Most new parents in 2019 spent a healthy portion of their youth blasting their favorite pop-punk, hip-hop, or Britney Spears albums, probably through uncomfortable plastic earbuds.
All that loud listening has taken a toll on our ear health. Most ear doctors recommend avoiding prolonged exposure to noises above about 85 decibels — a bit louder than a home garbage disposal — which, over time, can have irreversible effects on your hearing. But just because you messed up your ears, doesn’t mean you want that to happen to your kids.
So what options do young parents have to ensure their children avoid the annoying ringing noise they’ve endured during quiet moments since Toxic was a radio sensation?
These days, there are smart ways to prevent hearing loss, including gadgets like Puro Sound Labs’ PuroQuiet headphones. The PuroQuiet are noise-canceling headphones designed for kids that come with a hard volume limit to prevent your child’s tiny ears from getting damaged.
I spent a couple of weeks checking out these cool little over-ears, and while they may not exactly be the best fit for my adult-sized noggin, they’re fantastic headphones that can give kids a great sonic experience, and parents peace of mind.
Fit and Finish
For a $99 pair of headphones, the PuroQuiet punch well above their weight when it comes to looks and build quality. The rectangular-shaped earcups are made out of robust metal, and come in vibrant colors like electric blue or bright pink. The headband is soft and round, coated with soft imitation leather, and even the adjustment section of the headband, which is also metal, feels solid and strong. This is very important, given that kids don’t always treat their gear properly.
Even though the PuroQuiet are designed to be over-ear headphones for kids, you’ll be happy to know that they still worked OK as on-ears for me (a 6’1″ adult) during my review period, so you won’t have to worry about your kids getting bigger and growing out of their cans any time soon.
The PuroQuiet headphones’ key feature is a custom, built-in software limiter that keeps the volume below 85 decibels. It’s designed to keep music below that volume, but maintain a balanced sound signature. This means that kids can crank them all the way up, and you’ll still never have to worry about them blasting their ears out.
But aside from that, there are a number of other reasons your kids will like them: The headphones feature great noise-canceling, easy to use controls, and 16 hours of battery life. The whole package adds up to a great everyday listening companion for those with a growing appreciation for music, or simply for when your kids are zoning out to their favorite animated, anthropomorphic program.
Honestly, the PuroQuiet sound significantly better than expected. The noise-canceling did well to reduce outside noise, and thus allows you to play your tunes at a lower volume without missing anything. Even when awkwardly placed on my adult head, they showcased deep bass, warm mids, and a good amount of brightness and clarity up high.
I didn’t spend much time listening to the kinds of tunes your kiddos probably will (I stuck to my usual review playlist), but there’s no reason to believe they won’t perform as well playing Disney Radio as hits as Radiohead, or Kendrick Lamar for that matter. These sound great for the money, regardless of the fact that they were designed with kids’ ears in mind.
As a lover of music and of audio gear, I wish all headphones came with the PuroQuiets’ limiting technology installed. When played at full volume, the headphones were loud and dynamic, and I was never worried about my eardrums (as I am when reviewing other headphone models).
At just $100 (half of their original $200 list price), there is probably no better gift you can give your kids when it comes to music. If your kids already have a phone, iPad, and Spotify, why not give them a great pair of headphones — and yourself peace of mind?
- We tested anti-snoring devices on our loudest friends. Here’s what worked
- You can get V-Moda’s excellent wireless over-ear headphones for just $100
- The best wireless headphones for 2019
- The sounds of silence: Jabra Elite 85H vs. the Bose QC35 II vs. Sony’s WH-1000XM3
- House of Marley’s Exodus earth-friendly headphones are available for $200