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 530 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-ears have a decent build quality and feel sturdy enough to survive the occasional drop. Thanks to their wireless design, they don't have a cable that can snag on something.
They offer over 19 hours of continuous playback time and have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when not in use. They also have a 95dB maximum volume limiter to help protect your child's hearing. Their excited, v-shaped sound profile is well-suited for a variety of audio content and can help emphasize sound effects in games. Puro includes a 1/8" TRS cable if the listener wants to use them wired.
Unfortunately, they're not really able to block out ambient noise such as bus or plane engines, which isn't ideal if the wearer is travelling or in a busy environment. They also clamp the top of the ears and can become uncomfortable for some users, especially when worn for several hours at a time. That said, these wireless headphones offer a well-rounded performance that's suitable for children.
If you're looking for a cheaper pair of wireless kids headphones, consider the Mpow CH9 Wireless instead. While they aren't as well-built and leak a bit more sound than the Puro JuniorJams Wireless, these on-ears still offer a passable performance at a lower price. Thanks to their volume limit switch, you can set the maximum volume at either 95dB or 85dB, which can help protect young listeners' hearing. Their bass-heavy sound profile adds an extra boom and punch to audio, making them well-suited for listening to bass-heavy music genres like EDM. They last for around 16.5 hours off of a single charge, so kids won't have to worry about recharging them regularly. Like the Puro, the can also be used with a wired connection. Unfortunately, they don't isolate against a lot of background noises, so they may not be ideal to use in noisy, crowded settings.
If you have a bit more of a budget and would like a pair of wireless kids headphones, get the Puro. However, if you want something cheaper, the Mpow are a good option.
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 JBL JR300BT Wireless are the best budget kids headphones that we've tested. These colorful headphones have a wireless design that comes with a sticker pack so that kids can decorate their headphones to their liking. They also have an 85dB maximum volume limiter, which helps protect the wearer's hearing as they listen to audio.
They have a decently comfortable fit that feels lightweight. Their well-balanced sound profile is suitable for lots of different audio content, including music and videos. While their under 11 hours of continuous battery life falls a bit short compared to others on this list, it's still quite long-lasting and should last through a day of online learning.
Unfortunately, they don't have any power-saving features to help conserve battery life when not in use. Their build quality is just passable as they're made of cheap-feeling plastic, which doesn't feel the most durable. That said, these wireless kids headphones still offer a good price-to-performance ratio if you're shopping on a budget.
01/11/2021: 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 kids 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.