The 8 Best Kids' Headphones for Travel in 2023

Our top recommendation is Puro’s BT2200s Volume Limited Bluetooth Headphones.

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Best Kids' Headphones Tout


Every parent’s main goal is to protect their child; when traveling, it’s also to occupy them. Fortunately, with volume-limiting features and designs made specifically for small ears, headphones for kids do both. 

“Good headphones made for kids limit the volume to 85 decibels (dB) max,” says Cher Zhao, M.D., a pediatric otolaryngologist at Mass Eye and Ear in Boston, Massachusetts. Continued exposure to noise above this amount can be damaging. (Normal conversation rings in at about 60 dB; an average airplane cabin hits about 80 to 85 dB.)

We rounded up some of our favorite kid-friendly headphones, keeping price-point, design, and functionality in mind. Our top pick is Puro’s BT2200s Volume Limited Bluetooth Headphones with Built-In Mic; they’re superb volume-limiters, they’re noise-canceling, they don’t skimp on audio quality, and they have a year-long warranty. Whether your child is looking to plug in on a short drive or your little ones need something durable for long-haul flights, we’ve got you covered.

Best Overall

Puro Sound Labs BT2200s Volume Limited Kids Headphones

Puro Sound Labs BT2200s Volume Limited Kids Headphones

Courtesy by Amazon

Why We Love it: High-quality sound and safety standards paired with a charitable mission make these headphones stand out. 

What to Consider: Almost $100 could be a lot to shell out depending on how often your child will use the headphones.

For Puro Sound Labs, business is personal: The founder's daughter (who is now one of the owners) was diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss, and Puro partners with an organization called KultureCity, which promotes disability inclusion and sensory accessibility. Puro’s BT2200s protect kids’ ears by limiting sound to under 85 dB and blocking out 82 percent of outside noise. They have 22 hours of battery life, come with a hard (read: won’t get squished in a bag) travel case and in fun, bright colors, and are comfortable with room to grow on little ears. To help you fend off iPad battles, these top-rated headphones have daisy chain sharing capabilities; a split cable allows two pairs of headphones to connect to one device.

Price at time of publish: $99

Bluetooth: Yes | Volume Limit: 85 dB | Noise-blocking: Yes | Battery: 20 hours

Best Budget

Gorsun Kids Headphones with Limited Volume

gorsun Kids Headphones
gorsun Kids Headphones.


Why We Love it: They're specifically designed for children's safe hearing protection.

What to Consider: This pair is not Bluetooth compatible.

While there are plenty of headphone options for kids out there, these are one of the best, low-budget pairs we've found that are specifically designed for young listeners. The headphones only go up to 85 decibels to protect developing ears and minimize hearing damage. Despite the relatively low volume, these headphones aren't low quality when it comes to listening and still emit a full, balanced stereo sound to immerse kids in every detail of their audio. While these may be a corded headphone, they're compatible with most devices including Apple and Android tablets and phones. The headphones also have cute removable animal ears to add to the adjustable headband.

Price at time of publish: $16

Bluetooth: No | Volume Limit: 85 dB | Noise-blocking: No | Battery: Not listed

Best for Younger Kids

Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+ Volume-Limiting Kids Headphones

Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+ Volume-Limiting Kids Headphones


Why We Love it: These headphones have interchangeable designs for little kids, are foldable, and have sharing capabilities.

What to Consider: The headphones are wired with no Bluetooth capabilities.

Onanoff BuddyPhones Explore+ are simple, but sometimes simple is best. Best suited for younger kids, each pair comes with name tag labels and four stickers to decorate the headphones. They limit volume to under that 85dB limit (some of the company’s more expensive wireless pairs allow for sound to be louder), the ear covers are made from a super soft leather fabric, and a built-in audio splitter allows up to four kids to connect to the same device. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Bluetooth: No | Volume Limit: 85 dB | Noise-blocking: No | Battery: Not listed

Best for Older Kids

JLAB JBuddies Studio Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

JBuddies Studio Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones

 Best Buy

Why We Love it: The headphones have 24 hours of battery life on Bluetooth and the cord (if you prefer wired) is durable.

What to Consider: The headphones don’t come with a case and are not noise-canceling.

For kids ages 6 and up, JBuddies’ Studio Wireless headphones deliver a full day’s worth of battery life and simple-to-use features fostering budding independence. They’re versatile and can be used wirelessly, wired, or shared (two kids), and they keep listening comfortable with plush ear covers and a memory-foam infused headband. They’re not noise-canceling, but the padding on the ear covers is enough to drown out some background noise. The ear cups rotate inward and fold, and while this pick doesn’t come with a case, they’re durable and have thicker wires that aren’t easily damaged. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Bluetooth: Yes | Volume Limit: 85 dB | Noise-blocking: Yes | Battery: 13 hours

Best for Frequent Travel

Happy Plugs Play

Happy Plugs Play

Happy Plugs

Why We Love it: These headphones come in aesthetically pleasing colors and have added perks like sustainable packaging and anti-microbial technology.

What to Consider: They’re best for children ages 4 and up and are pricier depending on how much use they’ll get.

These sleek headphones don’t scream headphones-for-kids, but with safe sound (under 85 dB), other safety features like the use of antimicrobial technology to help stop the growth of harmful bacteria, cool muted colors (light pink, gold), and superb sound quality, they’re a good pick for parents and kids alike. Happy Plugs’ Play also have one of the longest battery lives (25 hours) that we’ve seen and are made with vegan-friendly leather. They’re expensive, but with a hard storage case, audio-sharing capabilities, and long-lasting powers, they’re a good investment for families who travel frequently.

