Technology

The best headphones for children in the test


Listen to music at a safe volume

20. 03. 2020, 13: 50 | by

Content from our partner Wirecutter, A New York Times Company

In a tough test environment, the BT 2200 from Puro. Wirecutter / Michael Hession

Do you have a child for whom you are looking for suitable headphones? We tell you here which child's headphones are really easy on the hearing and which did the best in the test. The test winners after just under 80 hours of research and testing are the Puro BT 2200.

We were supported by experts from the WHO, CDC and NIDCD. Scarce 50 Models came into the first round, of which only made it 37 Models in the measurements – 63 hours later the results were clear. The Puro headphones not only met our volume limit test standards, but were also the only pair that was popular with both toddlers and older children who helped us test. They support Bluetooth (which provides a more effective volume limit than other technologies), but they also work wired (so you can use them with a lot of devices), and they sound good enough even for adults.

The test was carried out by wirecutter. com carried out in America. Products that are available in Germany but not in America may therefore be missing. You are reading the German translation.

Children's headphones should actually turn the volume up to 85 limit decibels (for the World Health Organization this level is just “safe”); nevertheless, almost a third of the headphones we tested exceeded this value. We tested it with pink noise (1 / f noise) and many allowed higher volumes – sometimes significantly too high. In further tests we found that when playing real music, more headphones – almost half – more than the recommended ones 85 dB could reach. In addition, many of the headphones we tested had design flaws that allowed even a toddler to easily bypass volume controls. Below you can see all of our test methods in detail. Based on our findings, the New York Times (parent company of Wirecutter) conducted its own tests on children's headphones, regulations and safety.

After completing our analysis, we can recommend several headphone models with a clear conscience. Unfortunately, protecting children's ears is not that easy: you can't just give the kids a pair and expect the thing to be through. Volume-regulating headphones are only aids that can help parents or caregivers protect a child's hearing – they are not a solution in themselves. If our recommendations are used correctly, they can offer an additional level of security.

Our favorite for children's headphones: Puro BT 2200

  • Source: Amazon

    Puro BT 2200

    The BT 2200 dominated our wirecutter test and were able to convince all test participants without exception.

The Puro BT 2200 is our favorite – and there are several reasons for that. When used properly, the headphones always remain within the safe listening level. They were also always the first to grab the little ones during the practical tests – so the children will really use them. The wireless Bluetooth connection, which is used correctly here as an exception, ensures playback at the correct volume, regardless of the source with which the child uses the headphones. The wireless design is also practical to prevent tangled cables – a big problem that quickly gets the kids nervous. The size and weight are for children from 2.5 to 11 years ideal, so you only have to buy these headphones once. The headphones grow together with your child, so to speak, and at the same time are robust enough to last a long time. In fact, we have tested these headphones with several children for many years (even on long-haul flights) – all test devices are still running well. Many children's headphones are made from fragile, cheap plastic, the BT 2200 on the other hand has a fixed one and well crafted aluminum frame. The manufacturer also offers a 30 – day money back guarantee and one year guarantee.

The Puro can be easily connected via Bluetooth and have a simple on / off switch and volume control. The battery life of at least 18 hours are enough for each Lots of music between charges. Fortunately, if the juice runs out, a cable is included. As long as you connect the cable properly, the headphones keep your child's music at a safe level. (You should take care of your child if this pair is wired.)

Puro also makes a version of these headphones with active noise cancellation: The PuroQuiet Headphones fit just as well, are just as robust and the noise level remains within safe limits. Noise cancellation is actually very effective, especially with aircraft noise. (There is more to this in the graphic below.) The scarce 90) Euro is probably not a family for the headphones of their youngest member. If you travel a lot, we recommend PuroQuiet headphones (the only active noise canceling headphones for children we could find) to anyone who wants to afford the device.

Our headphone recommendation for toddlers: Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore

  • Source: Amazon

    Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore

    The Onanoff are above all robust and a hit especially with young children. Nice gimmick: the stickers with which the device can be decorated.

If it is not a Bluetooth but a cable, it is Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore The best option in terms of price and performance. The size and the bright colors made the Onanoff a hit with our smallest testers. A special plus: The headphones are robust enough to take a few violent hits and survive. The cable can be disconnected, which reduces the risk of injury to small children. The headphones can be folded up and come with a bag for safe transport. Also included: the cute stickers that allow the children to design the headphones according to their own ideas. In our tests, the sound quality was unfortunately not nearly as good as that of our favorites. Due to the small size, the Onanoff are not really suitable for older children. In addition, the volume control on wired headphones is generally not really predictable – if you connect a powerful amplifier in front of them, they may be able to play much louder music than specified by the manufacturer.

Our headphone recommendation for older children: JLab JBuddies Studio

Larger children (from 4 years) have different needs than small ones. So if you are looking for a cheaper and also wired option for a slightly older child, this is JLab JBuddies Studio a really good choice. In our tests, the soft upholstery and the matt, more “adult” colors of the 11 – year-olds a hit. The fabric-wrapped cable with control and microphone was also well received. Due to the permanently connected cable, you cannot insert it incorrectly and thus accidentally bypass the volume limit. (If children are motivated enough, they could bypass the child lock by changing the cable). Just like the Onanoff, the JLab doesn't even come close to the sound quality of our favorite, the Puro BT 2200 approach. In addition, all of our older test participants agreed that a wireless design would be better. The JBuddies Studio are also in a pure Bluetooth version available.

  • Source : Amazon

    JLab JBuddies Studio

    For older children from 11 years (at the latest) we recommend the JBuddies. The design looks more adult, but does not allow tricks to bypass the volume limit.

That's why you can trust this test

We not only did intensive research and contacted the WHO, the CDC ( Editor's note: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one agency the U.S. Department of Health ) and the NIDCD ( Editor's note: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders ) connected (more on this below), I ( Lauren Dragan ) has also a Bachelor's degree in music performance and audio production from Ithaca College. I also really tested hundreds of headphones during my time here at Wirecutter.

I spent several years on the radio before I became a voice actress in Los Angeles. I love and continue to do the job. Why I'm telling you this: I've had more than a decade of experience in recording studios. Around the same time I started testing high-quality music systems for magazines like Home Entertainment, Home Theater Magazine or Sound & Vision. Since I started working at Wirecutter, I have had the opportunity to test and check hundreds of headphones. My articles have also been published in Fast Company, Forbes Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and The Times. I would therefore like to say that I now have a pretty good overview of what's on the market and is worth your time and hard-earned money.

But I have not only audio experience, but also a mother myself. I want my son to enjoy concerts and recordings all his life, but also to play instruments himself. I want to protect his hearing. But you live in the real world and want real, practical options. Every gram of obsessive research and love that I have already put into my upbringing has also been included in this guide. In this respect, it is important to me that the information in this article is really complete and correct.

Of course, I was not alone in the task. Brent Butterworth was at my side with advice and action. Brent is a wirecutter author with a focus on audio journalism and decades of experience. During this time he worked for magazines like About.com , Home Theater and Sound & Vision written. So he was able to help me significantly with the development of the protocols for measuring the volume.

