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The best headphones for kids

Choosing a set of headphones for the kids in our lives can be tougher than you think. Sure, you can always run out and nab a pair of cheap earbuds or over-ears for a bargain price, but these quick steals are seldom equipped with the great tech found in headphones made exclusively for children. We’re talking about features like parental app controls, volume limiting, colorful but sturdy designs, noise isolation for distance learning from home, and daisy-chaining share ports for linking more than one set of cans together for backseat siblings.

We’re pros when it comes to all things headphones, so we decided to put our prowess toward the younger listeners and their gear. Here’s a roundup of the best headphones for kids that you can buy right now.

Looking for more headphone options? Check out our roundups of the best headphones overall, the best noise-canceling headphones, and the best earbuds. If you’re shopping on a budget, our best cheap headphones guide may be a better fit.

At a glance:

The best wireless headphones: Puro Sound Labs BT2200s

Puro Sound BT2200

Why you should buy them: The BT2200s boast long battery life, easy Bluetooth pairing and controls, and impressive sound isolation, including volume limiting to 85 decibels.

Who they’re for: Kids and parents that want the best of wire-free listening at safe volume levels.

Why we picked the Puro Sound Labs BT2200s: 

There’s no denying a good pair of Bluetooth headphones. The Puro Sound Labs BT2200s offer Bluetooth 5.0 pairing at a maximum range of 30 feet, making them a perfect quick-connect for your son or daughter’s mobile companion (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.). Better yet, no wiring means zero tangle or frayed and damaged cords. On a full charge, you can expect the headphones to last up to 20 hours for music playback and close to 200 hours on standby.

In terms of comfort and performance, the BT2200s conform to the World Health Organization’s recommended limit of 85 decibels for younger listeners. Added to that is Puro Sound’s Balanced Response Curve that pumps studio-quality sound into the cans, making for crisp highs and deep-bodied lows. If your child plans on using these for distance-learning applications, the built-in passive noise isolation will certainly come in handy. The feature blocks out up to 83% of ambient background noise, helping your youngster home in on their lessons. Plus, there’s an onboard mic for calls and web applications as well as basic Bluetooth commands, including play/pause and volume controls. The folks at Puro Sound certainly didn’t skimp on engineering and performance, making the BT2200s one of the best (and most expensive) choices of our roundup.

The best wired headphones: Mpow CH6S Kids Headphones

Mpow CH6S Wired Headphones

Why you should buy them: Quick volume controls and an amazing price make the CH6S a sure bet for remote learning, back-seat listening, and more.

Who they’re for: Families on a budget that want to score a quality set of wired headphones.

Why we picked the Mpow CH6S Kids Headphones:

When you’re looking for a set of headphones for your kids that’ll get the job done, the Mpow CH6S cover all the basics and more. Not to mention if you’re buying for multiple children, the low price is a saving grace. For wired listening, the CH6S sport a built-in 3.5mm stereo connection for connecting to most of today’s major devices, including phones, tablets, computers, in-flight entertainment, and more. Better yet, there’s a second 3.5mm port so another set of headphones can be daisy-chained to them without the need for a splitter.

In terms of volume control, there are two modes: 85 decibels and 94 decibels. Toggling between both settings is as simple as flicking a switch on the volume controller (housed with the internal mic). Keep in mind there are no volume up or down buttons on the CH65 — only the choice of the two decibel limits. Actual volume controls are handled by whatever device your child is using. There’s no denying that spending a few dollars more would net your son or daughter some extra features, but for a solid pair of cheap wired headphones, there’s no better choice than the Mpow CH6S.

The best earbuds for kids: LilGadgets BestBuds

LilGadgets BestBuds

Why you should buy them: Your youngster prefers a set of earbuds to headphones, and you want buds that’ll deal with heavier wear and tear.

Who they’re for: Young listeners with a penchant for tangling cables.

Why we picked the LilGadgets BestBuds:

Not every young listener wants a clunky set of headphones. For those wishing for something more in line with the Apple AirPods or similar earbuds, there are the LilGadgets BestBuds. What we love right off the bat is that these are volume-limited wired buds. Keep in mind, these guys max out at 73 decibels, which is a few decibels shy of the World Health Organization’s recommended 85-decibel limit, making these a bit on the quiet side. However, the built-in passive noise isolation should help to balance outside noise against source volume. While not wireless like the much-lauded AirPods, the LilGadgets BestBuds cable is tangle-free and comes with a mini splitter for connecting another set of buds for shared listening.

Each BestBuds come with a set of three earbud covers to fit most ear sizes along with a sturdy travel case for hitting the road or taking to the skies. With a comfy fit, easy controls (plus an in-line mic), and three color options (blue, black, and pink), the LilGadgets BestBuds are the perfect starter earbuds.

The best headphones for sharing: LilGadgets Untangled Pro

LilGadgets Untangled wireless headphones

Why you should buy them: You want your kids to be able to share an audio source without both sets of headphones requiring cables.

Who they’re for: Little listeners that want big sound and wireless listening.

Why we picked the LilGadgets Untangled Pro: 

LilGadgets scores another laurel in our roundup, this time for best sharing capabilities. The Untangled Pro are a rock-solid set of Bluetooth 4.0 headphones made of durable polycarbonate and reinforced stainless steel extenders. If your kids are a bit rough with their electronics, the Untangled Pro are worth it for their endurance alone. For active listeners, the headphones will last up to 12 hours during playback and 180 hours on standby without a charge. Passive noise isolation comes standard with the Untangled, as does volume limiting, with the headphones capped at 93 decibels.

The big sharing feature with the Untangled Pro is the built-in SharePort. Negating a splitter, a friend or sibling can connect a second set of headphones directly to the Untangled, allowing for easy daisy chaining on a single audio source. The Untangled Pro are available in ten colors, and the proceeds of each sale go toward a series of anti-bullying initiatives.

The most comfortable headphones for kids: CozyPhones Kids Headphones

CozyPhones Headphones for Kids

Why you should buy them: Your kids hate the idea of bulky headphones or uncomfortable earbuds.

Who they’re for: Young listeners with sensitive ears.

Why we picked the CozyPhones Kids Headphones: 

At first glance, the CozyPhones barely look like headphones. That’s because the tiny 1/8-inch drivers for these clever comfort-fitted cans are buried in the colored headband. The drivers themselves are volume-limiting, with audio capped at 90 decibels.  Compact and foldable, these make for a great carry-on for your next big trip. If you’re taking a warm-weather vacation, be aware that the headband is made of fleece, so you may want to opt for a less sweat-inducing audio option.

The actual headphone components are totally removable, allowing you to machine-wash the headband between uses, and the included cord is 52 inches long, which is plenty of slack for connecting to devices in both the front and back of the car. Do keep in mind the extra length if your youngster tends to get tangled in cords.

Looking for more headphone options? Check out our roundups of the best headphones overall, the best noise-canceling headphones, and the best earbuds. If you’re shopping on a budget, our best cheap headphones guide may be a better fit.

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