Skip to main content

HeadphonesAddict is user supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

BuddyPhones School+ Review

Last updated: 3 months ago
7 min read
Editor
rating
3.1
BuddyPhones School+ on a laptop

BuddyPhones School+ are a budget solution for kids who do a lot of online schooling. Headphones are geared towards vocal clarity and come with a detachable boom microphone.

While BuddyPhones Explore+ focus on kids’ exploration and outdoor activities, the BuddyPhones School+ are headphones specifically designed for remote learning.

Unlike the Explore+ model, the School+ have comfier earpads for long online classes. The ear pads are also sweat-wicking, meaning they prevent ears from excessive sweating (though, they aren’t sweat-resistant).

Furthermore, the included detachable boom microphone helps pick up your child’s voice nice and clear, preventing any potential misunderstandings with a teacher. More on that later.

On the other hand, these are still below $30, so the build quality is on par with the price. Also, the audio primarily focuses on the vocal frequency range, leaving the rest a bit muted.

So, the question is:

Are BuddyPhones School+ the right headphones for your kid? Get to know all the pros and cons in the review below.

  • Comfortable fit (for kids)
  • Great voice quality (with included boom mic)
  • Volume limiter
  • Headphones can get slightly louder than 85dB
  • Cheap build quality
  • Not the best passive noise isolation
Editor
rating
3.1
By HeadphonesAddict
User
ratings
0
User Ratings: 0
Our rating
  • Star Rating
    2.0
  • Star Rating
    4.0
  • Star Rating
    2.5
  • Star Rating
    4.0
  • Star Rating
    2.0
  • Star Rating
    4.0
User rating
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
RATE THIS MODEL
Table of Contents

    Sound

    Star Rating
    2.0 Adequate

    Sound performance heavily focuses on vocals and midrange clarity. However, other regions are unrefined and mushy in comparison.

    Since the School+ target online schooling, BuddyPhones tuned them for vocal clarity. However, they left other regions undefined, especially treble.

    Bass

    The bass is pretty flat, which is a good thing. It has enough presence to make the sound slightly warm, which is quite pleasant during long listening sessions.

    However, it lacks definition and control. Also, you can’t expect a lot of punch or deep bass, which would add to the listening experience.

    It seems like lower frequencies are pushed aside so they don’t bleed into the midrange.

    BuddyPhones School+ in a bush
    On-ear earpads don’t fully enclose your ears, which affects the bass performance.

    Midrange

    Speaking of mid frequencies, they’re definitely the most well-tuned on these headphones. Overall clarity is good, and vocals sound pretty natural.

    However, that’s about it. Anything that isn’t human voice is pushed aside. For example, instruments would benefit from a bit more low-mid presence since they sound pretty thin.

    Treble

    Higher frequencies are seriously lacking in resolution and texture. They’re very balanced, like the bass. However, there’s no detail in them, and cymbals sound very splashy.

    From a technical standpoint, BuddyPhones School+ don’t impress. Nevertheless, these aren’t meant for audio purists.

    They’re great at what they’re designed for, providing good vocal clarity and basic listening needs.

    Therefore, if your kid needs comfy headphones for school and occasionally listens to some music, the School+ are worth considering. Especially for such a low price.

    Volume Limiter Performance: Louder Than Advertised

    Like all the best headphones for toddlers, they have a maximum volume limiter. They limit volume to 85dB, which is also the highest safe exposure level stated by the World Health Organization. You can’t change the feature or turn it off.

    The limiters protect your kids’ from noise-induced hearing loss in the long run. You don’t want them to blast loud music all day.

    Laptop Test

    To imitate normal usage, I took a regular laptop and plug the headphones in via AUX port. By cranking the volume all the way up to 100%, I tested the limiter’s performance. Since there are 2 cables included in the box, I used them both to see if there’s a difference.

    BuddyPhones School+ white noise measurement
    The loudness test with a supplied cable showed a max loudness of 93,9 dB.

    Based on our measurements using loudness-calibrated equipment, BuddyPhones School+ surpass the 85dB target by a long shot.

    That isn’t good since you would want headphones for kids to stay in the safe zone.

