The Best Kids Headphones 2021 – Ultimate Buyers Guide – Hearing Protection

Deciding on the best headphones for kids is not always as simple as buying something cheap. Your children’s hearing is essential, and you should protect it from a young age. While their body is still developing, you want to prevent hearing damage and long-term issues.  Many headphone companies now design headphones specifically for children, and that’s what we will be discussing in this article.

The good news is many of the best kids’ headphones meet the needs of both younger users and their parents. There is a rise in portable media consumption, and more young users than ever are proficient in tablets and smartphones. It seems a logical step to give them their headphones—no more borrowing Mum and Dad’s headsets.

They can watch their movies and T.V. or listen to music and give their parents a little peace and quiet.  After all, on those long road trips or flights, who hasn’t pulled a diversionary tactic by throwing them the iPad and headphone combo. Of course, this keeps them entertained… and yourself sane.

How to choose the right headphones for kids?

So, when deciding on the best headphones for your children for this essential task, we will look at the key areas where they need to perform well.  All sorts of factors can come into play when choosing a set of kid’s headphones. It can include build quality, design, and, believe it or not, sound. 

We have made this list to save you money, potentially protect your children’s hearing, and make their first experiences with personal audio enjoyable. 

Test Winner
LilGadgets Untangled Pro Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for Toddlers & Children Ages 4+, SharePort, Microphone, Volume Limiting, Noise Cancelling, Lightweight Head Phones Made to Fit Kids Ears – Blue
Best for Gaming
PuroGamer 2.0 Volume Limiting Gaming Headset–for Kids and Adults with Dynamic Sound and Noise-Canceling Gaming Mic for PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox 1, iPad, Mobile Phone by Puro Sound Labs
Best Budget Headphone
Philips Audio Coolplay Kids On-Ear Headphones - 85dB Volume Limiter - Safer Hearing (SHK2000PK), Purple
Most Premium
Puro Sound Labs BT2200s Volume Limited Kids’ Bluetooth Headphones – Safer Headphones for Kids – Studio-Grade Audio Quality & Noise Isolation- Sapphire Blue
Model
Lilgadgets Untangled Pro Wireless
Puro Gamer 2.0 Volume Limiting
Phillips SHK2000PK
Puro Sound BT2200
Wireless
Noise Limitation
Editors Notes
Excellent build quality and volume limiting functions. The best wireless headphones for kids
A gaming headset designed specifically for children with volume limitation and in built microphone
A super cheap yet durable set of headphones. Volume limiting worked well and the kids said they were one of the most comfortable on test.
Bluetooth headphones for children with build in hearing protections. Expensive but well made.
Test Winner
LilGadgets Untangled Pro Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for Toddlers & Children Ages 4+, SharePort, Microphone, Volume Limiting, Noise Cancelling, Lightweight Head Phones Made to Fit Kids Ears – Blue
Model
Lilgadgets Untangled Pro Wireless
Wireless
Noise Limitation
Editors Notes
Excellent build quality and volume limiting functions. The best wireless headphones for kids
Best for Gaming
PuroGamer 2.0 Volume Limiting Gaming Headset–for Kids and Adults with Dynamic Sound and Noise-Canceling Gaming Mic for PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox 1, iPad, Mobile Phone by Puro Sound Labs
Model
Puro Gamer 2.0 Volume Limiting
Wireless
Noise Limitation
Editors Notes
A gaming headset designed specifically for children with volume limitation and in built microphone
Best Budget Headphone
Philips Audio Coolplay Kids On-Ear Headphones - 85dB Volume Limiter - Safer Hearing (SHK2000PK), Purple
Model
Phillips SHK2000PK
Wireless
Noise Limitation
Editors Notes
A super cheap yet durable set of headphones. Volume limiting worked well and the kids said they were one of the most comfortable on test.
Most Premium
Puro Sound Labs BT2200s Volume Limited Kids’ Bluetooth Headphones – Safer Headphones for Kids – Studio-Grade Audio Quality & Noise Isolation- Sapphire Blue
Model
Puro Sound BT2200
Wireless
Noise Limitation
Editors Notes
Bluetooth headphones for children with build in hearing protections. Expensive but well made.

