Best Kids Headphones of 2020
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 and 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. These kid's headphones also block most of the ambient noise, which means little ones can hear the sound better at lower volumes.These headphones are the most expensive in our lineup, which could be a no-go for those on a budget, or parents who don't trust children with expensive electronics (we hear you!). We also think because of this, that the Puro is not the best choice for younger children or those who aren't careful with their things, as a broken set of expensive headphones is a significantly more painful pill to swallow than a broken cheaper pair. Overall, we believe the Puro is the best in the group and are the option we'd recommend to a friend whose budget is less of a concern, and quality, usability, and comfort are the requirements (assuming their children are responsible enough to care for nicer things).
The LilGadgets headphones are a basic pair that offer enough of the good stuff to keep children happy without the bells and whistles that often create a higher price or broken parts. We like that these kid's headphones fold for transport and come with a cloth drawstring carrying case that keep them clean and somewhat protect their shape. The overall fit and finish are stylish and look nice side-by-side with the other competitors. They provide good tonal range and are loud enough even with the volume limiting feature, something not true of all of the competition. At least one tester felt these were the most comfortable in the group and chose them as a 1st or 2nd option during testing. The Shareport is a fun idea, but besides than sitting on an airplane or car ride, we can't imagine two kids tolerating the closeness required for this feature without an argument of some kind ensuing.These headphones don't feel like the most durable of the lot and they might not survive rough and tumble toddlers. They also do not offer Bluetooth, which could be a deal-breaker for those looking for a cordless alternative. Some users expressed frustration with sound in only one speaker, but ours worked fine, and some testers felt the sound was better than some of the more expensive contenders. Overall, we think they're a good selection for most children, and the price is one most parents will like.
The Sony ZX Series is a surprisingly inexpensive, high-quality headphone option that has what it takes where it counts. We like the padded earmuffs and the tilting earpieces for comfort, as well as the foldable design for compact travel in a backpack. These headphones are easy to use, straightforward, and offer impressive sound at thrice the price. Kid testers like the plug and go simplicity and parents like the brand name recognition for quality and durability.These are not kid-centric headphones and, as such, lack the fun and features some children desire like lights, bright colors, or cat ears. They also don't feel like the most durable pair compared to the others in this lineup and likely won't withstand being stepped on, sat on, squashed under books, or temper tantrums. However, they are 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 competition. Overall, we think parents will love knowing they spent only a little for a lot, and kids will like that the sound is true and clear.
The Noot kids Headphones are an economical choice that could be good for little ones going on travel. This straightforward, no-frills headphone 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 size, making them super travel-friendly for most children.
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 they could be used for online school or similar. However, if you need a basic pair of headphones for tablets or gaming devices, this set would be a perfect match for kids on the go who need a folding or smaller pair to fit in their backpack or on-board luggage.
If your child is a gamer or simply wants to look like one, then the BENGOO Gaming Headset is the set for them. This futuristic-looking headset includes speakers and a microphone so they can get in on the action of audible interactive gameplay with friends or engage in online school where conversations are mandatory. Our testers like the larger earmuffs that hold the entire ear, and they feel the sound is true to life. These headphones also have LED lights to increase the 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 most tablets or handeheld gaming systems). Our tests reveal these were a hit for online school and quickly became the envy of other kiddos online.These headphones are sort of bulky compared to the competition, making them a poor choice for younger users (7 and under). We experienced some distortion and feedback at higher volumes, but we found this to be helpful in limiting how loud children set their volume (typically a good thing). Overall, we think this pair is an excellent choice for kids who want to look as cool as they feel or who spend most of their headphone time playing games or interacting with others online (i.e. school or social distancing).
If you're looking for something different or a standout, then the Riwbox Cat Ear are the ones for your little one. 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 do think these feel like childhood abuse or lack of care could result in a shorter lifespan than some of the competition, at least for the lights and cat ear portions of the set. 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 them worth the price and the lack of cord means fewer accidental falls from the head.
Toddlers need volume limitations for sure, which is why we like the Snug Play+ for protecting little eardrums from excessive volumes. These headphones are small in stature 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 when it comes to toddlers and little ones feel grownup wearing them.Unfortunately, older children find the volume limits frustrating, and because they don't cancel ambient noise, it makes the problem worse. They are also small, we mean really small and 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 no sweat. 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.
The Riwbox Bluetooth headphones are similar to their cat-eared counterparts but sans 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 transporting easier for kids.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 was lacking. We also wonder about the quality and how long the LED lights will last as they seemed flimsy compared to some of the competition. 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 jumping 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 feel this pair is comfortable, and they liked the overall look.These headphones have subpar sound that lacks both range and volume compared to similar competitors. Testers remark that the volume isn't loud enough, and the highest possible volume results in fuzziness. The MPow doesn't offer much in the way of features, and there are better options in this review that cost the same or less making these headphones an option we aren't as fond of. If you are looking for something to keep as a backup or for a one time use, these might be a go, but we suggest doing a price comparison first before shelling out the cash.
