Searching for a great pair of kids' headphones? We've purchased and tested 10 top competitors in our quest for the best headphones for kids to help you find the right options for your children and their needs. We performed side-by-side tests of each product for sound quality, comfort, fit, and quality to give you the information you need to find the right kids' headphones for your child or goals. Read on to see the winners and learn more about kids' headphones.
The Puro Sound Labs headphones are pretty fancy for kids' headphones, and they look higher quality than their list price implies. They are Bluetooth-capable, pair easily, and come with cords for charging and listening. These headphones adjust easily, have the right amount of tension to sit comfortably without shifting, and still avoid causing headaches or discomfort. The muffs are nicely padded and rotate infinitely around for a custom fit. Testers feel they are the most comfortable and easiest to use with the best sound. We definitely noticed they stayed in place better on wiggly kids than much of the competition, and the lack of cord meant no snagging and dropping headphones while playing or walking. These kids' headphones also block most ambient noise, which means little ones can hear the sound better at lower volumes, potentially protecting hearing.
This pair of kids' headphones are the most expensive we tested, making them a non-starter if your budget is limited or your children aren't mature enough for higher-end electronics (we've been there). As a result, the Puro is not the best choice for younger children or those who haven't learned to be careful with their things yet. A broken pair of expensive headphones for kids are significantly more painful than a broken, inexpensive pair. Overall, we believe the Puro is the best in the group, hands down. They are the pair we'd recommend to a friend whose budget is less of a concern and where quality, usability, and comfort are the top concerns.
The LilGadgets headphones are a basic headset that offers enough good stuff to keep kids happy without the bells and whistles that often translates to a higher price or broken parts. We like that these kids' headphones fold for easier transport and come with a cloth drawstring carry bag that keeps them clean and somewhat protects their shape (though our testers lost this bag quickly). The fit and finish are stylish and look nice compared to the others we tested. They provide good tonal range and are loud enough even with the volume limiting feature, something not true of every product. At least one tester felt this option was the most comfortable and regularly picked it as a 1st or 2nd choice. The "Shareport" is a fun idea for allowing two kids to hear the same content. Still, besides sitting on an airplane or car ride, we can't imagine two kids tolerating the closeness required for this feature without an argument ensuing ("mom, he's touching me").
These headphones for kids don't feel that durable compared to the competition; they might not survive rough and tumble toddlers, though ours are going strong two years into testing with kids over 8 years. If cordless is your goal, they also don't have Bluetooth, which could be a deal-breaker. A handful of users expressed frustration with the sound in only one speaker, but ours worked fine. Some testers liked the sound better than some of the more expensive competitors. Overall, we believe they are a good choice for most children, and the price is reasonable.
The Sony ZX Series is a surprisingly inexpensive, high-quality headphone with the features and sound most kids want. We like the padded earmuffs, the tilting earpieces for comfort, and the foldable design for compact travel in a backpack. This pair is easy to use, straightforward, and offers impressive sound. Our kid testers liked the plug-and-go simplicity, and parents appreciated the brand name recognition for quality and durability.
These are not kid-centric headphones and, as such, lack the features some children want, like lights, bright colors, or cat ears. They also don't feel very durable compared to several competitors (ours broke in year two after being stepped on). They likely won't survive being stepped on, sat on, squashed under books, or explosive tantrums. However, they are of nice quality and feel durable under typical use (just don't step on them). We like these inexpensive headphones, and given the price, you'll need to buy three pairs before reaching the same price as the lower-quality kid-centric competition. Overall, we think parents will love the quality for the price, and kids will enjoy the comfortable fit and true and clear sound.
The Noot Kids Headphones is an economical choice that could be suitable for traveling little ones. This straightforward, no-frills set has a sturdy braided cord, simple size adjustment, and a comfortable fit with padded muffs for over-ear wear. We like that these kids' headphones fold to reduce the size, making them super travel-friendly.
We wish these headphones had a volume limiter to stop little ones from blaring music too loudly and potentially damaging eardrums. We also wish they had a microphone so kids could use it to participate in online school or gaming. However, if you need a basic pair of headphones for tablets, mp3 players, or gaming devices, this set would be a perfect match for kids on the go who would benefit from a folding or smaller pair for their backpack or luggage.
