4 best kids headphones reviewed: Check out the best from the test

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  October 14, 2021

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Do you have a child who likes to listen to music?

If so, then it's time they got their own headphones. It may seem like a superfluous purchase at first, but the benefits are endless! One of its most important functions is therefore to prevent hearing damage.

But which one should you choose? And are headphones always safe? I hear SO MUCH about hearing damage… In this article I look at the best and safest headphones for kids (yes baby, mom and dad are also watching the COOLEST for you).

The best children's headphones

I have 4 great options on this list so well worth checking out, but if I were to recommend just one it would be this JBL JR310BT which comes in fun colors and can take a lot, plus suitable for most ages so it can grow for a while.

After reading a bit more about noise levels and hearing damage, I started looking for headphones that were especially safe, then I looked at which ones are fun for children and easy to use.

The JBL has the best volume limiting I've seen so at least you don't have to worry about that, and kids like it too.

Nice design, not too many frills that can break and can have a lot of falls and snags.

PLUS it's not that expensive at all. Not the cheapest, but I have also reviewed some budget options.

Safe volume and durability are very important and it can be a jungle to find both.

That's why I tested them and recommend only 4 pairs.

Children's headphonesImages
Best toddler headphones for videos and iPad: Onanoff BuddyphonesOnanoff buddyphones headphones for kids
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Best cheap toddler headphones with sound limiter: Trust Sonin KidsTrust Sonin Kids headphones for children
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Best wireless bluetooth headphones for school children: JBL JR310BTBest wireless bluetooth kids headphones JBL JR310BT
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Best noise canceling noise canceling headphones for gaming and Chromebook: Pogs The GeckoPogs headphones child the gecko
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I have listed the top 4 choices in this handy visual choice guide so that you can easily explore the differences and choose the perfect headphones for your child's age.

Visual selection aid for children's headphones

Kids Headphones Buying Guide

Not every family is the same, but in general there are a number of reasons for buying a pair of headphones for children:

  1. For nice at home (or on vacation) to not be disturbed yourself, for example if you leave them on the iPad
  2. For school for children with concentration problems
  3. For the Chromebook to be able to do homework or take video lessons at home
  4. When your child gets older and likes to listen to music or want to play games with it

Most of these differences are also related to the age of your child, so I will also take a closer look at what age these recommendations are suitable for.

But for each of the choices, the overriding factor has been ... that they can safely limit the volume.

And that is surprisingly rare in headphones aimed at children.

Why volume limitation and a safe volume level?

85 decibels is a "safe" volume level for your child, that's what the World Health Organization recommends.

Many headphones aimed at children say they are below this, but in the end many of the claims made by manufacturers turn out to be wrong.

Safe sound level for headphones

When testing, they often look at the 85 decibels of music or the audio of a movie, but underlying noise can ensure that children's headphones sometimes reach a much louder level.

This is really a point of attention if you want to put your children SAFE with their favorite music or video.

There are only a few headphones I can recommend for kids if you pay attention to the right volume level.

Best headphones for kids reviewed

These are the 4 that passed the tests well.

Best Toddler Headphones for Videos and iPad: Onanoff BuddyPhones

Onanoff buddyphones headphones for kids

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Affordable, no built-in volume control (limitation!), but the detachable wire provides extra safety and makes them ideal for the youngest children.

Yes, the Buddyphones are quite innovative!

They are totally made for the slightly younger, rambunctious kids because the thread comes loose when you pull on it (or hook it behind something while they run away with the thing still on their heads!).

The ADVANTAGE of wireless with the convenience of a wire, the headphones that do not get tangled without having to recharge the battery every time.

Oh, and why is it called BUDDYPHONES?

This is a TRUE and great for families with siblings ...

... you can easily share a device with multiple headphones that can be connected together thanks to the great click system of the wire:

buddyphones switching system for multiple headphones

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Really, really, really a great invention to keep everyone happy.

  • Your children can each use their own Buddyphones on their own device because they probably have different interests.
  • But if they want to watch something together, then you don't have to turn on the volume of the iPad again, so that you are still stuck with their children's tunes.

For toddlers up to 4 years old, these Onanoff Buddyphones are the nicest set, also fun for toddlers and the youngest school-going children.