We were able to gain further information from some interviews. For example, Brian Fligor, ScD, chair of the Make Listening Safe Initiative of the World Health Organization and author of Understanding Childhood Hearing Loss time for an interview. Also with Dr. I was able to talk to Derek Stiles, director of audiology at Boston Children's Hospital. I was also able to talk to representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and des National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders . I have also read in medical journals, studies of Occupational Safety and Health Administration and technical articles from websites such as Engadget, Forbes and Macworld as well as parent sites and blogs literally buried and the most important information included in this article.

Why is volume restriction necessary?

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association of the year 2010 (PDF) The number of hearing impaired adolescents in the United States rose 12 to 19 years from 14, 9 percent in the years 1988 – 1994 on 19, 5 percent over the years 2005 – 2006. This means that almost one in five young people lose their hearing due to noise; everyone affected is one too many. Although not all cases can be clearly related to the incorrect use of headphones, experts such as Dr. James E. Foy and Dr. David A. Schessel agreed that headphones are also responsible.

You don't ruin your ears , if you accidentally Spotify starts at full volume. Most hearing loss in a normal environment is caused by frequent noise. The damage and effects of noise accumulate over time, so that the OSHA standard , to which the WHO adheres, rather a limit for the total load of 85 decibel is over eight hours. Even if you only use this “safer” volume level of 85 dB listening to music, it does not mean that hearing Your child is really completely safe; you shouldn't underestimate the normal ambient noise. A study of the Kaiser Family Foundation from the year 2010 revealed that children aged 8 to 18 years use entertainment media on average more than seven hours a day. This value is in the l hardly dropped in the past nine years. This is how long others are sitting in the office. Listening to loud music all the time as recommended and being exposed to normal city noise all day long cannot be healthy and it can mean potential problems.

Volume + duration = permanent damage. With hours of continuous exposure, even a little decibel over 84 dBA damage your hearing. Wirecutter / Kim Ku

To make the problem a little more obvious, let's take a look at The following explains in more detail how hearing actually works: Tones, i.e. sound waves, penetrate the ear and vibrate the eardrum. This in turn sets the middle ear bones (hammer, anvil and stirrups) and the fluid as well as the tiny hairs in the cochlea (inner ear) in motion. These hairs stimulate nerve cells that send signals to the brain. It then interprets it as sound.

If you imagine a situation that results in health problems, you imagine a massive baffle. This physically damages the eardrum and breaks the fine hairs that pass on the information. And yes – this is how you can lose your hearing. An example of this is an explosion. Fortunately, since this is rather the exception, the question arises as to how most other people lose their hearing.

Before we touched it: Most people damage their hearing with permanent, excessive noise pollution over a longer period of time. “Excessive”? Therefore: Human ears are not for loads above 70 dBA done (more about that in a separate chapter below). Our ancestors had to pay attention to the slightest sounds to survive. A crackling branch in the forest or birdsong, for example, can be clues to prey – or to predators who want to turn the tables.

In human history, everything that was meant to be mostly wanted to us is enough to permanently damage our ears (approximately 109 dBA or more), most likely kill immediately afterwards. A lightning bolt or the thunderbolt or a volcanic eruption in close proximity can make your ears absolutely unusable – sure – in such moments, however, you have other problems at first; otherwise you were dead quite quickly. Other loud noises like a loud screech would not last long – and thus would not cause any real damage.

In this post-industrial society, people are regularly exposed to such loud noises from motorcycles, chainsaws, concerts and even headphones. When the tiny hairs of the inner ear cause the nerve cells to fire, these cells produce a waste product. This is similar to the leg muscles that build up lactic acid after a very long run – the ears have sore muscles. If the noise is now quiet, there is no waste. If it is only loud for a short time, the cells have the opportunity to rest and reduce the waste. But if the condition persists, the cells cannot remove the waste quickly enough – they literally suffocate in the garbage. The duration is therefore at least as important as the volume of the load. So noise is quite similar to the sun's rays: if the sun shines long and bright enough, you will get sunburn sooner or later.

How much damage actually occurs is partly genetic . Some people get sunburned, others turn brown – just to keep the analogy brief. For some this is fixed, for others only after prolonged UV exposure. It works the same way for the ears. Some people can break down the waste more quickly and may suffer less damage despite the same burden. But there are unfortunately too few tests to say who is susceptible to it and who is not.

But what is worse: Even if there are no signs of Show damage, the noise exposure can still catch up with you later in life. A 2017 CDC-published study confirms that “hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical illness in the United States and is therefore twice as common occurs like diabetes or cancer. In fact, “every fifth person aged 20 – 29 years “” audiometric notches “for damaged or even missing parts in the hearing frequency range. In addition, “more and more damage accumulates over time.” Dangerous exposure early in life has the potential to be really harmful in old age. Even more frightening is the question of whether you already have damage. They just aren't even really aware of it: The study further explains that “People with hearing impairment often do not recognize it due to the constant noise in the background; for every fourth American who said he had excellent or at least good hearing, audiometric notches actually appeared “. And these conclusions are supported by other evidence. In tests, high levels of noise did not cause immediate hearing damage in young rats, but significant damage was found later in life – and was more serious than that of the comparison group who were not exposed to the noise.

OK. Now we know that we have to protect our hearing. But how? What is really safe? Unfortunately, this is also a sensitive issue. Nobody knows for sure. We only know what is considered a little bit safer. However, keep in mind that some people are more prone to hearing loss than others. In addition, there is no good measurement option for this. The World Health Organization therefore recommends that you generally just be careful.

Music with 70 dBA can be heard as long as you want. The catch with the low volume is that the tones lose their clarity – the louder and quieter parts of a song then sound about the same. That's why there are many children's headphones with a maximum volume of 85 dBA.

Then comes the restriction: Limiting the level to 85 dBA does not in itself mean that the listener is safe. To come back to our analogy of “sunburn”: Just as with skin damage, the damage to the hearing is mostly due to a prolonged and continuous exposure. The constant noise pollution from over 70 dBA harms – not just a momentary, loud event. Even the recommended limit of 85 dBA can become problematic if the time is long enough.

In fact, the guideline value of 85 dB on old OSHA studies (from the 1950he until the 1970 er years), which show that “by people who were 8 hours long 85 dBA were exposed, 92 percent did not suffer from a disabling hearing loss “. This does not mean that they cannot be harmed – it only means that they cannot hear lose completely . That hardly calms.

The louder the noise source, the shorter the duration of the sound. Normal conversations from 60 dBA damage hearing even with 24 / 7-sound not, but just a few minutes of a rock concert at 115 dBA can be fatal. Wirecutter

In view of medical ethics standards, researchers have no good possibility exactly find out how much noise damages human hearing. (Or would you allow scientists to wantonly try to damage their ears?) We therefore have only a few relevant facts left:

• Daily noise pollution is more than just normal Media consumption. Think about the traffic noise when commuting, the bang at work, the construction site on your street, aircraft engines and so on – all of which tortures your ears the long day. This “environmental noise” quickly adds up.

• Environmental noise + media pollution> 70 dBA = Your daily portion of potentially damaging sounds.

