Protect little ears with the best volume-limiting headphones for kids

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Getting headphones for a kid is a different task than getting headphones for an adult. Kids headphones get smaller dimensions, simplified controls, well-thought-out features for comfortable use and crucially, from an aural safety point of view, built-in volume limiting. Luckily, these headphones are more affordable than ever. The JBL's JR 300BT headphones, for example, limits audio to 85 decibels, which is safe for a child to listen to for up to eight hours. Other options boast further clever tricks to make them kid-friendly, like cute designs and durable build quality.

Best Overall: JBL JR 300BT Kids On-Ear Wireless Headphones




Kids will like JBL's range of junior headphones for their bold and funky colorways, lightweight design, and easy-to-use controls. You'll also like the Safe Sound technology, which limits the volume to child-friendly levels.

These Bluetooth-enabled headphones can be used up to 15 meters away from the audio source, giving fidgety kids the freedom to move around. Battery life is decent at 12 hours, and there's a fast charge option for impatient music-lovers that gets one hour of battery life for 10 minutes of charge. Overall these are great headphones, even if there's no microphone to help your child take calls or a 3.5mm jack for wired connection.

Pros:

  • Volume-limited to 85dB
  • 12 hours of battery life
  • Customizable with stickers
Cons:

  • No microphone
  • No 3.5mm jack option
Best Overall

JBL JR 300BT Kids On-Ear Wireless Headphones





Chunky & Colorful

Safe, lightweight and comfortable, JBL's junior headphones come in a range of fun color combos.

Best for Comfort: CozyPhones Kids Headphones




CozyPhones offers an entire menagerie of animal-themed headband-style headphones, as well as branded options from the likes of JoJo Siwa, Paw Patrol, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The fun designs belie some clever functionality. The soft, stretchy fabric means the headphones stay in place, are super-easy to wear, and can even double as a sleep mask. You can roll these up to fit in a rucksack or handbag, remove the electronics to wash them, and the volume limitation means you can leave your child with their fave headband knowing they are not going to break the 90-decibel barrier. One of the downsides to some though is that these headphones aren't wireless.

Pros:

  • Volume-limited to 90dB
  • Comfortable, stay-in-place fabric design
  • Travel-friendly
  • Kid-friendly designs
Cons:

  • Not wireless
  • No microphone
Best for Comfort

CozyPhones Kids Headphones





Fluffy & Fleecy

Comfy enough to fall asleep in, perfect to pack for travel, kids will love CozyPhone's cutesy designs.

Best Value: Mpow CH1 Kids Headphones




Ideal for younger children up to three years old, these are volume checked to the lower 85-decibel limit and boast a durable design that can be stretched and twisted by curious hands with a yank-proof cord. As they are not wireless, they come in at a lower cost.

With whimsical panda-themed designs, these headphones are available in pale blue or pink. The earmuffs are soft, the headband is adjustable, and there is a 3.5mm AUX output port to hook up a second pair of headphones for listening with a parent, sibling, or buddy.

Pros:

  • Volume-limited to 85dB
  • 3.5mm AUX output
  • Tangle-free, toddler-friendly cords
  • Affordable
Cons:

  • No microphone
  • Not wireless
Best Value

Mpow CH1 Kids Headphones





Strong & safe

Adjustable, with soft earmuffs, these sweet cans will withstand a younger child's rough touch.

Best High-End Option: Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Kids Over-Ear Wireless Headphones




At the opposite end of the market in terms of cost and age range are Puro's BT2200s, which are perfect for older kids who will appreciate a better build quality and sound. Although still volume limited, these cans boast noise cancellation functionality, meaning those 85 decibels should sound a little stronger, without fear of damage.

Design-wise they have a sleek look that will appeal to kids who've grown out of needing accessories to be cute but still offer youth-friendly touches of comfort like cushioned ear cups and headband. The 18 hours of playback battery life should be appealing, too, as should the ability to answer calls via Bluetooth.

Pros:

  • Volume-limited to 85dB
  • 82% ambient noise isolation
  • 18 hours battery life
  • 3.5mm audio cable included
  • Microphone for calls
Cons:

  • High cost
Best High-End Option

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Kids Over-Ear Wireless Headphones





Glossy & Grown-up

Noise-limiting, with a fold-flat design and travel case, these are perfect for older kids to take on planes.

Best for Cute Design: iClever Kids Cat Ear Headphones




Available in a range of pastel shades, these sweet headphones boast silicone cat ears — the kind of touch a younger child reluctant to wear headphones could be persuaded by. With safe volume limits, there is the option to set the decibels to 85, or if you're somewhere with a lot of ambient sounds, this can be increased to 94 to combat it. Be careful when using this though, since there's no child lock to prevent your young kid from going that loud on their own.

The cushioned ear pads promise no clamp-like pressure and actually swivel so there's room to compensate for wiggly wearers. The built-in microphone allows for hands-free calling and the cord is designed to stay tangle-free.

Pros:

  • Volume-limited to 85dB or 94dB
  • Tough, twistable headband
  • Microphone for calls
Cons:

  • Not wireless
  • No child-lock on louder volume option
Best for Cute Design

iClever Kids Cat Ear Headphones





Fun & Friendly

These headphones are all about the ears with comfortable cans, swiveling ear cups and yes, kitty ears built-in.

Best for Sharing Audio: LilGadgets Untangled Pro Children's Wireless Headphones




The Untangled Pros strike a balance between a chunky kid-friendly design and more sophisticated looks and should last your child from four years old through to tweenager age. They have SoftTouch breathable mesh material on the headband and polycarbonate ear pads. With Bluetooth wireless tech, they can handle voice calls and boast a range of around 30 feet.

They excel on the social side of things though, with the ability to daisy chain multiple sets of headphones together thanks to the built-in SharePort technology, supported by the bundled cables. We can imagine many a sleepover's audio provided via Untangled Pros.

Pros:

  • Volume-limited to 93dB
  • 3.5mm audio cable included
  • Integrated SharePort
  • Microphone for calls
  • Passive noise reduction
Cons:

  • Not foldable
Best for Sharing Audio

LilGadgets Untangled Pro Children's Wireless Headphones





Social & Stylish

Available in a range of tween-friendly colors, these offer decent battery life, a fun SharePort, and kid-comfy design.

Bottom line


Depending on the age of the child and how much you want to spend, you've got options when it comes to children's on- or over-ear audio solutions. What all these headphones have in common is one crucial factor though — the ability to limit the volume to a child-safe level.

For school-age children, we'd advise going wireless. Although you do have to factor in being organized enough to ensure you've charged them up when your kid wants to use them, cutting the cables frees kids up. In the case of our overall choice, JBL's JR 300BTs, a 10-minute charge will give your little one an hour of playback.

Meanwhile, toddlers will appreciate the cute and fun designs on offer from the options aimed at younger children, which might entice them to sit still quietly for five minutes so you can finally finish a cup of coffee before it goes cold.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide




Amy-Mae As a mom who actively encourages the use of headphones so she doesn't have to listen to the absolute garbage kids watch on YouTube these days, Amy-Mae was an obvious choice to curate this collection.



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