If your child is more of a gamer, then the BENGOO Gaming Headset is the one to buy (in fact, we've bought three for our kids). This futuristic-looking option includes a microphone to participate in audible interactive gameplay with friends or online school. Our testers liked the larger earmuffs that cushioned the ear and felt the sound quality was good on lower volumes. These kids' headphones also have LED lights to increase the external fun, though only others can see them, and they need to be plugged into a USB port to work (so they won't function with many tablets or handheld gaming systems). Our tests revealed these were a hit with online schools and instantly became the envy of other kiddos online. These have also withstood significant use in 3 years, and only one pair broke after being stepped on.
These headphones are bulky and heavy compared to competitors, making them a sub-par choice for younger users (possibly seven and under). We experienced some distortion and feedback at higher volumes during testing, but this seemed to naturally limit how loud children set the volume (which we liked). Overall, we think this pair is an excellent choice for kids who want to look cool or spend most of their headphone time playing games or interacting with others online for school or social distancing instead of playing music where louder volumes would be appealing.
If you're looking for something different, then the Riwbox Cat Ear are the ones you want. These cute cat ear headphones have Bluetooth capability and LED lights for added fun. We like that pairing is easy, the sound is better than average, and kids will beg to use them.
These kids' headphones are not the most comfortable and felt too tight on our testers. They might be better for younger children (7 and under) or those with smaller heads. Also, they feel somewhat fragile, and some users report problems with breaking or the lights failing. We think these feel like a lack of responsible care could result in a shorter lifespan than some of the competition, at least for the set's lights and cat ear portions. However, the price isn't prohibitive, and even if they only last a year, we suspect kids will have enough fun with them to make it worth the price.
Toddlers need volume limitations for sure, which is why we like the Snug Play+ for protecting little eardrums from loud sounds. These headphones are small in size and sound with a design geared to little ones first learning to use headphones. We like the lack of loud volume for eardrum protection, and we think the foldable design is perfect for tiny backpacks and little hands. The padded muffs are better than in-ear models for toddlers, and little ones feel grown up wearing them as they are similar to adult headphones.
Unfortunately, older children were frustrated by the volume limitation during testing. Because the headphones don't cancel ambient noise, this made the problem worse, with some things being harder to hear. They are also small; we mean tiny. Our 8-year-old tester couldn't even fit them on his head. But these kids' headphones aren't designed for older children, and we suspect they'd fit a toddler comfortably. Overall, these simple, volume-limiting headphones are an excellent choice for toddlers and parents looking for eardrum protection and a way to avoid hearing "Baby Shark" one more time (which is all of us, right?).
The Riwbox Bluetooth headphones are similar to their cat-eared counterparts without adorable ears. These headphones have LED lights that sync to the music little ones are listening to, and kids love to watch the music as it plays. This product is Bluetooth-capable and easily syncs the products we tried during testing. We think the sound is better than average and like the folding design that makes transportation easier.
These kid headphones are tight and will work best on younger children or those with smaller heads. While they fit our older testers, both remarked they were tight, and the ear padding wasn't stellar. We also wonder about the quality and how long the LED lights will last, as they seem flimsy compared to some competitors. We caution buying them only for the lights because once those die, they're just heavier headphones. However, if your child loves lights and wants a dance party, these light-popping colorful speakers could be the right option for you.
The CozyPhones headbands are super adorable (seriously) and come in various soft animal patterns kids love. Kids like the fun headband design, and the soft fleece is perfect for lying down or falling asleep. These kid headphones are corded, and the speakers can move inside the band for customized placement.
This headband is small, frankly, in our opinion, stupidly small. So it is probably best for children under the age of 5 (please monitor younger children around cords). Also, it isn't the best for sound quality, so if you want high-quality sound with great tonal range and deep bass, you will likely be less than thrilled. However, little ones probably listen to bedtime stories or lullabies, and these speakers are suitable for both. We caution against headphones with cords for sleeping children, as little ones could accidentally become entangled in the cord. If you're looking for something soft, adorable, and kid-centric, this is a potential option for your shortlist.
The POWMEE M1 are budget-friendly headphones with a simple design and no bells or whistles. They are foldable, easy to transport, and lightweight, with an adjustable headband for a more customizable, universal fit.
