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10 best kids’ headphones

Comfort, volume restriction, style and price are all worth considering when choosing how your child listens to their tablet or handheld gadget

Our testers found these Pokemon headphones particularly comfortable ( Pokemon ) ( Pokemon )

Chances are your children love playing music or watching the latest YouTube sensation on their tablets. Usually meaning you’ll be in earshot of their current fad.

Yet rather than enduring their favourite song or episode on repeat, (no more Paw Patrol, please) why not invest in some headphones designed specifically for youngsters.

Not only made to fit little heads, many come with volume restrictors to help the sound reaching dangerous levels.

 

Vital considering adult headphones can hit volumes of around 115 decibels (dB), the equivalent of being at a rock concert. Listening at that volume for just 15 minutes a day can damage a child’s ears. 

Lots of children’s headphones have a volume restrictor of 85dB, which is the maximum noise level recommended by many auditory health organisations. 

Yet even then, it’s not recommended that your child wear headphones for more than two hours a day. 

Audiological scientist Adam Walker says: “Look for headphones with volume limiters and think about background noise when your child has headphones on. The quieter the background noise, the lower the volume needs to be on the headphones as the headphones are not having to compete with the background noise.”

Walker also recommends avoiding in-ear headphones. They put the sound closer to the eardrum, potentially causing more damage.

It’s also worth considering the cable length – too long and your child could well trip over it – or whether you’d prefer wireless.

We tested the headphones on a group of children aged four to 14 (along with a handful of parents) and judged them based on sound quality, fit, volume control and – in the words of one young tester – “cool factor”.

With all that in mind, here’s our pick of the best.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent. 

For comfort and sound quality, the JBL Jr 300BT and Puro BT2200 Wireless Kids’ Headphones came out joint top. Yet we also loved the Robert Dyas Retrak unicorn headphones for their novelty value – and sound quality.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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