The Best Earbuds for Kids (Ideal for Travel)

Are you looking for the best earbuds for kids, but have no idea about what specific model to choose? It’s not an easy decision with literally thousands of options. Deciding which are the best earbuds for kids is not as simple as buying whatever is cheap

You should look at the key areas where they need to perform well, such as build quality, design and sound. To show you some of the best models available I’ve put together a list of the top 5 ear buds for kids.

This will save you money in the long run, potentially protect your kids against hearing damage and improve their listening experience.

Reviewed Earbuds for Kids

#1
best earbuds for kids

Etymotic Earbuds

Good sound quality, regulated volume and comfortable make these our favorite.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#2
#2
best earbuds for kids

Panasonic Ergo Fit

Comfortable, at a better price and made by a well known brand make them a popular option.

4 of 5 Stars
#2
#3
best earbuds for kids

Lilgadgets Bestbuds

This well respected kid tech brand has another winning product featuring volume limiting, high quality sound.

4 of 5 Stars
#2
#4
best earbuds for kids

JVC Marshmallow

JVC has a long history with good sound quality, and these comfortable affordable earbuds are great for kids.

4 of 5 Stars
#2
#5
best earbuds for kids

Letscom Bluetooth 

No cables, waterproof and comfortable make these earbuds almost everything resistant, although they were not developed specifically for kids.

4.5 of 5 Stars

Best Earbuds for Kids  

Buying Guide

Top Buying Considerations

Durability:

Durability matters when children are involved. They’re notoriously tough on everything and tend to break stuff quicker than adults. Unfortunately, that means the pair of earphones you pick are going to have to put up with a lot of abuse.

Built quality is paramount as you don’t want to continuously replace them over and over again, it sorts of defeat the purpose.  

You can save a lot of money by purchasing ear buds made with high-quality materials since they’re going to stand up to daily use and can last for several years. Ideally, the best toddler ear buds include backup earpieces, so that when the initial ones wear out you don’t have to buy a completely new pair.

A satisfaction warranty would also be much appreciated so you can rest knowing the unit can be exchanged when needed (some conditions may apply).

Audio Level:

Listening to loud music or audio sound for extended periods can have severe consequences for your kids’ hearing later in life. Trying to monitor your children’s listening by your own is not ideal, as you’re unable of managing the volume levels of their devices all the time.

The best option is to find a pair of ear buds or headphones with built-in volume reduction that protects young ears from unsafe audio levels and possible hearing damage.

This will save you time on checking them manually and prevents from bypassing a parental block on mobile devices.

Comfort & Fit:

A high grade of comfort is a key factor when buying children’s earbuds. If the earphones aren’t comfortable and don’t adjust well, your kids are not likely to use them, no matter how good they could sound.

Look for ear buds that have soft inserts that can be swapped out if necessary and come with an assortment of extra ear tips in order to find the best fit for your child.

An uncomfortable earpiece for kid may cause unstable sealing and sound leakage.

Sound Quality:

Even kids nowadays are able to differentiate between ear buds that produce poor quality sound and those who have great audio. Therefore, you should look for the best audio possible that is within your price range.

It can be difficult to determine the audio quality from the product description but you can rely on factors like the frequency range and the impedance. The size of the sound drivers also determines how well they deliver sound.

Quality earphones usually have a sound driver size of 6mm-10mm.

As long as the brand you chooses falls into this range, then it should deliver the sound quality you expect.

Compatibility:

Make sure that the ear buds are compatible with your child’s smartphone or tablet. This means they’ll be able to connect the device without the need to get an adapter.

All products listed here are compatible with most portable devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and MP3/MP4 players.


How Much Should you Spend on Your Children’s Ear Buds?

How much you want to spend on your kids’ headphones is entirely up to you. You can go as expensive or cheap as you like, but let’s face it, your children probably won’t be to kind to them, and accidents tend to happen.

It’d be a shame if they managed to break the earphones that cost north of $100.

Therefore, by buying a cheaper product you can replace it when needed without breaking the bank. If you know what to look for and take your time, you’ll find a pair of earbuds that provide you with a good sound quality and doesn’t exceed your budget.

Don’t go too cheap…

Although there is a variety of different toddler and baby ear buds currently available under the $50 mark, I’d recommend you don’t buy too cheap, or your sound quality will suffer greatly.

You’ll be able to find some really good earphones with a decent audio performance if you stick to the reasonable $10 - $40 range, but below this price they do get spotty.

Over-ear vs. In-ear

Experts consider in-ear headphones only suitable for older children (6 and up).  With less moving parts and a smaller footprint they're less likely to get crushed into a thousand little fragments when dropped.

However, earbuds do represent a significant choking hazard for younger children. So if you have a baby or a small kid it'd be a better choice to buy them an over-ear headphone. 

