Are you looking for the best headphones for kids in 2020? Is it noise-canceling headphones or are you after some of the best earbuds for children?

Whatever you choose, you probably want it to be safe, reliable, comfortable, and durable but also one that looks good and sounds great.

Regardless of your budget, we have made sure that you get top value for your dollar, required functionality and sturdy build quality.

The good news is there are many kids headphones on the market and there is a sure pick for everyone.

However, navigating through every possible option can be daunting. So I’ve narrowed it down to ten of the absolute best kids headphones on the market today.

Image Age / Battery Life / Volume Limit / TypeTop 10 Headphones For Kids

Best Cooperative – Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave

Most Features & Waterproof – Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave

The most advanced kids headphones we’ve tested. They feature multiple levels of volume reduction, long battery life, extremely sturdy waterproof build and music sharing with up to four kids.

3+20 hrs75,85,94dbWireless

Best Light Strategy – JLab JBuddies Studio

Packs Most Value – JLab JBuddies Studio

If you are looking for simple durable headphones for kids with an emphasis on comfort rather than an array of high-tech features, the JLab JBuddies might be a good option for your child. Especially if you are buying them with travel in mind.

6 – 1913 hrs85dbWireless

Best Family Fun – Puro Sound Labs BT2200

Premium Audio Quality – Puro Sound Labs BT2200

Not exactly the best value for the dollar. But if the cost is not your principal concern, Puro Sound Labs BT2200 gives your child a high functioning headphone while ensuring a safe listening experience, all while letting them look and feel like a grown-up.

3+18 hrs85dbWireless

Best For All Ages – Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet

Longest Battery Life – Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet

If cost isn’t a concern, the PuroQuiet might be the best kids noise-cancelling headphones overall. Well-rounded lows, thick mids, and crisp highs make the audio quality excellent (except for the inline mic which is a bit ‘tinny’). The active noise cancellation system is effective, and the headphones themselves are light and comfortable.

2 – 522 hrs85dbWireless

Best Zombie Trashing – JBL JR300BT

Most Portable – JBL JR300BT

Comfort, quality, portability and color choices – all in one package. Headphones feature a volume limiting option, password protection and foldable design making it perfect for road trips and school use.

4+12 hrs85dbWireless

Best Horror – LilGadgets Connect+

Top Wired Headphones – LilGadgets Connect+

These kids’ headphones are some of the best and least expensive. They are durable, sound great and come with a 1-year warranty.

2 – 8N/A93dbCable

Best Quick 4 Player Game – LilGadgets Untangled Pro

Most Color Options & Themes – LilGadgets Untangled Pro

LilGadgets Untangled Pro are excellent Bluetooth headphones, but the max volume control could be better. Their comfort and durability are also make the a great choice.

4+12 hrs93dbWireless

Best Sci-Fi – CozyPhones Kids

Headband Headphones – CozyPhones Kids

A great product for younger children looking for a comfortable fitting headphone at an affordable price point. With plenty of thematic options – these fabric headband headphones are a great fit for child of three years and up.

3+N/A90dbCable

Best Strategic Play – Bose BOSEbuild Headphones

DIY Headphones for Teenagers – Bose BOSEbuild

Bose’s BOSEbuild headphones for kids offer one of the best Bluetooth headphones for kids. They are the most advanced in our review, yet they are pricey. With Smart Volume Limiting feature and an ability to build them yourself are just two of many great features with these headphones kids will love.

8 – 1815 hrs12+Wireless

1. Best Waterproof – Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave

Designed for kids ages three and up, these waterproof, Bluetooth-capable headphones have hours of battery life and offer multiple parental control settings.

Although pricier than many of their competitors they do offer a wide range of features not found in other kids’ headphones on the market.

The flexible foldable polypropylene structure ensures rigid design that is hard to break, even when twisted or pulled by the most determined kids.

As their name suggests, BuddyPhones feature a built-in cable system that allows your child to share with up to four friends (or parents).

Another feature that separates the BuddyPhones Wave from other headphones for kids is the four settings allowing you to limit sound levels or adjust the sound control. Study mode, for example, adds crispness to vocal track making it ideal audiobooks and foreign language tutorials.

Celebrated for their durability, these wireless waterproof headphones are a good option for use at the pool or beach.

While the product is durable and practical (twenty-four-hour battery life) it does leave a bit to be desired in terms of audio quality. The bass can feel quite thin at times. And the audio will distort at higher volumes.