Styling – Don’t let your children buy the first headphones that look cool!

Let’s face it children don’t care about a brand name; they want something cool looking. Or, maybe they want something with their favorite cartoon character emblazoned on it. They might even like what the other kids at school are using etc. (You know the routine)

The problem with this is that some headphones look designed for kids, but in reality, they offer little to no hearing protection. They may even lack other child-specific features that can be beneficial in the long run. Protection of your child’s hearing, especially pre-teens, should always come before any wants or desires for a cool aesthetic design. Check the packaging and see the limits imposed on the volume and if the company doesn’t provide much info, put them down and buy something else.

Build Quality – Durability matters when choosing the best headphones for Kids!

Children are notoriously tough on everything. Unfortunately, that means that these kids’ headphones will have to put up with a lot of abuse.  Build quality is paramount as you don’t want something that will break from a little bit of rough play. 

We included some seriously tough options that should hold up better than most regular headphones. We have to credit many of the companies on the list for putting this at the forefront when designing their headphones for small children.

Just remember that no headphones can be wholly indestructible, and kids have the uncanny ability to test them to their limits.

Hearing Protection – What is a safe volume for children?

Given that your child’s hearing does not fully develop until their late teens, you will want to protect their hearing as best as possible. Listening to loud music for extended periods can have severe consequences for your kid’s hearing later in life. 

One option is monitoring their volume levels yourself; another is to use a volume lock app that restricts the decibel level of the device.

Another easier option is that you can use headphones and earbuds with built-in volume reduction. That stops children from damaging their hearing. This saves you time on checking yourself and prevents them from bypassing a parental lock on mobile devices.

The last option is the easiest because it is a set-and-forget solution and works with any device they plug the headphones into.  All the headphones we have recommended come with a decibel limitation on the volume of at least 86db (decibels) which is well under the safe volume level for children supported by W.H.O. (World Health Organisation), which should keep the little ones safe for years to come.

Price – How much should you spend getting the best kid’s headphones?

How much you want to spend on your kid’s headphones is entirely up to you.  You can go expensive or cheap but let’s face it, your kids probably won’t be too kind to them, and accidents do happen. 

Luckily, the vast majority of the headphones on this list come in at a reasonable price, and we have tried to keep a strict budget of under $100. However, you will find that most are far less than that. 

Headphones vs Earphones (Over-Ear vs In-Ear)

I would only advise you to consider earphones (in-ear headphones/earbuds) if you have older children.  With fewer moving parts and a smaller footprint, they are less likely to get crushed or exploded into a thousand tiny fragments when dropped. However, earbuds and earphones do represent a significant choking hazard for younger kids.  For this reason, we have only included full-size on-ear or over-ear headphones for kids purely for safety reasons. 

If you still want to buy a set of in-ear-style headphones, then check out the Lilgadgets Bestbuds volume-limiting earbuds.  These are cheap and cheerful and come in 3 different color options and still have built-in hearing protection.

Wireless Headphones for Kids

While we still heavily recommend giving your children traditional wired headphones, we have included a few high-quality Bluetooth models. We know that more and more devices are removing the headphone jack and making future compatibility an issue. That said, there are several considerations when choosing a wireless option.

Consider that Bluetooth headphones need to be charged, which means that you as a parent will probably be the one in charge of keeping your kid’s headphones powered. This may also be a hindrance on long trips due to a lack of charging facilities or downtime when charging.

Additionally, you are using more electrical components in its construction which causes extra points where something can go wrong.

On the flip side, if you don’t have a headphone jack, these may be the best option to not only protect your children’s hearing but to avoid using a dongle that introduces a choking hazard to young infants.