Is it Safe for Your Child to Use Ear Buds?

It's completely safe for a child to use headphones or ear buds, depending on a combination of volume level, listening duration, and the size of the ear canal. One song played at high volume will not likely damage a child's hearing.

But prolonged listening (like 4 or 5 hours continuously even at low volume level) can damage hearing over time.

There's no research on when is recommendable to let a kid use headphones or ear buds. My personal advice would be to hold off on them at least until your child is old enough to tell you whether the volume is comfortable, or not.

When you do start letting your child listen to music, shows, or audiobooks on earphones, consider choosing specialized ones that keep the sound level below 85 decibels (dBA) or an even more conservative 75dBA.

This will help you feel confident that your child isn't listening at an excessive volume. Taking listening breaks is also a good idea.


Are kids' headphones a better option?

Sturdier and bulkier, they could be a better buy.

Final Tips

  • Encourage your kids to take regular listening pauses. This can be difficult, especially if you're on a 12-hour flight during the daytime, but even then they can take a break and do something else.
  • Be aware of the audio levels your kids are using. Ask them to turn the volume down and avoid using the maximum sound level.
  • Ear buds are never a good idea when cycling or walking outside.
  • Don't let your children grab the first thing that looks cool. Some earphones look like they might be designed for kids, but they actually offer little to no hearing protection and lack other child-specific features that are beneficial in the long run.


Top 5 Earbuds for Kids

Now that you know what are some of the features you should look for, as well as other considerations, here is our list of our favorite earbuds for children. 

ETYMOTIC Research ETY-Kids5 Safe-Listening Earphones (Editor’s choice)

best earbuds for kids

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 3.8 inches
  • Weight: 0.64 ounces
  • Customer rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • Age range: 4 and above or anyone overly sensitive to loud sounds
  • Wireless: NO
  • Special feature: Noise isolating

Features & Highlights:

  • Reinforced 4 foot cable for added durability
  • Assortment of ear tips to fit ears of all sizes
  • 3.5mm stereo phone plug compatible with most portable devices
  • 6mm neodymium moving coil drivers for accurate sound reproduction
  • Frequency Response - 20 Hz - 15 kHz and Impedance - 300 Ohms
  • High-gloss finish

Summary:

The ETYMOTIC Research ETY-Kids5 is a well-balanced sounding in-ear headphone, engineered for safe sound output (assuming 4 hours or less per day if player is set to full volume); this means the earphones won’t exceed dangerous audio levels, thus protecting your child’s ears.

ETY-Kids5 delivers superior sound quality and has 85% response accuracy, allowing listeners to enjoy crisp, accurate reproduction of their favorite music.

These earbuds are well-known as an excellent product for people who need a hearing aid, but they also make affordable earphones and specialize in safe hearing for young children.

The reinforced 4ft. cable is less prone to tangle and durable for everyday use (and abuse), and the 3.5mm stereo jack is compatible with most devices.

For portable devices like MP3/MP4 players, smartphones and tablets, the ETY-Kids5 does the job for limiting volume.

Aside from the volume limiting feature, they’re also lightweight and comfortable to wear for children’s ears. ETYMOTIC’S 6mm neodymium moving coil drivers fit comfortably in small ears and block background noises efficiently.

In terms of sound quality, the ETYMOTIC ear buds feature a neutral midrange, clear treble and a tight, well-controlled bass (not for someone who wants exciting sound). To compensate this bass deficiency, these headphones for children offer a nice and sweet mid-range with outstanding clarity.

The treble sounds pleasant and smooth, but it might not go as loud as you’d expect for. 

Furthermore, their stellar noise isolating performance reduces the impulse of turning up the volume, protecting young ears from unsafe noise levels and hearing damage.

The noise isolation is so good that wearers may not be aware of background sounds and horns around them, so don’t allow your kids to use the ETYMOTICS when they walk on the street.

In the package you’ll receive:

  • ETY-Kids5 child size earbuds
  • Assortment of ear tips
  • Carrying earbud case for kids

Pros

  • Clean sound
  • Comfortable earphone tips
  • High-quality built
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Great volume limiting feature
  • Superior external noise isolation

Cons

  • Lack of bass
  • They come in different colors but don’t feature a kid-friendly theme.


PANASONIC ErgoFit In-Ear Earbud Headphones RP-HJE120-A

best earbuds for kids


Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 3.6 x 3.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Age range: 6 and up
  • Customer rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars
  • Wireless: NO
  • Special feature: lightweight

Features & Highlights:

  • Three pair of included, ultra-soft earpads (small, medium, large) for a perfect fit
  • Long 3.6 ft. color-matched cord threads comfortably through clothing and bags
  • Wider frequency response (20 to 20,000 Hz) for fuller listening enjoyment
  • Balanced stereo for natural treble and full bass
  • Large 9mm neodymium drivers
  • 15 color and finish variations with color matching ear buds and cords to best compliment your style and mood.

