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8 best kids’ headphones for learning and TV time

Rebecca Miles
·6-min read
<p>As well as making sure the sound isn't too loud, they shouldn't be worn for too long either</p> (The Independent)

As well as making sure the sound isn't too loud, they shouldn't be worn for too long either

(The Independent)

Homeschool has created a new need for headphones for children.

Previously handy on long journeys and flights, and for a moment’s peace from the fifth repeat of Paw Patrol, they’re currently more essential for managing multiple learning and working arrangements all under one roof.

When choosing a pair of headphones for your child there are a few things to consider. Firstly, make sure they have volume restriction to protect delicate young ears.

All the pairs featured here are limited to a maximum of 85dB, considered by the World Health Organisation to be a safe limit. Medical experts also recommend restricting daily use to no more than two hours.

Consider if you want Bluetooth or a wired connection – there is no longer the price penalty for Bluetooth there once was, so it’s a case of weighing up the simplicity of a wired connection (no charging needed, no faff pairing) versus the freedom of Bluetooth.

Read more: 9 best kids’ desks to get them excited about learning

The other things to consider are does your child need a microphone to take part in lessons, and what sort of design would they like? Some are very much designed for kids, others are more of a scaled-down version of a grown-up pair.

We tested these listening to both music and speech, and the mic on a Zoom call, and were really impressed with the sound quality across the board.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

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Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet over-ear active noise cancelling headphones for kids

Sound limit: 85dB

Microphone: Yes

A fantastic pair of headphones, the PuroQuiet’s might be the most expensive here but they’re packed with features and feel worth every penny. Sound quality is spot on and the mic is faultless. They’re also the heaviest here (at 170g) but are perfectly comfortable with swivelling ear pads and 3.2cm adjustment on each side (and will lie flat in the hard case they come with).

Supplied with a cable as well as being wireless, they can also easily be connected with another headset for shared audio, charge in less than three hours to provide up to 35 hours of playback (with ANC off), and have a range of nearly 10m. We can’t fault them.

Buy now £69.99, Amazon

JBL Jr310BT

Sound limit: 85dB

Microphone: Yes

A well-respected audio brand, JBL makes two pairs of headphones for kids – the Jr310, with or without wireless Bluetooth connection. We tested the Bluetooth version, and loved their simplicity. The design is styled on grown-up models, but in playful colours, and the sound quality is precise and enjoyable; the mic is crisp but picks up a fair amount of background noise.

Comfy to wear, they’re light at 110g and extend by 3.2cm on each side. With a quick charge function giving two hours of battery life in five minutes, fully charged, they’ll last for 30 hours. Just two buttons on the headphones control on/off, playing, pausing and answering a call if paired with a phone. Typically around £40, they’re currently on sale at Argos for £24.99.

Buy now £24.99, JBL

JLab JBuddies over ear folding headphones

Sound limit: 85dB

Microphone: Yes

A smart, solid design, JLab aims the fit of these at kids aged six and over, and the padding makes them really comfortable to wear. Considering the price, the sound quality is superb, and the mic is brilliantly clear and doesn’t pick up much background noise. Another set weighing 110g, they extend by 2cm on each side, and fit an adult as well as they do a child. One button on the cable controls play/pause, answer/hang up, and skip forward/backward. For faff-free listening, these are impossible to fault.

Buy now £14.99, John Lewis & Partners

BuddyPhones school+ headphones

Sound limit: 85dB

Microphone: Yes

A fantastic option for home school, these are really light (90g), well made and comfortably padded. Not the largest headphone pads featured here, they adjust by 3cm on each side. The microphone is great at cancelling out background noise, the clearest here and despite all headphones featured here limiting sound output to 85dB, these are the quietest and softest at full volume.

Nice additional features include an extra lead to easily share the audio, a carry case, and customisable stickers for the headphone pads.

Buy now £26.90, Amazon

Planet Buddies colour and swap headphones

Sound limit: 85dB

Microphone: Yes

A new kids eco brand, Planet Buddies raises awareness of endangered animals through its range of headphones, a wireless speaker and a tablet cushion, and uses no single-use plastics in its products or packaging.

The colour and swap headphones come with 24 character cards featuring endangered animals and crayons, so kids can customise the headphone ear pads. The square shape gives good coverage over the ears, and the band extends by 2.5cm. They’re supplied with 1.2m-long cord with volume control and a mic, and they weigh just 110g. Great for when we can travel again, they fold neatly into a hemp carry bag. And the sound quality? More than sufficient, for both music and speech, and the mic was crisp and picked up quiet voices.

Buy now £24.90, Planet Buddies

Groov-e Kidz wireless DJ style Bluetooth headphones for kids

Sound limit: 85dB

Microphone: Yes

With no padding on the headband and weighing 125g, the Groov-e headphones aren’t as comfortable as some of the others, but they more than make up for that with all their features – built-in mic, optional cable, audio sharing port, adjustable by 3.7cm – and at brilliant price. The sound quality can’t be faulted but the mic could be crisper and clearer.

Three buttons control play/pause, on/off, volume and skipping forwards/backwards, and they paired easily. Full charge (in 2-3 hours) promises 7.5hrs of playback and we loved the snug feel of the headphone pads.

Buy now £19.99, Groov-e

Yoto headphones

Sound limit: 85dB

Microphone: No

A clean, crisp design and a warm deep sound, for both music and speech, make these fuss-free headphones a no-brainer. They fold up neatly into their cloth carry bag, and feel really durable without seeming bulky. They extend by 3cm on each side and weigh 150g. Not wireless, they have a 1.3m-long cord and two or more pairs can be connected together for shared listening.

Buy now £24.99, YotoPlay

L.O.L Surprise! headphones

Sound limit: 85dB

Microphone: No

A really straightforward and fun pair of headphones, they weigh just 70g and are one of the smaller pairs we tested. Designed for children aged three to nine, they adjust by 2cm each side and definitely suit a younger audience – the sound is great particularly for dialogue. Thanks to that light weight and padding on the headband it barely feels like you’re wearing them.

Buy now £12.99, BargainMax

The verdict: Kids' headphones

For exceptional quality and longevity, the PuroQuiets from Puro Sounds can’t be beaten – they’re proper grown-up headphones, as happy helping with homeschool as they will be when we can travel again, and you may well find yourself borrowing them from your child. There’s a glut of well-priced, dependable models featured here, and our best cheaper alternative – and a dead cert for homeschooling – is the School+ model from BuddyPhones.