    Note that a 3dB increase in practice means double the loudness. While in real-world listening, it doesn’t sound as drastic, the School+ model surpasses the target by almost 9dB.

    Smartphone Test

    For another test, I used a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S21) with a Samsung 3.5mm adapter. Using a Deezer music streaming service (and a HiFi setting) I played the “Baby Shark” song on 100% volume.

    BuddyPhones School+ baby shark measurement

    At the loudest point (towards the end of the song), headphones reached 89.5dB. While that’s better than the white noise test, it’s still not in line with the target 85dB.

    What does that mean?

    In conclusion, BuddyPhones School+ are louder than advertised. The loudness can go over the 85dB frequently. For safe headphones for kids, check Bluetooth models with effective built-in limiters, like BuddyPhones Cosmos+ or Puro SoundLabs BT2200.

    However, if you plan on giving them to your kids, make sure to keep the volume lower than max. And they’re safer to use with a smartphone.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Despite the on-ear fit, headphones manage to stay comfortable for a reasonable amount of time, even on my larger head. Thankfully, the stability doesn’t suffer much.

    BuddyPhones (an Icelandic-originated audio company) managed to fine-tune the balance between comfort and stability on the School+.

    Of course, the on-ear design still presses against the earlobes, which eventually start hurting, forcing you to take a break.

    However, in the case of BuddyPhones School+, the latter happens much later. At least compared to similar on-ear headphones.

    BuddyPhones School+ inner headband
    The adjustable headband and ear cushions share the same anti-sweat-wicking fabric.

    Padding inside the ear pads is plush enough to soften the clamping force, with a cushioned headband only adding to the overall comfort.

    Furthermore, earpads use breathable fabric instead of leather. The material has anti-sweat-wicking properties, absorbing sweat and leaving your ears dry. This greatly contributes to comfort.

    Moving to stability, headphones do a great job as well. Sure, they aren’t as secure as the Explore+ model. When shaking my head, they moved slightly but never fell off entirely.

    Overall, BuddyPhones School+ offer a comfortable listening experience and a stable fit, even if your kid is extra hyperactive.

    Durability

    Star Rating
    2.5 Average

    The entire kids headphones feel very cheap and plasticky. However, as claimed, they indeed are flexible.

    The build quality is on par with their price of under $30. Everything you touch is made of plastic, even the folding mechanism.

    However, hinges are very tight and stiff. Consequently, they make no rattling noises when shaken. And when folded, they won’t accidentally unfold.

    BuddyPhones School+ folded
    BuddyPhones School+ can fold inward and come with a carrying pouch.

    I’m sure they can survive a little bit of twisting or a couple of drops on the floor without cracking.

    One thing that concerns me is the earpads. Since they have anti-sweat-wicking fabric, they suck in the sweat. Which means they can start stinking pretty fast.

    Fortunately, earpads are removable, so you can clean them in the washer. Learn more about how to clean your earpads.

    Another thing worth noting is the lack of an IP rating. Younger kids often aren’t careful with gadgets, so you can expect some liquid getting spilled over these kids headphones.

    Nonetheless, BuddyPhones School+ are very affordable, and you can’t expect all the durability features for such a low price.

    BuddyPhones School+ size comparison
    Size comparison between the School+ and Explore+ model, with the latter being slightly bigger.

    One thing I’ve noticed when taking pictures is that the white plastic quickly accumulates stains, even when gently placed on the grass. I managed to wipe the stains away with alcohol. Learn more on how to clean your headphones.

    Features

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    You get a good set of features for the price. A volume limiter, a cable with a built-in boom mic and inline controls, and an extra standard audio cable.

    BuddyPhones School+ boom mic
    The included boom mic works perfectly, especially for the price. Also, the splitter on the left connects multiple listeners to one audio source.

    Despite their low price, BuddyPhones School+ aren’t skimping on great features.

    Headphones support detachable cables. You get 2 pairs of cables in the box. One is just a regular one without a remote, whereas the second one has boom mic, inline control, and an audio splitter.

    With the latter, headphones connect to multiple wired headphones. You can daisy chain a maximum of 4 headphones to the same device.