Summary:

Panasonic is one of the biggest consumer electronics companies in the world, and during the last few years they’ve been producing a wide variety of premium grade to very inexpensive headphones.

The PANASONIC ErgoFit RP-HJE120-A are their cheapest offering available for less than $10, as well as one of the best-selling earbud headphones for kids  on Amazon, with a 4.1 stars rating and over 60,000 feedback scores.

They’re not built with high impedance, but they are the most favorite and affordable gift for kids in holiday seasons.

The best part? If you’re not happy with your purchase, don’t get worry! This headphone comes with a 120 days guarantee, which pretty much covers you from defects.

In terms of sound quality, the in-ear stereo is tonally balanced out with crisp highs and deep low notes. To be one of the cheapest kids’ in-ear headphones currently available on Amazon they offer a great, solidly decent listening experience.

The 3.6 ft. wire is unsurprisingly flimsy, but it threads easily through clothing and bags, thus not getting in the way when carrying them around. No on-board volume control or microphone are included, these just do the bare minimum of plugging into any 3.5mm stereo jack.

Panasonic does make a version of the ErgoFit with an in-line mic though for just a few bucks more.

These earbuds for 6 year old kids are made out of plastic, which make them very lightweight .

Part of the lightweight feature has to be attributed to the thin cable, but besides the fact that they don’t add much weight to the total package, using such squeaky wire sacrifices durability, which is a common issue even in most expensive lightweight children’s ear buds.

You can choose from a wide variety of  color options: green, red, violet, pink, orange, blue or the usual classic white and black. They don’t have a volume limiting feature, but as long as you can monitor how your kids use them it will be just fine.

In the package you’ll receive:

  • PANASONIC ErgoFit kid-sized ear buds
  • Three pairs of ear pads (S/M/L)

Pros

  • Affordable  
  • Child friendly
  • Soft, snug ear tips that conform instantly to your ears
  • Available in several colors and finish options
  • 120 days satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • Can’t block background noise
  • Easily breakable if not looked after properly


LILGADGETS BestBuds Volume Limited in-Ear Headphones

best earbuds for kids


Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Age range: 6 and up
  • Customer rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars
  • Wireless: NO
  • Special feature: microphone

Features & Highlights:

  • Multiple silicon tip options to help find the best fit for small ears
  • Volume-limited
  • 4 ft. rugged, tangle-free cable that includes an in-line playback remote with microphone
  • Hard travel pouch to manage the included accessories when on the go
  • SharePort adapter to share music or audio sound with a friend or sibling
  • 10mm drivers perfect for rendering clear sound in-ear
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20 kHz, and impedance: 32 ohms
  • Compatible with all iOS and Android devices, along with Pc’s, CD players, laptops and tablets.

Summary:

If you’re looking for a beautifully designed, high-quality children’s in-ear headphone that understands your desire of protecting your kid against hearing damage, this is the perfect choice for you.

The LILGADGETS BestBuds are volume limited and come jam-packed with many amazing accessories to ensure a unique listening experience.

These children’s earbuds sound fairly good, with decent mid-range, present bass and clear treble.

Their multiple silicon tip options allows you to find the best fit for every ear, especially the small ones. They also come in four different colors that should satisfy most kids’ preferences.

Each set of BestBuds include a tangle-free audio cable with an inline microphone that has play/pause/answer, call/end call functionality. In addition, you’ll get a SharePort adapter, which make sharing media very easy.

You can store all these accessories in a premium-quality, hard travel case, also included with the LILGADGETS.

In the package you’ll receive:

  • One set of LILGADGETS’ earbuds for kids
  • Travel pouch
  • SharePort adapter
  • 3 sizes of ear bud covers
  • Instruction manual

Pros

  • Tangle-free  
  • In-line microphone
  • Great volume-limiting feature
  • Easy to store away
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • Doesn’t isolate background noise


JVC HAFR37B Marshmallow Earbuds

best earbuds for kids

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 2.2 x 7.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.16 ounces
  • Age range: 6+
  • Customer rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars
  • Wireless: NO
  • Special feature: iOS phone control

Features & Highlights

  • Superior sound isolation from background noises
  • S/M soft memory foam earpieces and just-fit body
  • Clear, crispy sound
  • Powerful 11mm neodymium driver unit
  • 3.94 ft. color cord with gold-plated iPhone compatible slim plug
  • Available in eight vibrant colors

Summary:

When looking for ear headphones with small tips that can fit to kid’s ears, the JVC HAFR37B Marshmallow are a nice choice. They’re well known for their solid audio performance and comfortable, snug-fit.