• According to a study by Kaiser Family Foundation from the year 2010 dedicate children aged 8 to 18 years on average more than seven hours a day in entertainment media. These are more than 53 Hours per week. And then experts like Brian Fligor warn that listening to loud music on headphones “ can contribute to hearing damage “- just like a fully turned up stereo system.

• If your child is exposed to ambient noise of more than during the day exposed to dbA, the remaining safe listening time is greatly reduced.

• Taking all of this into account, the WHO recommends not more than 85 dbA (on mobile devices this is about 60 percent volume) to hear and this for no more than 60 minutes at a time. This recommendation applies to both children and adults.

Parents cannot chase their children around with a dB meter in their hands all day, nor can they constantly adjust the volume settings check each individual device. It is therefore easiest to find headphones that reduce volume. While this is not a perfect solution, it works just as well as the corner protector on the coffee table or child locks on the drawers. This simply reduces the risk of injury to the child.

Do volume-limiting headphones automatically switch off after the “safe” time to protect the child? No, of course not – no one has invented it yet. Can't you just use normal headphones if you pay attention to safe use? One can certainly, but one would not knowingly grant a child unhindered access to the medicine cabinet. This is a fine line to walk on – but it can work.

So we tested

Now let's move away from security issues and face the harsh reality: it may surprise you, but children are picky. And stubborn. (It's hard to believe, isn't it.) If the children don't like headphones, no matter how safe they are, then they simply don't wear them. Therefore, the first part of our test was to select some children and let them go on the headphones.

We carried out two tests with different groups of participants: one consisted of 2 and 3 -Years (i.e. small children), another from 4 to 11 – year-olds. In these tests, we only let the children guide us. The answers of the little children when we had them try on the headphones were often rather short (“Comfortable”) or determined (“No!” When weaning off). We took their input seriously. Whenever they spurned a model, we asked for a short feedback. Then we let them choose their favorites and talked as best as possible about which aspects they liked.

We spread all the headphones on the carpet for the older children; they could try out the models at their own pace. After everyone tried each pair, we got together in a group conversation. First we discussed each model individually – the input came from the children. Then we asked them to choose their favorite headphones and justify their decision accordingly. Finally, we summarized the headphones that none of them would want to use. Then they came on the “the hate list”. Here too the focus was on the discussion. This also resulted in a list of models that everyone liked and that we would take with us to the next test round.

Then I spent a while putting the children's favorites to the acid test. I stepped on it with boots, pulled the cables, twisted them and let my toddler chew on them. Fortunately, our small test participants had a good eye: none of the favorite models could harm the stress test.

Our older test group gets to work with a sharp eye and tongue Wirecutter / Lauren Dragan

We knew which headphones are officially approved for children. But is the volume at which you can actually play music safe? You can find a lot of manufacturers that are supposed to limit the volume – and yet there are no industry standards, guidelines, or government agencies to verify these claims. In fact, the term “volume limitation” often appears as part of the manufacturers' marketing efforts for these devices, while “volume reduction” is actually closer to the truth.

The actual volume of the To measure headphones, I turned to my wirecutter colleague and AV expert Brent Butterworth, who knows a little better. Here we were in an unexplored area. There were no precedents or industry standards. The only ones familiar with such tests are the companies that make these headphones; only a few could give us useful advice. That's why we worked with audio experts and hearing loss professionals to develop what is believed to be the world's first published method of measuring maximum headphone volume. We couldn't have done it without Brent's expertise and experience, so I asked him to explain his methods below.

The stress tests were tough. After all, the devices also have to go through a lot in everyday life. Wirecutter / Lauren Dragan

So we tested the actual volume

The human ear and brain cannot accurately assess the volume of sound; if they could, volume-limiting headphones might not even be necessary. In order to check how loud the child's headphones can actually emit sounds, we carried out a series of formal, objective sound measurements with audio test devices.

One problem was immediately apparent: almost all of them these headphones can produce a dangerously high overall volume when used with certain devices. It doesn't even require special equipment – a relatively powerful headphone amplifier like the one in many AV receivers is installed or a standalone amp is sufficient (is also used in most traditional laboratory measurements) – this means that most headphones can be used well above 85 dB coming.

This problem occurs because most of these headphones do not really limit the volume, but only reduce it. Passive headphones (headphones without their own power supply, as you probably know them best) reduce the volume using resistors, a relatively inexpensive electrical component that reduces the flow of current. The technique is similar to splicing a narrow piece of water pipe onto the end of a thicker pipe. This will reduce the amount of water that comes through the pipe. However, the output of the pipe can be brought back to its original level by increasing the water pressure. This can also be transferred to headphones. Here you increase the “pressure” by increasing the volume on the source device. The headphones only reduce the volume – this is like having the volume at 5 instead of 8. But if you turn the volume up to 11, the volume is the same as on an 8th

Active headphones (with their own power supply) like the Puro BT 2200 can with one digital limiters. This prevents the volume from exceeding a certain volume level. However, only a few of the headphones in the test had internal amps or digital signal processors, so this didn't work really precisely or even reliably. In our tests, some of the passive models offered little or no volume restriction or limitation.

Of course, the child will most likely either use a smartphone, tablet, or other portable music player Use hearing; this makes the fact that most of the headphones can play much louder with a large amplifier largely irrelevant in everyday use. So we had to agree on a suitable source for the audio signals that we would use in our tests. Jason Wehner is an engineering consultant and was instrumental in the development of volume-limiting headphones. He suggested that an iPhone be used as the source device. According to him, iPhones are the loudest source that most people would find in everyday life – the internal amplifiers of an iPhone are significantly more powerful than those of most Android phones. Ultimately, we used an iPod touch (sixth generation) that is a little louder (+0, 38 dB) than our iPhone 6s and significantly louder (+ 4.4 dB) when our Samsung Galaxy S6 was. In the USA, the iPod touch is particularly popular as the “first touchscreen” for small children, so it was considered a good choice for this. However, we have not extensively tested all possible sources – such as video game consoles and home theater receivers. We are therefore not nic sure how the performance of the headphones is affected. Such devices would be more likely to be used by older children along with gaming headsets. From the manufacturer's point of view, these are usually not volume-limiting anyway and are therefore somewhat outside the scope of this guide (although legal guardians should be aware of this).

The acoustic specialists we consulted suggested , in the test “ Pink Noise “to use . The test signal more or less mimics the content of music with an equal amount of energy per octave. To the ear, the noise sounds very similar to the “white noise” that you would hear between the frequencies of an old FM radio with an analog tuner – only less tenacious. We used “Pink Noise” with the sound pressure level of Rating A , the frequencies below about 500 Hz (about an octave above the middle C on a piano). According to Brian Fligor, chair of the WHO's Make Listening Safe initiative, low frequencies have a negligible impact on hearing loss.

As already mentioned, the general consensus among experts is that an ambient noise level of 85 dBA (the “A” stands for A rating) is considered reasonably safe for one hour . (Technically speaking, the “Pink Noise” we used for these tests had an average level of – 10 dBFS or decibels relative to the end value, which audio manufacturers also often use to measure the maximum volume of their devices.)