8/10
  • Capacity 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%
  • Ports / Connections 70% 70%
  • Value 90% 90%
POSITIVE
Water proof/Spill proof
Wireless 30ft connectivity range
Durable Reinforced Headband
Parental Controls
Built-in Shareability
NEGATIVE
Just ok audio quality
A little pricey 

2. Best Value – JLab JBuddies Studio

Designed for kids aged six to sixteen, these adjustable folding kids headphones come with over-the-ear faux leather cushions and a padded headband.

They are designed for maximum comfort and longer listening sessions.

They do not offer nearly as many features as some of their competitors.

At the same time, their relatively low cost and two-year warranty is backed by customer service that’s easy to deal with and makes these kids headphones a good option if you want something dependable without all the bells and whistles.

The Jlab JBuddies Studio kids headphones are compact and foldable making them ideal for traveling. Like most good headphones for kids, they feature an inline mic in the cable with decent, although not spectacular, audio quality.

The wireless model boasts over 12 hours of battery life.

The audio quality is surprisingly good (inline mic excepted) for headphones at this price. There is no notable distortion in the bass department. The high frequencies are crisp, and the headphones do not muddy the tracks with excessive mid-range frequencies.

7.8/10
  • Capacity 80% 80%
  • Features 80% 80%
  • Ports / Connections 70% 70%
  • Value 80% 80%
POSITIVE
Comfortable faux leather ear cushions
Price Effective
Lifetime Warranty
Balanced/distortion free sound 
NEGATIVE
Inline mic is lacking

3. Best Sound – Puro Sound Labs BT2200

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones are designed for kids of two years and older.

With a wireless range of up to thirty feet, a snug fit, and a stylish design, the BT2200 are high-performance, comfortable child-safe headphones, albeit at a price significantly higher than many of its competitors.

Though they offer an 85db limiter and come in smaller dimensions than adult headphones, the minimalist sleek design of the BT2200 will have your kid feeling like a grown-up when they put these on.

The ear pads are well cushioned and comfortable and blockout ambient noise. 

However, if you want even more noise cancellation, check out kids noise cancelling headphones Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet with active noise cancellation.

Unlike most children’s headphones, which limit the volume to 85db, the Puro BT2200s still has excellent bass resonance. The DSP (Digital Sound Processing) technology which acts as a volume limiter will lead to inevitable dipping in the volume when triggered. However, unlike non-DSP limiters, there is never any distortion when the volume is peaked.

These wireless Bluetooth headphones offer a long battery life of up to eighteen hours which puts them well above most of the competition.

The main advantage of the BT2200 is the superior audio experience it delivers and its sleek grown-up design. The disadvantages worth noting are its relatively high price and the poor quality of its inline mic (not uncommon in wireless kids’ headphones). Puro Sound Labs also provides a thirty-day money-back guarantee, which is not typical for the market.

9/10
  • Capacity 80% 80%
  • Features 90% 90%
  • Ports / Connections 100% 100%
  • Value 90% 90%
POSITIVE
Sleek Design
18-hours battery Life
Digital Sound Processing
Over Ear Comfort
30-day money back guarantee
NEGATIVE
Priced above average
Inline Mic lacks a control option

4. Best Battery Life – Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet

The difference between Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet and Puro Sound Labs BT2200 is the PuroQuiet’s active noise cancellation system.

Kids headphones that offer passive noise reduction do so with the materials used and their ergonomic design. The headphones act as a sort of earmuff, blocking out background noises.

Active noise reduction systems also limit ambient sounds through design and the materials used, but they take it a step further.

They emit their own audio waves that mimic those on the outside, thus, canceling them out.

Thanks to this active noise cancellation system, these headphones are ideal for your child if he or she is using them on public transport or on airplanes. They still provide an excellent experience with well-rounded bass, crisp highs, and limit the volume levels to 85db. But they also give an ‘isolation’ effect to the listening experience. This system can be turned off and the headphones will still provide passive noise reduction.

The active noise cancellation feature uses a battery. The battery takes about three hours to charge and generally lasts around sixteen hours.

Well-cushioned earpads along with both passive and active noise reduction create a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable listening experience. The DSP (Digital Sound Processing) technology limits the volume to 85db without creating any distortion. However, the little downside is that when the DSP is triggered your child may notice a slight dip in the sound.

7.5/10
  • Capacity 80% 80%
  • Features 70% 70%
  • Ports / Connections 70% 70%
  • Value 80% 80%
POSITIVE
Great Sound
Comfort Cushioned Earpads
Active Noise Cancellation
16 Hour Battery Life
NEGATIVE
Volume loss with DSP
Priced above average

5. Best Kids Headphones for School – JBL JR300BT

JBL JR300BT are safe, lightweight and extremely popular wireless kids headphones with easy child-friendly controls.

