We test and review headphones based on an independent 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more. We tested the top kids’ headphones for volume safety (find the results below). Many went over the promised limit. But the kids’ headphones here are perfect for school, kindergarten, or flying. Previous Next Price Volume Limiter Best for ages BuddyPhones POP Fun Safest kids headphones Under $40 2 levels – 85, 94dB 3-16 years Read more Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Premium safest kids headphones Under $100 85dB 3-16 years Read more BuddyPhones Cosmos+ Most feature-rich Under $100 3 levels – 75, 85, 94dB 1-12 years Read more Puro Sound Labs PuroPro Noise-cancelling kids headphones Under $200 85dB 5-18 years Read more BuddyPhones Play+ Best value for money Under $50 3 levels – 75, 85, 94dB 1-8 years Read more CONTENTS (show more) You want to give your kids a pair of headphones for watching cartoons, listening to music, doing school work or traveling on a plane. But not all headphones are safe. High volume in headphones can permanently damage their hearing in a couple of minutes (according to scientific sources below). So, we gathered a bunch of kids’ headphones and tested their volume limiters. Do they really work? Here’s what we found out: Most headphones for kids play louder than advertised. Key Test Findings: 60% of tests of kids’ headphones surpassed the loudness limit advertised by the manufacturers. We did a total of 45 tests using different headphones and audio sources. 18 results are in the green (safe) zone (below 3dB over the target) 16 are in the orange zone (under 8dB above the target) 11 results landed in the red zone (+8dB above the target). Find out what is the safest way to listen to headphones for kids and all about the test below. Best Headphones for Kids BuddyPhones POP Fun THE SAFEST KIDS HEADPHONES BuddyPhones POP Fun have the most accurate volume limiters out of all kids headphones, making them the safest option for your kid. BuddyPhones POP Fun review Connection: n/a Driver size: 40mm dynamic Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz Type: On-ear | Battery life: 24h | Wireless range: 60 feet (18.2 meters) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: None | Features: Volume limiters, foldable Smooth, warm sound that never gets harsh Safe listening volumes ("84.4dB" in 85dB mode & "94dB" in 94dB mode) Comfortable fit, even for adults Lightweight & very flexible construction Long battery life of 23.5 hours (in 85dB mode at 50% volume) Washable earpads from anti-allergic materials Not even basic IPX water protection No carrying pouch included Not the most stable for active kids BuddyPhones POP Fun are natural-sounding wireless headphones with a smooth sound signature that doesn’t fatigue more sensitive child’s ears. Furthermore, with the most accurate volume limiters, they’re the safest pick among kids’ headphones (that we’ve tested). You can choose from 85 and 94dB modes, and be sure your kids will never expose themselves to loudness above that. Like other BuddyPhones headphones, these also use antiallergenic materials. The POP Fun even has easily detachable earpads that you can wash and keep fresh at all times. While a bit plain-looking, headphones come with 4 pairs of stickers for personal decoration. One thing to keep an eye on is to keep them away from liquids as they lack even the basic IP rating. BuddyPhones POP Fun review Check price Puro Sound Labs BT2200 PREMIUM SAFEST HEADPHONES FOR KIDS Smaller on-ear headphones for kids with an effective volume limit of 85dB and an adult-like design that keeps them relevant longer. Puro Sound Labs BT2200s Volume Limited Kids’ Bluetooth Headphones – Safer Headphones for Kids –… Puro Sound Labs BT2200s Volume Limited Kids’ Bluetooth Headphones – Safer Headphones for Kids –… out of stock as of November 30, 2023 4:07 pm Buy now Amazon.com PURO SOUND LABS VOLUME LIMITED WIRELESS HEADPHONE FOR KIDS BT2200S PINK PURO SOUND LABS VOLUME LIMITED WIRELESS HEADPHONE FOR KIDS BT2200S PINK out of stock Buy now eBay Puro Sound Labs BT2200 review Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 40mm Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz Type: On-ear | Connection: Wireless Bluetooth & wired | Back design: Closed-back | Battery life: 20h (18h21min) | Wireless range: 50ft (15m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Weight: 150g | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: No | Features: Volume limiter, 3.5mm port, foldable, music share Stylish colorful design yet suitable for older kids