Although “Pink Noise” tries to imitate the content of music, it is still just a simulation. This is to make measurements easier and more repeatable. We also wanted a more realistic assessment of the volume of these headphones. We have a current top 40 – Hit, “Cold Water” by Major Lazer, played on all headphones and the Leq in dB (A) ( the equivalent continuous sound level ) measured. Leq is a commonly used measure of sound exposure over time and the frequency and intensity of sound events; simply put, it is a kind of average volume.

We used the first chorus (0: 45 to 1: 06), one of the louder parts of “Cold Water”. This roughly corresponds to loud dance music. It was something of a worst-case test, because our Leq measurement of the entire melody was usually almost -1.3 dB lower, although we could have heard at an even louder level in this test. The second chorus was typically +1.5 dB louder than the first. We repeated the tests with another tune: “Chartreuse” by ZZ Top. This soundtrack is a very loud recording that is dynamically highly compressed, which means that the average sound level is fairly close to the maximum possible sound level. Therefore, this passage sounds particularly loud overall. The results were similar to the first chorus of the first song.

For all these measurements we have the headphones on a GRASS 43 AG Ears / cheek simulator connected. At the suggestion of the acoustic experts, we used a so-called “diffuse-field calibration curve”. Hearing researchers originally had the (theoretically) safer ambient noise (the 85 dBA) with a Sound pressure level measuring device determined outdoors without obstacles or objects. Sound that the eardrum or that in G.R.A.S. 43 AG built-in measurement microphone, is changed by earlobe and ear canal (or in the case of the device by the rubber earlobe and the channel made of metal). To ensure that our measurements with the 85 dBA outdoor measurement, we had to develop a method that Art and how the fake earlobe and the fake ear canal of the 43 AG change the sound, electronically reversed. The correction curve we created (which is similar to an EQ adjustment) was then the “diffuse-field calibration curve” described above. We created this curve by playing “Pink Noise” through a loudspeaker, this noise with a Audiomatica MIC – 01 measurement microphone and the CLIO 10 FW analyzer measured and then compared with a measurement using the GRAS 43 AG was carried out in the same place. With this correction curve, the values ​​we measured via the ear and cheek simulator would be directly comparable with ambient noise measurements.

We calibrated the 43 AG with a Reed SC – 05 . For the “Pink Noise” and Leq measurements we have the 43 AG to an M-Audio Mobile Pre USB interface and a laptop with Room EQ Wizard , a free but powerful audio measurement program, connected. (The test devices were about 8. 00 Worth $ 0.)

Note that headphone measurements are always quite inconsistent . Even minor differences in the fit of the headphones on the simulator can influence the result, just as moving the headphones slightly changes the sound. We have therefore been particularly careful to ensure that each pair of headphones fits well on the simulator. This included the slight pressure from the clamping mechanism of the 43 AG to place the headphones on the rubber earlobes and a short hearing test so that the sound of each model to be tested too gets through properly. Despite everything, we had to take into account any measurement inaccuracies. So we decided to 88 dBA to appoint our pass / fail limit for the “Pink Noise” test. Any headphones that do not exceed this level with the “pink noise” can be considered reasonably safe. Any headphones that exceed this threshold by a few decibels are not necessarily dangerous, but are less safe and therefore only suitable for children to a limited extent.

Brian Fligor gave us the following on the way: “Most headphones can be used in an unsafe manner. If the maximum sound level is so low that it cannot drown out the background noise of an airplane or car on a freeway, then it does not sound very good either. Music Sounds good, the level needs to have some headroom. A combination of safer level limits and headphones that exclude unwanted background noise would probably be the safest. “

To find out which headphone models are in In this regard, we did the same insulation measurements with which we also test other noise-canceling headphones: We played “Pink Noise” over two loudspeakers and a subwoofer with a level of 75 dB from, placed each Headphone model on the GRASS 43 AG and then carried out an analysis with the TrueRTA – software by. So we could measure how much sound despite the headphones in the microphone of the 43 AGs (and thus in the ears of the wearer) escaped.

Unfortunately, only four of the headphones we tested had remarkably effective isolation, but then also blocked a considerable amount of sound in the audio spectrum (50 Hz to 2 kHz). That's how loud it is typically in the back seat of a car – that's where child headphones are most likely to be used the most. Unfortunately, these couples could neither effectively reduce the volume, nor convince our young testers. These few headphones included Direct Sound YourTones. This reduced the ambient noise by -8.1 dB. The Fuhu Nabi headphones also reduced the ambient noise by -4.8 dB. (Both pairs are over-ear models.) The two in-ear models we tested were even better at blocking outside noise. The Etymotic ETY-Kids3 reduced ambient noise by – 22, 0 dB and the Puro IEM 200 around -14, 4 dB. Note that these results are only relevant for situations in which most of the noise is relatively low-frequency (for example, in a car or an aircraft cabin). Many of these headphones can usually block out household noises such as the roar of a vacuum cleaner.

This is how we interpreted our results

The numerous objective tests have given us a lot of useful data that we can work with. Our goal, as you may have noticed, was to find the headphones that actually limit the volume to our described “safer” range. Although we 85 dBA considered our standard was a moderate exceedance of 85 dBA in our “Pink Noise” test or the Leq test not yet a reason for exclusion. According to the manufacturer, these headphones can have a maximum of 85 submit dBA with “Pink Noise”. If you then more or less comply with them to within a few decibels (to take into account possible inconsistencies in the measurement), the headphones have “passed”.

We thought that with “Pink Noise” 88 dBA and in the music / Leq tests a pain limit of 90 dBA still give enough scope for mistakes and at the same time just one provide a safer listening experience.

Four-year-old Evan ponders the metaphorical implications of headphones with a permanent cable. Wirecutter / Lauren Dragan

As Brent said: “Our reason for the Leq- Test is that we take an everyday check with us. Audio researchers use pink noise because they need repeatable test procedures for manufacturers and other researchers to be able to replicate easily. Although these test protocols are said to at least somehow reflect real conditions, they do not always reflect the requirements of everyday use. (The problems that Samsung had with the exploding batteries in the Galaxy Note 7 are an example. Internal laboratory tests showed no problems – in real life, however, they quickly became dangerous.) Therefore, we thought it would be a good idea to compensate for the shortcomings of the standard tests with further tests – even if they would be viewed critically in a laboratory. So if the headphones play the 90 dB on the Leq dBA, the headphones are not automatically bad. That just means that you are not really on the safe side. “And here, too, the limiter alone does not ensure safe hearing. It is the responsibility of the legal guardians to ensure that the child is safe.

Brian Fligor also agreed. “It is sensible to use the measurement of the” Pink Noise “as a guide, but I would already set the cutoff to 88 set the dBA (3 decibels above the 85 dBA threshold for the safer listening level at one hour of exposure on Day). The scope should minimize the effects of measurement errors. In addition, audio content is never constant – an example of this is breaks in music and in dialogue (films, audio books), so that the total load sent to the ear is not the only quantity that would be measured with “pink noise”. Another would also be the “duty cycle” (for example, a duty cycle of 50 percent that the sound in 50 percent of the time is played and the others 50 percent are comparatively quieter). So 3 dB more is twice the energy that goes into the ear and is therefore a reasonable compromise; it should therefore include measurement errors and the amount of time that the sound actually strains. “In other words: since the music volume always varies and therefore the measurements can vary, it is only fair to allow yourself a little leeway over the recommended ones 85 leave dBA open before you directly stamp a model as an “error”.

