Safe Headphones for Toddlers: Top Picks for 2023

Written By Soundsight


Are headphones safe for toddlers? This question often plagues parents who want to introduce their little ones to the world of music, audiobooks, and educational apps.

Safe headphones for toddlers are not simply a luxury but a necessity in today’s digital age. These headphones are designed with a volume limiter—a feature that ensures the sound never reaches harmful levels.

This article aims to validate your concerns and hone your search for the perfect pair of kids headphones.

We’ve compiled a lucid list of the best headphones for toddlers that are safe, comfortable, and fun. These headphones not only limit volume to protect your child’s sensitive ears but also come in a variety of designs that your toddler will love.

So, let’s dive into the world of safe, volume-limiting headphones for your little ones.

Safe Headphones for Toddlers

The BuddyPhones Cosmos+, Wave, and Play+ are our top picks for the best headphones for toddlers in 2023. These headphones are not only safe and durable, but they also prioritize the auditory health of toddlers—whose ears are notably more sensitive.

  • The BuddyPhones Cosmos+ is a standout, featuring a volume limit of 75 dB—well within the safe range of 70-75 dBA recommended by research. It also boasts Bluetooth connectivity, noise canceling, and a detachable boom microphone.
  • The BuddyPhones Wave is perfect for energetic toddlers, offering IP67 water protection, a 19-hour+ battery life, and a max volume of 75 dB.
  • The BuddyPhones Play+ is a budget-friendly option with three volume limit modes, a foldable design, and commendable sound quality.

Honorable mentions include the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 and PuroQuiets, which limit volume to 85 dB, and the BuddyPhones Explore+ for outdoor activities.

Most kid’s headphones typically have a volume limit of 85 or 93dB, deemed safe for children’s hearing with restricted listening time. However, remember that for adults, safe listening guidelines recommend less than 8 hours of exposure to 85 dB. Considering children’s heightened hearing sensitivity, their exposure time or volume should be even less.

The key takeaway is that choosing the right headphones for toddlers is paramount to safeguard their sensitive hearing. Regular headphones might cause permanent hearing loss, while some cheap, low-quality models may not withstand the wrath of a demanding toddler.

BuddyPhones Cosmos+ Headphones

The BuddyPhones Cosmos+ headphones are a truly unparalleled choice for parents seeking safe and feature-rich audio gear for their children. These headphones boast SafeAudio 75/85/94dB volume limit settings, ensuring auditory safety for kids.

The active noise cancellation feature provides an immersive audio experience, even in noisy environments. In contrast, a detachable boom microphone and a unique voice-enhancing StudyMode make these headphones ideal for online learning.

Comfort is maintained through their soft protein PU leather ear pads and an adjustable headband, whereas convenience is heightened through their 24-hour battery life, 20m wireless range. The headphones can function both wired and wirelessly and feature a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. And let’s not forget about the BuddyLink feature. It allows multiple headphones to connect for shared listening—ideal for those sibling movie nights!

The technical specifications include a 40mm Neodymium driver unit, 32 Ohm impedance, and a frequency range of 20-20 kHz. Weighing just 0.5 lbs or 227 grams, these headphones are lightweight yet robust. The foldable design and included hard travel case make these headphones travel-friendly.

So far, These BuddyPhones Cosmos+ headphones  are the safest headphones for toddlers, as the lowest volume available is 75 dB. Plus, they offer a uniquely comprehensive package of safety, functionality, and comfort for children’s audio needs.

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Headphones Review

The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones are a stellar choice for children, offering a harmonious blend of safety, comfort, and quality. These headphones are ingeniously designed with an 85 dBA volume limit, ensuring a safe listening experience for young ears. They also boast an impressive 82% ambient noise reduction, providing an immersive audio experience.

The BT2200 headphones are not only safe but also deliver superb sound quality. Despite the volume restriction, they offer a dynamic range of 20Hz – 20kHz and less than 1% total harmonic distortion. The 40 mm custom dynamic drivers ensure a rich and clear audio experience, even at lower volumes.

Bluetooth-wise, the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones boast Bluetooth 5.1 with a 30-foot range, 20-hour playback, and 200 hours of standby.

These headphones are also remarkably durable and comfortable. They are lightweight and sturdy, perfect for extended wear by children. The adjustable headband and cushioned ear pads are made from durable materials, ensuring longevity.

One unique feature is the daisy chain cable, allowing two Puro headphones to share one device—a perfect solution for siblings or friends. Priced at around USD 100, the BT2200 headphones offer excellent value, making them a worthwhile investment for parents seeking to protect their children’s hearing while providing a high-quality listening experience.

Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet

Another great product from Puro Sound Labs is the PuroQuiet noise-canceling headphones. These headphones are not just your average pair — they’re a game-changer with up to 78% noise isolation or 22 dB.

What makes PuroQuiet stand out?