Durable aluminum build quality Effective volume limit at 85dB (Bluetooth and wired) Simple built-in controls Music sharing cable Can’t change the volume limiter Somewhat pricey compared to alternatives Puro Sound Labs BT2200 performed the really good among all the kids headphones we tested. Therefore, they’re among our top recommendations. Plus, there are more reasons. Strong, colorful design with attractive stickers get the attention of toddlers and preschool kids, but what happens when they grow up a bit? Once your kid grows a bit older, 6 years+, they’ll look up to their friends for clues. And colorful headphones for toddlers won’t spark any interest. In fact, they might be ridiculed for it. This is where Puro BT2200 come in with a wide array of colors. They’re unassuming while still having volume control. They’re perfectly suitable for young as well as primary school kids. They come with wireless Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in mic, sound quality, and durable construction. For kids’ headphones that will stand the test of time, Puro BT2200 are a great choice. Read the full review below: Puro Sound Labs BT2200 review Check price BuddyPhones Cosmos+ MOST FEATURE-RICH KIDS HEADPHONES The most feature-packed wireless headphones for kids with 3 volume-limit modes, active noise cancelling (ANC), built-in and boom microphones, and long battery life. BuddyPhones Cosmos Wireless ANC Active Noise Cancellation Kids Safe Audio Limit BuddyPhones Cosmos Wireless ANC Active Noise Cancellation Kids Safe Audio Limit $49.95 in stock Buy now eBay BuddyPhones Cosmos+ Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Kids Headphones – Over-Ear Volume Limiting… BuddyPhones Cosmos+ Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Kids Headphones – Over-Ear Volume Limiting… in stock as of November 30, 2023 9:45 pm Buy now Amazon.com BuddyPhones Cosmos+ review Connection: Bluetooth Driver size: 40mm Frequency range: 18-22,000Hz Type: Over-ear | Connection: Wireless & Wired | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: Yes | Mic & Controls: Yes | AUX cable length: 1m | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 233g | Features: Voice limiter, detachable boom mic, foldable, colorful options Great design your kid will love Quality materials and sturdy, foldable construction 3 volume limiting modes: 75, 85, 94dB Active noise cancelling (ANC) Detachable boom microphone Massive battery life over 30h Pricey If you want one pair of headphones that can do it all, the BuddyPhones Cosmos+ are the best choice. These are suitable for 12-month-olds or early teenagers thanks to the adjustable headband. They’re among the best headphones for toddlers. You can use them for listening to music and video with quality drivers and comfy design, or use them for online lessons and chat. Thanks to Study Mode (hear-through mode) and a detachable boom microphone that extends right in front of the mouth, they’re one of the best kids headphones for school. To ensure perfect safety, you can toggle between 3 different volume control modes, as well as active noise cancellation (ANC), so they’re safe for an airplane too. Why active noise cancelling? It protects your kids’ hearing against engine noise exposure on an airplane. The only bad thing is their price. Around $100, they rank among premium kids headphones. If you don’t mind paying for the best noise cancelling headphones for kids, then the Cosmos+ are the top choice. BuddyPhones Cosmos+ review Check price Puro Sound Labs PuroPro BEST NOISE-CANCELLING KIDS HEADPHONES Best noise-cancelling kids headphones with volume control that look like grown-up over-ear headphones. Puro Sound Labs: PuroPro Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Volume Limiting Headphones, Wireless Over… Puro Sound Labs: PuroPro Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Volume Limiting Headphones, Wireless Over… $130.00 $149.00 in stock as of November 30, 2023 4:07 pm Buy now Amazon.com Puro Sound Labs: PuroPro Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Volume Limiting Headphones, Wireless Over… Puro Sound Labs: PuroPro Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Volume Limiting Headphones, Wireless Over… $130.00 $149.00 in stock Buy now Walmart.com PUROPRO VOLUME LIMITING WIRELESS NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES SEALED PUROPRO VOLUME LIMITING WIRELESS NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES SEALED out of stock Buy now eBay Puro Sound Labs PuroPro review Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 40mm Frequency range: 20-20,000Hz