Over the past year, I’ve learned that the most important equipment for learning at home is a laptop or desktop in a quiet area, the right school supplies, and a good set of kids’ headphones. Online learning is challenging enough on its own, but without a decent set of headphones my kids would have struggled even more. Now, with school is over for the summer, they are using their headphones for watching videos on road trips, playing games, and listening to music.
There are a lot of different kids headphones to choose from, so narrowing down your options can be a bit tricky. To help, I just tested out three different brands of kids headphones: JLAB, Belkin, and KIDdesigns. Here’s a quick run-through of each type of kids headphones and what I thought of the comfort, audio quality, and durability of each.
Belkin SoundForm Mini kids headphones review
The Belkin SoundForm Bluetooth kids headphones are available in blue and pink. They are on-ear headphones that fit comfortably over the head. They fit my head perfectly, so they could be used for older kids too.
They have an adjustable headband and cushioned earcups. You can use Bluetooth to pair with computers, tablets, smartphones, or any Bluetooth device your child would like to use. If you’d rather plug them in, they also come with a headphone cable that plugs into any headphone port.
Best features of Belkin SoundForm Bluetooth kids headphones
I really like the Belkin SoundForm headphones. They are comfortable, feel quite durable when you hold them, and are wireless so your kids won’t have to connect with cables.
Audio quality of Belkin SoundForm
The audio on the Belkin SoundForm kids headphones was impressive considering they are meant for kids and online learning. The volume cap resulted in music that was a bit quieter than I’m used to, but nothing I played was distorted or tinny. Games, music, and YouTube videos came through crisp and clear.
One of the best features on the Belkin SoundForm headphones is the volume cap. Even if your child turns them up as loud as they can, the volume will never go beyond 85dB. That cap is to protect your child’s hearing. I turned them up and thought 85dB was sufficiently loud for everything I was listening to, so you don’t have to worry that they’ll be too quiet.
The Belkin SoundForm kids headphones are meant to be used for online learning or school work. They work with most distance learning apps or programs, and the rechargeable battery means you’ll get approximately one week of use if your child only uses them for school. They should run for around 30 hours.
Built-in microphone and easy-to-use controls
The controls for volume and to turn them off and on are right on the side of the headphone ear cup, so it’s easy to turn them up and down. The charging port and headphone jack are right beside the controls too.
The Belkin SoundForm has a built-in microphone so your child can use their headphones for video chat or, if they have a smartphone, to take a call. I paired the headphones with my own phone and took a call or two. The audio was nice and clear. The headphones will keep Bluetooth connected up to 10 meters or 30 feet away, and even when I wandered I didn’t drop a call.
JLAB GoWork and JBuddiesLearn headphones review
I tested out two pairs of JLAB kids headphones; the JLAB GoWork Wireless On-ear headset and the JBuddiesLearn On-ear kids headphones. The JBuddiesLearn On-ear kids headphones are a wired set of headphones. They have parental volume control so you can control how loud the volume will be, and they are designed for kids age six and up. The JLAB GoWork Wireless On-ear headset is a true Bluetooth headset so they are wireless, they have an external microphone you can turn off and on, and they could be used by anyone who works or goes to school online.
Best features of JLAB kids headphones
I spent the most time with the JLAB GoWork Wireless On-ear headset and I’m impressed with the sound quality and features on these headphones.
Audio quality of JLAB headphones
You don’t choose a Bluetooth headset if your only goal is to listen to music, but I was surprised at how good music sounds on JLAB headphones. Anything I played, whether it was music or a game, was crisp and clear. Any calls I took on the JLAB GoWork Wireless On-ear headset were also very clear, and my voice was clear to the person on the other line as well.
Volume cap on JBuddiesLearn headphones
JBuddiesLearn kids headphones are designed for young children and are volume safe. While they will have access to the volume control on the side of the headphones, they won’t be able to turn the volume up beyond 85db.
Comfort of JLAB headphones
Both pairs of JLAB headphones are comfortable and easy to wear. The JLAB GoWork and the JBuddiesLearn kids headphones have cushioned faux leather headbands with an adjustable hinge. They also have Cloud Foam Cushion faux leather ear cups so they are comfortable for a full day of school or work.
Microphone and controls
I really like the rotating boom microphone on the JLAB GoWork headset. I used it when I was recording a voice-over and my voice came through clear and strong. You can tap the ear cup to use the Quick Mute feature, and a red light will give you a visual indication of whether your microphone is off or on. If you’ve ever wondered whether your mic was on when you were in a zoom call, you will love this feature. When you’re not using the mic you can push it up toward the headband.
The JLAB GoWork uses a feature called C3 Calling to minimize outside interference when you’re taking calls. It uses dual microphones where one mic picks up your voice and the other removes background sounds so your voice is clear in every situation. There is a work or music mode on the headset, and you can adjust volume, mute, answer or reject calls, and play/pause right on the ear cup.
The JBuddiesLearn kids headphones also have a microphone and controls on the ear cup. The microphone on the JBuddiesLearn kid’s headphones is retractable so it stays inside the headphone when not in use.
Battery life of JLAB headphones
The JBuddiesLearn kids headphones are wired, so they plug into any standard headphone jack. The JLAB GoWork Bluetooth headset can be wired or wireless, and there are two cords included; a type-c charging cable and a type-c to 3.5mm aux cable to plug in.
When you charge the headphones you’ll get approximately 45 hours of use. That’s a full week, so you won’t run out of charge before you run out of work week.
KIDdesigns kids headphones review
KIDdesigns kids headphones are really well-built character headphones. They come in a variety of types for kids including Pokemon, Spiderman, Frozen, and LOL Surprise. They are wired headphones that plug into any headphone jack.
Audio quality of KIDdesigns kids headphones
If you’ve ever wondered if character headphones have decent audio quality, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the KIDdesigns kid’s headphones. They have stereo sound and I thought music and videos came through loud and very clear. They don’t sound tinny or have an echo.
The KIDdesigns kids headphones use a parental volume limiter to prevent your child from turning the volume up past a certain point. The volume limiter is located on the left ear cup, and you can set it to low, medium, or high. There are recommendations for use on the back of the package, and you can start by setting it to low and move it to medium if it isn’t loud enough.
The KIDdesigns kids headphones have a cushioned headband and are adjustable. The ear cups will pivot and are cushioned as well. I found them quite comfortable and while they are made for kids, they fit easily on my head. They would be comfortable to wear for several hours.
This is the type of headphones I always bought my kids when they were 5 or 6. I found they didn’t want to use headphones unless they had characters on them, so character headphones saved my sanity when on road trips or during the day when they wanted to play games. I was confident they had a comfortable set of headphones wouldn’t hurt their hearing, and they were happy because they were wearing their favourite character on their ears.
Which kids headphones should you choose?
There is something to like about each brand of headphones I tested out. I like the Belkin SoundLab headphones for their comfortable fit. The JLAB GoWork Bluetooth headset is the perfect headset for taking calls on your phone or video calls on your computer. The external microphone that turns off and on with a tap on the ear cup is a great feature.
I’ve always been a fan of character headphones like the KIDdesigns kids headphones, and they are cute, durable, and have decent stereo sound. What I appreciate most out of all three brands is the volume limiting feature. This is a great feature for parents who are worried about blaring audio affecting their kid’s hearing.