For those who have children that are old enough, they probably own at least one of the following – music players, game systems and computers – perhaps even all three. In the event you answered yes, odds are, at some point they are going to want headphones to use with these products.
Headphones can increase children’s experience with these learning and entertainment multimedia, but there are a few characteristics you should look for when researching these headphones.
The first, although it may not automatically register as important, is a good fit. Headphones which are developed for adults are made for their size heads, and won’t simply fit properly on kids, they will not offer a complete range of sound to them. Kids may also end up damaging headphones that are too large for them by continuously adjusting or repositioning them. To assist with this, many headphones created for children include flexible head straps, making it easier to get a good first fit, and to change the fit as they grow up.
The main feature you need to look for is that the headphones include some form of Sound Limiting Technology. Children will want to crank the volume up as far as they can, to a sound level that could rapidly hurt their ears and result in long-term loss of hearing. The selection of headphones should be restricted to those headphones which do not allow this, and which come with predetermined limits so that they cannot be made to exceed a volume of 80 to 85 decibels. The volume restriction suggestion applies to both over-the-ear headphones and earbuds, although it is probably more essential for the earbuds which are worn inside the outer ear canal.
One more factor to keep in mind is durability and sturdiness, because kids are hard on fragile products, and certain headphones can be quite fragile. Read parents’ magazines or consumer guides to learn which makers of headphones have a reputation for durability and long lives. At times you will need to sacrifice a little bit of durability to find a lighter-weight option. Some headphones are too heavy for children’s heads regardless of how many other good features they have.
No matter what choice you make for kids’ headphones, one last piece of advice is to limit use to a couple of hours per day. Being flooded by sound all day long, even if the headphones or earbuds limit the volume level, can nevertheless subtly damage youngsters’ sensitive ears.