Type: Over-ear | Connection: Bluetooth & wired 3.5mm | Back design: Closed-back | Battery life: 38h+ | Wireless range: 55ft | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Weight: 10 oz (285g) | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: None | Features: Volume limiter Good, smooth sound Super comfortable over-ear cups Volume limited to 85 dB or 95dB Active noise cancellation with 2 modes Long battery life (38h+) Construction quality Expensive Kind of bulky for kids headphones If your kid is a bit older or dislikes childish headphones, then the PuroPro are a great fit. The Bluetooth headphones come with active noise cancellation (ANC – 2 modes), massive battery life of almost 40 hours, and plush over-ear earpads that fit an adult. Or use them as wired headphones. ANC makes them suitable for air traveling on a plane as it protects against ambient noise. Moreover, they look like adult headphones, but in reality, they’re limited to a max 85dB volume to protect hearing. Your kid can crank up the volume to the max without you worrying it will hurt their little ears. Puro PuroPro are a great choice if you want adult-looking Bluetooth headphones with all the features and a volume limiter. Puro Sound Labs PuroPro review Check price BuddyPhones Play+ BEST BUDGET BuddyPhones Play+ don’t cost an arm and a leg and come with 3 volume-limiting modes. And they’re perfect for kindergarten or school. ONANOFF BuddyPhones Play+, Wireless Bluetooth Volume-Limiting Kids Headphones, 20-Hours Battery… ONANOFF BuddyPhones Play+, Wireless Bluetooth Volume-Limiting Kids Headphones, 20-Hours Battery… $42.99 $59.99 in stock 1 used from $39.17 as of November 30, 2023 4:24 pm Buy now Amazon.com BuddyPhones PLAY+ BuddyPhones PLAY+ $49.99 in stock Buy now Buddyphones.com BuddyPhones Play+, On-Ear Bluetooth Wireless or Wired Foldable Kids Headphones with Mic, 3 Volume… BuddyPhones Play+, On-Ear Bluetooth Wireless or Wired Foldable Kids Headphones with Mic, 3 Volume… out of stock Buy now Walmart.com BuddyPhones Play+ review Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 40mm dynamic Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz Type: On-ear | Battery life: 20h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: None | Features: Foldable, volume limiters, Study mode, audio sharing Great sound quality (for the price) 3 volume limiters Study mode for better concentration Good battery life Good comfort and stability Flexible design But a bit cheap-feeling Mediocre Bluetooth range No IP rating The BuddyPhones Play+ are on-ear budget headphones for kids with everything you expect from modern wireless headphones. You get Bluetooth, so you can easily connect them to a smartphone, tablet, or a TV. And you can use them as wired headphones too. The volume control ensures a safe listening volume for all ages. And a built-in microphone for calls. Once you don’t need them anymore, they fold for easier storage. And their battery life over 10 hours isn’t shabby either. BuddyPhones Play+ are cheaper headphones without ANC or extra-long battery, but most kids don’t need more. And the fact you can get them for under $50, depending on which model you buy, they’re fantastic value for money. You can read more about them and the test in the full review. BuddyPhones Play+ review Check price Honorable Mentions Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets Puro PuroQuiets are similar to BT2200. The on-ears are noise cancelling headphones for kids with more features. PuroQuiets have a slightly longer battery life, over 20 hours with ANC, and even more turned off. But they also cost more money, so consider them if you want active noise cancelling headphones for kids. at Amazon.com at eBay at Walmart.com BuddyPhones Wave With an IP67 rating, BuddyPhones Wave are protected against dust and water, and you can easily clean them under a tap. Moreover, they come with 3 volume control modes, including Toddler Mode and a durable, foldable design for easier storage. BuddyPhones Wave review $18.99 at Walmart.com $39.99 at eBay $69.99 at Buddyphones.com at Amazon.com Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus BT2200 Plus model has a very comfortable design with interchangeable on-ear and over-ear ear pads. That way, they fit small and big kids’ heads. Furthermore, they’re the best-sounding kids headphones right now, but their volume limiter often misses the target and plays too loud. So they aren’t the safest in regards to controlling volume. Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus review $85.00 at Amazon.com $85.00 at Walmart.com Our Kids Headphones Safety Test (Results) What’s the safest way to listen to kids headphones? Using a smartphone with an AUX adapter is the safest way to listen to kids headphones. Out of 3 tests, only one boosted the headphones over the target into the orange zone. Compared to Bluetooth results: 33,3% of headphones connected to a wired smartphone went over the limit. 68,8% of Bluetooth headphones went over the limit. There’s no significant difference between wireless and wired kids headphones in loudness. 68.8% of Bluetooth kids headphones reached over the limits. 68.2% wired headphones were louder than they should be. Puro BT2200 did the best job at maintaining their loudness below the target loudness. However, they also did the worst in wired mode using a non-stock cable (stock cable has a built-in limiter). Wirecutter also tested headphones for kids and came to the exact same conclusion regarding Puro BT2200. Comparing Results: The Table We colored the results for easier navigation. If the loudness exceeds: Up to +3dB above the targetUp to +8dB above the targetMore than 8dB above the target MODEL & MODEWHITE NOISEMUSICBuddyPhones POP Fun (Bluetooth, 85dB mode)84.4dB83.3dBBuddyPhones POP Fun (Bluetooth, 94dB mode)94.0dB93.4dBBuddyPhones POP Fun (wired mode, laptop)93.2dB91.7dBBuddyPhones POP Fun (wired mode, amp)98.4dB/BuddyPhones Play+ (Bluetooth, Music mode, 75dB mode)79.9dB79.2dBBuddyPhones Play+ (Bluetooth, Music mode, 85dB mode)86.7dB86.4dBBuddyPhones Play+ (Bluetooth, Music mode, 94dB mode)96.2dB98.1dBBuddyPhones Play+ (wired mode, laptop)86dB85.6dBBuddyPhones Play+ (wired mode, amp)97.6dB97.1dBBuddyPhones Play+ (Bluetooth, Study mode, 75dB mode)81dB/BuddyPhones Play+ (Bluetooth, Study mode, 85dB mode)88.4dB/BuddyPhones Play+ (Bluetooth, Study mode, 94dB mode)98.1dB/Puro Sound Labs PuroPro (Bluetooth, 85dB mode)90.5dB88.3dBPuro Sound Labs PuroPro (Bluetooth, 95dB mode)100.5dB98.7dBPuro Sound Labs PuroPro (wired mode, laptop)90.9dB85.1dBPuro Sound Labs PuroPro (wired mode, smartphone)/82.1dBPuro Sound Labs PuroPro (wired mode, amp)96.3dB94.1dBBuddyPhones School+ (wired, 85dB, laptop)93.9dB92.1dBBuddyPhones School+ (wired, 85dB, smartphone)/89.5dBBuddyPhones School+ (wired, amp)98.5dB98.2dBPuro BT2200 (Bluetooth)84.9dB84.6dBPuro BT2200 (Wired, stock cable, laptop)85.1dB85dBPuro BT2200 (Wired, third-party cable, laptop)109.7dB111dBBuddyPhones Explore+ (wired, 85dB mode, laptop)90.5dB88.3dBBuddyPhones Explore+ (wired, 85dB mode, smartphone)/84.5dBBuddyPhones Explore+ (wired, amp)98.3dB97.1dBPuro BT2200 Plus (Bluetooth)100dB89.2dBPuro BT2200 Plus (Wired, stock cable, laptop)85.4dB75.4dBPuro BT2200 Plus (Wired, third-party cable, laptop)105.5dB95.7dB What We Learned From The Volume Tests? White Noise Most headphones for kids are ever so slightly louder than they should be. While some are only a few dB away from the target, some can even deviate for +10dB. The only ones that were perfectly accurate in Bluetooth mode were Puro BT2200. However, when plugging them via third-party cable, we managed to get them to absurd loudness. Music Music results are much more promising. They indicate that headphones only occasionally surpass the target loudness. From the example of the “Baby Shark” song, only at the loudest part do headphones surpass the promised loudness. Otherwise, they stay below the target. All Wired Headphones are Louder Than It’s Healthy Since wired headphones receive power from external devices, their loudness largely depends on the power of the external music source. What does that mean? You can power wired headphones above the healthy volume with a strong amplifier. Using a headphones amplifier pushes all kids headphones above healthy, and in some cases, to truly dangerous levels. Even without the amp, 68.2% of all wired headphones in our tests reached above their target loudness. So, what’s the safest way to use headphones? The safest way is to use them in wired mode paired with a smartphone. The latter has the least power, so it rarely pushes headphones above the target (in our tests, it only happened once with BuddyPhones School+ model). Using a Smartphone in Wired Mode Results in Lower Loudness Among laptops, headphone amps, and smartphones, the latter output the least amount of power. Consequently, they don’t drive headphones as loud. Therefore, it’s safer to use wired headphones with a smartphone. But as seen in BuddyPhones School+ tests, some headphones still surpass the advertised loudness using a smartphone. How We Tested The Loudness of Kids Headphones Why Are We Doing These Tests? You want to keep