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 onboard 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 onboard microphone to let children talk to their parents when they're away.
We've tested over 615 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.
The most comfortable kids headphones that we've tested are the JBL JR300BT Wireless. These brightly-colored headphones have a lightweight fit that doesn't put too much pressure on the wearer's ears. They also have just under 11 hours of continuous playback time and quickly charge up in just over an hour.
Thanks to their 85dB volume limiter, these on-ears can't reach high volumes that could damage the hearing of young listeners. They have a somewhat balanced sound profile that delivers a touch of extra boom. However, they're still suitable for a variety of audio content. They also come with stickers so your child can decorate their headphones to their liking. They have low audio latency on PC, iOS, and Android too, which is great if the user likes to stream videos.
Unfortunately, their build quality is mediocre. They're made of cheap-feeling plastic and seem like they could break if often dropped. While they have a fairly stable fit, they could also fall off the user's head during moderate movement. Overall, these colorful headphones offer a comfortable fit and balanced sound that's sure to please most users.
The best cheap kids headphones that we've tested are the iClever BTH02 Wireless. Although they're advertised to last roughly 20 hours continuously, we measured just under 52 hours, which is outstanding. They can also be used wired via their included 1/8" TRS if you don't want to worry about recharging them.
These headphones come in several bright and fun color schemes to appeal to children. Their control scheme is simple and easy to use, with essential controls like play/pause and volume control. Their volume limiter is also set to 94dB, which should help protect the user's hearing. When it comes to audio, they have a bass-heavy sound profile that delivers punch and boom to mixes. That said, they can still reproduce vocals and lead instruments well, making them suitable for content like kid-oriented TV shows.
Unfortunately, they're prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery. Depending on fit, positioning, and seal, the user may experience audio differently each time they use the headphones. In addition, users may feel fatigue if they're wearing them for long periods, especially if the user has a wide head or large ears. Still, if you're looking for wallet-friendly kids headphones, they're a suitable choice.
Aug 27, 2021: Checked the text for accuracy and product availability. We haven't changed our recommendations.
Jun 23, 2021: Removed the Mpow CH6 as they're no longer available.
Apr 26, 2021: We have verified the text for accuracy and checked product availability to ensure that we're still recommending the best products for your needs. There has been no change in our recommendations.
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.
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.