For those who have kids that are old enough, they most likely have at least one of the following devices – gaming systems, music players and computers – possibly even all three. If you responded yes, chances are, at some point they will ask for headphones to work with these products. No big shock there. On balance, headphones often provide a superior experience when used in combination with learning and entertainment multimedia. Since the question is predictable, here are some tips for moms and dads about what to consider when you shop.
The first, although it may not immediately register as important, is the right fit. Kid’s heads are smaller, so headphones designed for adults will not fit them properly, and may not provide the full range of sound to them. If headphones are too large, children may also end up constantly adjusting them, which might result in breakage. To assist with this, quite a few headphones created for kids come with flexible head straps, making it easier to get a proper first fitting, and to change that fit as they grow.
The most crucial characteristic you need to look for, however, is that the headphones are equipped with some type of Sound Limiting Technology. Kids will be kids, and are going to want to play games and music at as loud a volume as possible; however, this behavior could cause ear damage and hearing loss. Looking for headphones which have a volume limits built in – in the range of 80 to 85 decibels – is the best way to combat this tendency. This advice is more critical if you are shopping for “ear buds” which aren’t worn over the ears but in the outer ear canal.
One more factor take into consideration is durability and toughness, because children can be hard on fragile things, and some headphones can be quite fragile . You can find specifics about headphones which have an established reputation for durability by reading parents’ magazines or consumer guides. You should balance this desire for durability with a preference for light weight, however because you really do not want your kids to be running around wearing headphones that are overweight for their body size.
Whichever selection you make for kids headphones, one last piece of advice is to restrict use to a couple of hours per day. Remember that noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by both the volume and length of the sound contact. Even with the Sound Limiting Technology, too much time wearing headphones may cause damage.