The Best Headphones for Toddlers and Kids for 2021

This article explores all the best headphones for toddlers and kids for 2021. We look at all the important things to look for when choosing headphones for kids and review some of the best headphones on the market. 

As the iPad becomes more and more part of our lives, particularly when traveling, more parents are on the look out for the best headphones for toddlers and kids. For us they are one of our most important family travel products.

kids headband headphones

Below we look at all the essentials to consider when choosing good headphones for kids, especially with regards safety. We have helped you narrow down your choice by reviewing our pick of the best kid friendly headphones on the market.

We take a close look at the features of each set of children’s over ear headphones and give you any pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

But first here is a quick look view and comparison of our pick of the best earphones for kids. Scroll down to read the full kids headphones reviews.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a booking or purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission – at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Kids Headphones Comparison Table

 

Why it is important to buy kid safe headphones

Firstly, a disclaimer: I’m no expert on hearing and the safety of kids ear phones.

As a parent you would be wise to read up on the safety of kids using headphones and in particular take heed of the World Health Organisation’s advice regarding use of headphones for kids and adults.

According to the WHO 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of developing hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices and exposure to damaging levels of sound in noisy entertainment venues.

baby headphones for plane

They go on to say that 50% of people aged 12-35 years in middle- and high- income countries listen to unsafe levels of sound through personal audio devices.

All the headphones reviewed below have been chosen as the best kids headphones based on ease of use, features and sound quality, and obviously safety measures have also been taken into account. It remains your responsibility to ensure that you are satisfied that the product is safe for your kids to use.

Why buy kids volume limiting headphones?

Listening to loud music for long periods of times affects our hearing. To prevent noise-induced hearing loss, the WHO advises “the highest safe exposure level is considered to be 85dB for up to a maximum of 8 hours”.

Especially for children, it is super important therefore that we use volume restricting headphones for them, to ensure as little exposure to loud volumes as possible. Kids aren’t often aware when the volume is too loud, and aren’t aware of the long-term damage that it can do.

Toddler headphones on plane

For this reason, the majority of kids headphones are volume limiting to the recommended 85dB. You will find that some will allow the volume to be raised to 92dB, in order for devices to be heard in noisy environments such as airplanes.

However, the general consensus is, that the better the quality of sound from the headphones, the less need there is to turn up the volume. For this reason, don’t always go for cheap kids headphones. Those with better sound quality will be the best buy kids headphones.

Why buy noise cancelling headphones for kids?

Using noise reduction headphones for kids can reduce the need for them to turn up the volume by cutting down background noise.

So it can definitely be worth investing in a pair of children’s noise cancelling headphones, particularly if you are looking for the best headphones for airplane travel.

Earbuds for kids

It is not advised to use kids in ear headphones. Kids over ear headphones are the much safer option. It is easier to control the volume of them and they are less likely to aggravate the ear canal.

For this reason, we have not included any reviews for best earbuds for kids here.

Other things to look for when choosing the best children’s headphones

Other things to look out for when choosing amongst the best headset brands include:

  • Size of headband
  • Comfort of headband and ear cushions
  • Are they foldable?
  • Do they come with a protective carry case?
  • Do they have a share port to allow two kids to listen at once?
  • Range of colours, designs and stickers for kids to personalize them

kids headband headphones

Wired vs Wireless Headphones

Why pick kids Bluetooth headphones? There are a few advantages: no cable obviously means no tangling up and therefore easier to wear. Bluetooth volume control is also more reliable.

Also, given that the latest iPhones no longer have headphone sockets, there is a good chance that other technology will follow and that wired headphones will end up needing an adapter. Children’s Bluetooth headphones therefore seem like a more lasting option.

Having said that, the disadvantage of kids wireless Bluetooth headphones is that they have a limited battery life. For a long journey, this means you have another thing you need to think about before you travel.

If you go for a cheaper Bluetooth headset for kids, you may find that battery life is fairly poor. Some of the better ones we review here last up to 20 hours or more, which is obviously what you need for a long journey.

I would advise looking for a pair of kids cordless headphones that also come with a wired cord for back up.

kids headphones on plane

Why choose wired headphones? Firstly, wired headphones tend to be cheaper (more than half the price in many cases), and secondly you don’t need to worry about battery life.