  • Active noise cancellation: Diminishes background noise by 22dB for immersive sound.
  • Volume limiting: Restricts sound to a safe 85dB as advised by auditory health bodies.
  • Battery life: Delivers 23 hours of playtime with noise cancellation and 35 hours without.
  • Built-in microphone: Facilitates hands-free calls, perfect for virtual learning or video conferencing.
  • Daisy Chain Sharing: Connecting multiple Puro headphones.

Imagine the bliss of active noise cancellation in your kid’s headphones, allowing your child to focus on their audiobook or educational video undisturbed by surrounding noise. Sounds ideal.

And let’s remember the volume limiting feature. Children often crank up the volume, oblivious to potential auditory damage. PuroQuiet ensures the volume doesn’t exceed the safe limit of 85dB—comparable to city traffic inside a car.

When it comes to headphones, comfort is king. PuroQuiet’s lightweight, adjustable headphones with plush padding provide comfortable audio enjoyment for children.

Lastly, the battery life is a boon. Nothing is worse than headphones dying mid-song or video. With PuroQuiet, that’s a worry of the past.

Compared to Puro Sound Labs BT2200, the PuroQuiet headphones offer similar benefits with the added advantage of active noise cancellation. PuroQuiet and BT2200's unique daisy chain features may appeal to multi-child families. Both are similarly priced.

BuddyPhones Wave Headphones

Kids can be rough with their toys, and headphones are no exception. But the BuddyPhones Wave is one of those toddler-friendly headphones built to withstand the rigors of childhood. The robust construction is waterproof (IP67), ensuring that these headphones can survive drops, tugs, and even the occasional tantrum.

Just like BuddyPhones Cosmos, these volume-limited headphones for toddlers come with SafeAudio Volume Limiting—a feature that offers three volume-limiting options (75/85/94dB) to protect children’s auditory health.

The waterproof design allows for worry-free use during water activities. Meanwhile, the hypo-allergenic earpads ensure comfort and safety against allergic reactions, while Bluetooth connectivity offers cordless convenience.

The 24-hour battery life provides extended listening time. The headphones also feature a built-in microphone for hands-free calls and online classes. Like any fun-to-play-with headphones, it has a foldable design makes them compact and travel-friendly.

On the technical front, they feature a 30mm Neodymium driver unit with balanced tones, 32 Ohms impedance, 75/85/94 +/-3dB @1mW 1kHz sensitivity, 20Hz – 20kHz frequency range, up to 10 meters wireless range, and Bluetooth 5.0. The BuddyPhones Wave headphones present a remarkable fusion of safety, durability, and comfort, making them a fantastic investment for children.

Besides the boring stuff, very compelling is the customizable design of the BuddyPhones Wave headphones, featuring customizable stickers for the ear cups, allowing children to personalize their headphones with their preferred characters, colors, or patterns, adding a unique touch.

BuddyPhones Play+

BuddyPhones Play+ are advertised as budget headphones with volume control for kids between 2 year and 10 years. Surprisingly, these affordable BuddyPhones come with the standard SafeAudio LIMIT, that promises to maintain healthy audio levels up to 94 dB via three different settings. The timeless BuddyPhones design would be quite suitable for toddlers and preschoolers.

One unique feature is the StudyMode, which enhances speech clarity—making it easier for children to concentrate on educational content. Interestingly, the BuddyPhones Play+ headphones have a multi-share feature, allowing up to four devices to connect simultaneously, whereas the customizable stickers add to the appeal.

Designed for comfort and practicality, the headphones feature an adjustable headband, hypoallergenic ear cushions, a built-in microphone for interactive learning and gaming, and StudyMode for improved speech clarity and educational enhancement.

As for how much the kids can use the headphones, a mediocre battery life of up to 14 hours offers uninterrupted listening and learning. On the positive side, a 3.5mm audio cable for wired use is included when the battery runs low.

The headphones are also durable, with a robust design that can withstand the rough and tumble of everyday use. They are available in various fun colors and patterns, making them appealing to kids of all ages.

All in all, with an adjustable volume limiter, volume control, wireless features, and an affordable price, the BuddyPhones Play+ are quite excellent wireless headphones for toddlers.

  • Snug Play+ Volume Limiting Headphones are the best overall toddler headphones.
  • Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+: These headphones have a volume limit of 93 decibels and are wireless and wired.
  • ELECDER i37 Kids Headphones: These are the best budget toddler headphones.
  • LilGadgets Untangled Pro Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones: These headphones have a 12-hour battery life and a volume limiter.
  • JLab JBuddies Studio On-Ear Kids Wired Headphones: These headphones have a volume limiter and noise isolation features.

Features of Toddler-Friendly Headphones

You might be thinking, “Why should I care about my toddler’s headphones? They’re just a toy, right?” Well, not exactly.

Let’s underscore the importance of selecting safe, suitable headphones for toddlers—whose ears are notably more sensitive, to understand the severe implications of selecting the wrong headphones.