The top 10 Best Kids Headphones in 2021


JVC HA-KD7Z Children’s Headphones

JVC HA-KD7-Z headphones for kids
Price and performance made the JVC HA-KD7-Z our winner of the best children’s headphones list in 2021

The JVC HAKD7Y, formally known as the Tinyphones, is perfect for kids with their fun designs available in a wide variety of different colors.  We also like the price of these.

Even though they are super cheap, they still have solid build quality with a lovely, thick, chunky headband and hard-wearing yet comfortable ear pads. 

The headphones are volume-limited to 85db/M.W., meaning they provide adequate protection to your children’s ears.

I like this option, and they have held up fantastic over the past year and a half.


Ifrogz Little Rockers – The best headphones for kids that like to dress up

ifrogz Little Rockerz headphones are costume style headphones designed for children

The Little Rockers line of headphones for children is one of the most popular options available in 2021. 

Kids love them because they offer a whole line of dress-up themes such as lion, tiger, and a little princess, one with a crown.  Again, they are well built and are volume limited to 85db to protect your kid’s hearing. 

One cool feature on these headphones that many overlooks is the venting which means your kids should still hear you despite listening to music or watching tv.

This also comes in handy if they are wandering around and can still understand what is happening around them.


FSL Protec Kids Headphones

FSL Protec childrens headphones
The Protec from F.S.L. is cheap children’s headphones available in lots of colors.

We like these headphones because of the unique way they handle safe volume levels for children. 

There is a child-proof dial on the left-hand side of the Protec Kids headphones that lets you adjust the volume output to three different levels. 

There is 84db which is the lowest setting and considered a safe volume for very young children.  Next up is 94 decibels acceptable for children over 10, and then there is an unlimited volume version just in case you want to have a go yourself.  

This versatility is the first of its kind and gives a longer shelf-life to the headphones and more versatility if Mum or Dad wants to borrow them on occasion.


Lilgadgets Connect+ Pr0

Lilgadgets Connect+ Pro Headphones

My personal favorite wired headphones. The new Connect Pro has many child-specific features that make them one of the best options on this list, especially if you have more than one kid.

Superbly flexible, well-padded, and noise isolating. The Connect+ is foldable and comes with a quick detachable cable. That means the cord disconnects from the headphones if tugged, potentially protecting from tangles and other hazards.

The best feature is that they have a connection port where you can plug in another set of headphones without using adapters into your iPad/tablet etc.

If you wonder how this can be useful, it’s great if your kids are watching from the same device, i.e., on a tablet in the back of the car. They can watch the same movie at the same time.

Oh, and if you were wondering, you could plug in any other headphones with a 3.5mm jack, so you wouldn’t need to buy 2 of the same unit to get this feature to work.


Puro Sound BT2200 The Best Wireless Childrens Headphones

Puro SOund BT-2200s headphones with hearing protection for children
The Purosound BT2200s are wireless headphones for kids with built-in hearing protection.

If you find the wild and crazy kids’ style designs a bit off-putting, or if you have older children and still care about protecting their hearing, then Puro Sound Labs Bluetooth Headphones will be a perfect choice. 

The significant advantage here is that the Puro are wireless headphones (with 18 hours of battery life), but we also like that they don’t look like a set of kids’ headphones despite having a volume restriction in place.

Other color options are available, and you can buy them in white, blue-purple, or black. They essentially are grown-up-looking headphones but with the safety of volume limitation built-in.


Phillips SHK2000PK Kids Headphones

Phillips SHK2000 childrens headphones in blue color

During testing for this list, one of my kid’s favorites was the named Philips SHK2000PK (Pretty catchy, right).  These turned out to be one of the comfiest headphones despite the on-ear design. 

The headband is pure quality and capable of taking lots of stress, and we like that the earcups swivel to help fit different head shapes. 

You can have the S.H.K. in so many colors it can be hard to pick, but these are an excellent option for the price.