I don’t know about you, but I already have enough to think about with charging phones, iPads and cameras before we go on a trip, without adding something else into the mix!

If you are looking for a pair of headphones for a 2 year old or toddler, they will find it much easier to plug in a pair of wired headphones than connect to a Bluetooth device.

If you’re just looking for a cheap pair of kids headphones for iPad use on the plane occasionally, then a pair of wired headphones will be fine.

You will find more headphone FAQs at the bottom of the article after the reviews. 

The Best Kids Wireless Headphones Reviews

Here is our pick of the best children’s wireless headphones.

Most of these (with the exception of the JLab JBuddies Studio) also come with a backup wired cable for cases when Bluetooth is not available, or the battery runs out.

Note that when using the cable for these headphones, it is important that you ensure that it is inserted correctly. It is possible to plug in the headphones back to front, which means that the volume control will not work. Check the cable carefully – it should be labeled as to which end goes into the headphones and which end goes into the device.

Puro SoundLab Junior Jams Review

These Puro kids headphones are pretty impressive in terms of features, stylish design and sound quality and are among the best Bluetooth headphones for kids on the market.

These sound cancelling headphones for kids block out 87% of ambient noise, meaning that they are among the best kids headphones for airplane travel, as kids can listen to their devices without having to turn the volume up to maximum. Even if they do, the volume control is limited at a safe 85dB.

JuniorJams Volume Limiting Headphones for Kids 3+ Protect Hearing – Foldable & Adjustable Bluetooth Wireless Headphones for Tablets, Smartphones, & PCs – 22-Hour Battery Life by Puro Sound Labs, Pink

The Junior Jams are lightweight and comfortable to wear, thanks to the padded leather headband and cushioned ear cups. A built-in audio splitter allows sharing through ‘daisy chain’ technology, meaning they are good headphones for kids who like or need to share a device.

They connect via Bluetooth 4.0 with a 30 feet wireless range and most impressively have a 22-hour battery life, making them absolutely ideal for long haul travel. A back up cable is provided for times when Bluetooth isn’t available or you forgot to charge the headphones.

JuniorJams Volume Limiting Headphones for Kids 3+ Protect Hearing – Foldable & Adjustable Bluetooth Wireless Headphones for Tablets, Smartphones, & PCs – 22-Hour Battery Life by Puro Sound Labs, Pink

Control buttons are situated on the right ear cup and allow kids to play/pause, adjust volume and answer/reject calls if they are connected to a phone.

They are available in a choice of colours to suit everyone, are foldable and come with a semi-hard carry case to help protect them.

If you are looking for the best headphones for tweens, this would be our pick thanks to the stylish, cool design and great sound quality.

Features:

  • Suitable for ages 2-12
  • Bluetooth with back-up audio cable included
  • 22 hour battery life
  • 85dB volume limit
  • Noise cancelling
  • Share port
  • Foldable
  • Choice of colours
  • Semi-hard carry case included

Click here to check prices for the Puro SoundLab Junior Jams.

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We also love the Puro BT2200 model which are also very cool headphones for kids, and another good option for the best headphones for flying, thanks to their noise cancelling capability.

But there were a few reasons we chose the Junior Jams vs BT2200 for our pick of the best wireless headphones for kids.

These are:

  • Junior Jams are slightly cheaper
  • Junior Jams have better noise cancellation (87% vs 82%)
  • Junior Jams allow sharing with the built-in audio splitter
  • Junior Jams have longer battery life (22 hours vs 18 hours)

JLab Audio JBuddies Studio Review

Another great set of kids headphones with volume control, the JBuddies are also limited to a safe 85dB volume.

They are lightweight and comfortable to wear, thanks to their comfy cushioned eco leather ear pads and padded headband. Battery life is a very decent 13 hours, so good for long haul travel.

JLab JBuddies Studio Bluetooth Over-Ear Kids Headphones | 13 Hour Battery Life | Studio Volume Safe | Volume Limiter | Folding | Adjustable | Noise Isolation | with Mic | Graphite/Blue

These kids headphones with microphone built-in means that kids can answer the phone easily. Controls for this are on the left ear cup, along with controls to change the volume and play/pause or change tracks.