That's why we divided our headphone candidates into areas instead of simply rejecting everything that the 85 dB exceeded. Our assessment is given in our table. For the models that passed our “Pink Noise” test via 88 dB, you should exercise caution. Also pay attention to the numbers for the “Pink Noise” and the Leq. For headphones, in which we in the music “real world” test 90 dBA or more, you should also be careful.

As already mentioned, even headphones with the potential louder than 85 dB to continue to be used safely. However, the purpose of children's headphones is to give parents and legal guardians a break. Similar to the corner protector on the coffee table, they should serve for safety.

Apart from that, we found a difference of just under our headphones 32 dB between the lowest and the highest volume. It is huge. Despite all potential measurement errors, there is a difference of 32 dB already violent. Some of the manufacturers are definitely doing something wrong.

This problem is compounded even more with Bluetooth headphones. As Brent mentioned in his analogue of the water pipe, wired headphones reduce the volume with a resistor in the cable. It is possible to overwrite the limiter of a wired headphone: You only have to connect the headphone to a sufficiently powerful amplifier.

The maximum volume of some headphones in the test compared to everyday noise sources. We received the measurement when playing “Pink Noise” at a level of – 10 dBFS with an iPhone 6s at full volume. approximate volume according to WHO data. Wirecutter

Most children's headphones are designed for the output levels of mobile devices. Home theaters, PCs and gaming systems with more power can give the headphones significantly more input than an iPhone. Although the (wired) headphones tested by us when used with an iPhone or iPad in the 85 dB range remained, every single model in this guide, combined with a more powerful model, could reach dangerous areas.

With Bluetooth, however, the whole thing looks different again. Since the amplifier has its own power supply in the headphones themselves, the volume limitation cannot be tricked – if you use the headphones wirelessly: as soon as you have set the headphones to the highest volume, you will reach their limits. For this reason, we recommend Bluetooth whenever possible: You simply cannot turn headphones that are used via Bluetooth louder than their internal circuitry allows. The volume limits are set by the manufacturer. Therefore, it would be quite astonishing if a pair of Bluetooth headphones significantly exceeded the volume limit.

After this has been clarified: why do we then make the claim that almost a third of the Headphones exceeds the safer volume level? Some of these headphones have serious design flaws that make it easy to disable or bypass volume mimics. If you just have to press a button or unplug something, you can go to 100 percent be sure that this will happen sometime. Young children in particular are incredibly fond of pushing buttons or pulling things. Even if a pair of headphones remained within safe limits when used appropriately in terms of volume: as soon as the safety precautions could be easily circumvented or the use itself was too confusing or vague for a parent, we removed them from the test. With these devices in the test, the number of models that failed our tests and exceeded the limit values ​​rose from one fifth to one third.

Frequently used mobile devices in direct comparison with our reference device, an iPhone 6s. (Onkyo: Theoretical limit measured with a voltmeter. The components of the headphones would give up before this output was reached.) Wirecutter

Detailed test report: Puro BT 2200

Of the 30 headphones in Test was the Puro BT 2200 the only model to which all child testers were attracted – small and large. The ability to adapt to and address a wide range of age groups and head sizes is critical if the headphones are to grow with your child for several years or if siblings are to share a pair.

Our adults particularly liked the “comfortable fit, the great sound, the soft ear pads and the color”. The Bluetooth function was very well received: “It's nice not to have a cable.” Four-year-old Evan even commented: “I never want anything other than Bluetooth headphones again!” His older brother, Dylan, noted: ” The Pokémon soundtrack sounds really good here. It is the best ever! I'll listen to it for the rest of my life! “True words.

The little ones also called the BT 2200 as the headphones you would most like to see, both the headband and the size of the ear pads were ideal for the children's heads the younger test participants still needed some help when connecting via Bluetooth, they quickly got used to it as soon as music was played.The button layout was simple and consisted of buttons for volume, switching on and off as well as a Bluetooth button that the Coupling controls. Of course there were buttons to play and pause music and to answer calls.

The Puro BT 2200 is our test winner, but under certain circumstances only with before and under Enjoy supervision. Wirecutter / Michael Hession

Speaking of Bluetooth: in our tests, the Puro already outperformed its remarkably long battery life of 18 hours of operation. Only at; only when 22 hours and 16 minutes a warning tone sounded and 9 minutes later the BT gave 2200 finally on. If you charge the Puro from time to time, the BT 2200 the juice not too going out soon (for an item that doesn't always end up in the same place at the end of the day, that's pretty handy). And if you ever forget to charge it, the Puro BT 2200 also with supplied with a volume-reducing cable. However, there is a clear warning: The BT 2200 can be significantly louder using the supplied cable Play music as via bluetooth. You should also make sure that the cable is properly inserted and your child is supervised when using it. (Okay, so there are three caveats. More on that later.)

Together with the cable, the BT 2200 supplied in a soft case with zipper to keep the headphones clean and protected when traveling. With these headphones, Puro also attached great importance to robustness: we bent and twisted the headband, stepped on the headphones and generally abused them until we were sure that they would experience the occasional “Tough Love” or minor accidents (as is the case with children) can be the case). The BT 2200 is not indestructible, but should be able to stand up to a child to offer (as long as the child is old or responsible enough to operate an audio player or a tablet).

Music fans should be happy to hear that music from the Puro -Model sounds great. The Puro BT sounded from all headphones in the test 2200 also for demanding adult ears cleaner than most of its competitors, whose sound often sounded muddy, muffled and at best coarse. It becomes obvious that the Puro headphones come with quality drivers and that the company has put a lot of money and time into it to optimize the overall sound.

“Can I take them home?” – 3-year-old Juno is a big fan of the group “They Might Be Giants”. Wirecutter / Lauren Dragan

In our tests the sound was always balanced; no frequency range trumped the other. The highest heights were a bit foggy and female voices were somewhat superficial in comparison to the sound of headphones for adults in the same price segment, but still not too intrusive. However, these are comparatively small criticisms. We would love to use these headphones ourselves – unfortunately our heads are a bit too big for that.

One thought that a lot of Amazon reviewers were concerned with was that the headphones were due to their Volume limits on an aircraft may be unusable; they were unable to play music loud enough to drown out the flight noise. If we want to get rid of all doubts, one must first speak about aircraft noise in general. In an interview with BBC Future, Pamela Mason of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association said: “During the trip, the noise in a typical aircraft can vary widely. It is the loudest in the cabin at take-off and landing Cabin up to 105 decibels (dB). When the cruising altitude is reached, the volume drops to about 85 dB. “

As already mentioned, everything can be done via 90 dB lead to permanent hearing damage after prolonged exposure. As the BBC Future article states: “With older aircraft or at the rear of the aircraft, the noise levels often reach this threshold”. Obviously, being louder than the noise of the plane cannot be the solution. Puro tries to solve this problem by the BT 2200 were designed to be as noise-insulating as possible. The headphones should both block out ambient noise and consequently enable quieter listening. The company did a pretty good job.

