A mom’s selection of the best headphones for toddlers and kids. Find the best earphones and noise-canceling headphones for airplane travel and home use
Had you told me months ago that I would be frantically typing into google ‘headphones for toddlers and kids’, I would have called you crazy.
I am a firm believer that we can do with less, that kids do not need half of the ‘absolutely necessary things‘ marketing campaigns make us believe are the fundamentals of good parenting.
However on this one, I was wrong.
Kids and even toddlers headphones have reason to exist and, when traveling, are a life-saver.
We travel long haul with kids at least once a year and the difference in the quality of flights with and without a well kitted out child is significant.
I put a lot of effort into researching the best headphones for children and gathered the info I could about good brands that make good ones for travel.
This research into the best kids headphones for airplane travel and home use taught me more than I thought I needed to know on the issue.
Now, I now advocate buying headphones as a great aid to family travel, I am sharing my best picks and some interesting info.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and the information provided in this article is based on internet research, personal experience of some of the products and parents’ reviews.
Please always check with your medical practitioner about the suitability of kids toys, gadgets and travel gear and double-check the specs of the specific product you are interested in before purchasing.
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The best travel headphones for kids
Do you need kid/toddler headphones for travel?
I got to research travel headphones for kids while looking for an easy entertainment option for my children on the plane, but there are other reasons to invest in a good pair of kids’ earphones.
The selfish reason if of course peace for my very own ears.
Listening to kids’ music and TV is quickly headache-inducing so to be able to get the kids to watch Peppa pig without having her oinking voice drill into my brain is in itself a great advantage (other people on the plane will thank you too).
The less selfish reason and the medical one to get headphones for your little ones is that good ones usually allow the children to listen with a lower volume.
Background noise and high music/entertainment volume can be very damaging to kids’ ears (I recently discovered kids hear noises up to 20 times louder than us!) and kids headphones able to block out some of the outside noise and allow for an overall lower level of decibels.
A word of warning: headphones must be used with caution and improper use can cause damage rather than limit it (find some info here).
Health guidelines recommend the use of headphones for no more than 2 hours per day and at a maximum volume of 85 decibels (ideally a lot less).
What to look for when selecting the best headphones for kids
When selecting the best kids and toddler headphones, I looked at 3 criteria:
Toddler headphones comfort and fit
Age appropriate headphones, as opposed to sharing adult ones, means the kids not to have to fiddle with small earbuds.
When selecting yours, check the size of the earmuff and how tight the headband is around the head to make sure they are not too loose/tight
Headphones: volume control
Kids and toddler headphones come in all shapes and sizes and many include volume control.
This can come as a built-in volume limit or as switch kids can control themselves.
The market of toddlers and kids headphones knows how important looks are for kids and they have come up with incredible colors and designs that are sure to catch the attention of your children.
Actually, they might catch their attention a little too much and you might find yourself buying many more sets of headphones that you had bargained for!
My kids selected plain blue and pink headphones but you also find some in the shape of animals or crowns.
In the paragraph below I am reporting reviews of some of the best selling headphones for toddlers and kids on Amazon, all scoring high on safety too.
Best-selling headphones for toddlers and kids 2019/2020
This is our handpicked selection of the best headphones for toddlers and kids (baby and up) for 2019/2020.
Please be advised that to use them on the plane entertainment system an adapter might be needed.
|Best toddler headphones / best kids headphones brand||Age suitability||Volume control|
|Kids headphones by Onanoff||2-8 years||Yes|
|Griffin kazoo headphones for kids||3 years +||Yes|
|Kidzgear kids and toddlers headphones||2 -12 years||Yes|
|Puro sound bluetooth kids headphones||3 years +||Yes|
|JVC headphones for kids||3 years +||Yes|
|Baby Banz Toddler headphones||Under 2 / Over 2 sizes||Noise Reducing|
|Em’s 4 bubs baby headphones||18 months +||Noise reducing|
|Snug Safe n Sound baby earmuffs||6 months and up||Noise reducing|
Kids headphones by Onanoff
These headphones are among the most sold on Amazon and are great for plane travel due to several characteristics:
- Built in volume control with 4 volume settings
- Comfortable hypoallergenic ear pads help reduce outside noise
- They come with a buddy cable so two kids can listen from the same device
- Very durable and foldable, they are built to resist tough handling
- They come in several colors and with stickers so kids can personalize them
- Age: 2 – 8 years old
Griffin kazoo headphones for kids
These are super fun kids headphones with earmuffs in the shape of cute animals.
