One thing you can look forward to if you have children is that sooner or later they are going to ask you to buy them some headphones to use with their gaming systems, music players and computers. Not any big surprise there. On balance, headphones commonly offer a better experience when used in combination with learning and entertainment multimedia. Since the question is unavoidable, here are some tips for moms and dads about what to consider when you go shopping.
An important criteria that many buyers would not normally come up with is making sure that the headphones fit correctly. Children’s heads are smaller, so headphones created for grownups will likely not fit them the right way, and may not provide the full range of sound to them. Kids may also end up damaging headphones that are too large for their heads by continuously repositioning or adjusting them. A number of children’s headphones come with adjustable headbands that make the initial fit better, and which permit refitting as the youngster grows up.
The most crucial feature you need to look for, however, is that the headphones are equipped with some form of Sound Limiting Technology. Naturally, children will occasionally want to use the highest possible volume settings to completely immerse themselves in the experience. Adults know that this is a very terrible idea that could be a catalyst for future hearing loss. Looking for headphones which have a built-in volume limit – in the range of 80 to 85 decibels – is the most effective way to counteract this tendency. The volume level restriction suggestion pertains to both over-the-ear headphones and ear buds, although it is probably more important for the ear buds which are worn inside ears.
One more factor take into consideration is durability and toughness, because children can be hard on delicate things, and some headphones can be quite fragile indeed. Refer to consumer guides or parents’ magazines to learn which models of headphones have a reputation for ruggedness and for lasting a long time. Occasionally you will need to sacrifice a little durability to get a lighter weight product. Certain headphones are simply too heavy for children’s heads regardless of how many other great features they have.
Whichever kind of children’s headphones you choose, try to do them a big favor and set limits on how frequently they are able to use them. Constant sound, even via Sound Limiting Technology ear buds or headphones, may produce subtle damage to their hearing that can appear down the road.