In fact, they are one of the best selling kids headphones in the affordable price range.

Frogskin PU leather padded ear cushions and a padded headband assure your child’s comfort during long listening sessions.

Like most other kids headphones, the built-in 85db volume limiter guarantees a safe experience.

While JBL’s celebrated headphone speaker technology provides perhaps the best audio quality among similarly priced kids headphones on the market. 

These headphones won PCMag’s Editor’s Excellent Award for best kids’ headphones.

Rich basses and crisp highs characterize the well-balanced sound of the JBL JR300BT. However, the overall sound quality is noticeably diminished when listening at lower levels. And you may get slight distortion in bass-heavy tracks when listening at maximum sound levels.

The earcups are designed to be on-ear cups, though for a smaller child they may fit like over-the-ear models. The headband can be adjusted for a comfortable snug fit.

The power button, located on one of the earcups, is designed to control all the play features your child may want, from pause to playback and even call management. It detects the difference between a tap and a hold or multiple taps. An adult may find this control difficult to use. But the JBL JR300BT was not designed for adults.

As is the case for most kids’ headphones, the mic leaves something to be desired in terms of its audio clarity. But it’s good enough for telephone calls and/or recording audio memos.

Like with most kids headphones the volume is limited to 85db and can be further adjusted if required. You can also password protect the settings.

Headphones come in a variety of fun bright colors and include stickers for your child to personalize the headphones.

They offer an average battery life for kids’ headphones of around twelve hours. But they do have a wireless range superior to most children’s headphones, coming close to fifty feet.

8.8/10
  • Capacity 90% 90%
  • Features 90% 90%
  • Ports / Connections 80% 80%
  • Value 90% 90%
POSITIVE
Comfortable on-ear cups
Stylish color choices
Great audio quality
Superior wireless connectivity range
NEGATIVE
12-hour battery life

6. Best Kids Wired Headphones – LilGadgets Connect+

Designed for kids ages three and up, the LilGadgets Connect+ represents the lower end, price-wise, of good headphones for kids.

One noteworthy difference between the Connect+ and similar kids headphones on the market is that these headphones limit the volume at 93db unlike at 85db like most other headphones in our review.

They are durable, compact, and foldable. Plus, the caps have a headphone jack with removable cable, which is a great feature to ensure the cable is not going to get ripped out if you choose to go with wired headphones. 

How many times have you or your child ruined a good pair of headphones by bending the audio jack connected to your mobile device during transport?  Thanks to the detachable feature of the Connect+ audio cable, that is no longer an issue.

LilGadgets also back all of their products with a one-year warranty, 100% satisfaction guarantee when purchased from LilGadgets or a licensed retailer.

These headphones are ideal for traveling, especially if you have more than one child. Multiple headphones can be connected via a cable with one of the headphones plugged into the audio source. This means all your children can be in the back seat watching the same video, and they will each have their own set of headphones to listen to the same audio source. The downside, however, is that the cord limits the headphone use.

The audio quality is remarkable, especially given their low cost.

8.3/10

  • Capacity 80% 80%
  • Features 90% 90%
  • Ports / Connections 80% 80%
  • Value 80% 80%
POSITIVE
Very Affordable Price
Multiple sets can be connected
Removable Audio Cable

1-year Warranty

NEGATIVE
Some may find volume limit is too high

7. Best Design & Color Options – LilGadgets Untangled Pro

Designed for kids aged four and up, the LilGadgets Untangled Pro is essentially the wireless version of the LilGadgets Connect+.

These Bluetooth headphones feature a wireless range of a respectable thirty feet and a battery life of up to twelve hours.

If your child is listening to his or her music at high volume levels, you can expect the battery life to be significantly shorter. And, similarly to its wired brother LilGadgets Connect+, the volume limitation is set to 93db rather than a generally accepted 85db.

They feature the same SharePort system, which allows multiple headphones to be connected to the same audio source. However, if you are buying these headphones for this feature, say for long car rides, it might make more sense to get the Connect+ model.

The SharePort requires a cable connection, so essentially you are paying an extra $30 for a wireless feature you won’t be using when multiple headsets are connected. Well, you’ll be eliminating one wire at least, but the two headphones will still be tethered to one another.

The LilGadgets Untangled Pro audio quality is very respectable and the headphones are comfortable and durable. However, they still suffer from the higher volume limit.

Some would argue that the passive reduction means your child can get a ‘louder’ sound at lower volumes. But that’s true for all kids’ wireless headphones on this list, regardless of their volume limiters.

