Updated on September 4, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Whether you’re wanting to savor a few moments of quiet time at home, or needing some entertainment for your tot while flying to your next destination, having a pair of toddler headphones on hand can be a lifesaver! It isn’t recommended that toddlers and children use earbuds — so over-ear headphones are a great way for your child to enjoy their favorite shows… quietly.
With noise-limiting features, fun characters, and great sound, these are our 7 Top Toddler Headphone picks.
The 7 best toddler headphones
(Best budget option – $)
Why it’s great: Let your toddler wear ears like Marshall from Paw Patrol as they listen to their favorite music! The design is exciting for toddlers and too cute to pass up for parents. These headphones are comfortable and adjustable, with pivot points on the earcups to better fit your child’s head. If your toddler prefers Chase, order the other available design.
The parental control switch on the top of the ear cup allows you to change the maximum volume setting. Being able to change the setting without limiting the device itself is very convenient. These fun, comfortable headphones also sound great! You can use them with all of your Android and iOS devices, tablets, and even computers.
Keep in mind: The parental control setting is on the headphones themselves. If your child wants to change the volume limit, they will be able to by sliding the switch.
Good for: Toddlers who won’t be tempted to change the volume limit settings.
(Brightest option – $$)
Why it’s great: These colorful headphones by Nenos are perfect for families with multiple kids. Your toddler can connect right to their older siblings’ headphones, making it easy for them to watch the same movies and shows. There are eight bright and fun color options, including lime green, lavender, and even a cat pattern!
Nenos’ headphones are recommended for ages 3-8. The volume is automatically limited so you don’t have to worry about changing device settings. Plus, they’re super comfortable. The plush ear cups won’t press your child’s ears down uncomfortably. Natural noise isolation makes it easy for your toddler to hear their favorite music and movies.
Keep in mind: When you connect multiple pairs of headphones, your kids will still have to sit close to each other. The cords may become inconvenient if they want their own space.
Good for: Siblings watching the same device.
(Most durable – $$)
Why it’s great: These colorful folding headphones can stand up to your toddler’s rough handling. If you’ve spent more than you’d like to admit buying toddler headphones and having them fall apart, these are the ones for you. With 10 bright and vivid colors to choose from, your toddler will soon be listening to their favorite media comfortably.
The headband on Elecder’s i37 headphones is comfortable and snug. They’ll fit on your toddler’s head without squeezing, and they are adjustable to accommodate heads of different sizes. The earcups are comfortable and well-cushioned so it won’t press on their ears. The durable cord makes these headphones a must for smaller kids!
Keep in mind: While these headphones are durable, they are still lightweight. They aren’t likely to break easily, but if your child can break them if they are rough or determined enough.
Good for: Curious toddlers who don’t know their own strength.
Best for multiple children – ($$$)
Why it’s great: This headband is cute and comfortable! If your toddler had struggled with over-ear headphones this comfortable cloth headband is a great alternative. Your toddler can choose Marshall, Chase, Baby Shark, or other non-character designs for their comfy headband.
CozyPhones headphones have a built-in volume limiter. They can’t get too loud, so your toddler’s hearing will be safe. You can even pull the headband down and turn it into a sleep mask. Nap and long car rides can be more comfortable than ever.
Keep in mind: These headphones are washable, but you must remove the speakers first. It should be simple, but be careful that you can get them back in after the headband has been washed.
Good for: Kids and toddlers who don’t like traditional over-ear headphones.
(Coolest design – $)
Why it’s great: Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? If your toddler loves to watch dinosaur shows, these eKids Jurassic World 2 headphones are perfect. From the blue camouflage to the classic Jurassic Park logo, your toddler will be able to comfortably listen to every roar!
These headphones also have a built-in volume limiter, so those roars won’t hurt your child’s hearing. You can change the slider on the earcup to three different volume settings without having to mess with your child’s device. The earcups are comfortably padded and the band can be adjusted to fit heads of any size.
Keep in mind: The ‘high’ setting on the parental control slider is not safe for your child to listen to. However, the ‘medium’ setting is louder on iOS than it is on an Android device. Make sure to check the user manual before making adjustments.
Good for: Toddlers who love dinosaurs.
(Most feminine design – $)
Why it’s great: These headphones by eKids have a great design, with a fun color palette and a cute bow on top! If your toddler loves Minnie Mouse, these are the headphones they’re going to love. They’re super comfortable and adjust to heads of any size, so your toddler is sure to love how they fit.
The big bow on top is a great feature. While these headphones don’t fold for travel, they have a sturdy design that’s built to last. If you are worried about volume control, you can use the parental control slider to keep the volume at a safe level for your child.
Keep in mind: As durable as these headphones are, the bow may sometimes pop off. Thankfully, it can be put right back in place as long as the bow is still attached to the clip.
Good for: Toddlers who want a super feminine character design.
(Best quality – $$$)
Why it’s great: These wireless headphones are cute and colorful! The cat ears attached to the headband have LED lights inside, making them perfect for kids who love colorful lights and stylish designs. The colors can even be synced up to the music! These headphones can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth or with the included cable.
These headphones fold and adjust for safe carrying and a comfortable fit. The volume is automatically limited to 85dB – you don’t have to change any settings or limit your child’s device to use them. They’ll bring a smile to your child’s face and keep their hearing safe!
Keep in mind: As with all Bluetooth headphones, the Riwbox CT-75s have a limited range. Remember to charge them, as they’ll stop working when the battery runs out. If you forget, they also come with a cord and can be used that way!
Good for: Active kids who love colorful lights and listening cordless.
FAQs about toddler headphones
1. Are headphones good for toddlers?
Headphones can be safe for toddlers as long as they are monitored while using them. Make sure that the volume is limited so they aren’t exposed to loud audio over a long period. Keep track of how long your child has been listening, as there are certain World Health Organization recommendations for how long toddlers should listen to headphones.
2. What is a safe volume for toddler headphones?
The World Health Organization recommends that kids listen at a volume not exceeding 85 decibels. Some headphones have automatic limiters that won’t go past that level. Alternatively, you could try limiting the volume to about 50% on the device your child is using.
3. Will toddler headphones work with my toddlers’ devices?
Yes! As long as your toddler’s tablet or phone has a 3.5mm (standard) headphone jack, they will be able to use most wired headphones. If you choose wireless headphones, make sure that the device your child is using is Bluetooth compatible before purchasing.
4. How can I limit the volume of my toddlers’ headphones?
If the headphones themselves don’t have a volume limiting feature, you can usually change the settings on the device to limit volume. Most Android and Apple devices have a volume limiting feature in the ‘Settings’ menu. If your toddler is using a kid’s tablet, there is an option to limit the volume.
5. Should my toddler use headphones or earbuds?
Many pediatricians do not recommend that toddlers use earbuds. Putting the speaker so close to their eardrum could cause permanent damage or irritate your child’s sensitive ears. Use over-ear headphones instead, especially if they’re listening for more than a few minutes.
Headphones can be a great addition to your toddler’s growing tech collection, but they do come with certain considerations. Make sure to always monitor your child while they are using headphones. Keep an eye on the volume settings and make sure they aren’t using them for too long.
The World Health Organization has some excellent guidelines for parents to read up on. Familiarize yourself with the recommended listening times, volumes, and more.
When choosing a pair of toddler headphones, consider how you’ll be using them. Folding headphones may be best for travel, for instance. Choose headphones that represent your child’s interests. Let them choose their favorite character! They’ll like them a lot more and won’t mind using them when it matters.