CozyPhones headbands are super adorable and come in a variety of soft animal patterns. Kids like the design and the soft, fleece headband is perfect for laying down or falling asleep. The headphones are corded, and the speakers can move inside the band for a somewhat customized placement.This headband is small, seriously small. So it is probably best for children five and under (though younger children should be monitored around cords). Also, it isn't the best for sound, so if you want high-quality sound with great range and deep bass, you will likely be less than thrilled. However, little ones are probably listening to bedtime stories or lullabies, and these speakers work fine for both. Though we caution against the use of headphones with cords for sleeping, as little ones could potentially 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 and easy to transport and are lightweight with adjustable headband sizing for a more customizable 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 consistently achieve and maintain. Our testers feel the headphones are uncomfortable and don't sound as good as the higher-ranking competition. They regularly passed on these headphones in favor of similarly styled sets, indicating it isn't the aesthetics but the functionality that creates the 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 kid's 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 10 headphone contenders for this review, and 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.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased and tested 11 kid's 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 of sound, quality, features, and comfort.
Listening to headphones can be a joy or a lesson in patience, depending on the quality of the sound and the volume capabilities of the speakers. For children, the need for top-quality sound is less so than adults, and it is unlikely that your child needs the world's best headphones. More so, they need good sound, at an adequate volume with no static and a range of tones. While children may not be able to identify the quality of sound, they will certainly tell you when it sounds funny, robotic, scratchy, or quiet, as described by our young testers for this roundup of kid's headphones.
The best in the group are 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 the 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 there is a chance their eardrums will thank you for it.
The worst of the group were the Mpow and the Powmee with a general lack of tonal quality and "breaking up" or fuzz at higher volumes. The CozyPhones was also unimpressive here as were the sound limited Snug Play+, though once again, developing eardrums would thank you if they could. The BENGOO Gaming Headset has good sound at lower volumes, but testers complained it got staticky and "weird" at higher volumes. One parent felt this compromise was a good one since it prevented kids from raising the volume to unreasonable levels. The LilGadget headphones have less tonal range but good enough sound at all volume levels with no static of fuzz at higher volumes. The Noot headphones have fairly good tonal range, but not if you turn them up to high. These are probably better for watching shows than listening to bass heavy music.
So, while no one will find these headphones worthy of studio use, we do think some do an excellent job of giving children what they need, and at a reasonable price.
Anyone with children will tell you they aren't shy about giving their opinions, especially if those opinions are negative and include information about discomfort. Much like the dreaded seatbelt or the continuing battle about using a booster seat, our testers were more than happy to relay which set of headphones kids could wear for hours and which options they'd just as soon throw away. Some of the headphones were okay at first and grew less comfortable over time, some were immediately tossed aside and shamed for there lack of comfort, and others made the cut right away and seemed to meld into the tester's heads never to be parted from again.
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 your head size. This option is cushiony but also heavy, and some users felt that over time it was less comfortable than they previously thought, and we suspect younger children (7 and under) won't like them due to the larger size and heft. The Puro got rave reviews from testers as the most comfortable with the unique design for sizing and the ample padding on the ears that seem to 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 wiggle room with this pair (literally), and the lack of cord makes them even more comfortable to use if not wear. Some tiny testers did say they started to get uncomfortable around hour 5, but hey, there is an argument here that 5 hours of headphone time is a bad idea anyway. The basic Sony set is comfortable and manages to keep even persnickety children happy as 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.
Those lacking in the comfort love include the CozyPhones, which were far too small for our testers creating a vise-like experience no one found cozy, though we could see how younger and smaller children (5 and under) might like these headband headphones. 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 wears off, and they began collecting dust as comfort really does rule all. 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 at keeping their size adjustment than the Powmee and the mufs felt more comfortable to testers.
When it comes to headphones, quality is often captured in the sound metric, as lower quality options will provide subpar 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 came together, how they adjust, if they stay fitted, the 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 often get what you pay for, so 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. This product uses better materials, has strong attention to detail, and felt durable in hand. The adjustment method is the right amount of stiffness and flexibility, and the headband offers gentle tension to keep the product on your head without being uncomfortable or giving you a headache. It comes in a nice carry case and includes a charging cord for the Bluetooth feature as well as a cord when your charge runs out. Alternatively, the inexpensive Sony headphones are the quality you'd expect from Sony. While not the high end of Sony products, it is far better than what the 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 than harken back to elementary school language lab and headphone slide adjustments that never work right and sound that is subpar no matter what level you set it on. Lilgadgets is 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 for what it is, it looks fun and is put together well.
Many parents appreciate the quiet a good pair of kid's headphones can bring to their home. Finding a great pair of headphones for your child doesn't have to be a guessing game or break the bank. In our tests of the top 10 options, we found there are good headphones for kids in a variety of 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