Price at time of publish: $80

Bluetooth: Yes | Volume Limit: 85 dB | Noise-blocking: Yes | Battery: 25 hours

Best Earmuffs

Banz Infant Earmuffs

Baby Banz


Why We Love it: It has a high noise reduction rating of 31 decibels.

What to Consider: These may not fit babies under three months old.

For youngsters under 2 years old, you may not want a pair of sound-producing headphones, but actually noise-canceling earmuffs to protect their ears from loud noises. When bringing small children to a concert, fireworks display, or other loud event, these padded headphones will block harmful noises while keeping them comfortable. These come in small sizes for infants up to 2-year-olds as well as a larger size for toddlers and kids and feature a flexible band that hugs your child's head for maximum comfort and stability.

Price at time of publish: $30

Bluetooth: No | Volume Limit: Not sound-producing | Noise-blocking: Yes | Battery: None

Best Sustainable

Pogs Kids Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

POGS Kids Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
POGS Kids Bluetooth Wireless Headphones.


Why We Love it: They're built to last and can even be bent and twisted without breaking.

What to Consider: The battery doesn't last quite as long as some other options.

These practically indestructible eco-friendly headphones are made from strong, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic materials that are meant to last for years to come. If you want to try for yourself, they even come with a two-year warranty just in case. They also come with great audio quality and can attach to devices with either an aux cord or Bluetooth for easy use. Pogs is also committed to using 10 percent of their profits to plant new trees with a goal of planting 500,000 trees by 2016.

Price at time of publish:

Bluetooth: Yes | Volume Limit: 85 dB | Noise-blocking: Yes | Battery: 12 hours

Best Headband

Cozyphones Kids Headphones

Cozyphones Kids Headphones


Why We Love it: Headband headphones may be our new fun obsession (even as adults!) and these come in a variety of fun animal and character designs.

What to Consider: It can be difficult to position the headphones inside the headband.

Let's be honest, headphones aren't always comfortable or practical for little listeners. These headband headphones are a great solution for those who don't like wearing earbuds or large, over-the-ear headphones. The headband is soft and machine washable and comes in a wide variety of fun styles, from Paw Patrol to unicorns. While this headband is corded, they're compatible with most devices and are perfect for roadtrips, air travel, or even falling asleep thanks to their flat design. Unlike Bluetooth headphones, these are also compatible with in-flight entertainment systems, so your child can plug in and enjoy the trip with little fuss.

Price at time of publish:

Bluetooth: No | Volume Limit: 90 dB | Noise-blocking: No | Battery: None

Tips for Buying Headphones for Kids

Look for volume control

All good headphones for kids have volume control limits — meaning they limit the max volume to 85 dB. 

Cher Zhao, M.D., Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston

“The data shows that if you have prolonged exposure, more than eight hours a day to noises over 85 dB, you can cause permanent damage to the hair cells in the inner ear."

— Cher Zhao, M.D., Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston

Of course, you want to aim for much less than that — about an hour a day max for both kids and adults, Dr. Zhao says. For yourself, or for kids in loud places, think about a 60/60 rule: Loud noises for less than 60 minutes a day or at less than 60 percent of the maximum volume of a device.

Avoid earbuds

For kids, over-the-ear headphones are, in general, better than in-the-canal buds for a few different reasons. First, earbuds sit closer to the eardrum, increasing sound volume by 6 to 9 decibels, says Dr. Zhao. “Over-the-ear headphones put the source of volume farther away, so they’re a little safer in terms of noise damage.” Second: Buds can cause other issues like wax impaction or lead to outer ear infections, she says; you have to be more adamant about cleaning them (something no parent wants to do).

Prioritize comfort and easy-to-use controls

Just as over-the-ear headphones are likely safer for kids, they’re also just more comfortable for smaller ears, says Dr. Zhao. When it comes to kids' headphones, you want a pair that they'll enjoy wearing throughout the whole flight, car ride, or any other activity. Even better, you'll want headphones that can be easy to control, so your child can manage on their own. Headphones with minimal buttons or larger buttons will generally be easiest for little hands to use independently.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are Bluetooth headphones safe for kids?

    In short, yes. Bluetooth devices do emit a low level of non-ionizing radiation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that “routine exposure to non-ionizing radiation is generally perceived as harmless to humans.” While there is some data to suggest that non-ionizing radiation, when emitted in very high levels, may increase the risk of things like cancer, neurological disorders, cognitive impairments, or genetic damage, Dr. Zhao notes that “the data is very conflicting” and that there is “no long-term data to suggest cause.” The National Cancer Institute also states "there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk in humans.” Bluetooth devices also emit anywhere from 100 to 1,000 times less electromagnetic non-ionizing radiation than cell phones, adds Dr. Zhao.

  • Should I get noise-canceling headphones for my child?

    Noise cancellation can be important because when you're able to cancel outside noise, you’re able to listen at a lower volume by a few decibels, says Dr. Zhao. When you don't have noise cancellation, you're tempted to increase the volume to drown out that external volume and as a result, you're listening at a louder volume. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Cassie Shortsleeve is a health, parenting, and travel journalist with more than a decade’s worth of experience writing for national publications including Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Parents, The Washington Post, and others. On top of her writing, she is a perinatal health coach and the founder of Dear Sunday Motherhood, an online platform for early motherhood. She is a mom to two. Taylor Fox is a Travel + Leisure commerce writer who used her vast product knowledge and travel experience to help select the best kids' headphones.

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  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Radio Frequency Radiation and Cell Phones.

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