For example, your kids can share them in a few different age groups, or you can buy a pair for each and give them each their own color that they can personalize with the stickers.

If you need a cord but still want to give your toddler a safer pair of headphones, the Onanoff BuddyPhones are a great budget option.

Onanoff buddyphones review

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Detachable cord

The cord is detachable, reducing the risk of a toddler snagging (or getting caught behind something else).

The headphones can be folded and come with a carrying case for extra portability, and the included fun decals let kids personalize their headphones, making them fun for families with several children.

The 80 cm flat, detachable cable is safe and minimizes the risk of choking.

Besides that, your child can share one device with up to four friends with the Buddy Cable.

If you purchase the BuddyPhones inflight version, you will receive a nice travel bag and an inflight adapter, this version is slightly more expensive.

Sound quality a bit less

Unfortunately, the sound quality isn't nearly as good as the top pick (the JBL) or even the cheaper Trust Sonin, and the small size means the BuddyPhones are perfect for toddlers, but less so for older children.

In addition, the volume reduction of wired headphones (passive volume limiting) like this isn't as predictable: if you're using a device with a powerful amplifier, they can still go too loud, which is something to watch out for.

I would therefore not connect this to your hi-fi set at home, nothing with a large amplifier, and keep it iPads, phones, Chromebooks, and other laptops.

Second, the Onanoff set is way too small for most kids over 6.

The BuddyPhone Explore is not a design that grows with your child, another reason they are particularly suitable for smaller children.

The BuddyPhones have a built-in microphone. Kids can talk to their friends with the answer button and use learning apps.

The built-in microphone is ideal to use when calling your grandmother and grandfather, or perhaps your classmates. The microphone is also suitable for use during interactive games.

Best choice for toddlers

It is my top choice for small children aged 2 to 4 years. Smaller kids will love the Onanoff pair's fun colors and light, comfortable fit.

Onanoff BuddyPhones headphones for kids

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Plus, the folding version folds down small enough to easily pack into a toddler's day bag or backpack.

And of course the Buddy Phones are within safe volume limits.

Plus the new edition BuddyPhones has been significantly improved, compared to its previous brother.

Fortunately, there is now a volume limitation of a maximum of 85 decibels, and that is what we missed earlier, so that they have now conquered a place in my list of child-safe headphones.

The best part is perhaps that it is so affordable. Do your little one - and yourself - a favor and give it as a present. You will not regret it.

Check prices and availability here

Best cheap toddler headphones with sound limiter: Trust Sonin Kids

Trust Sonin Kids headphones for children

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Affordable, built-in volume control and in-wire volume limiter for instant control over safe listening levels for your kids.

That's the Trust Sonin.

They are the cheapest headphones yet offer SAFE volume levels, so PERFECT for parents on a budget, with children between the ages of 4 and 8 years.

  • It is somewhat less portable than, for example, the JBL,
  • plus I think the design is more aimed at slightly younger children in particular,
  • plus it's also wired (another reason for the HUGE affordable price!).

That makes him for me less suitable for school children to take to school, but more of a good budget option for toddlers and for older children for home use.

Here you can see how they fall on the ears of an older child (** hey! Why does that sister have to watch this stock photo from Trust without headphones?!? SO SILLY! **):

Trust sonin for children

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Affordable quality

Safe products for your kids seem to be at a high price point, and it's certainly a challenge to find headphones that are safe and affordable for your kids.

Trust, with an INCREDIBLE credibility as a brand that has been making headphones for thirty years, understands this and created the Sonin Kids Safe Headphones.

One of the most striking features of the Trust Sonin Kids Safe Headphones are the following advantages over other brands:

  • Integrated volume limiter and in-line volume control (in the wire!)
  • Adorable color scheme and design (which will especially appeal to preschoolers and younger school children)
  • Adjustable in size for a secure and convenient fit to older children
  • Low price
  • High safety standards and company credibility
  • The BEST volume limiter in this price category

Extensive volume limitation

The ability to limit the volume coming out of your child's headphones is the most prominent and important feature for many people, because fun is fun but it must be done safely.

It's easy to see why, as audio playing too loud can cause temporary and long-term hearing damage.