The Puro BT 2200 are supplied with a soft case for safe transportation – we have them for that a thumbs up. Wirecutter / Michael Hession

To test the model under real conditions, I did vacuumed at home. With the Puro BT 2200 on my head and an audiobook in my ear I started the work. I didn't even have to turn up the volume to understand the words perfectly. I also let some aircraft cabin noise roar out of the speakers. The Puros do less well at low frequencies, but I was able to read the audiobook at just under 80 Easy to hear percent volume. Provided that the BT 2200 sit properly over your child's ears (the Correct fit is crucial for every pair of headphones), it should not be necessary to exceed the safe volume limits.

The sound is now as ideal in noisy environments as with active noise-canceling headphones for adults or as isolated as studio headphones? No. We would very much like to see decently isolating headphones that children find comfortable, that also sound good and whose volume levels remain safe. Unfortunately, there is currently no model that can do all of this. Therefore, we come to the conclusion that as long as the child could hear the sound of the movie being watched, that was enough for us. Ultimately, the ultimate goal is to protect the child's hearing.

Puro also has an active noise-canceling version of this model, the PuroQuiet, in its product range. We compared this pair very closely with what we believe to be the best noise-canceling headphones and were able to determine that the PuroQuiet is relatively effective in reducing noise – especially flight noise. The PuroQuiet have pretty much all advantages and disadvantages like the BT 2200; apart from an additional point of criticism: the price. With just under 90 Euro, the model in Germany is significantly cheaper than in the USA (200 US dollars), still most families find the price clearly too high. However, if you are often traveling with the offspring and their money is relative, we can highly recommend the PuroQuiet headphones. It is really up to you whether the investment is worth it.

As far as the volume limits are concerned, the Puro BT 2200 in our tests always in safer areas. As part of the test conditions, the BT 2200 according to our knowledge with wireless use with exactly 85 dBA and with the supplied cable at 85, 2 dBA at “Pink Noise” / 90, 3 dBA Music Leq. The results are close enough to the WHO guidelines – the model meets our safety standards.

However, note that – as Brent mentioned in the test methodology section above – a more conductive one Source when used with cable can increase the volume of any headphones (including our favorites) beyond normal ranges. We therefore recommend using Bluetooth. (In addition, children who use the headphones wirelessly cannot bypass the volume limit.) If the battery is empty, make sure that the cable is connected correctly, otherwise the resistance or volume reduction will not work properly.

The supplied cable shows how to plug it in. In our opinion, the hint is far too small, and it is child's play to circumvent the precaution. Fortunately, the Puro's battery life is more than sufficient. Wirecutter / Michael Hession

Minor flaws, but no deal breakers

The above is the biggest problem with the Puro BT 2200: If a child uses the headphones wired, the cable must be plugged in correctly; otherwise the volume limit does not work. The following table shows the results of our tests (with the cable incorrectly inserted). The cable is labeled to show which side goes into the headphones and which side leads into the playing device – this marking is only too small and therefore very easy to miss.

We recommend a child-friendly use colored adhesive tape to mark the correct end. So you can see at a glance whether the child is safe. Perhaps Puro will mark the ends a little more clearly in the future or make a cable with different sized plugs to make it impossible to mix them up. We don't usually endorse such cables, but in this case it would be a pretty good idea. Until then, we simply recommend keeping an eye on your child when using the cable.

If the battery life is over 18 hours, however, the cable should only remain plan B. Most portable devices work via Bluetooth, and our young testers also preferred wireless headphones. With so many other great features, the cable issue isn't a deal breaker, it just requires a little bit of attention. If you suspect that you will not be using the Bluetooth and you feel that the cable may be annoying, take a look at our other candidates below. They are not quite as good as our number 1, but they are wired a bit quieter.

We have one other error with the Puro BT 2200 noticed: unfortunately you can not change the songs with the headphones themselves. This is more likely to bother older children and adults than younger ones (we'd rather expect them to use headphones for movies or games). Our test participants did not seem to miss the feature in our tests. Regardless, it would be nice if the manufacturer decided to make a few minor changes in a future version.

Also worth mentioning is not a real bug, but rather an observation : If you want to use these headphones even on long car journeys and a somewhat newer child seat with thickly padded headrest sides (like the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 )), most of the headphones we tested fit – including the Puro BT 2200 – not between the side headrests.

Only one pair of headphones fit in the test, remained safe and was tolerated by our young children: the Maxell Action Kids . However, the sound of this set was rather “meh”, the foam ear pads did not look as if they would last long and the older children found them to be much too small. But if you only need something for the little ones on car trips and have a rather small car seat, we only wanted to have mentioned the model briefly.

This is our conclusion: If you have headphones looking for your kids who not only sound great, are safe for the ears and who your children actually like for several years E long, are the Puro BT 2200 worth every penny.

Detailed review: Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore

If you want to spend a little less money and are looking for a wired pair of headphones for your 2 to 4 year old child, the foldable Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore a fantastic option. Our little ones were immediately drawn to the fun colors and rated the wearing comfort of these headphones as very pleasant. Although the BuddyPhones Explore are cheaper than our favorite, they could not top the podium for various reasons.

First, the sound quality in our tests was not nearly as good as that with the Puro. Even if they did not sound completely horrible, the BuddyPhones Explore sounded better than the BT 2200 just boring. This is not to say that you can't hear anything that comes out of it, but rather that you can just hear the few extra euros that went into the sound of the Puro model.

Second, the Onanoff are much too small for children from 5 years. Our older children thought the model was too narrow for their heads. The BuddyPhone Explore does not grow with your child.

Inexpensive, robust and especially for the youngest: the Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore. Wirecutter / Michael Hession

The cable is removable; if your child gets caught on something in the house, it is more likely to come loose before something breaks. Even if the BuddyPhones Explore are made of plastic, they are quite durable: We put these headphones through a few endurance tests – they survived.

The set comes with a small fabric case and supplied a couple of colorful stickers to customize the sides of the headphones. In addition, a version can be folded up so small that it can easily be stowed in a preschool-age backpack. In our tests, the BuddyPhones Explore were always within safe volume limits (82, 1 dBA “Pink Noise “/ 88, 6 dBA music Leq).

The Onanoff can be folded up easily and practically for travel. Wirecutter / Michael Hession

In conclusion: just look for a pair of headphones for your child or you need something more budget-friendly and don't mind that the headphones only last a year or two before your child grows out of them, the Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore is a wonderful choice.

Zsofia found the Onanoff really metal. Wirecutter / Lauren Dragan

Detailed test report: JLab JBuddies Studio

If you want to spend a little less money and a wired pair of headphones for a 5 to 11 – looking for a year-old child, we recommend the JLab JBuddies Studio . For our little participants they were too big due to the looser and more flexible headband, with the 11 – year old twins Kyra and Ally, the JBuddies Studio were the favorite in the test.

