Kids’ Headphones

Listening for Little EarsKidz Gear Wired headphones for toddlers and kids in blue shown folded up

  • What: SnugPlay+ Kids Headphones
  • When: Around age two
  • Why: Adult-sized headphones and earbuds don’t fit
  • Where: Amazon

We invested in a pair of kid headphones when we traveled abroad with two kids under the age of two. I had hoped my eldest might be entertained by a tablet. (He was – for about 15 minutes at a time, which barely put a dent in our eight to ten hour flights or thirteen plus hour drives even if we strung four or five 15 minute sessions back to back.)

When we needed a second pair, we got the identical set for our next child, partly because heaven forbid they not have the exact same thing and argue over who got what, whose are superior, or which one belongs to whom. Amazon also only sold one set of kids’ headphones that could be delivered in short order, too, which played a major role in our choice both the first and second times we purchased headphones.

Then, in an epic parenting failure, we left the entire entertainment bag behind on one trip. We got two (identical) pairs of pink headphones at great cost at the airport and winged it with myriad other electronic devices and seatback entertainment. The headphones weigh very little, which helped when hauling multiple bags and children. And they come in a wide variety of colors, particularly for headphones. But those headphones do not hold up. Both sets have had at least one ear covering fall off. I don’t know if that’s because my child handles them too roughly, or because my husband shoves them willy nilly into his bag at the end of a flight when we all desperately want to get off the plane. Either way, it didn’t work for me, and I wouldn’t recommend them unless you get stuck at an airport and have no other options.

I managed for several years to survive with four headphones for three kids, because I had two of each one. Even once we went down to three sets with only two identical pairs, we managed because airline seats come in sets of three. So one kid almost always sat in a different row and couldn’t see (and complain about) what the other two had. Then the second pink pair bit the dust and left me back where I started: with two identical sets for three kids.

Believe it or not, almost five years later, we still have both pairs of those tiger headphones. We’ve replaced them, not because they don’t still work or have fallen apart, but because I can no longer buy an identical pair for the third child. The only thing worse than having two slightly different pairs for two kids is having two kids with the same ones and a different pair altogether for the third.

They all have a pair of these headphones now. I love that they fold up, and that you can insert the cord on either side. That helps tremendously when your infant brother can reach the cord in tight quarters, but your toddler wants to keep listening (in an airplane for instance, where you can’t move around for part of the flight). Even better, you can remove the cord entirely for more compact packing and if your child also just wants to play with them but doesn’t actually care if they have sound or not.

We’ve only used them on one trip so far, so I can’t speak to their longevity, which could constitute a real issue for me down the road if they don’t last. But I did go crazy and get them each a different color.

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