An excellent aspect of the Sonin Kids Safe Headphones is that this functionality is designed to work automatically, limiting the decibel output to a level guaranteed by the European safety standard EN71 to be completely safe for children.

This is what you want for your child because different audio sources such as

  • Tablets,
  • iPhones,
  • Chromebooks
  • and other devices

each have their own volume setting, and then switching can suddenly be much too loud for the safety of your child.

You never have to worry about this as the Sonin Kids Safe Headphones are compatible with all of these devices and the volume limiter is built into the hardware and provides reliable protection.

The long cord is handy, and it has in-line volume controls so you can easily change the volume just by adjusting the dial.

More importantly, Trust has come a long way in designing these headphones to sit comfortably on your kids' heads.

For starters, the ear cups feature large ear cushions with a soft outer shell and enough padding to keep them firmly on your child's head, reducing the risk of falling and making it more comfortable for extended use.

This is a valuable performance element, as the drivers can only produce a certain amount of noise and comply with safety standards, but without a proper fit, the sound can escape too easily and it is difficult to hear.

You can also adjust the length of the headband to fit their head properly, which is important as they can be shared between siblings and provide added value by still being useful as your child grows.

In terms of appearance, these headphones have a lot to offer to be attractive and fun to use for kids, including a sheet of colorful and different stickers that your kids can peel off and creatively decorate and personalize their headphones.

They are not built to be water resistant, but their structural integrity is evident, with a strong connection cable and a flexible yet secure headband for consistent performance over a long service life.

The Trust Sonin is available in several colors and even in soft pink headphones. For example, your son can get a different color than your daughter.

Price is an important consideration for any parent, even on a budget you want to make sure the products you give your child are safe.

And even if you're on a bigger budget, these Trust headphones are a serious competitor to the other more expensive models on the list, based on the value they offer.

Especially if you want to choose wired headphones for convenience, because I know that some parents prefer that over Bluetooth, the Trust Sonin kids are the headphones for your child.

Since these headphones are designed as a safe and affordable option for kids, there are no advanced features like a built-in microphone, just plug them in, adjust the volume and they're ready to go.

Since they are wired headphones, you won't be bothered by batteries needing to be recharged, and because the audio output level is limited, they can be used for hours on end during long car trips or at home without unnecessary inconvenience.

One of the few wired headphones with the correct built-in volume limiter!

View the most current prices here

Best wireless bluetooth headphones for school kids: JBL JR310BT

Best wireless bluetooth kids headphones JBL JR310BT

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Foldable, Bluetooth and the safest in terms of volume limitation with a very good quality sound. Suitable for younger and older children and will appeal to most children from the age of 6.

These JBL kids headphones are definitely at the top of my list. I know if you have younger kids you might want to go for one of the others or even buy the cheaper Trust Sonin first.

For your toddler or toddler, the ear cups can be a bit large, for example, here you see them on an older child, which is the main target group:

Boy in a car wearing the JBL JR310BT children's headphones

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Great wireless bluetooth performance so you never get in the way with cables if it doesn't work out (plus Bluetooth also has its own volume level limiter!) And the sound quality is really good. Everything you are probably looking for in headphones.

The highlights:

  • It is SUPER foldable so that it can easily be carried in a school bag or children's suitcase
  • It is a Bluetooth headset with microphone so you can connect it to any Bluetooth device and slightly older children can also make phone calls or participate in an online lesson
  • Great for school as the battery is the BEST I've seen with 30 hours of playtime!
  • Children's sensitive ears are protected by a volume limitation of max. 85 dB according to the EN 71-1 standard
  • Perfect size and adjustable straps make it suitable for ages 6-14 (although it may not appeal to teenagers who are more likely to choose the tougher Pogs
  • It comes with 4 stickers so your younger children can personalize it, which is especially nice if you give brothers and sisters one each.

The design is geared towards the age of your school-age children and with the handy foldability, these are THE headphones of this year for school:

The JBL JR310BT completely folded

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The soft ear flaps close well and even without music they are good at noise reduction from the outside, very useful also for children with concentration problems.

But what makes this JBL MY TOP CHOICE is the active volume limiter.

Later in this article I will tell you a little more about the advantages of active volume limiting over passive ones for preventing hearing damage.

