Infants and young children have particularly delicate eardrums. They can easily be damaged by repeated exposure to loud sounds (anything louder than 70 decibels, which is about as loud as a standard vacuum cleaner), and that damage can lead to hearing problems later in childhood and as an adult. It’s no surprise then, that noise-canceling headphones for kids and babies come highly recommended.
The best noise-cancelling headphones for toddlers and older kids are simply those that are comfortable and restrict the volume from jumping out of a certain healthy range. These can sometimes be adjusted based on the age of your child. The best baby noise canceling headphones, however, are protective devices that look like large contractor-style earmuffs. These are easy to put on, and simple for parents to use, as they are passive, which translates as “battery-free.” “They make all of the sounds softer and can offer vital protection to ears that are still developing,” says Dr. Hanna Page, a doctor of audiology in private practice in Colorado.
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. They’re ideal to use for when you take a child to a loud location and are worried about their sensitive ears. The higher the rating, the more protection children get. With kids’ noise-canceling headphones, you ideally want a pair that allows you to limit the volume to 85 decibels, a level that’s considered “safer” by the World Health Organization. As an added bonus, many Frozen 2 on repeat, providing you with a much-needed rest. Regardless of the age of your child, here are some of our favorites.
The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones For Babies
Super soft and light, these headphones are small enough for newborns and yet can be worn by toddlers and older. They cut four to six times the noise level for protection and uninterrupted naps. That alone is worth the modest price.
Perfect for babies from birth until 24 months, these headphones have a noise reduction rating of 31dB, which is significantly higher than the recommended 20 NRR. They have foam cushioning, so they're comfortable. And they weigh less than a softball.
Zero pressure and battery-free, these passive noise-cancelling headphones are perfect for long flights and noisy weekends. They're also good for children as young as three months old.
The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones For Toddlers
All Onanoff does is work to protect hearing while delivering crystal-clear sound. Its BuddyPhones have become a staple among children learning at home over the past 18 months, and while we understand there are new products en route, ain't nothing like the real thing. Super comfy, volume-restricted to a max 85db, and with an 18-hour battery life, these will become your child's new best friend and favorite homework partner.
This is what you want for your toddler or preschooler to put on to watch a movie during dinner, at a safe volume. These wired earmuffs have a decibel limit of 75; they pair with a device, and you control the volume remotely. They have a noise reduction rating of 31, so again, well above the suggested number
These noise-cancelling earmuffs provide passive noise reduction and are ideal for sporting events; they have a 22 noise reduction rating.The earmuffs have a GrowBand that easily fits kids from birth to age four, so they're particularly suitable for growing toddlers.
The Best Kids’ Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Parents can choose between an 85dB and 95dB volume, depending on your kid's needs and how long he or she will be using the headphones. You get roughly 28 hours of battery life, as well as a deep noise reduction of 32d, and a built-in microphone.
These headphones have two standout features: They look pretty rad, and they have a 12-hour battery life. They cap volume at 85dB and are Bluetooth-enabled.
This wired kiddie model weighs about as much as a deck of cards, and caps the volume at 85 decibels. The cushions are ultra-padded and sized for little ears. Plus, picky kids can choose whatever color they like.
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 and they also work for 18 hours on a single charge. They have one-touch Bluetooth pairing with Apple and Android devices.
These wired kids' headphones have a share-port, so they can listen to music or movies together, eliminating the need for a splitter. The volume limit is 93 decibels, but the headphones have passive noise-cancellation as well.
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