your kids safe from all harm, hearing damage included. When buying headphones, you can’t be 100% sure they work as intended. Manufacturers tend to use buzzwords to lure you into buying their product. But in some cases, they’re only bluffing. Therefore, it’s our mission to verify if these headphones, which should protect your kids’ hearing, are safe to use or not. How Volume Limiters Work There are 2 types of volume limiters in headphones, physical and software-based. Software-based is used in wireless headphones, where sound characteristics are controlled by a DSP (digital signal processing). The latter is already responsible to regulate loudness in other Bluetooth headphones to prevent driver damage. Physical limiters are tiny resistors that reduce the power input by half. However, that works only when using weaker audio sources like smartphones. Resistors inside BuddyPhones Explore+ headphones for kids. Manufacturers Don’t Specify Industry Standards While companies say their headphones reach a specific loudness, they don’t specify what loudness standard they’re using. It sure isn’t the latest IEC 62368-1 safety standard. We checked. Moreover, manufacturers only offer a vague decibel number that doesn’t tell the whole picture. That leaves a lot of room for interpretation. If headphones have an 85dB limit, does that mean that: Headphones never surpass 85dB? Or the average loudness is 85dB, yet sometimes headphones surpass the target loudness? Furthermore, manufacturers don’t disclaim whether they’re using dBa or dBc measurements. dBa – focuses more on the midrange, cutting away most of the low-end spectrum. While dBa measurements are used for measuring volume limits for humans at a lower volume, they don’t expose loud bass. dBc – better representation of the whole frequency spectrum. However, according to hearing experts, lower frequencies don’t damage your hearing nearly as much as higher ones. As you can see, it’s quite tricky to know precisely what you’re getting when buying headphones for kids. For the purpose of our tests, we used dBa readings since they’re widely used to measure loudness (like at live shows). What Equipment We Used We perform loudness tests using our H.E.A.R.S MiniDSP. It’s loudness-calibrated, so we know our results are credible. Huge thanks to Ollo Audio for all the help. To verify our measurements are accurate, we tested headphones on different equipment. All measurements are performed using Room Equalizer Wizard (REW) version 3.19 (there’s a newer version available, but it doesn’t allow you to manually calibrate the loudness). We place each headphone on the MiniDSP and play various sounds at maximum volume. Wired headphones The loudness of wired headphones will largely depend on the audio source. Since every audio source outputs a different amount of power, we hook the headphones to various devices. We use: Smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S21 with the Samsung audio adapter) Laptop (HP 470 G8) Headphone amplifier (AudioQuest DragonFly Red) That way, we cover the most common devices that kids will use with their headphones. We throw the amp into the mix just to see how much we can push the headphones. Furthermore, we observe how the headphone’s volume limiter handles various powers, from mild to relatively strong. Wireless headphones We focus on performance via Bluetooth connection when testing wireless headphones since that’s the most common way of using such headphones. Of course, we also cover wired mode performance if headphones support it. We use: Laptop (HP 470 G8) (for both wireless and wired test) Smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S21) (wired test) Headphone amplifier (AudioQuest DragonFly Red) How We Do Our Loudness Tests Headphones for kids go through different tests using various sounds. White noise White noise is all audible frequencies combined and played at the same time. Similar to white color, which is a combination of all colors. Not all headphones have a perfectly flat frequency response. White noise exposes all frequency peaks at the same time. Therefore, we quickly identify how loud the headphones are. It’s worth noting that white noise isn’t the most accurate representation of real-world usage. However, it’s widely used for testing since it provides consistent results. Inside REW software, we open the SPL Meter widget (which was previously calibrated for loudness) and observe the decibel reading. What about a sine sweep? By performing a sine sweep (an audio signal that travels from 20Hz to 20.000Hz at the same loudness), we could also determine