12 Best Headphones for Kids in 2017

Like many parents, you’re dedicated to protecting your child from all of the dangers of the world, and when it comes to choosing headphones, you want to keep their ears safe from noise damage.

Young kids usually aren’t as worried about the safety of their hearing as we adults are, so when it comes to choosing kid-friendly headphones, you need to make sure that they can’t cause damage due to high volume levels.

Not sure what to look for when shopping for kid-friendly headphones? You’ll find that out here in our guide.

Our experts offer you a shortlist of the 12 best headphones for kids and provide you with the breakdown of features you need to understand when shopping for them.

Top 12 Headphones for Kids Ultimate Table

DesignNameStyleMax. Volume
(dB)
Rating (1-5)
  1. LilGadgets Untangled Pro Premium Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Wireless
On-Ear
 93 4.6
  2. Puro Sound Labs, The Healthy Ear Headphone Wireless
On-Ear
 85 4.5
  3. Snug Play+ Kids Headphones Volume Limiting and Audio Sharing Port Wired
On-Ear
 93 4.5
  4. CozyPhones Kids Headphones Volume Limited Headband
Wired
 85 4.4
  5. Sony MDR-222KD Childrens Headphones Wired
On-Ear
 90 4.3
6. Califone 2810-BE Listening First TM Stereo Headphone for Kids, Bear Design Wired
Over-Ear
 98 4.3
7. Ausdom Leather Over-Ear Wired HiFi Stereo Headphones Wired
Over-Ear
 95 4.2
8. Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids Wired
On-Ear
 90 4.1
  9. JLab Audio JBuddies Kids- folding, Volume Limiting Headphones Wired
On-Ear
 85 4.1
  10. AmazonBasics Volume Limited On-Ear Headphones for Kids Wired
On-Ear
 94 4.1
  11. BuddyPhones Volume Limiting Kids Headphones Wired
On-Ear
 85 4.0
  12. Contixo KB-300 Kid Safe 85DB Over the Ear Wireless Bluetooth LED Headphone Wireless
On-Ear
 85 3.8

How to Choose Kid-Friendly Headphones

If you don’t have much experience shopping for headphones period, then this is a good place for you to start because we’ll be going over a few basics.

In addition to that, we’ll also highlight some of the main things you need to pay attention to when choosing kid-friendly headphones.

Types of Headphones

The best headphones for kids are either on-ear or over-ear models. The tips of in-ear headphones are usually too large for children’s ear canals and just aren’t as comfortable, so stick with on-ear or over-ear models.

  • On-Ear – On-ear headphones cover the majority of the ear but don’t engulf it completely. For younger users, they might even fit more like over-ear headphones since their ears are smaller.

On-ear headphones allow some background noise to leak in, which means that they can still hear what’s going on around them.

  • Over-Ear – Over-ear models surround the ear and offer better sound isolation. Some ambient noise may be audible, but much less so than with on-ear headphones.

One thing to pay attention to when looking at either one of these types of headphones is whether or not they leak sound.

Most models are closed-back, meaning that the back part of the earpiece is completely covered. These have a much lower risk of leaking sound and are most suitable on airplanes since they won’t bother other passengers.

Other headphones feature an open-back design. You’ll notice that each earpiece has a mesh screen on it (kind of like a microphone), and this will offer a crisper sound experience while allowing more ambient noise to leak in. When you want your kids to be 100% aware of their surroundings, open-back headphones are great.

It’s All About Decibels

The main difference between adult headphones and those designed for children is the fact that the volume level is limited for the latter.

85 dB (decibels) is the maximum for most children’s headphones, but that doesn’t mean that the best headphones for kids are limited to that number.

When there is a lot of background noise (think of the engines humming on an airplane, for example), having the ability to turn up the volume just a bit more is helpful so that kids can hear their music or programs.

Should You Choose Wired or Wireless Headphones?

There are pros and cons to each type of headphone, so remember to take them all into consideration to help you choose the right pair.

  • Wired – Yes, the wires can get tangled, but you don’t have to worry about the batteries dying or even having replacement batteries on hand should the headphones run out of juice.

Keep in mind that the connection between the sound source and headphone is more solid with a wired pair, making them the more reliable choice between the two.

Most parents want to know which gadgets the headphone jack will fit, which is something you can find out by looking at the size of the jack (usually 3.5mm) and finding out what the sound source will accept.

It doesn’t fit? Don’t worry; headphone jack adapters are available for pretty much anything these days.