And of course, you can watch how hard your child turns the volumes. But constantly paying attention is easier said than done.

This JBL has been specially developed with children in mind and I recommend using active headphones like this JBL.

The most important things to promote this to the others:

  1. The best built-in volume limiter
  2. Nice design which also remains nice when they get older
  3. Bluetooth without wires with which they can get in trouble with themselves or knock things over (such as drinking over your beautiful tablet, or your expensive vase with flowers)

Comfort for every age

The JBL JR310BT is one of the few models that can grow well with different age categories.

A headphone model for children should be adaptable for different ages and head sizes, and you can even put them on your own ears if you want to listen to a quick listen.

It is essential if you want to have headphones that grow with your child, or if they are shared with siblings and quickly switch between each one. school laptops.

So nice and comfortable fit, with great sound, soft ear cups and nice colors, but Bluetooth is still the most important thing for older children to have.

Most kids from 8 years and up don't really want anything more than Bluetooth headphones :)

Music is nicely balanced and even with some ambient noise you can hear everything clearly, even without turning them up at their loudest.

That is super handy when you want to give them to your child for school, for example, when they want to use them to improve their concentration.

What features does the JBL JR310BT have?

  • JBL Safe Sound, safe for children's ears, goes up to 85 dB
  • 10 meter range with Bluetooth 5.0
  • maximum battery life 30 hours (the predecessor JBL300BT only had 12!), after 10 minutes of charging you have enough battery for 1 hour of listening
  • portable and lightweight, wears fine
  • very good price for a premium kids headphones

The disadvantage is that it is not waterproof, so you have to watch out on a rainy day on the street.

Nice for your child to be undisturbed watching his YouTube videos and listen. Without his parents complaining about the volume every time.

Or if he is on the PC, to chat and laugh with classmates, then you do not always have to enjoy it.

Even if your child walks upstairs, his friends can still hear him fine.

The buttons are easy to operate for children. In terms of size, the headphones are suitable for children from 4 years up to and including adults. So it grows with your child, plus even you can borrow it once if it's really necessary :)

Definitely my top pick in most age categories and for the price you DEFINITELY don't have to pass up.

Click here for the most current price

Best Noise Canceling Headphones for Gaming and Chromebook: Pogs The Gecko

Pogs headphones child the gecko

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The ultimate wireless kids' headphones, safe, strong and packed with fun and comfortable features. These are the headphones your tweens and teens will love the most.

That's why we added it to the list. Many parents have seen this or heard about it from friends and everyone is curious if this is a good buy.

In terms of quality, none can beat this Pogs The Gecko. Although my personal top pick is the JBL because it's just a little more affordable, you do sacrifice something in terms of ease of use.

These Pogs may be slightly more expensive, but you get noise canceling and fast charging of the wireless headset in return.

Pogs has named this headset “The Gecko” because the wireless Bluetooth connection allows your kids to climb around like a gecko, even with the headphones on.

Plus, like a gecko, these headphones have the flaky texture of gecko skin and very long life. You can listen to music wirelessly for 12 hours with only 2 hours of charging.

The best thing is that even with 10 minutes of charging you can already use the headset for an hour, but this is according to the company itself, I have not tested that.

Perfect for children who have forgotten to recharge and you have to drive to grandpa and grandma in Drenthe by car.

However, if you really forget to charge, you can always use the included QuickSafe cable instead.

The noise level is limited to a safe 85dB to protect children's hearing.

Pogs the Gecko colors

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It feels very durable and is made with super strong materials to survive the toughest use of non-toxic materials and BPA free, BFR free and RoHS compliant.

Another nice feature is the special cable that Pog has designed to enjoy music together by connecting multiple headphones together.

They also have noise-isolating and hypo-allergenic ear cushions to keep outside noise to a minimum with the help of noise canceling, so you can keep the volume low.

Finally, they are still foldable and very lightweight. 

Many customers who have bought them indicate that it is nice and quiet because you hear little of the music, but also that the children are less bothered by parents and may have visitors when they are talking or have music on themselves.

Sometimes it turns out to be a search for how to pair (press for 5 seconds until another light starts flashing) but once set it will already pair itself with your device. 

Check prices and availability here

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.