8.3/10
  • Capacity 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%
  • Ports / Connections 70% 70%
  • Value 100% 100%
POSITIVE
Wireless Bluetooth
Audio Quality
30-feet Connectivity
Connects Multiple Sets
NEGATIVE
Some may find volume limit too high

8. Best Headband Headphones – CozyPhones Kids

CozyPhones offer an alternative to over-the-ear headphones or earbuds.

These are more like headbands or caps with speakers nestled into their fabric.

CozyPhones Kids are ideal for toddlers or younger children who might find kids ear cups or even kids earbuds uncomfortable.

They come in a variety of cute and fun designs. Once you’ve fit them for your child, they are quite comfortable, even over longer listening time.

And, like all the headphones reviewed in this article, these headband headphones are volume limited to 85db to ensure a safe listening experience for your child.

cozyphones kids headphones are a great gear for the little ones

The electrical parts are removable, so the soft, lightweight fleece material can be machine washed. They come in a variety of colors with plenty of fun animal-themed models.

As their name suggests, they are extraordinarily comfortable. They can be pulled down over the eyes to serve as a sleep mask. This makes them ideal for airplane use or long car rides.

Unfortunately, to date, there is no wireless model, and they only come with a 3.5mm headphone plug. If you want to use them with an iPhone, for example, you will need to buy a separate adapter.

The audio quality is decent with no noticeable distortion at higher volume levels. Instead, the focus is on comfort and fit, and on providing kids with a fun-to-wear headpiece.

CozyPhones offer a fun, ultra-comfortable kids headphone option for your child at an affordable price. . And they should last you a long time. The fleece material is well made, and the wire is wrapped in a more robust chord, rather than the less reliable plastic often used in other kids’ headphones. 

I wish CozyPhones existed when I was a kid!

7.8/10
  • Capacity 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%
  • Ports / Connections 60% 60%
  • Value 90% 90%
POSITIVE
Super Comfortable
Priced Affordably
Washability provides lasting good looks
Durable for all ages
NEGATIVE
No Wireless Option

9. Best DYI Headphones for Teenagers – Bose BOSEbuild Headphones

Bose BOSEbuild headphones are suitable for kids ages eight and up, this is a relatively simple kit your child can assemble himself or herself.

What better way to have your child appreciate the product than to have him or her put it together themselves.

The kit is comprised of ten pieces your child snaps together to form a fully functioning wireless Bluetooth headphones.

It is a pretty good educational tool with an iOS app that explains the physics of sound and how your brain processes sound.

There are even lessons about listening volume and the risks of exceeding volume limits.

These headphones deliver a unique experience as an educational tool. Your child will have an amazing feeling of accomplishment for having built the headphones themselves. As a listening device, it’s of above-average quality: well-rounded mids and crisp highs. The over-the-ear cups provide passive ambient noise reduction. The design resembles that of adult headphones, which, depending on your child’s preferences and age, may or may not be a good thing.

The battery life is between eight and fifteen hours, depending on listening volume and if you use the LED display. One major drawback is that your child will need an iPhone to be guided through the assembly process and to benefit from the tutorials associated with the product. No Android version is available at the time of this writing.

Like with anything from Bose, this experience does not come cheap, but it does offer some features you will not find anywhere else. For example, the pitch shift microphone allows you to change the pitch of audio signals, which beyond the educational aspect is quite fun.

In addition to limiting the volume to 85db, it also comes with Smart Volume Limiting feature. It gradually reduces volume over time, so your child is protected in two ways: avoiding sounds in excess of 85db, and limiting long-term exposure of high volumes under that threshold.

It’s fun and educational and offers a safe and good listening experience. I only wish the app was supported by platforms other than Apple.

8/10
  • Capacity 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%
  • Ports / Connections 80% 80%
  • Value 80% 80%
POSITIVE
Interactive in building them
Educational via iOS app
Pitch shift microphone
Smart Volume Limiting
NEGATIVE
No Android app

Conclusion

The good news is that more and more companies are designing headphones for kids, with safety features and enjoyment in mind. We’ve tried to consider the best kids’ wireless headphones and the best wired headphones as well. But there are so many more things to consider when searching for the best headphones for child-size ears.

The main challenge is that there are so many products on the market, so it is recommended to make sure that some online research and user reviews are checked prior the purchase. Some articles may even go as deep as conducting and sharing consumer and audio lab testing.

Each pair of kids headphones claiming their own pros and cons, it can be difficult choosing from such an embarrassment of riches. We hope this article has been helpful in choosing the best pair of headphones for your child. Here are a few more things to consider.

