If you have children, sooner or later they will ask you to purchase them headphones that they can use with their music players, computers, and gaming systems. And there are reasons for this, because headphones can improve the experience of these media, but at the same time there are specific characteristics you should look for when you shop.
The first, although it may not automatically register as important, is the right fit. Most headphones are designed for adult-sized heads. They don’t fit properly on a child’s smaller head. When headphones are too big, children will often be adjusting them constantly, which can result in damage. To help with this, many headphones created for children include flexible head straps, which makes it simpler to get a proper initial fitting, and to change the fit as they grow.
The most crucial feature you need to look for is that the headphones are equipped with some type of Sound Limiting Technology. By nature, kids will occasionally use the highest volume settings to really immerse themselves in the experience. Adults recognize that this is a really poor idea that could be a catalyst for future hearing loss. Looking for headphones that have a built-in volume limit – around 80 to 85 decibels – is the best approach for counteracting this tendency. This suggestion is more critical if you are shopping for “ear buds” which aren’t worn over the ears but rather inserted into the ears.
One additional criteria that moms and dads need to look for is sturdiness, because some headphones can be too fragile for use by younger children. Refer to parents’ magazines or consumer guides to learn which makers of headphones have a reputation for durability. Sometimes you will have to sacrifice a small amount of durability to find a lighter weight option. Certain headphones are too heavy for kids’ heads no matter how many additional great features they have.
Whichever selection you make for kids headphones, one last piece of advice is to restrict usage to a couple of hours each day. Remember that noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by both the decibel level and duration of the sound contact. Even with the Sound Limiting Technology, too many hours wearing headphones can cause hearing damage.