These headphones for kids provide inferior sound and are harder to fit the head. Once adjusted, the adjustment method allows them to slowly slide out of place, which means a good fit is challenging to achieve and maintain. Our testers report that the headphones are uncomfortable and don't sound as good as the higher-ranking options. They regularly passed on these kids' headphones in favor of similarly styled sets, indicating it isn't the aesthetics but the functionality that generates disappointment. While these headphones are some of the least expensive we tested, we suspect the frustration for kids and parents will make you wish you'd spent a few more dollars for something better. Saving money buying a product that never gets used isn't really saving money.
Why You Should Trust Us
We researched over 20 potential headphone contenders for kids before choosing 10 options for testing. While we appreciate the desire for excellent sound and even noise cancellation for adult headphones, our expectations were somewhat lower for a product type that may be lost, broken, or even stolen in the lifetime of a child's busy world. We considered quality, sound, comfort, durability, and features when testing headphones. Our kid testers wore every pair for multiple days and with different gadgets listening to school, music, games, and shows. We received feedback on comfort, sound, and features, and you can trust kids to tell the truth when the stakes are using better gear. Our impressions and testers' reports influenced ranks and award winners.
Our kids' headphones review is led by Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz. Wendy is a mother of two boys and has been testing gear for babies and children at BabygearLab since 2014. Wendy selected the top headphone contenders for this review. Her children and their friends helped test the products and provided feedback that influenced the award-winner selection and product ranking. We rigorously studied each product hands-on to give you the details you need to find the right pair of headphones for your child and your goals. Wendy and her family continued to use many of the products in this review for up to 3 years or longer to provide ongoing information in updates of this review.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased and tested kids' headphones to find the best of the best and the most appealing to kids. In this review, we conducted side-by-side testing with children of different ages to determine which pairs offer the best sound, quality, features, and comfort.
Listening to headphones can be a joy or a practice of patience, depending on the quality of the speakers' sound and volume capabilities. For children, we believe the need for top-quality sound is lower than it is for most adults, and it is unlikely that your child needs the world's best headphones (especially if they aren't that responsible with their things). Alternatively, they require good sound at an adequate volume with no static and a range of tones suitable for talking, games, and music. While children may not be able to quantify sound quality, they can definitely tell you when headphones sound funny, robotic, scratchy, fuzzy, or quiet, as our young testers identified for this roundup of kids' headphones. This is the feedback we look for when discussing sound with our kid testers.
The best in this group, hands down, is the Puro. These speakers offer clear, crisp sound and a variety of volumes with no static or robotic blips. There is an even range of tones with impressive bass and mid-range tones, and we felt the sound was equally good for music, movies, or gaming. We also didn't notice any change to the sound quality or ability when using the speakers via cord or Bluetooth, and it managed to stay connected via Bluetooth for over 25 feet in our test house. The Sony pair was similar, though it has no Bluetooth, and the bass was less impressive for bass-heavy music but good enough for movies or gaming. We suspect most children won't miss whatever deep bass elements may be missing, and we think their eardrums will thank everyone later.
The worst of the group was the Powmee. It lacks tonal quality and "breaks up" or becomes fuzzy at higher volumes. The CozyPhones was also unimpressive, as were the sound limiting Snug Play+, though we believe little eardrums can benefit from the quiet overall sound of the SnugPlay. The BENGOO Gaming Headset had adequate sound at lower volumes, but testers complained it got staticky with the volume turned up. At least one parent felt this unfortunate feature was good since it prevented kids from raising the volume to unreasonable levels. However, we admit this doesn't reflect well on the quality of the headset (over time, we found this in only 1 of 3 pairs we purchased). The LilGadget headphones have less tonal range but good enough sound at all volume levels with no fuzz static at higher volumes. The Noot headphones have a fairly good tonal range, but not if you turn them up. The Noot is probably better for watching shows than listening to heart-thumping music.
We doubt anyone will find these headphones worthy of studio or professional use, but we think some of the products give children what they need for a reasonable price. Luckily, for your peace of mind and your wallet, in our tests, kids seemed less concerned about sound quality than they were with the coolness factor of the headphones in general.
Kids aren't shy about giving their opinions, especially if they are negative and have anything to do with comfort. Much like the dreaded seatbelt or even the scratchy tag in a t-shirt, our testers were more than happy to relay which headphones they would wear for hours (and some for years) and which they'd never wear again. Some of the headphones were okay at first but grew more uncomfortable over time. Some were immediately banned for discomfort, and others made the cut immediately and seemed to meld into the tester's heads, never to be parted except for regular bathing.