How Do We Choose The Best Headphones For Kids?

Here is what we have considered in each set of headphones for kids in our review:

Safety Features

While each product referenced in this article comes with a volume limiting feature, the Bose BOSEbuild Headphones and the Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave offer you a few more options in that respect. The Sony MDR 222KD along with the LilGadgets Connect+ and LilGadgets Untangled Pro exceed the industry standard of 85db and instead allow a higher max volume level at 93db.

Other Features

Despite kids being the predominant audience, headphone companies have managed to pack kids gear with an array of options. Some include an ability to take phone calls, extended Bluetooth connectivity range, additional bass response, custom volume settings allowing to tailor the listening levels, volume limitation and much more.

Comfort

It would be hard to beat the snug cap-like design of the CozyPhones Kids, but they are intended for younger kids. For tweens and teens, I’d lean toward the JLab JBuddies, though the advantage is not considerable.

Durability

It would be difficult for a child to break the Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave. And they’re waterproof. All the products in this article rank high in terms of durability, with the exception of the Sony MDR 222KD (at their low cost, they’re almost disposable headphones, anyway).

Design and Look

That’s purely subjective. But if your child wants more adult-looking headphones, that would be the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 or the Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet models.

Value or Quality to price ratio

It would be hard to beat the JBL JR300BT on that front. Though, ultimately you will have to decide what criteria are most important to you, and make your choice accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are volume-limiting headphones?

Experts agree that headphones or earbuds for kids should come with an 85db volume-limiting capabilities. A few limit the volume at 93db, and those exceptions are noted. Some of the best children’s headphones provide ambient noise reduction. Ambient noise reduction (or noise cancellation) effectively eliminates the competition, and your child can focus solely on what they are listening to, thus no need for excessive volume. Some headphones provide wireless or Bluetooth capabilities to enjoy your music player without the cord.

It’s up to you to decide which characteristics are most important to you and your children. And to make the best selection possible, a bit of research is necessary. We have done most of that for you.

What is a safe listening level for children?

The industry standard is to limit volume at 85db. However, long-term exposure to sounds at 85db could, potentially, cause hearing damage and hearing loss. (Long-term is generally understood to mean over eight hours a day.

However, some experts would argue that ears need a break after ninety minutes.) It is unlikely that listening to sounds under 75db, even for extended periods, could cause any damage or hearing loss.

Of the products reviewed in this article, only the BOSEbuild Headphones and the Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave come with features that allow you to curb your child’s long-term exposure to sounds at 85db. Volume control and time exposure remain key factors in preventing hearing loss.

Are wireless headphones safe?

The move toward Bluetooth technology has caused some to ask questions about its safety. It’s true that Bluetooth technology does emit radiation, specifically RFR (radiofrequency radiation).

This is the same type of radiation emitted by your cell phone, computer, or microwave oven. Bluetooth technology emits significantly less RFR than these devices. But it still emits radiation.

The technology is too recent for us to have a firm grasp on any potential risks from long-term exposure. Wired headphones remain a great option should this be of real concern for you.

Are earbuds more harmful than over-the-ear or on-the-ear models?

Damage to your ear or even hearing loss comes from exposure to sounds that exceed a volume of 85db or from exposure to sounds around 85 dB for extended periods of time (over eight hours) regardless of the placement of the listening device. At the same time, the closer the driver to the ear canal is, the more volume potential is has.

What’s important is the fit and you want to make sure you get it right. You or your child can increase the volume to block out background noise, yet you need to be careful with it. So headphones with canceling features, whether passive or active, will enable you to listen to audio at lower volumes.

If the earbud fits well, it could provide noise cancellation since its snug fit will prevent ambient noise from reaching the eardrum. However, generally speaking, over-the-ear ear cups offer better ambient noise reduction since the ear is completely covered effectively blocking out external sounds. Of course, this is also dependent on the quality of materials used, in addition to the fit.

What is the difference between active and passive reduction?

Passive noise reduction is achieved when the listening device, by its fit and by the materials used effectively prevents external sounds from reaching your eardrums. Over-the-ear models are generally the most effective at this. But some of the best earbuds for kids with snug-fit can also effectively block out background noise and external sounds.

Active noise reduction is when the listening device emits audio waves identical to those of ambient noise, but 180 degrees out of phase with the intrusive audio wave. The two audio waves will essentially cancel each other out.

You don’t need to choose between active or passive, since headphones with active cancellation features will also effectively cover the ears providing passive reduction, too.
Active noise cancellation headphones are most effective in environments where the ambient noise is relatively constant: airplanes, car rides, or noisy coffee shops.