Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets Volume Limited On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones in pink next to an Apple iPad
Jason Fitzpatrick / How-To Geek

What to Look For in Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Kids

The most important factor when choosing any sort of headphones for a kid is making sure that they won’t adversely affect the child’s hearing. There are a few ways you can do this.

Most headphones made for children (and every set we picked for this guide) feature a built-in volume limiter. This means that the headphones can’t go higher than a set decibel level. In most cases, this limit is 85dB, generally considered the limit for safe listening.

Then you need to consider whether you’re looking for active noise cancellation (ANC), or simply passive noise isolation. Passive isolation comes from the seal the ear pads form around your child’s ears and will somewhat protect them from loud outside noises. Conversely, ANC won’t protect hearing but is more effective at reducing surrounding noise.

Of course, while this is important, these factors won’t matter to kids. They’ll be much more interested in how the headphones look than how they sound or how safe they are. Most of the headphones we’re looking at here come in various colorways to make any child happy.

Finally, there’s the matter of whether you’re looking for wireless headphones or wired ones. Typically, wireless headphones are more convenient, and you don’t have to worry about a cable that could snag or snap. On the other hand, Wired headphones may be easier to damage, but they’re also more affordable and easier to start using.

Best Overall Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Kids: JBL JR 460NC

JBL JR 460NC Kids headphones on pink and yellow background


  • Kid-focused fit
  • Active Noise Cancellation and volume limiting
  • Up to 20 hours playback time with ANC
  • Included hardshell case


  • Only one color variety

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense set of noise-cancelling headphones for kids, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the JBL JR 460NC. These wireless headphones feature an affordable price, active noise cancellation, and some handy features that make them a great pick.

These aren’t ultra-rugged, but they’ll handle abuse better than many child-focused headphones. This is also one of the rare examples of headphones for kids that come with an included hardshell carrying case.

The battery life is impressive, with up to 20 hours of playtime with ANC enabled. If you disable ANC, you can get even more, with up to 30 hours of playback time. As with the rest of the headphones we’re looking at here, these include a volume limiter, which is, in this case, set to a safe 85dB.

The JBL JR 460NC headphones are only available in a gray, white, and orange color scheme. That said, if you’re willing to go with less battery life and passive isolation instead of ANC, you can get the JBL JR 300BT headphones, which come in blue, pink, and teal color varieties.

Best Overall Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Kids


The JBL JR 460NC are the perfect blend of affordable, good sounding, and protective, meaning they'll keep kids happy without you having to worry about whether they're damaging their hearing.

Best Noise-Isolating Headphones For Smaller Kids: JLab Audio JBuddies Studio

JLab Audio JBuddies on blue and purple background


  • Smaller fit aimed at younger kids
  • 13-hour battery life
  • Decent noise isolation


  • No active noise cancellation

If you’re buying headphones for a younger or smaller child, you may want to consider the JLab Audio JBuddies Studio. These are sized down compared to adult headphones and even some kids’ headphones, making them a better fit for those that need a smaller size.

These headphones use an on-ear design, which should help them stay in place better than over-ear headphones. The headband is adjustable for a better fit, and the JLab Audio JBuddies Studio also features a pinch-free hinge design to prevent kids from hurting themselves when adjusting the cups.

With these being smaller, they don’t have as much space for a larger battery. That said, they still feature up to 13 hours of battery life. You don’t get active noise cancellation with these, though the ear cups’ design provides decent noise isolation.

The JLab Audio JBuddies Studio are available in purple and blue color varieties.

Best Noise-Isolating Headphones for Smaller Kids

JLab Audio JBuddies Studio

Headphones meant for adults simply don't fit kids, which is why these feature a smaller size for an easier fit on younger and smaller kids, along with decent passive noise isolation.

Best Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Kids: Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets

child using Puro Sound Labs headphones
Puro Sound Labs


  • Look is suited to both younger and older kids
  • Great ANC for the price
  • Up to 35 hour battery life
  • Solid color options


  • Pricy compared to other options

If you’re looking for more advanced noise cancellation and headphones that should last for years, the Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets are a great option. These are small enough that they’ll work for fairly young kids, but they’re neutral-looking enough that your kid won’t outgrow them too quickly.

