Choosing a pair of headphones for your kids can be a confusing and stressful endeavor. Your kid wants to look cool, but oftentimes, that requires sacrificing sound quality. And in the case of younger kids, you want to prevent them from potentially damaging their hearing by cranking the sound too loud. What's a concerned parent to do? To help ease the pressure, we ordered 12 pairs of kids' headphones from Amazon and tested them for comfort, style, volume-limiting (85 decibels or lower) tech and overall sound quality. Check out our results, ranked from best to worst.
Credit: Tom's Guide
The first thing I noticed about the Puro BT2200 headphones? The comfort. The wireless BT2200 offers up to 18 hours of battery life, an integrated microphone and a set of beefy 40-millimeter drivers that deliver responsive bass. Durable, aluminum ear cups; a snug-fitting, cushioned head strap; and impressive noise-limiting technology placed these "kids'" headphones at the top of the class.
The Ailihen C8's bulky-yet-lightweight design might be too large to fit the ears of younger kids. However, they're ideal for tweens and teens. The headphones come in a variety of colors, feature soft padding around the ear cups and fold into the head strap, allowing for easy storage. The sound quality is acceptable, but the clarity suffers at higher volumes. I liked the extra-long, braided audio cable with the metal jack, as well as the built-in mic/volume control, which lets kids effortlessly pause their movie when their parents ask them a question. Noise-limiting technology would have made these headphones better-suited for younger kids.
What the MDR-222KD lack in style, they make up for in sound quality and comfort. This bargain-priced pair of Sony headphones is very lightweight, at 1.7 ounces; produces clear highs and responsive lows; and has volume-limiting technology built into the audio cable to protect your child's ears from damage. The size is perfect for small heads, and the headphones fit snugly without pinching kids' ears. I would have liked a padded headband and a better-quality audio cable with a volume-control button, but for such an affordable price, I won't complain.
Contixo's kid-friendly headphones come with features typically found in higher-priced units, such as Bluetooth, a built-in volume/mic control, an equalizer and an FM receiver. They have a lightweight design and soft padding, and offer 10 hours of battery life, making them great for peaceful road trips. The audio quality was acceptable but lacked punch at the low end and struggled with highs at raised volumes. I liked the SD card slot, which allowed the kids to have preloaded audiobooks or music without being glued to a screen.
The BestGot kids' headphones are available in eight vibrant colors, making them perfect for the style-conscious tween in your house. Their durable construction, padded ear cups, hefty audio cable (with built-in controls) and lightweight design make them a great value at this price. The headphones produced clear highs, noticeable midrange and strong bass thanks to the 40-mm drivers. They are marketed to children due to the size of the ear cups, but considering their quality sound, I can see adults borrowing them from their kids.
Designed specifically for younger kids, the BuddyPhones are durable and come ready to impress right out of the childproof package. Features such as volume-limiting technology, a detachable audio cable with an integrated mic, an adapter for sharing music with a friend, and comfortable, cushioned ear cups made from synthetic leather allow them to be used for longer jam sessions. The sound quality was only average, with mediocre bass and thin highs across all volume ranges. My favorite feature of the units are the included stickers that let my daughter and I customize the headphones to show off her style.
AmazonBasics' kids' headphones are lightweight, stylish and durable enough to withstand everyday usage from even the most demanding of kids. They delivered well-balanced sound and effective noise-limiting qualities at a reasonable price. The ear cups provided enough padding so that my daughter didn't complain during her 2-hour movie, but she started to get annoyed soon after. The headphones include an angled audio jack and a long cable, so they can be connected across a car seat without getting tangled. However, I wish they came with a padded head strap and could fold up when not in use.