Regarding headphones for toddlers, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and comfort. Here are some features to look for in safe headphones for toddlers:

  • Volume-limiting capabilities to reduce hearing damage
  • Wireless or breakaway cords to prevent injury
  • Small fit to comfortably fit on smaller heads and ears
  • Excellent quality sound, especially in the low and high-end frequencies, to avoid ear strain
Alarmingly, many headphones designed for children lack a toddler-appropriate volume limit, thereby jeopardizing their hearing. Research dictates that toddlers should only be exposed to noise levels below 70-75 dBA to avoid hearing loss.

Research indicates that noise exposure limits should safeguard 99% of children from over 5 dB hearing loss at 4 kHz frequency after 18 years. According to the ISO 1999:2013 model, an 8-hour exposure to 80 dBA is projected to cause 2.1 dB or less hearing loss in 99% of children over 18 years, equivalent to a 24-hour exposure of 75 dBA.

When dealing with kids, it’s worth to emphasizes the importance of volume-limiting headphones to shield young ears from permanent hearing damage caused by adult headphones. Therefore, there’s a need for noise isolation to mitigate the temptation to increase the volume due to external distractions.

The design factors—lightweight, age-appropriate size, comfortable earpads, and user-friendly controls—are also deemed crucial.

As a final point, we recommended choosing headphones with a maximum volume of 75-85 decibels or lower. Some headphones marketed as “kid-safe” have been found to have volume levels above 85 and 90 decibels, so it’s essential to check the decibel level of the headphones before allowing your child to use them.

How Much Noise Is Too Much For Toddlers?

With their still-developing auditory faculties, Toddlers are particularly susceptible to the detrimental effects of excessive noise exposure. Their ear canals, not yet fully matured, are more sensitive than those of adults. Hence, it is crucial to understand the safe noise levels for toddlers:

  • Babies should not be exposed to noise levels exceeding 60 decibels (dB), as a general guideline. This is a significant consideration, especially in environments where noise is prevalent.
  • Hospital nurseries, places of utmost tranquility, have an even lower recommended noise level of 50 dB.
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s recommended exposure level of 85 dBA does not prevent NIHL. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests a 24-hour noise exposure level of 70 dB, but the safe level may be lower, possibly as low as 55 dBA.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) stipulates that adults should not be exposed to sounds with a peak sound pressure level above 140 dB. This level is significantly lower for children—it should not surpass 120 dB.
  • Sounds are quantified in dB, and research indicates that exposure to sounds at or above 85 dB for prolonged periods can induce hearing loss in both adults and children.
  • Brief exposure to high noise levels can be safe if confined to a few minutes. For instance, when using household appliances like a vacuum cleaner, which operates between 60-80 dB, your toddler should be safe if exposure does not exceed 5-10 minutes.

Besides using child-safe headphones to protect toddlers from excessive noise, it is imperative to monitor and control the noise levels to which toddlers are exposed, to safeguard their delicate auditory system.

Ideally, infants should not encounter noise above 60 decibels; that’s the maximum amount of noise a toddler can safely handle. Brief loud noise exposure is permissible if limited. Also, teach children to avoid loud sounds, limit time in noisy environments, and use hearing protection when needed.


Are Headphones Safe For 2-Year-Old?

Yes, headphones can be safe for a 2-year-old if they are specifically designed for children, the use is limited, and the noise exposure doesn’t exceed 70 dB. Early noise exposure can cause future hearing issues in children. Hence, it’s crucial to maintain a safe volume and limit a 2-year-old’s listening time to 1-2 hours daily.

What Age Can Baby Wear Headphones?

No specific guidelines exist for toddler headphone use, but it’s recommended to limit it to an hour daily under supervision.

On an adjacent note, the American Academy of Pediatrics once recommended no screen time for babies under 18 months. Toddlers 18-24 months should have a maximum hour of daily screen time. For ages 2-3, an hour of educational content is acceptable. This guideline ceased in 2016.

While there’s no research on the age a baby can start wearing headphones or how much time and how loud, it’s best to minimize sensory stimuli and expose them to natural sounds from the real world.

Is It Safe For Toddlers to Use Headphones?

Yes, it is safe for toddlers to use headphones, provided they’re age-appropriate, have volume control, and are comfortable. Avoid earbuds and corded models due to potential ear damage and strangulation risk. Wireless headphones with soft ear cups are recommended.

Are Wireless Headphones Safe for Toddlers?

In one of our articles, we highlighted the potential harm of radio frequency (RF) radiation from wireless headphones, especially Bluetooth ones, similar to that from cell phones and Wi-Fi routers, and how even non-ionizing radiation can lead to behavioral problems in children, increased type 2 diabetes risk in students, and motor, spatial memory, and attention deficit in adolescents.

Despite Bluetooth headphones emitting less radiation, their closeness to the brain may elevate risk. This could be more dangerous for toddlers with developing brains. The World Health Organization doesn’t classify RF radiation as carcinogenic; still, non-ionizing radiation can have effects that lead to cancer, with studies indicating potential adverse effects on brain development.