With a fabric wrapped around Cables and soft ear cushions give the JBuddies Studio a more adult look than some of the other models from the competition and according to our 4- bis 11 – year-old test participants, this was an absolute plus. This model also has a control and a microphone that can be used to change tracks, play / pause music and answer calls. The JBuddies Studio are quite durable and JLab gives a lifetime guarantee on top of that. According to our tests, the volume levels are within the safe limits (80, 9 dBA “Pink Noise” / 87, 5 dBA Leq), and since the cable remains permanently connected, even technically savvy older children have no option to fool the volume limits.

There was a lot to like about the JLab JBuddies Studio: the comfortable upholstery, the covered cable and the simple, “more adult” design. Wirecutter / Michael Hession

In our tests, the sound quality of this model was compared to our favorite above is not enough. The sound profile of the JBuddies Studio is not too coarse and too pale that aspiring audiophiles appreciate. All of our test participants thought that if they were compared directly, they would take our favorite home with them in ten out of ten cases. In addition, smartphone manufacturers have recently taken the step to remove the headphone jack: the JBuddies Studio therefore need an adapter to work with newer technology. We should mention that the JBuddies Studio are also available in a Bluetooth version, but the wireless version does not work with a backup cable. This could be a problem if your children need the headphones for school use or forget to charge their headphones.

However, if you are looking for a solid headphone for one Are elementary school age, JLab JBuddies Studio are a safe choice that help protect hearing.

Unfortunately, the sound quality and the passive volume limitation left something to be desired. Wirecutter / Michael Hession

Recommended alternatives

PuroQuiet : The PuroQuiet come from the same producer as our favorite and are ideal for families, that fly more often. We have compared this pair side by side with our best noise canceling headphones and found that it is relatively effective in reducing noise, especially aircraft noise. The PuroQuiet pair has pretty much the same advantages and disadvantages as the BT 2200 , with only one small problem: the price. The Quiet originally cost just under 200 Euro, now you can find them for half. Depending on your budget and lifestyle, the additional investment can be worthwhile.

The Onanoff BuddyPhone Galaxy are currently not available.

Other children's headphones in the test

The following models are ordered according to their “Pink Noise” results in dBA. Keep in mind that the Leq values ​​can fluctuate depending on the song (unlike those determined with “Pink Noise”). However, since the values ​​can swing upwards, we think they are worth mentioning. Furthermore, we explained our decision not to recommend the headphones above. Devices can be listed multiple times because multiple volume options were available for a model.

The following headphones are still safe even when used for over 8 hours.

Onanoff BuddyPhones InFlight for toddlers (69, 3 – 76, 1): The headphones are fine as long as the settings are not changed (which is child's play).

Maxell Safe Soundz 3-5 (69, 5 – 79, 5): Ideal for the recommended age group, unfortunately long-term uncomfortable for the children themselves.

Kidrox (75, 6 – 83, 7): On our little ones the Kidrox looked absolutely massive. The “Extension Pad” didn't stay in place. The headphones came on the index of the older children because “the foam is too hard and they look so strange”.

JLab JBuddies Studio Bluetooth (76, 7 – 82, 0): For older children ideal, however the fact that the JBuddies are not wired means that they may not be suitable for school. Even if our favorites are better, our young testers would also have been satisfied.

Onanoff BuddyPhones InFlight (76, 9 – 84, 8): The InFlight have side controls on which the volume limit can easily be levered out. Not exactly appropriate.

iFrogz Little Rockers (77, 4 – 82, 7): Our test participants simply didn't like the iFrogz. The older ones thought that they would break too easily and couldn't make friends with the fit.

Onanoff BuddyPhones Play via Bluetooth (77, 7 – 80, 9): The BuddyPhones P we really liked lay. Decently constructed, decent sound, decent price. When connected by cable, they sometimes get a little louder than we would like, but are otherwise a good alternative to our top recommendations.

JLab JBuddies Folding (78, 2 – 86, 7): The bracket was a bit too big for the toddlers – they were quickly torn down again. These headphones also landed on the index of the larger testers: too much cheap plastic and too rickety.

MEE KidJamz (79,8th – 84, 4): For the MEU, the volume limitation can be done with an egg activate a hidden switch. Older people might be able to handle them with a ballpoint pen and some skill. A test participant said that they were okay but nothing special.

The following headphones are safe with a maximum usage time of up to 8 hours.

Maxell Action Kids (80, 6 – 83) : Definitely in the top 3 for small children and ideal for tight child seats – the headphones are too small for older children. However, be careful with the removable decoration.

Puro BT 2200 (80,8th – 85): Loved by everyone and to a certain extent (eight hours) beyond doubt, the Puro BT 2200 our absolute favorite.

JLab JBuddies Studio (80, 9 – 87, 5): Too big for the little ones, but the big ones were thrilled by the seat and the sound. Tip: For children from 12 Years the JBuddies are a little too cuddly. The lifetime guarantee is also pleasant.

Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore (82,1 – 88 , 6): Our favorite for toddlers – the youngest especially liked the fit. The Explore can also be folded up for easy transport. The volume remained in safe areas. The headphones were too small for the big testers.

Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave (82, 3 – 87, 6): The model is waterproof, robust and looks very nice. Without a cable, it is always in safe areas, but with a cable it looks very different and may be too loud.

KidzSafe (82, 4 – 89, 7): The KidzSafe were for the little ones too big and too small for the big ones. So the lifetime of the KidzSafe is too short – after all, they stayed safe.

JBL JR 300 BT (82,8th – 87, 5): Not uncomfortable, the foam felt for the older kids but too cheap. The volume cannot be controlled on the headphones itself, and there is no optional cable connection.

KidzGear KidzControl wired (82,8th – 88, 3): Just like the wireless model the model didn't really fit a child.

Maxell Safe Sound 6-9 (84 – 88, 8): Our large test participants did not hold back in their choice of words: “Too small, too cheap and they will surely be g easily break ”.

Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet via Bluetooth (84, 5 with active noise canceling / 80, 3 without – 82, 8 with ANC / 85, 6 without): The PuroQuiet are neatly processed, sound great and the active one Noise cancellation works perfectly. However, they are more expensive and much louder via cable.

Puro BT 2200 with cable (85, 2 – 90, 3): The Puro BT reaches by cable 2200 with the resistance volume that is slightly higher than our own limit. Use caution.

Kenu Groovies (85, 7 – 90, 3): Our test participants were bothered by the non-padded temple and the immobile earpieces. It was nice to be able to share music with others, but couldn't really improve the overall impression.

Onanoff BuddyPhone InFlight (85,8th – 93, 7): The flight mode should not be used for longer than 2 hours. Make sure that the general background noise around your ears also strains.

Sakar Kid-Safe “My Little Pony” (86, 3 – 89): We thought that the design was based on our test participants he would have a positive influence – but we were wrong. The little ones couldn't stand it for ten seconds and the big ones were way ahead of us: “Unpleasant, too much plastic, cheap.” The adults were instructed otherwise.