The J Buddies Studio are designed for kids aged 6-16 years old, making them the best headphones for teens out of all the ones in our reviews. The cool DJ design should appeal to older kids too.

Note that this wireless headset for kids is not suitable for using with a audio cable and therefore is only suitable for Bluetooth.

Features:

  • Suitable for ages 6-16
  • 13 hour battery life
  • 85dB volume limit
  • In-line microphone
  • Foldable
  • Choice of 3 colours
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • No back up cable included, only suitable for Bluetooth

Click here to check prices for the JLab Audio JBuddies.

Onanoff Buddyphones Play Review

If you’re looking for wireless headphones for toddlers then these are a good choice. The adjustable headband is perfect for smaller heads, and the soft cushioned ear pads make for comfortable wearing.

They come in a choice of fun bright colours and can be further customized with the included decorative stickers.

Kids headphones with mic allows for two-way calling on the phone. They also come with three volume settings: 75dB (for toddlers), 85dB (for older kids) and 94dB (for airplane travel). They are foldable and come with a carry bag.

BuddyPhones Play, Wireless Bluetooth Volume-Limiting Kids Headphones, 18-Hour Battery Life, 4 Volume Settings, Anti-Allergic Earpads, BuddyCable for Sharing, Yellow

These wireless kids headphones have an impressive 16 hour battery life and also have an included wired cable for back up situations. This can also be used for sharing a device between headphones using the built-in audio splitter.

These child safe headphones are designed for little kids and with their brightly coloured plastic appearance, they look like little kids headphones. They are therefore not the best headphones for tweens and older kids who want to look cool while listening to their music or gaming.

Note that when set to the maximum level, the allowed volume limit on these headphones exceeds the WHO recommendations, as outlined above. We advise supervising children to ensure these headphones are not used to their maximum leve, especially if you are using these as toddler Bluetooth headphones.

Features:

  • Suitable for ages 2-10
  • Bluetooth with back-up audio cable included
  • 16 hour battery life
  • 3 x volume limits: 75dB, 85dB, 94dB
  • Share port
  • Foldable
  • In-line microphone
  • Choice of colours plus decorative stickers
  • Travel bag included

Click here to check prices for the Onanoff Buddyphones Play.

LilGadgets Untangled Pro Review

These Lil Gadgets headphones are designed for kids aged 4 and above, with a choice of six fun colours available.

The adjustable headband allows the headphones to grow with your child, while the reinforced stainless steel extenders give increased durability to ensure they stay around long enough to do so.

LilGadgets Untangled PRO Kids Premium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with SharePort and Microphone (Children) - Blue

The SoftTouch breathable mesh material on the padded headband and earpads makes for comfortable wearing, while the in-built audio splitter allows kids to share devices using the daisy chain technology. They also have an in-built microphone.

Battery life is 12 hours, so not as good as some of the other top kids headphones we review here, but still pretty decent. A back up audio cable is included for if and when the battery does run out.

Note that the maximum allowed volume limit on these headphones exceeds the WHO recommendations, as outlined above. We advise supervising children to ensure these headphones are not used to their maximum level.

Features:

  • Suitable for ages 4-12
  • Bluetooth with back-up audio cable included
  • 12 hour battery life
  • Volume limit: 93dB
  • Share port
  • In-line microphone
  • Choice of 6 colours
  • Travel bag included

Click here to check prices for the LilGadgets Untangled Pro.

The Best Wired Headphones for Kids Reviews

Here is our pick of the best children’s wired headphones.

Onanoff Buddyphones Explore Review

These are among the best toddler headphones for airplane travel that we have found. The bendable and durable headband is perfect for little kids and the cushioned ear pads make for comfortable wearing.

They come in a choice of fun bright colours and can be further customized with the included decorative stickers.

ONANOFF BuddyPhones Explore Foldable, Volume-Limiting Kids Headphones with Travel Bag, Built-In Audio Sharing Cable with Mic, Compatible with Fire, iPad, iPhone, and Android Devices, Blue

The in-built audio splitter allows up to 4 children to share one device. They also come with an in-built microphone and answer button for phone use.

These safe headphones for toddlers come in two variations: Explore and Explore Foldable. There is around an $8 between the two models. For travel we definitely recommend upgrading to the foldable version, for ease of packing into the kids bags. The foldable version also comes with a travel bag.