Puro Gamer 2.0 Best Headphones for Kids Who Game

Puro makes a gaming headset for children with build in volume limits.

Puro offers something unique in that their headphones are designed for little gamers.  These headphones have a built-in microphone that can be great for talking with friends when gaming online. 

The Gamer is on the more expensive side of the $100 limit we set ourselves for this list, but with that, you get the best build quality on the list and one that would be great for young teens who are getting into P.C. or mobile gamine.

They are very comfortable and have cool integrated L.E.D. lighting to give a gamer vibe. These are adult headphones in style and substance for all intents and purposes, but with volume restrictions enabled.

Something to note is they are also Playstation and Xbox compatible.


LilGadgets Untangled Pro Wireless

Lilgadgets Untangled Pro Wireless kids headphones in multiple colors
The Wireless Lilgadgets Untangled lets your kids listen to music over Bluetooth at safe volume levels

Our vote for best kids headphones of 2021 has to go to Lilgadgets Untangled pro.  I have been using them for some time with the little ones, and they love them. 

They have a Brilliant design, lots of colors to choose from. Of course, they are Bluetooth headphones with volume restriction, meaning you won’t have them running off with the headphones on and the cable attached to your iPad (I know this from personal experience).

Battery life is excellent at around 12 hours, and a portion of every sale made goes to anti-bullying charities.

Really Lilgadgets built their reputation around developing these styles of headphones, and it’s paying off. They have a solid reputation for warranty and performance, yet they manage to keep their pricing very reasonable.


Ekids Movie Headphones

Kids Movie line of headphones is possibly a Christmas or birthday present that your kids will freak out over. 

These wireless headphones have all the good features listed in other headphones above but come in multiple designs such as Cars, Spiderman, Ironman, Frozen, and Starwars, among many many others. 

Ekids have a design for almost everyone and have the excellent build quality, as observed in our long-term testing.

These are fun items for younger kids that don’t break the bank.


iClever Kids Wireless Headphones

Another set of awesome wireless headphones is the iClever Bluetooth headphones, currently available in two colors (Pink and Blue). Still, it can be customized by changing the color of the integrated L.E.D. ring lights on-ear earpiece.

They have every feature you could want with the fully twistable headband that springs back to its original shape. They have 25 hours of battery life also means fewer charges than other wireless options on the list. Connectivity is also good, and in our review, we managed to get up to 30 feet with a stable connection to our test device’s Bluetooth.

With a volume restriction of 94db, it’s slightly higher than the 87db you find on most volume-limited headphones but still well within the safe limits outlined above.



Puro Puroquiet

Ok, so these are the most expensive headphones on our list, but they are, at the same time, the most feature-packed.

These are the only headphones on this list that include active noise cancelation (A.N.C.) for children. Personally, after having used noise-canceling headphones for flying, I just can’t go back onto a fight without this technology. And, it makes a lot of sense for children as well.

One of the problems when flying is ambient cabin noise, and I’m sure you have noticed what you do to deal with this. You probably put the volume up louder right?

Here we are talking about protecting hearing, and as a result, volume-limited headphones are not very well suited to flying. The environmental noise can make it very hard for kids to hear their music or movies.

That’s where the Puro Puroquiet comes in; it reduces the external noise meaning you don’t have to raise the volume.

The headphones offer a 22db reduction in ambient sound and are the most premium headphones we have included here.

You get 22 hours of runtime without A.N.C. enabled (16 with A.N.C. on), they have headphone volume controls, and you can hook up a cable if they run out of juice when traveling.

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*This list of the best children’s headphones was updated November 2021 to include more Bluetooth headphone options for children.*


Audiophile Onhttp://www.audiophileon.com
Audiophile On is a website dedicated to high-end audio products. With over 15 years as a reviewer, all articles are hand-written by one person to allow the comparison of products. Headphones, earphones, speakers, amplifiers, or DAC's we cover here.

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