Many testers felt the BENGOO Gaming Headset was the most comfortable at first as the ear padding is significant, the space is large enough to hold the entire ear, and the headphones are adjustable for the head size. This option is cushiony but heavy, and some testers felt it grew uncomfortable over time, and we suspect younger children (7 and under) won't like them due to the larger size and weight. The Puro received rave reviews from our testers as the most comfortable, with a unique design for sizing and ample padding on the muffs that hug your head. These headphones seem to grip the head without pressure and stay on even when running or tilting the head upside down. With a reliable Bluetooth connection, there is a lot of literal wiggle potential with this pair, and the lack of a cord makes them even more comfortable to use. These features alone make them a great choice for kids who have trouble sitting still. Some testers felt the comfort level diminished around the 5-hour mark, but there is an argument that 5 hours of headphone time is probably a bad idea anyway. The basic Sony set is comfortable and keeps even persnickety children happy, but it does have a cord that limits movement. It doesn't squeeze the head, offers just enough adjustment for various head sizes, and has ear muffs that rotate to fit your head instead of putting undue pressure on the ears. The LilGadget was also a popular choice for comfort.
Headphones lacking in the comfort department include the CozyPhones, which were far too small for our testers, creating a vise-like experience no one found cozy. However, we suspect that younger and smaller children (5 and under) will like these headband headphones if they have the right size head. Both Riwbox headphones were deemed uncomfortable and too tight, though testers were willing to put up with them for some time because they liked the lights and Bluetooth capabilities. However, in the end, the novelty of these headphones wore off, and they started collecting dust as comfort really did prove to drive overall use. The Powmee M1 was also shunned as they didn't stay adjusted, and the ear muffs consistently fell while wearing them, and the Snug Play+ also got no love in this metric, though toddlers will likely find them comfortable. The Noot are similar in design to the Powmee, but the Noot pair we purchased did a better job keeping their size adjustment than the Powmee, and the muffs felt more comfortable to our testers.
Quality is often captured in the sound metric when it comes to headphones. Lower-quality headphones will typically come with sub-par speakers, so reviewing our favorites for sound is an excellent place to start if you happened to have skipped it. However, quality also includes how well they were manufactured, how they adjust, stay fit, cord construction, padding, Bluetooth, and other features like sharing ports or sound limiting.
While not always true for all gear types, headphones seem to be a category where you get what you pay for. Higher quality options come with higher price tags and often better features and overall comfort. Balancing quality with how gentle your child can be is the sweet spot on what you choose to invest. The Puro is the highest quality option in this group, by far. This product uses better materials, has strong attention to detail, and feels durable. The adjustment method offers the right amount of stiffness and flexibility. The headband provides gentle tension to keep them on your head without discomfort or causing a headache. It comes with a nice carry case and includes a charging cord for the Bluetooth feature and a listening cord when your charge runs out. The wallet-loving Sony headphones are the quality you'd expect from a lower-priced Sony set. While not the high-end Sony products, it is significantly better than what the lower price would indicate, and we think conscientious children will be able to keep these headphones going strong for years. However, as already mentioned, after two years, our Sony headphones suffered a stepping-on accident that snapped off an earmuff, so you want to keep all headphones off the floor.
The lowest quality option is the Powmee with a style and design that harken back to the elementary school language lab. The headphone slide adjustments never work right, and the sound is lacking no matter what level you choose. Lilgadgets is of higher quality than some, and we like the sharing port, but it isn't on the same level as the Puro, Sony, or even the Bengoo Gaming Headset. The CozyPhones again fails to impress as the speakers are soft and flat inside a fleece headband, but it looks fun and is put together well for what it is, and the price works with what you get.
Many parents and caregivers appreciate that a good pair of kid's headphones can bring a little peace to their home or car, even if only motivated to avoid hearing "Baby Shark" again (aren't we all tired of this?). Headphones are great for long car trips, homeschooling, or online gaming. Fortunately, finding a great pair doesn't need to be a guessing game or surpass your budget. In our tests of the top headphones, we found great products in all price ranges to please even the pickiest little one. Depending on your goals, we believe there is a great pair for you and your child in this review.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.