Etymotic ETY-Kids3 (86, 6 – 88, 9): In-ear headphones are not suitable for small children due to small parts that can be swallowed, our adults could not quite understand the shape of the earplugs find.

iClever BoostCare IC-HS 12 (87 – 94, 6): Although the parents were enthusiastic about the design, their children did not share their opinion. If the youngsters can be convinced, the iClever convinced with comfort and safety.

The following models are in a volume range of 88 – 100 dBA. They should not be used for a long time and only with special caution, i.e. longer than an hour.

Lil Gadgets Untangled Pro, Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet (with cable and active noise cancellation), Puro Junior Jams, Sony MDR – 222 KD, Fuhu Nabi (“adult” mode), JVC Tinyphones HA-KD6, Sakar Kid-Safe (broken within 5 minutes), LeapFrog Headphones, Onanoff BuddyPhones Play (via cable), AmazonBasics On-Ear Headphones for Kids, LilGadgets Connect + Pro, Onanoff BuddyPhones Wave, Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet (cable plugged in the wrong way around ), LilGadgets Untangled Pro (with cable), LilGagdets Connect +;

The following models are definitely not suitable, especially for children. With more than 100 dBA the headphones are not safe and too loud. We therefore advise against these devices.

Kidz Gear Bluetooth, Kidz Gear KidzControl wired (without dongle), Coloud Boom Kids (max. Settings ), Puro BT 2200 (third-party cable / cable inserted the wrong way round), MEE KidJamz (switched off), Kidz Gear Bluetooth (wired).

Managing a child's listening habits – not an easy task

As with all things related to raising a child, there is one guideline: caution is better than forbearance. With the millions of details that have to be taken into account every day, this is a real challenge. Below you will find a few additional precautions to make the technology a bit more child-friendly at home.

Set volume limits in the settings of your devices.

You cannot control which devices your child comes into contact with (therefore volume-limiting headphones are useful), but you can at least avoid dangers in Reduce connection with the usual suspects.

How it works on an Apple device:

  1. Go to Settings. Scroll down and tap on “Music”.
  2. Then tap on “Maximum volume”. There you will find a slider. As already mentioned, the WHO recommends that one should 60 minutes of music limiting the headphones to around 60 Set percent volume. If your child uses normal, non-volume-reducing headphones, pull this slider to just under 49 percent down.
  3. You can then simply exit the settings.

Now you just have to make sure that your most likely technically gifted Child who cannot undo. Therefore, you can protect your settings menu with a password.

  1. In the “Settings” menu, tap on “Screen time”, scroll halfway down to “Restrictions” and tap on it.
  2. Activate “Restrictions” and choose a four-digit password. (Don't forget this number! Save it in a password manager.)
  3. Now scroll all the way down to where the volume limit is, and tap on it.
  4. Select “Do not allow changes” and exit the app.

For Android devices and Kindles, this is a little trickier. However, there are some third-party apps in the Playstore, but the reviews make it doubtful of the effectiveness. We therefore have no specific recommendation at the moment.

Monitor usage

As mentioned several times, not only the volume, but also the duration of the noise exposure is crucial. Even at safer volumes, time flies very quickly. Keep in mind that music is not the only thing children have on their devices. Movies, TV shows, YouTube – if the volume is only 5 dB above the recommended 85 dB limit goes beyond, decreases the total daily listening time recommended by the WHO to 2 hours and 30 minutes. This is “just” a movie or a few episodes of a TV show.

Fortunately, there are a variety of security mechanisms that allow the child's screen time to be tracked. Regardless of whether you have integrated controls such as the Kindle Fire Kids Edition or an external device or a service like Circle or Use Kidslox , a time limit is always a good way to give your child's ears a break. We do not yet have a guide that only deals with such systems, so we cannot give you any specific recommendations here. In the future, however, we also want to address this. Of course, you can also simply set an egg timer for the little ones at home.

Whichever method you choose, with a one-two combo consisting of volume limitation and time limit for the You simply can't go wrong using headphones. Rock on!

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  1. Brian Fligor, Hearing loss and iPods: What happens when you turn them to 11? , The Hearing Journal
  2. Sara Båsjö, Claes Möller, Stephen Widén, Göran Jutengren, Kim Kähäri, Hearing thresholds, tinnitus, and headphone listening habits in nine-year-old children , International Journal of Audiology, 22. June 2016
  3. Douglas L. Beck, AuD, Stereos, MP3s, and Hearing Loss: Interview with Brian J. Fligor , ScD, American Academy of Audiology, 19. March 2009
  4. Valerie Laberta, Address Youth Risky Listening Habits to Prevent a 'Deaf Generation' , The Hearing Journal
  5. Fligor BJ, Cox LC, Output levels of commercially available portable compact disc players and the potential risk to hearing , Ear Hear
  6. Chuck Kardous, MS, PE; Christa L. Themann, MA, CCC-A; Thais C. Morata, Ph.D .; W. Gregory Lotz, Ph.D., Understanding Noise Exposure Limits: Occupational vs. General Environmental Noise , CDC.gov, February 8 2016
  7. A Sampling of Research on Personal Audio Technology Usage Habits , American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  8. Standard Number: 1910. 95 (a) , Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 1 . April 1991
  9. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Health, Noise: A Hazard for the Fetus and Newborn (PDF) , Pediatrics
  10. Stony Brook Surgery, Headphones & Earphones Can Cause Permanent Hearing Loss , Stony Brook School of Medicine, 23. August 2012
  11. Sharon G. Kujawa and M. Charles Liberman, Acceleration of Age-Related Hearing Loss by Early Noise Exposure: Evidence of a Misspent Youth , Journal of Neuroscience, 15. February 2006
  12. Hearing Loss and Headphones – Is Anyone Listening? , American Osteopathic Association
  13. Katia Moskvitch, How to cut noise in a plane cabin , BBC Future, 26. February 2014
  14. Simon Jary, Best headphones for kids 2016 / 2017 UK | Best kids headphones: 11 kids headphones tested to protect children's hearing , Tech Advisor, November 9 2016
  15. Dan Frakes, Small heads, safe ears: The best headphones for kids , Macworld, 22. August 2014
  16. Jordan Shapiro, Kids 'Headphones Soothe Parents' Headaches, Protect Little Ears , Forbes, 22. February 2014
  17. Kate Hilpern, 10 best kids' headphones , Independent, 20. June 2016
  18. Tara Cannon, Best Headphones for Kids 2016 , Pint Size Pilot, March 1st 2012

The article “The best headphones for children in the test” is the German translation of the article “ The Best Kids Headphones “from thewirecutter.com . The test was conducted in the United States and was first published in English on the Wirecutter website. The translation is based on the version from 04. 12. 2018. The CHIP test center was not involved in the investigation. We removed products that were not available from Amazon Germany at the time of translation. This included the following devices: Coloud Boom Kids, nabi headphones, Direct Sound YourTones, Puro OEH – 200, Puro IEM 200, Rokit Boost Chill, JVC Tinyphones HA-KD3, Onanoff Buddyphones Galaxy, Onanoff Buddyphones Cosmos ANC.

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