LISTENING to music, gaming and streaming television programmes and films all require a great pair of headphones.
For parents, the biggest concern when it comes to kids’ headphones is that they're reasonably priced and won’t damage their children’s hearing.
We’ve rounded up the best kids’ headphones to suit kids across all ages and for every budget.
While parents may initially be reluctant to put headphones on their little ones, if you bring baby to a festival or wedding with lots of noise, a cool-looking pair of ear defenders is crucial.
Toddlers typically use headphones when on airplanes, so they can watch their favourite films or listen to an audiobook undisturbed (without forcing the rest of the passengers on the flight to endure Peppa Pig on repeat).
From the ages of 8-12, media starts to play an increasingly important role in a kid’s life, with research finding that teens can spend up to nine hours a day consuming media, which includes listening to music or watching TV.
Headphones for kids often have volume-limiting capabilities to help protect young ears, and in-ear headphones aren’t recommended for younger children because they put the sound closer to the eardrums, increasing the risk of potential damage. For children, especially younger kids, choose a pair of headphones with a sound limit of 85dB, which is considered the maximum safe decibel level for kids.
Even if you’re using top-quality, volume-restrictive and ultra-comfy headphones, ideally, you'll ensure your little one isn't wearing them for over an hour a day, according to advice from the WHO (they give the same guidelines for adults, too). Happy listening.
1. Best nearly indestructible kids' headphones
Headfoams HF-BT100 Kids Bluetooth On Ear Headphones, £16.99 at Amazon – buy here
Headfoams make volume-limited kids' headphones (to 85dB), in red and blue, that are ultra-hardwearing and can handle all manner of abuse at the hands of kids.
Bbeing chucked, chewed, bent out of shape and more – you name it, they'll probably survive a great deal of it.
The wireless, Bluetooth-connected design means there's no trip hazard, and these headphones offer a comfy fit thanks to their foam construction.
Parents and kids seem to love them; reviewers for autistic children said they were also their favourite and the only brand that stood the test of time in their households.
2. Best headphones for toddlers and infants
- Banz Bubzee Baby Hearing Protection Earmuffs, £14.85 at Amazon – buy here
Suitable for children from the age of three months, these foam-filled and leather ear defenders are lightweight and comfortable for protecting even the tiniest of ears.
They are designed to stretch so they can fit children up to three years, and are ideal for any concerts, festivals, weddings, building work in the house, fireworks, or plane trips baby or toddler takes.
And they are available in an eye-catching range of colours and prints.
Fans have said they're "lifesavers on a plane journey", the "best purchase ever", "just perfect for what they are needed for" and "brilliant." Enough said.
3. Best wireless headphones for kids
- LilGadgets Untangled Pro Children's Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, £34.99 at Amazon – buy here
With a range of stylish colours and lots of cool details, like the SharePort, which lets you connect multiple headphones to one device (ideal for siblings), these LilGadget headphones are beautifully designed.
Built with polycarbonate and stainless steel, a SoftTouch fabric covering provides comfort for small ears.
As one five-star reviewer raves: "After the cables breaking in three other sets of children's headphones, I finally gave in and paid the extra to get the LilGadgets Pro Wireless headphones."
"I have no regrets, they have been worth every penny."
"Great battery life, quick charge time and there is a cable which can be connected that is strong and sturdy, for the odd occasion when you can't use Bluetooth or just before a charge. They look great, too."
4. Best kids' headphones under £20
- BuddyPhones Discover Kids' Headphones, £19.90 at Amazon – buy here
An award-winning design, these kids' headphones win points for their durable, bendable construction, adjustable headband to fit a range of ages and volume-limiting capabilities.
Younger kids will also love that they come with stickers so they can be customised.
5. Best wireless earphones for the discerning teen
Happy Plugs Wireless II headphones, £39.99 at Happy Plugs – buy here
With a range of colourways including rose gold and leopard print, these in-ear headphones will appeal to the style-conscious teen in your life.
Unfussy and effective, it's hard to see what they're missing.
6. Best all-rounder children's headphones
Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Kids Volume-Limiting Over-Ear Wireless Headphones, £59.99 at Amazon – buy here
These Puro headphones have universal appeal for kids of all ages, and give listeners a volume-limiting experience, as well as supporting Bluetooth and working with a multitude of devices.
The lightweight design features cushioned ear cups for comfort and offers impressive sound, with 82% ambient noise isolation.
The consensus among reviewers is that they're worth the money, have "fantastic sound" and are the "cockroaches of the headphone world.
Nothing appears to kill them."
When in search of the best kids' headphones, we think that's the highest praise imaginable.
7. Best headband-style kids' headphones
Snuggly Rascals (v2) Kids Headband Headphones, £11.99 at Amazon – buy here
This innovative headphone design for younger children has a cute animal character and won't fall off (they open with a Velcro fastening).
Ideal for tots who typically refuse to let anything near their heads, parents love how comfortable they are for kids – both in cotton and fleece.
8. Best fold-away kids' headphones
- Kids On-Ear Portable Foldable Headphones, £19.99 at Amazon – buy here
Great for travelling, these compact headphones fold down easily and are robust enough to withstand any bending and twisting.
Lightweight and comfortable, parents say they're impressed with the sound quality, comfort features and customisable stickers.
9. Best noise-cancelling headphones for kids
- PuroQuiet Kids Volume-Limiting Noise-Cancelling On-Ear Wireless Headphones, £99.99 at Amazon – buy here
The newest kids' headphones to launch in the UK market, PuroQuiet headphones are studio-grade wireless headphones with active noise-cancellation capabilities, to block out noise and background sounds up to 22db (parents of children with sensory sensitivities love them for precisely this reason).
They are volume limited to 85dB and gorgeously designed, with plush noise-isolating ear pads and a metallic aluminium construction.
They also boast a microphone for calls or gaming and 16 hours of battery life. The best part? You can borrow them whenever you like.
We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices – follow the link if you want to check out more Sun Selects recommendations.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best kids' headphones? We've got a whole parenting section for you to browse.
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