  • Wireless – Wireless headphones are the most convenient since you don’t have to worry about cords.

True, the Bluetooth signal may not always be the strongest and the price is usually higher for wireless headphones, but may parents prefer them over the wired versions.

Remember to check the battery life and the charge time as you shop.

The Fit

Another thing parents always ask about is the fit.

Will they fit a 5-year-old? Will they fit a 5th grader?

Most manufacturers will list an age range so that you have a general idea, but if you’re worried about getting something that is too small or too large, just have a look at other users’ comments to help you determine whether or not they’ll fit. You can also try them in person before purchasing.

Top 5 Best Headphones for Kids Reviews

1. LilGadgets Untangled Pro Premium Headphones

12-Hour Battery Life

Carrying Pouch Included

Designed for Ages 4+

These wireless headphones from LilGadgets are the top choice for both parents and kids.

You’ll love that the volume level doesn’t exceed 93 decibels and your child will love how comfortable these are on the ears. The headband also has a comfortable, snag-free layer of cushioning and the length can be easily adjusted to fit different heads. Don’t worry about your child bending or stretching them out too far because the mixture of polycarbonate and stainless steel materials makes them quite durable.

Do you have more than two kids who will be listening to or watching the same thing at the same time? That’s not a problem with these headphones because they give you a cable that links one LilGadgets headphone to another, allowing both children to listen to the same sound source.

These are great for both car rides and on airplanes. They do leak a little bit of sound, but usually only when the volume is at its highest.

2. Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Healthy Ear Headphones

18-Hour Battery Life

Carrying Case Included

Fit Best on Older Kids

If you’re interested in a quality listening experience for your kids and are willing to spend a little more, then we suggest the BT2200 Headphones from Puro Sound Labs.

The fact that they can block out 82% of background noise makes them ideal for use on an airplane, so even though the volume doesn’t go as high as the previous pair (the maximum here is 85 dB), the fact that they block out sound so well makes that number more than sufficient.

They have a wireless range of up to 30 feet, and we love that they come with a hard carrying case to keep them protected when not in use.

We’ve seen some parents use this for older toddlers, but they’re a bit large. These are better for older kids and pre-teens based on our experience with them.

Are they worth the extra money? Absolutely. If you take proper care of them and value a good sound experience, they will meet and exceed all of your expectations.

3. Snug Play+ Kids Headphones

Carrying Pouch Included

Designed for Ages 3-8

The Snug Play+ Kids Headphones can link together just like the LilGadgets headphones can. If you have multiple users, everyone can hook in and listen to the same device without having to worry about splitters.

Unlike the other headphones we looked at, these fold for easy storage when not in use. While this is a handy feature to help prevent them from getting snapped, it would have been nice if they came with a case.

We must say that based on all of the research and our experience with them that they’re not as high in quality as the other two headphones. However, we didn’t expect them to be on the same level considering they cost much less than the other ones.

If you’re on a budget and have several kids, these are handy since everyone can link together and listen.

4. CozyPhones Kids Headphones

Unique Solution

If on-ear headphones and over-ear headphones are too uncomfortable for your child, then consider these unique headphones from CozyPhones.

Each headband has little pockets for you to slip the speakers into, and there are many different headband styles to choose from (appropriate for both boys and girls). They’re much more comfortable to sleep in than bulky on-ear or over-ear models, and you can pair them with plenty of different devices.

The only problem we foresee is that they’ll be too hot for kids when the weather is warmer, so if they’ll be wearing them in the summer, it might get a bit uncomfortable for them.

The concept is unique, and they work pretty well, especially for toddlers with smaller heads. Just take the speakers out and you can machine-wash the headband; something you can’t do with any of the other headphones out there!

5. Sony MDR-222KD Children’s Headphones

Designed for Ages 8+

If you are headphone shopping on a budget or worried about more expensive headphones getting broken, then Sony has a pair you can consider.

The sizing is better for older kids and can even fit adults with smaller heads, although you shouldn’t expect much from the sound quality. These headphones are quite cheap, and the sound quality reflects that, but if you’re just looking for something that your child can use around the home, then we’re sure that he or she won’t be too picky about their sound experience.

Keep in mind that with this type of on-ear design, sound leakage is more prominent. They’re not the right choice for car or airplane travel but do work well at home.

The best thing about these headphones is their level of durability, so if your kids tend to treat items like this a little rough, they will survive.