The best kids headphones and toddler headphones have one very basic but crucial job: To serve as parental tools that help protect children’s hearing, while also letting them listen to their favorite music or shows without further fraying what’s left of adult sanity. They’re also crucial pieces of gear as yet another school year remains mostly centered around remote learning. Kids need to be able to listen to their teachers, follow along with lessons, and do both without driving their WFH parents insane inside homes converted into shared work and learning spaces. But before you pass your son or daughter your own full-strength bluetooth headphones, there are a few points to consider.
The World Health Organization recommends that when using headphones, kids listen to SpongeBob at a volume no greater than 85 decibels, for no more than 60 minutes at a time. For that reason, select a model with a built-in limit that fits these constraints. Ambient noise reduction is another solid feature if your kids will be using these in loud places, like a living room with a TV on in the background. And choose whether you want wired headphones, or Bluetooth ones. That’s purely an issue of preference.
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The Best Kids Bluetooth Headphones
These are the headphones to get if you want true flexibility. First off, they have 45 hours of battery life. Which is great. But parents are able to customize volume limits based on their surroundings: They can switch between 74, 85, and 94dB by pressing the keys in combination. Plus, the covers are detachable, so kids can swap out colors to keep things fresh.
These bluetooth headphones have less battery life (18 hours) but make up for that by giving parents even more audio options. You can toggle between TravelMode 94dB (max), KidsMode 85dB (max), ToddlerMode 75dB (max) and StudyMode, based on where you are and what your kid is doing. You can also use these in wired mode.
These wireless headphones are ideal for even louder environments, like kitchens, because they block out 82 percent of ambient noise. They have a decibel limit of 85, plus 18 hours of battery life. Of course, there's one-touch Bluetooth pairing with an iPhone and Android. The 30-foot wireless range is pretty solid, too.
Yes, these are billed as gaming headphones. And yes, they can be used for gaming. But they're just as ideal for classwork. The volume limit is 85dB. You get 22 hours of battery life on one charge. They're wireless, and compatibles with PS, XBox, Switch, PCs and Macs, and mobile devices. In short, everything you need. The Bluetooth range is 30 feet.
If you'd rather go Bluetooth, this is a fantastic set, with up to 22 hours of battery life. The volume is capped at 85 decibels. The headphones have one-touch Bluetooth pairing with iPhone, Android, and devices, and a 30-foot range of movement.
These wireless headphones also have a shareport and are especially ideal for loud spaces, because they have passive noise reduction, which reduces outside noise levels by 13db. The volume is limited to 93 decibels and the headphones have 12 hours of listening time.
The Best Wired Kids Headphones
The standout feature on these wired kids headphones is the shareport. Meaning, kids can share audio without a splitter 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. The cable is 4 feet long.
With an upper ceiling of 85 decibels, Ailihen's foldable headphones are perfect for parents who want both protection and a firm connection to a device. The 3.5-millimeter jack is nearly universal and fits with most Apple and PC devices (admittedly some newer models will need an adapter), and it includes a microphone for online learning.
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