Features:

  • Suitable for ages 2-10
  • Volume limit: 85dB
  • Share port
  • In-line microphone
  • Choice of 6 colours
  • Foldable
  • Travel bag included

Click here to check prices for the Onanoff Buddyphones Play.

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LilGadgets Connect+ Pro Review

This is a cheaper alternative to the wireless LilGadgets Untangled that we review above.

It offers many of the same great features of the wireless headphones version, such as its padded comfortable design, range of colours, share port and foldable, compact design.

LilGadgets Connect+ PRO Kids Premium Volume Limited Wired Headphones with SharePort and Inline Microphone (Children) - Pink

The main difference is that instead of connecting over Bluetooth, these kids headphones come with a nylon braided cord, which makes for tangle-free use.

If you are looking for little kid headphones, there is also a Connect+ version, which is smaller than the Connect+ Pro. This is suitable for kids aged 3-7 years old.

Note that the maximum allowed volume limit on these headphones exceeds the WHO recommendations, as outlined above. We advise supervising children to ensure these headphones are not used to their maximum level.

Features:

  • Suitable for ages 6-12
  • Volume limit: 93dB
  • Share port
  • In-line microphone
  • Choice of 6 colours
  • Foldable
  • Travel bag included

Click here to check prices for the LilGadgets Connect+ Pro.

KidzGear Wired Headphones Review

These KidzGear headphones are another good option for toddler headphones for plane use as they are adjustable to a small size and designed for kids aged 2 and above.

They come in a choice of six colours and an adjustable plastic headband with comfortable padded ear pads. Volume limit is set at 90dB.

Kidz Gear Wired Headphones for Kids – Pink

Another great feature of these durable kids headphones is that they come with a lifetime limited warranty.

Note that the KidzGear wired headphones come with a detachable volume limit cable. You need to ensure that this cable is installed when your children are listening to their headphones. Without it, the volume limit can reach over 108dB.

Features:

  • Suitable for ages 2-10
  • Volume limit: 90dB with volume limit cable attached
  • Choice of colours

Click here to check prices for the KidzGear Wired Headphones.

FAQs for toddler and kid headphones

We have updated this post with some frequently asked questions about headphones for kids and toddlers. Let us know if you have any other questions!

Are headphones ok for toddlers?

For short periods of time headphones are ok for toddlers, provided that you use good quality headphones that are the right size and that have sufficient volume control. The WHO advises that the maximum volume for children’s headphones is 85dB for a maximum of 8 hours.

Are Bluetooth headphones safe for toddlers?

In actual fact, Bluetooth headphones are generally regarded as being safer than wired headphones. The reason for this is that wires for headphones can often be inserted the wrong way round, affecting the volume control of the headphones. Bluetooth volume control is considered to be more reliable.

Are headphones bad for children’s ears?

According to the WHO, 1.1 billion of teenagers and young adults are at risk of developing hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices. It is therefore imperative that children only use volume-limiting headphones for limited periods of time.

Are headphones safer than earbuds

Headphones are generally considered to be safer than earbuds for children. Due to the additional space between the headphone and the eardrum, it is easier to control the volume of headphones than earbuds and and headphones are less likely to aggravate the ear canal.

Are noise-cancelling headphones bad for ears?

Actually noise-cancelling headphones are considered to be safer than non noise cancelling headphones. This is because noise reduction headphones can reduce the need for children to turn up the volume to unsafe levels, as they cut down background noise.

Are expensive headphones worth it?

The better the quality of sound from the headphones, the less need there will be to turn up the volume. For this reason, more expensive headphones can often be the safer option. Additionally noise-cancelling headphones, which tend to be more expensive, will provide better protection as they reduce the need to turn up the volume.

You may also like to read about our pick of the best Luggage for Kids, the best travel car booster seats and the best toddler travel beds.

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Best headphones for toddlers and kids

 

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This post contains affiliate links. If you make a booking or purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission – at absolutely no extra cost to you.

 

1 thought on “The Best Headphones for Toddlers and Kids for 2021”

  1. Just bought the Puro Junior Jams for my little one. Overall this is a great list to choose from but i think Puro would be the best option for my kid. 🙂

    Reply

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