Are you looking for a pair of noise-canceling headphones for your kids?
Whether you want to help them study, get through a long plane journey, or just improve their audio experience, one thing is clear—adult headphones will not suffice. They’re too big, and that’s before you start worrying about things like durability and choking hazards. Instead, you need some specialized kids’ equipment.
Here are the best children’s noise-canceling headphones you can buy today.
Active Noise Canceling vs. Passive Noise Canceling
Before we dive into the list, let’s take a moment to ensure you understand the differences between the two main noise-canceling technologies.
- Active Noise Canceling: Active noise-canceling headphones have a microphone, digital signal processor (DSP), and battery unit inside the headset. The mic listens to external sounds, then uses the DSP to play the exact opposite sound frequencies. Doing so cancels out the intruding noise.
- Passive Noise Canceling: Passive noise isolation headphones use non-electrical methods to diminish external sounds. They attempt to seal the ear canal using high-density foam or tightly-fitting earbuds.
While adults have a great choice of noise-canceling headphones, electrical safety reasons mean it’s hard to find active noise-canceling headphones for kids. But there are some great passive options. Keep reading to find out our top noise reduction headphones for kids.
The LilGadgets Untangled PRO headphones offer 13dB of passive noise cancellation. For safety, the headphones are limited to a maximum audio output of 93dB. That’s above the industry standard of 85dB, but the number has been specifically chosen so that when combined with the headphone’s noise cancellation, the output is still comfortably audible on a plane.
Because of the slightly higher decibel limits, the headphones are only suitable for children aged four and older. Inside the headphones are studio-grade 40mm drivers with a range of 20Hz to 20kHz. There’s also a built-in microphone. The batteries last for 12 hours of continuous listening and up to 180 hours when in standby mode. The Untangled PRO headphones are available in 10 different colors.
The JLab Audio JBuddies are arguably the best cheap noise-canceling headphones for kids that you will find. They use passive noise cancellation and are limited to 90dB. They are aimed at children aged two and above. You’ll find an on-headphone volume knob for easy adjustments, hypoallergenic ear cushions, and a travel pouch.
Kids will also love the JBuddies customization options; the headphones come with a selection of stickers so your children can make it look the way they want. These kids’ headphones come in three colors—blue, purple, and grey.
The Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet are noise-canceling headphones for kids with active noise cancelation (ANC) that are actually worth recommending. The price tag isn’t cheap, but if you want your kid to settle on a long car journey or flight, they might be worth the money.
If you enable the active noise cancellation, they can make ambient sounds and background noise up to 22dB quieter. The listening volume is limited to 85dB to protect young people’s ears. The battery will last for 22 hours without ANC and 16 hours with it turned on. The headphones support Bluetooth, as well.
The ONANOFF BuddyPhones Play are a fantastic pair of children’s headphones. The company’s entire product line is dedicated to kids, with wired and wireless headphones, as well as accessories such as cases, airplane adapters, and sticker sets available. The Play model is our favorite.
The headphones use passive noise isolation technology. They have 14 hours of battery life, a 360-degree integrated microphone, Bluetooth support, and come with customizable stickers. They are also foldable. Parents can even limit the volume depending on the age of their child. It’s 75dB for toddlers, 85dB for kids, and a maximum of 94dB for noisy environments like planes and cars.
The impressive slew of features helped the headphones win a bevy of awards upon their launch. It’s also worth mentioning the BuddyCables accessory. It’s an audio cable with a built-in audio splitter. It allows four sets of headphones to connect to a single device without the need for adapters. No more arguing over whose turn it is to watch YouTube!
The excellently priced Mpow CH1 Kids Headphones are aimed at younger listeners rather than those who may be on the verge of transitioning into their teenage years. You might even consider them as a pair of classroom noise-canceling headphones if your child is still in primary school.
The headphones themselves have an 85dB volume restriction, a sharing interface on the side of the headphone, and an adjustable head strap that will fit all tiny heads. The product is available in blue and pink.
The Vic Firth Kidphones are passive noise-canceling headphones that can reduce ambient sounds by 22dB. That is as high as the ANC on the Puro Sound model and is the joint-highest noise reduction out of all the products on this list. The unit weighs 9.6 ounces and is made out of synthetic materials.
Parents whose children have autism or ADHD have specifically recommended the product. Here’s a sample Amazon comment:
“I would recommend this product to every parent of an autistic child with sensitive hearing and sensory issues. This was wonderful on our trip to Disneyland. They fit great, and he wore them for 12 hours straight. Not only do they block out a great deal of noise, but they seemed to give him comfort as well.”
Another fun pair of noise reduction headphones for kids are the Califone 2810-BE model. Thanks to the animal-themed design, they’re only suitable for younger children. The passive noise canceling feature uses foam-filled leatherette ear cushions. The headphones are also exceptionally durable. They’re made of ABS plastic, so will withstand heavy-handed usage from even the most boisterous children.
There are also other kid-friendly features such as a 90-degree audio-in port to prevent accidental removal, a large volume knob for easy adjustment, a 5.5-foot audio cable, and an adjustable head strap. From a technical standpoint, the Califone 2810-BE headphones have a 30mm driver and 98dB of output.
Babies under the age of 18 months really shouldn’t be listening to music via headphones. You don’t know what long-term effects it might have on their still-developing ears. But it doesn’t mean that little ones can’t benefit from some peace and quiet, especially in noisy situations. It can reduce stress, calm a child down, and give them a much-needed sensory break.
Instead of headphones, you can opt for noise-canceling ear muffs for very young children. We like the Baby Earmuffs from Ems for Kids. They have a double-layer foam core, adjustable straps, and a wide range of colors. They are even suitable for newborns.
The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Kids
Noise-canceling headphones are useful in a range of situations. Whether you need to help them focus, relax, or even aid their medical condition, there’s a lot your kids will find to enjoy about the experience.
Noise-canceling headphones for kids are just one of the ways that technology can help you protect your children, though. As they gain some independence, you may worry about being in contact with them. If that’s the case, then check out the best GPS trackers and smartwatches for kids .
Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.