These earbuds for kids feature a secure and comfortable-fitting body with small and medium memory foam earpieces to provide superior sound isolation from background sound.

The new JVC Marshmallow earbuds include a built-in mic/remote for use with most portable devices, and feature a large 11mm driver unit with powerful neodymium magnets that deliver crisp sound.

They also have included a 3.9-foot color cord with a gold-plated iPhone compatible slim plug. If you want to get the perfect balance of sound quality, noise blocking, comfort and price, you should buy a pair of these.

In the package you’ll receive:

  • One pair of JVC Earbuds
  • 2 sizes of ear bud covers

Pros

  • Comfortable, snug-fit ear tips
  • Noise isolating
  • Full, clean and crisp sound
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Cord gets tangled if you don’t wrap them properly


LETSCOM Bluetooth Headphones IPX7

best earbuds for kids

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.9
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Age range: 8 and up
  • Customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • Wireless: YES
  • Special feature: Water resistant

Features & Highlights:

  • Sweat and water-proof
  • Longer listening time (up to 8 hours)
  • CVC noise cancellation
  • Bluetooth 4.1 technology
  • Foolproof operation with built-in control buttons
  • Comfortable and discreet design
  • 11mm vibrating diaphragm and CSR chip for high fidelity sound

Summary:

They’re not necessarily made for kids, but the LETSCOM’s ergonomic and waterproof design with soft silicon ear hooks that ensure a secure and comfortable wear, is something that you definitely need to try out.

With high-fidelity sound, these are one of the best Bluetooth earbuds for kids with built-in microphone and foolproof operation, which allow users to play/pause music, adjust volume, skip tracks and answer/end calls with one simple click.

By just charging them for about two hours, you can listen to music or attend calls for up to eight hours, ideal for seeing movies and videos during long car trips or flights.

These earbuds for toddlers offer superb bass effects, a CSR chip and a vibrating diaphragm of 11mm that provide a great listening experience, one your kids will really love.

Moreover, you won’t have to worry about your voice being overpowered by static and environmental noises because the LETSCOM’s wireless earbuds for kids are also equipped with CVC noise cancelling technology.

In the package you’ll receive:

  • LETSCOM Bluetooth kids Headphones
  • Eva bag
  • Four pairs of ear tips (XS/S/M/L)
  • Micro USB cable
  • Wire clip (removable)
  • User manual

Pros

  • Superb bass sound
  • Up to 8 hours of talk or audio play time
  • Lightweight and stable
  • Waterproof
  • Simple and easy to operate

Cons

  • No volume limiting feature
  • Not made for toddlers – best suitable for older kids and teenagers

Read our other recommended family travel gear guides

The Verdict

Best Earbuds for Small Ears Best Buy - ETYMOTIC Research ETY-Kids5 Safe-Listening wired Earphones

The ETYMOTIC kids’ earbuds are 100% suitable and secure for small ears; they don’t exceed dangerous volume levels while still providing a great listening experience. In addition, these kid-sized ear buds are extremely durable and made out of high-quality materials. Check Current Price

Best Budget-friendly Toddler Ear Buds - PANASONIC ErgoFit In-Ear Earbud Headphones for Kids

The inexpensive PANASONIC ErgoFit is a decently comfortable and secure pair of earbuds for children that don’t just sound passable, but actually quite good.

They’re 100% child friendly with a maximum input of 200 Mw and provide a clear, dynamic sound, perfectly safe for young ears.

Their ultra-soft ErgoFit design instantly provides comfort for your kid’s ears and cause no strain after wearing for long periods of time.

If you’re looking for a simple and cheap-as-possible pair of earphones for general commuter use, these are likely the best choice. Check Current Price

Best Wireless Earbuds for Tweens - LETSCOM Bluetooth Headphones

As I said just a few lines ago, these ear buds are not suitable for small children. Their waterproof and noise-canceling features would be better appreciated by an old kid or teenager. They’re very easy to use and will allow them to enjoy the cool sound when hiking or jogging around.

Moreover, these Bluetooth earphones have an ergonomic and lightweight design, which ensure a secure wear even when doing an intense outdoor activity.

And thanks to the built-in lithium battery that resist up to 8 hours of audio play time, your kids will stay entertained during extended car trips or long-haul flights.        Check Current Price

Conclusion

It doesn’t require a lot of money to buy a decent pair of earphones as the price doesn’t always correspond with the product’s quality- there's a wide range of high-quality children’s earbuds which are not only inexpensive but also happen to be well made.

The Emotyc earbuds happen to be the most expensive of these, but are also the best. However spending 40+ USD might not make a lot of sense for some parents (after all the chances of them being lost or broken are quite high), and if this is your case one of the other four will be a winner.

As long as you keep in mind the key features when buying for the best earbuds for kids you should do just fine. 

Happy shopping!

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