devices for toddlers and infants are large contractor-style over-the-ear headphones or ear muffs. These are easy to put on, and simple for parents to monitor. Bonus: Your kid looks like a cool roadie when they wear them. The most important thing to look for when shopping for a pair is that they have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 20 or better. Here are the best noise-cancelling headphones.
Best Baby Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you're in a truly overwhelming place, get this set of earmuffs and sunglasses to protect your baby's ears and eyes. These infant earmuffs are ideal for newborns through 24 months and up.
Say if you’re at a raucous ball game, or somehow find yourself at Burning Man, these sunglasses will keep out any glaring lights. They have a neoprene strap and embedded rubber nose that allow for flexibility and comfort. And the earmuffs weigh just 190 grams, and are gently padded enough to both block out noise and keep your kid comfortable thanks to wide, foam-filled cushions.
Founded by a couple of professional musicians looking to take their new baby to concerts EM’s was the first company in the world to design earmuffs specifically for babies.
Their baby muffs are lightweight and are certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) with an NRR rating of 22. Their stretchy headband fits around the head and is adjustable allowing parents to custom fit them to their own babies head size. They come in two colors and you can interchange headbands to fit your mood. Recommended for newborn to 18 months of age.
From a company that makes a variety of protective items for children—sunglasses, sun hats and earmuffs these infant earmuffs offer an excellent NRR rating of 31.
These noise-cancelling headphones fold up small for easy storage, come in a variety of styles, and cradle your baby’s noggin in a soft cushion to ensure comfort. Weighing in at only five ounces they are sure to not weigh down a little one’s head and are ANSI certified. Recommended for newborn to 2 years old.
Thanks to the adjustable headband, plus a variety of cool prints, these earmuffs fit toddlers to teens (although we highly doubt any teen would wear them). They reduce noise to a safe level at concerts, fireworks, and other loud events.
These baby noise-cancelling earmuffs provide passive noise reduction and are ideal for sporting events.
These are standout baby headphones because of their ultra-comfortable fit, in addition to their noise-cancellation properties. The earmuffs have a GrowBand that easily fits kids from birth to age four.
Once your child has moved on to toddler these earmuffs from EMs will continue offering them protection for many more years. With an NRR rating of 21, they will keep ears protected at a variety of events.
They come in many different colors, telescope to fit their growing heads, and only weigh 6.5 ounces. What parents will love about them, besides the fact that they are protecting their kid’s ears, is the fact that they fold up small enough to fit in your palm — easy for packing along. Recommended for kids six months and older
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Kids
Amazon isn't messing around with its house-brand kids' headphones. These noise-cancelling earmuffs help protect ears from loud noise and are ANSI-certified.
These earmuffs weigh just over seven ounces, are made with noise-dampening sponge material and have 20dB noise reduction rating.
These noise-cancelling headphones have a volume limit of 85 decibels. They're lightweight, with comfortable ear cups and a cushioned headband. And they provide 82 percent ambient noise isolation.
Not only do these headphones have a pre-set volume limit, but they also work for 18 hours on a single charge. They have one-touch Bluetooth pairing with Apple and Android devices.
These headphones have a volume limit of 85 decibels. Plus, parents can activate Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) to block out background noise up to 22 decibels.
Not only do these headphones have awesome volume-control and noise-cancellation properties, but they get up to 22 hours of playtime and 200 hours of standby on a single charge.
Not only do these noise-cancelling headphones look pretty dope, but they have a built-in audio limit of 85 decibels. They're great for kids ages three to ten. The attached three foot cable is flat, so there won't be any annoying tangles or knots.
These headphones are kid-friendly because they come with decorative stickers, and they fold up for easy travel. Plus, they’re hella comfortable.
These headphones are meant for kids six and older. They're built to last, and due to their shareport, there's no need for a splitter. Meaning, kids can share audio and watch a movie together. The max volume on these kids' headphones is set at 93db with internal 40mm drivers and a range of 20Hz to 20kHz.
You get everything you need with these kids’ headphones, meant for grade schoolers. There’s solid volume control, plus the ability for kids to hang out and listen to DJ Marshmellow together. Note that these are not wireless and not Bluetooth.
These are meant for older kids, with a volume limit of 93 decibels, and come in a slew of great colors for every taste.
These headphones have 12 hours of battery life while listening to music or movies, and 180 hours on standby. They also have passive noise reduction. These headphones feature the integrated SharePort technology, where you can connect multiple headphones to one device. It’s like one big musical buddy system.
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