These offer the most effective noise cancellation of any of the headphones we’re looking at, with the DSP-enhanced ANC lowering background sound by up to 22 dB. Combine this with the passive isolation from the ear pads and the automatic 85dB volume limiting, and kids’ ears should stay safe.

The PuroQuiets also feature the most battery life of any of the wireless models we’re looking at here. With ANC enabled you can expect up to 23 hours of playback time. Turn the noise-cancelling off, and that battery life grows to 35 hours.

The Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets are available in a few colors, with dark blue, hot pink, and red varieties.

Best Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Kids

Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets

The Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets are a perfect option if you're looking for headphones to last a few years as your child grows. They have great ANC and a fun look that isn't too cutesy for older kids.

Best Kids’ Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Online Learning: ONANDOFF BuddyPhones Cosmos+

Child using onanoff headphones


  • Features onboard active noise cancellation
  • Included mic is great for chatting and virtual learning
  • Plenty of fun color options
  • Different volume limits for kids, toddlers, and travel


  • Various sound mode means extra setup for parents

There are a few special aspects to the ONANDOFF BuddyPhones Cosmos+ headphones. First, there are the bold designs and multiple color options, then there’s the included boom microphone, which is handy for kids enrolled in online learning.

These headphones are meant for a wide range of ages, as you can tell by the multiple volume limits. There is a 75dB limit meant for toddlers, an 85dB mode for kids, and a 94dB travel mode intended for noisier environments like vehicles.

These are mainly wireless headphones, and they include ANC. That said, they can also work in wired mode. This is handy for wired listening, but it seems it’s mainly intended for using the headset in a virtual classroom scenario, giving the headphones some extra utility.

ONANDOFF BuddyPhones Cosmos+ are available in six color varieties: snow white, cool blue, deep blue, grey matter, rose pink, and sun yellow.

Best Kids' Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Online Learning:

ONANDOFF BuddyPhones Cosmos+

For kids involved in virtual classrooms and online learning, a headset with a microphone and an easy way to connect to a computer is essential. These also come in fun colors, so it's not all work and no play.

Best Budget Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Kids: LilGadgets Connect+

LilGadgets connect plus on grey background


  • Detachable cable prevents snags
  • Passive noise isolation and volume limiting
  • Plenty of colors available


  • Wired only
  • No active noise cancellation

If your kids have a destructive side, or they’re growing quickly, and you would rather not invest in a more expensive set of headphones, the LilGadgets Connect+ are a great option. They’re super affordable, come in various colors, and are a perfect fit for younger kids.

These are the only wired-online headphones here, but they use a removable cable that protects them from snags. The headphones don’t feature active noise cancellation, but they do have passive noise isolation from the relatively large ear pads.

It’s worth noting that the volume limit in the LilGadgets Connect+ is slightly higher than normal at 93dB. This means that they’ll work as well in noisy environments as in quiet rooms, but you also may need to keep a closer eye and ensure nobody is listening too loudly.

You’ll find the LilGadgets Connect+ in six colors: green, black, blue, pink, purple, red, and blue / purple.

Best Budget Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Kids

LilGadgets Connect+

If your kids tend to break headphones, the LilGadgets Connect+ are a bargain. While they're affordable, they feature a detachable cable to prevent snags, and they come in a bunch of fun colors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. The only danger from noise-cancelling headphones is turning them up to loud, and the volume limits in kids headphones mean that this isn’t a danger.

Many of the same benefits of noise-cancelling headphones for adults are true for kids as well. They can help your kids focus and concentrate as well as help them relax.

Similarly to adults, 85 decibels is the threshold for safe listening. Beyond this, prolonged exposure can cause hearing damage. This is why kids’ headphones are typically volume limited not to go beyond 85dB.

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Profile Photo for Kris Wouk Kris Wouk
Kris Wouk is a freelance tech writer and musician with over 10 years of experience as a writer and a lifetime of experience as a gadget fan. He has also written for Digital Trends, MakeUseOf, Android Authority, and Sound Guys. At MakeUseOf, he was Section Editor in charge of the site's Mac coverage.
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