They have volume control and they are sure to be the cutest headphones on the airplane!
- Built in Volume control not to exceed 85 decibels
- Comfortable, well fitting ear pads help reduce outside noise
- They come in several animal shapes including penguins and monkeys
- Age: 3 years +
KidzGear kids and toddler headphones
These kids headphones come with a very long cable which gets mixed reviews from parents.
Some love that it means kids can sit further away from the tv while others find the length a shortcut to tangles, especially in cramped spaces like a plane seat.
A good selection of colors and comfortable ear padding, however, make them very popular and this is why the enter this list
- Overall star rating on Amazon: 4 stars
- Volume control
- Comfortable, well-fitting ear pads help reduce outside noise
- They come in several colors
- Age: 2 to 12 years
Puro sound bluetooth wireless headphones for kids
This product stands out for its sleek design, something especially older kids can be very fond of.
They are closer to an adult headphone set than a kid gadget both in terms of looks and performance
- Overall star rating on Amazon: 4.5 stars
- Built-in Volume control not to exceed 85 decibels
- Comfortable, well-fitting ear pads
- They have a sleek, non-kiddish design
- Age: 3 years +
- They are wireless
- They have built-in noise reduction technology to allow kids to keep the overall volume lower
- Budget: high
JVC tiny headphones
Super colorful and comfortable on the ears, this set of kids headphones is durable and always receives stellar reviews
- Built-in volume control not to exceed 85 decibels
- Comfortable, well-fitting ear-pads but the headband is not padded, which can be uncomfortable
- They come in several colors and with stickers so kids can personalize them
- Age: 3 years plus
- Price: budget
Baby headphones and noise-canceling headphones for kids
While looking into headphones for children I came across a product I hadn’t considered before but that caught my attention: toddler noise-canceling headphones.
While completely different from a listening device, noise-canceling headphones for kids have a lot of merits, which is why I decided to include them here.
Personally, I think they are an excellent idea especially for younger kids, who might get frustrated and over-agitated if exposed to excessive noise (my son hate loud noises so I speak from experience!).
My kids sometimes use their own headphones, unplugged, to get respite from the outside noise (it does’ work very well!) so I believe there is a reason to make room in your luggage for these ones too.
Best-selling noise-canceling headphones for toddlers and kids
Some baby and kids noise-canceling headphones that came recommended to me are:
Baby Banz toddler headphones
Baby Banz come in both under-2 and over2- kids size.
The Baby Banz regularly receive very good reviews from both tech experts and parents: they score high in terms of safety because of their Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 31 and because they are light and therefore easy to carry if you are traveling and comfortable for the baby or child.
Also, they are recommended because of:
- Good padding around the ears
- Good fit around the head, which means they stay put without putting excessive pressure around the ears
- They come in multiple fun colors
Em’s 4 bubs headphones for babies
Fabulous headphones for babies, designed specifically to suit the head of infants
- Soft stretchy fabric instead of a plastic headband makes for extra comfort on very young heads
- Very soft ear cups
- Super cute colors
- Age: up to 18 months
Snug Safe n Sound kid ear defenders
Last but not least, another product with excellent reviews about comfort, durability and portability (they can be folded) as well as safety ratings.
- Many different colors
- Big padded ear cups for comfort
- Flexible wire headband
I hope my research about the best kids headphones for airplane travel and noise-canceling headphones comes handy to you.
Please remember that this list is put together on the basis of internet search and reflect my personal opinions only. Do consult your specialist and do follow their advice should you have any doubts about product suitability.