    Furthermore, earcups fold for compact storage and come with a soft travel bag.

    You can customize them.

    You get 5 sets of stickers with BuddyPhones headphones. Four are school-themed, whereas the fifth set includes white alphabet and numbers.

    Your kid can fully customize them with names, numbers, or something else. Kids love these kinds of things.

    BuddyPhones School+ stickers
    You get a large selection of stickers with BuddyPhones School+.

    Microphone Quality

    The included boom mic does an excellent job keeping your voice nice and crisp, regardless of where you’re making phone calls.

    BuddyPhones School+ microphone test

    Despite the design (one mic facing you and the other one facing away), the mic doesn’t seem to reduce background noise when speaking in a noisy place.

    However, your voice is still perfectly understandable, thanks to the overall mic clarity.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    2.0 Adequate

    On-ear fit and smaller than usual earpads don’t contribute to passive noise isolation. You can still hear most of the ambient noise.

    On-ear design isn’t the most effective at providing a snug, tight seal. Meaning it passes through more of the ambient noise than traditional over-ear headphones.

    BuddyPhones School+ kids headphone on a branch
    Small earpads don’t ensure enough seal to improve passive noise cancellation.

    BuddyPhones School+ also use fabric earpads, which are great for breathability but not for blocking surrounding noise.

    As a result, you can still hear much of the ambient noise. Playing music helps overtake some of it, but I can’t recommend these to use on public transport.

    However, this can also be positive since it ensures better awareness. If your kid plans to wear headphones on the way home from school, they should be aware of passing cars and other dangers around them.

    Should You Get BuddyPhones School+?

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    If you want your kid to have good headphones for homeschooling that don’t cost too much, BuddyPhones School+ are worth checking out.

    Their included boom mic provides crisp voice quality that’s unbeatable at this price. These school headphones are also flexible, and despite being entirely plastic, they will probably last for quite some time.

    On top of that, they’re reasonably comfy and offer a stable fit if used for outdoor activities.

    BuddyPhones School+ standing on rock
    BuddyPhones School+ are excellent for what they’re meant for: online learning and chats.

    Probably the most disappointing thing is the sound, which only focuses on vocal clarity and neglects everything else.

    However, nobody looks for pristine audio performance for under $30.

    How do BuddyPhones School+ compare to the competition?

    • They have a far better microphone quality thanks to the included boom mic.
    • Earpads use anti-sweat wicking fabric for improved comfort—others use mostly fake leather.
    • They’re similarly stable when rapidly shaking the head.
    • Headphones come with 2 detachable cables, whereas the competition only comes with one.
    • Like other kids’ headphones at this price, they can also fold.
    • The passive noise isolation is slightly worse than comparable headphones with leather pads.

    BuddyPhones School+ Alternatives

    BuddyPhones Explore+

    BuddyPhones Explore+ on a blanket

    Both cost the same but are made for different purposes. The Explore+ have a warmer, punchier sound and play a bit louder.

    Both have an 85dB limiter and foldable design, but the Explore+ only come with one audio cable with an inline microphone.

    They aren’t as comfy but provide a more secure grip for activities.

    BuddyPhones Explore+ review

    BuddyPhones Play

    BuddyPhones Play Bluetooth headphones

    Wireless headphones for kids with great sound quality, at least for kids headphones. They also have a volume limit, but you can toggle between 3 different volume settings.

    You don’t have to fiddle with cables thanks to the Bluetooth connection. However, that means the mic quality is worse, and the battery life only lasts for around 14 hours.

    BuddyPhones Play review

    What’s in the Box?

    BuddyPhones School+ accessories
    • BuddyPhones School+ wired headphones
    • One cable with a splitter, remote control, and a boom mic
    • One regular cable
    • Carry bag
    • 5 stickers + alphabet & number stickers
    • User manual

    Specifications

    Type: On-ear
    Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 30mm
    Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Impedance: 32 Ohm
    Weight: 90g (112g with cable)
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: None
    Battery life: /
    Charging time: /
    Active noise cancelling: No
    Bluetooth codecs: /
    Wireless range: /
    Microphone: Boom mic