Which Bluetooth headphones for kids are better?
Kids love headphones that allow them to be entertained or do schoolwork uninterrupted. However, the design, size and volume of adult headphones wonâ€™t work for smaller heads and little ears. Fortunately, there are headphones made especially for kids.
To help parents choose, we tested both the Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+ and JLab JBuddies Studio headphones. While our adult testers analyzed the headphones for safety, durability and functionality, our kid testers weighed in on their appeal, comfort and ease of use. Our testing process focused on real-world use to help you make an informed selection.
Key features to consider when shopping for kidsâ€™ headphones
Sound quality is a top concern when choosing headphones for both adults and children. Most kids arenâ€™t audiophiles yet and donâ€™t mind not having an immersive listening experience. However, the sound kidsâ€™ headphones produce should be crisp and clear.
Anyone can damage their hearing by listening to headphones at high volumes. However, sounds that are too loud can be especially damaging to kidsâ€™ ears. For this reason, the noise output of kidsâ€™ headphones should not exceed 85 decibels. This is a common feature of well-made headphones for kids.
Most kidsâ€™ headphones have an over-the-ear design. Earbuds (also called in-ear headphones) are available, but they arenâ€™t practical for most kids. They also arenâ€™t safe for young kids who tend to put small objects in their mouths. They may feel uncomfortable in small ears.
Anyone who wears headphones puts comfort at the top of their list of priorities. Itâ€™s especially important for kids. Children arenâ€™t likely to wear headphones that pinch, rub or irritate their ears. The best headphones for kids have nicely cushioned ear cups, padded headbands and an adjustable design to optimize comfort.
While the appearance of headphones isnâ€™t their most important aspect, many youngsters prefer a pair thatâ€™s colorful or adorned with fun graphics and characters. However, some kidsâ€™ headphones resemble those made for adults. These may appeal to kids who want to feel grown up. A quality set should offer appealing aesthetics, notable sound and a comfortable fit.
Kidsâ€™ headphones worth considering
Our experience with Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+ Kidsâ€™ Headphones
The Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+ Headphones outpaced the JBuddies Studio headphones for their outstanding features. Not only do they produce clear sound and are comfortable to wear, but theyâ€™re available in bright colors and come with stickers kids can use to decorate them.
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Why we recommend Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+ Kidsâ€™ Headphones
Fun colors, good sound and comfort features put the Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+ at the top of our list. These headphones impressed us before they were unboxed thanks to the peek-a-boo window that provides a clear view of the product.
Once opened, the headphones are simple to set up and connect to Bluetooth. The sound is clear and the controls are easy for kids to adjust. We love that the ear cups and headband are nicely cushioned and that the headphones can easily be adjusted for a precise fit. They also fold for storage. Although itâ€™s somewhat thin, a bag for carrying and storage is included.
We were also impressed with the sound thatâ€™s clear but doesnâ€™t exceed 85 decibels. The inline microphone is adequate for kids. We like that these headphones come with a BuddyJack so multiple kids can listen at once. In addition to being available in several colors, BuddyPhones come with stickers for the ear cups.
While a good value, we have some concerns about longevity from frequent use by a child. The included cable is also somewhat flimsy. These are common concerns with products in this class.
What are JLab JBuddies Studio Kidsâ€™ Headphones?
With a similar price and sound quality, the JLab JBuddies Studio Headphones are worthy contenders. Theyâ€™re lacking some of the features of the BuddyPhones, but still offer notable comfort. The adult-like appearance is great for kids who like the look of tech.
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Why we recommend JLab JBuddies Studio Kidsâ€™ Headphones
JLab JBuddies Studio Kidsâ€™ Headphones are another quality set with decent sound, consistent audio quality and a maximum volume of 85 decibels to protect young ears. Although they donâ€™t come in a peek-a-boo box, theyâ€™re easy to set up and connect to Bluetooth and have kid-friendly controls. We also like that they get long battery life per charge.
The appearance of these headphones is not as whimsical as the colorful options and ear cup stickers of the BuddyPhones. However, the techy appearance isnâ€™t a deal-breaker.
We like that the padding of the ear cups makes them comfortable to wear, even though they lack cushioning on the headband. Despite a few concerns about durability and longevity, the price point makes them a good value for the cost.
Should I get Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+ or JLab JBuddies Studio Kidsâ€™ Headphones?
Although the BuddyPhones Explore+ and JLab JBuddies Studio headphones are similar in price, durability and sound quality, we give the BuddyPHones Explore+ a slight edge for their extremely comfortable fit that includes a padded headband and fun color options. The BuddyJack function is another great feature for kids who love to share their listening experience with siblings or friends. However, kids who prefer headphones that have a more adult appearance are likely to prefer the sophisticated looks of the JBuddies.
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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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