Best Kids' Headphones
The Puro headphones are pretty fancy for kids' headphones, and they look higher quality than their price indicates. 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. These kids' headphones also block most ambient noise, which means little ones can hear the sound better at lower volumes, potentially protecting hearing.These headphones are the most expensive in this review, which could be a no-go if your budget is tight or your children aren't ready for fancy electronics (we hear you!). As a result, the Puro is not the best choice for younger children or those who aren't careful with their things. A broken pair of expensive headphones is significantly more painful than a broken inexpensive product. 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 can translate 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 the shape. The fit and finish are stylish and look nice compared to competitors. 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 don't feel like the most durable of the lot, and they might not survive rough and tumble toddlers, though ours are going strong a year into testing with kids over 8-ears-old. They also don't have Bluetooth, which could be a deal-breaker if cordless is your goal. A handful of users expressed frustration with 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 and the tilting earpieces for comfort, as well as 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 liked the brand name recognition for quality and durability.These are not kid-centric headphones and, as such, lack the fun and features some children want like lights, bright colors, or cat ears. They also don't feel like the most durable pair compared to much of the competition. They likely won't survive being stepped on, sat on, squashed under books, or temper tantrums. However, they are of nice quality and feel durable under typical use. 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 are 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 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 them participating in an online school or similar. 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. 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 cushion the ear and felt the sound quality is good on lower volumes. These 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 it won't function with many tablets or handheld gaming systems). Our tests revealed these were a hit with online school and instantly became the envy of other kiddos online.These headphones are bulky and heavy compared to competitors, making them a sub-par choice for younger users (possibly 7 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.
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 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 them breaking or the lights failing. We think these feel like 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. They are also small; we mean tiny. Our 8-year-old tester couldn't even fit them on his head. But, these 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 syncs easily to the products we tried during testing. We think the sound is better than average and like the folding design that makes transportation easier.These 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 seemed 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 MPow headphones offer comfortable earmuffs and easy adjustment. The headphones are volume limiting and come with a microphone for communication via smartphones or online venues. Testers felt this pair was comfortable, and they liked the overall look.These headphones offer a sub-par sound that lacks the same range and volume we experienced in similar competitors. Testers remark that the volume isn't loud enough, and the highest possible volume results in static and fuzz. The MPow doesn't have many features, and there are better products in this lineup that cost the same or less, making these headphones an option we can't rave about. If you are looking for something to keep as a backup or one-time use, these might work, but we suggest doing a price comparison before shelling out the dough.
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 laying down or falling asleep. The 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 the use of headphones with cords for sleeping, 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 are lightweight with an adjustable headband for a more customizable, more universal fit.These headphones 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 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
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 11 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 a year to provide ongoing information in updates of this review.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased and tested 11 kids' headphones to find the best of the best. 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 lesson in patience, depending on the quality of the speakers' sound and volume capabilities. For children, the need for top-quality sound is less than it is for adults, and it is unlikely that your child needs the world's best headphones. Alternatively, they really need 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 identify sound quality, they will certainly tell you when it sounds funny, robotic, scratchy, fuzzy, or quiet, as our young testers identified for this roundup of kids' headphones.
The best in this test group 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 option was similar, though it has no Bluetooth, and the bass was less impressive for thumping music but good enough for movies or gaming. We suspect most children won't miss whatever deep bass elements may be missing, and we suspect their eardrums will thank you later.
The worst of the group were the Mpow and the Powmee. These options lack tonal quality and "break up" or fuzz 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 good sound at lower volumes, but testers complained it got staticky with the volume turned up. At least one parent felt this compromise was a good one 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. 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 to high. The Noot is probably better for watching shows than listening to bass-heavy music.
We doubt anyone will find these headphones worthy of studio or professional use, but we think some of the products do an excellent job of giving children what they need for a reasonable price.
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 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 right away and seemed to meld into the tester's heads, never to be parted except for regular bathing.
Many testers felt the BENGOO Gaming Headset were 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 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 the 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 cord makes them even more comfortable to use if not wear. 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 manages to keep 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 it 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.
When it comes to headphones, quality is often captured in the sound metric. 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 fitted, cord construction, padding, Bluetooth, and other features like sharing ports or sound limiting.
While not valid for every type of gear, we did find that for headphones, at least, you typically get what you pay for. Therefore, it isn't a big surprise that the top-quality options often came with the highest price tags. The Puro is the highest quality option in this group, by far. This product uses better materials, has strong attention to detail, and felt durable. The adjustment method offers the right amount of stiffness and flexibility. The headband provides gentle tension to keep them on your head without being uncomfortable or causing a headache. It comes with a nice carry case and includes a charging cord for the Bluetooth feature as well as a listening cord when your charge runs out. The wallet-loving Sony headphones are the quality you'd expect from Sony. While not the high-end of 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.
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 the Mpow, 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 once 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 appreciate the quiet a good pair of kid's headphones can bring to their home, even if it only means not hearing "Baby Shark" ever again. Finding a great pair of headphones for your child doesn't have to be a guessing game or drain your wallet. In our tests of the top 11 options, we found good headphones for kids in various price ranges. Depending on your goals, we believe you can find a great pair to suit your needs using the information in this review.
— Wendy Schmitz