the exact frequency where headphones are the loudest. However, performing a sine sweep is too unreliable for testing overall loudness. Our readings always show higher maximum loudness, so we don’t do these tests. Sine sweep of the BuddyPhones Explore+ shows the highest peak at 99.8dB, whereas we measured 90.4dB with white noise. Also, since music is a combination of different frequencies, sine sweeps don’t truly represent real-world use-case scenarios. Music Furthermore, we put music into the mix to simulate real-world usage. More precisely, “Baby Shark” song. This song is popular among kids and relatively loud, making it perfect for testing. Unlike white noise, music is much more dynamic and is constantly changing the loudness. Which makes the results a bit inconsistent. However, since we know exactly where the “Baby Shark” song gets the loudest, we focus primarily on that part. Like in the white noise test, we open the SPL Meter and observe how loudness changes throughout the song. Why Volume Limiting is Important Younger ears are more sensitive, so kids have better hearing. And while that’s great for playing and learning, it can be dangerous when they come in contact with modern technology. Extended high-volume exposure is dangerous for adults. And even more so for kids. Hearing loss can start at a young age and can have a detrimental effect for the rest of their life. The results of the RANCH (Road traffic andaircraft noise) the study has found that students attending schools around airports had worsereading comprehension and poorer recognition memory after adjusting for social-economicfactors (Basner et al, 2017). Source Kids with mild hearing loss do worse in school, and their condition usually worsens through life. In adulthood, issues can progress with age as they’re exposed to more harmful sources. For these reasons, it’s crucial to start early at protecting your kids from harmful sound exposure. How Much Noise (and for How Long) is Dangerous for Kids According to Science We found 3 scientific sources of recommended noise exposure. There is no max limit set in stone, but most research papers recommend staying under 80 – 85 dBA noise levels for 8 hours. Noise Exposure Recommendations for Kids Source 8-hour exp. 24-hour exp. WHO 80 dBA 75 dBA Neitzel&Fligor 83 dBA 70 dBA NIDCD 85 dBA 70 dBA Sources: WHO, Neitzel&Fligor, NIDCD Standards for kids are higher compared to adults since younger ears are more sensitive. Sources: Make Listening Safe, WHO, Noise exposure limit for children in recreational settings: Review of available evidence Neitzel & Fligor, 2017, Risk of noise-induced hearing loss due to recreational sound: Review and recommendations NIDCD – National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, When It’s Loud Protect Your Hearing According to World Health Organization, the recommended exposure limit for recreational noise for children is 80 dBA for 8 hours. The 8-hour 83 dBA exposure limit is recommended by Neitzel and Fligor for the general population. And to completely eliminate the Risk of noise-induced hearing loss for the most vulnerable individuals, including children, maintain a 24-hour exposure limit of 70 dBA. (Neitzel & Fligor, 2017) What Does That Mean? To protect your kids hearing, limit their exposure to noise under 80-85 dBA in 8 hours. Or even better, keep it under 70 dBA for complete safety. This means it’s safe for your kid to listen to music and cartoons with volume-limited headphones under 80-85 dBA. General guidelines for kids headphones: At max volume (under 80 dBA), they can safely listen for a few hours but not over 8 hours. At 75% max volume, under 70 dBA, they can safely listen all the time. At 85% max volume, under 75 dBA it’s safe for toddlers under 8 hours. Be aware: Don’t let kids listen at max volume with adult headphones. Don’t let toddlers listen loudly for too long even with the best kids headphones. How Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Looks Like Under a Microscope This is how permanent hearing loss looks like in the inner ear. Healthy cells Damages cells Source To avoid hearing loss in your kids, keep the volumes low and never expose them to noise for too long. How to Set Volume Limiting on Your Device? If you’re using a smartphone, most give you the option to limit max volume. So even if your kid increases the volume to max, it stays in the safe range. How to Set Volume Limiting on iPhone Credit: Reddit Steps: Open Settings Tap on Music Tap on Volume Limit Use the slider to set max volume. There’s no indicator in dBA, but 60% – 70% should be