If you're looking to buy a pair of headphones for your kids, there's no shortage of offerings on the market that are purposely built for young listeners. They tend to be small, lightweight, and feature an on-board volume limiter to prevent users from damaging their hearing. The best kids headphones should have all those qualities, not to mention a durable construction that can survive a bit of roughhousing as well as an on-board microphone to let children talk to their parents when they're away.
We've tested over 565 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best kids' headphones. Also, make sure to check out our recommendations for the best on-ear headphones, the best over-ear headphones, and the best on-ear wireless headphones.
The Puro JuniorJams Wireless are the best kids headphones with a wireless design that we've tested. These on-ear headphones come in lots of different kid-friendly colors, and their 95db volume limit is designed to help protect young listeners' hearing. They last for over nineteen hours off of a single charge, too, so kids don't have to worry about recharging them a lot.
They have an excited, v-shaped sound profile that adds thump and punch in the bass range while making vocals and lead instruments sound bright and sparkling. They don't leak a lot of noise, either, so kids can turn up the volume on their music without bothering those around them. They even come with a daisy chain cable to connect them with another pair of headphones so kids can listen to audio with their friends.
Unfortunately, they have poor noise isolation, so kids may be distracting by background noises if they're listening on a crowded school bus or a noisy airplane. They also may not feel very comfortable for kids with larger-sized heads, as their on-ear design clamps tightly on the top of the ears. That said, their fit should be suitable for most young listeners.
If you're looking for more comfortable kids headphones, try the JBL JR300BT Wireless. While they don't feel as well-built as the Puro JuniorJams Wireless and their battery life doesn't last as long, they're more lightweight and don't clamp as tightly on the head. They have a colorful, wireless design and come with a sticker pack so that kids can decorate their headphones. Thanks to their well-balanced sound profile, they're suitable for a variety of audio content like music or audiobooks. Their 85dB maximum volume limiter also helps to protect the user's hearing while they're listening to audio. However, they lack a power-saving feature to help conserve battery life when not in use.
Consider the Puro if you're looking for kids' headphones that have a longer-lasting battery performance. However, check out the JBL if you prioritize a more lightweight and comfortable design in your kids' headphones.
The best wired kids headphones we've tested are the Mpow CH6. These are a good option if users don't want to deal with the hassle of Bluetooth audio latency or worrying about charging times. Their colorful plastic construction is decently well-built, with a dense plastic frame and a braided but non-detachable audio cable.
Their sound profile is reasonably well-balanced, though they're best suited for less bass-heavy genres, like pop music, due to their underemphasized low-bass response. They have an in-line microphone that should transmit the wearer's voice clearly in quiet environments, especially when compared to wireless alternatives. Their on-ear fit is also a little more stable than several other options on this list, which should allow users to wear them while running around without the worry of having them fall off their ears.
While using their 85dB limiter does impose a hard limit on volume, changing it to the 94dB setting simply disables any sort of volume limiter, meaning that kids could potentially damage their hearing if they listen to content too loudly. They're also fairly bulky and don't come with a pouch to carry them around when not in use, though their ear cups do fold inwards to reduce their footprint.
The iClever BTH02 Wireless are the best cheap kids headphones that we've tested. These lightweight headphones can last for over 51 hours on a single charge, which far exceeds their advertised 20-hour continuous playback time. In a pinch, they can also be used wired with their included 1/8" TRS cable.
They come in a few different colors that are sure to please young listeners. Although they have a bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra boom to the mix, they can still reproduce vocals and lead instruments well. Their control scheme is also simple and decently easy to use, so users can quickly play and pause media as well as turn the headphones on and off. They have a 94dB volume limiter to help protect the user's hearing when listening to audio as well.
Unfortunately, their audio delivery is sensitive to their fit, seal, and positioning on the user's head. Their ear cups also don't distribute pressure evenly, so the user may feel some fatigue if they're wearing them for long periods of time. They don't have a very stable fit either and may not be the best choice for active kids who are always running around. That said, these wireless headphones have long-lasting battery life and are a suitable choice if you're on a limited budget.
Feb 25, 2021: Removed the Mpow CH9 as they're currently out of stock. We have replaced them with the JBL JR300BT Wireless as the 'More Comfortable Alternative'. Also renamed the 'Best Budget Kids Headphones' to 'Best Cheap Kids Headphones' and added the iClever BTH02 Wireless as the pick for this category.
Feb 04, 2021: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Jan 11, 2021: Verified and updated the accuracy of the text as well as product availability. There are no changes in product picks.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best kids headphones to buy. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you'd like to make a decision yourself, here's the full list of headphones that we've tested. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in what headphones are best for your kids.