generally safe. Use your regular headphones safely How to Set Volume Limiting on Android Some Android smartphones have the option to lower the volume, but not all. Credit: Reddit Steps: Open Settings Tap on Sound and Vibration Tap on Volume Turn on Volume Limiter by tapping on the 3 dots on the top right corner Once the Volume Limiter is enabled, set the max volume Listen to music safely P.S. Exact menu names and order might vary across brands. You can also try downloading the Volume Limiter app from Google Play and set it there. How to Choose the Best Headphones for Kids Here are the main requirements for quality kids’ headphones. Volume limiting Safety comes first. Effective volume limit is the main feature of headphones for kids. It protects them from long-term noise-induced hearing loss, as mentioned above. Volume control modes in BuddyPhones. There are a couple of types: Fixed to a specific max volume. Most common 85 dB and 95 dB (you can’t change it) Changeable Volume Modes. 3-4 modes with different max volume Audio quality is also important, but as long as it’s good enough for kids music and cartoons, you don’t need to judge it with adult standards. Durability You want headphones that will last for a long time. Look for signs of good build quality like: Waterproof ratings: IP rating – the higher, the better Foldable headband and ear cups that can be stored safely Quality brands that invest in the longevity of their headphones Convenience Things like long battery life, wireless Bluetooth connectivity, and microphones all make the headphones useful. Getting Bluetooth headphones for kids is almost a no-brainer since wires are susceptible to accidents and tangling. Plus, if you have a newer phone, it doesn’t have a wired AUX output. Long battery life just means less charging and more carefree use. And microphones for making phone calls and online chatting are basically essential for any youngster nowadays. Price Since you probably don’t expect headphones for kids to last forever, you don’t want to spend too much. We all want the best for our kids, but that doesn’t mean you always have to buy the most expensive item. You might be asking yourself, “How much do I want to pay for headphones for kids?” Since kids won’t know the difference between good and bad sound quality, as long as the headphones are safe and come with the features you want, they’re good enough. General price ranges of kids headphones are: $100- $150 premium top-of-the-line headphones $50 – $100 are mid-tier Under $50 are budget headphones Are Headphones Better Than Earbuds for Kids? There aren’t many safe earbuds for kids with volume control. Generally, headphones are easier to use for younger kids and come with more features like ANC, boom microphones, and volume control modes. Though we did find a couple of volume-limited earbuds for kids, but just with wires. LilGadgets BestBuds BestBuds are wired earbuds for kids with the max volume set to 73 dB, making them perfectly safe. They are designed to fit kids and come with a splitter cable, an in-line microphone, and a carrying case. $19.95 at Amazon.com $19.95 at Walmart.com Symphonized Kids These are similar to the popular Symphonized NRG earbuds. The wired buds are limited to 85 dB maximum volume and fit little ears. But they’re often sold out. FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions Do kids’ headphones need a microphone? If you need kids’ headphones for making phone calls, online school, or just Skyping, then a microphone is necessary.Thankfully, most Bluetooth headphones for kids already come with a microphone that’s good enough for the job, and they don’t cost much money. What is a good brand of headphones for kids? The most known ones and specialized for kids’ headphones are BuddyPhones, Puro Sound Labs, and LilGadgets. Are Beats headphones good for toddlers? No. Beats headphones are too loud and can induce hearing loss if left unsupervised. They might look cool but aren’t fit for a toddler who has extra sensitive ears. Get volume limited headphones instead. Are wireless headphones OK for kids? Yes, Bluetooth technology has been proven safe and has no harmful effects on kids. At the same time, keep the volume and time of use limited. Prolonged exposure to noise can impact their hearing and learning ability. Matija FerjanMatija Ferjan is a seasoned audio enthusiast reviewing headphones since 2015. He has personally tested hundreds of headphones and earbuds. He’s an active member of the Headphone Audio community and a true nitpicker, always looking for the “best-value-for-money” headphones.