October 4, 2023


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5 of the best affordable headphones for kids and teens

With so many of our kids headed back to school this fall from the comfort of our living rooms (oof), we wanted to take a look at some of the best headphones for students who are remote learning this fall.

There are a lot of factors we’ve thought about here—from background noise cancelling (hello, crying baby in the other room) to durability that will survive an 8-year-old, to recognizing that $400 headphones aren’t in most people’s budgets.

So, we’ve narrowed down our favorite headphones for five different types of students, and we hope it’s super helpful for you as you do your back to schooling shopping this year.

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Related: 9 must-have gadgets that make homeschooling a little easier

Best overall pick for young kids

Earlier this year, the NY Times chose the best pair of headphones for children and their clear winner was the PuroBT220 headphones, after 80 hours of research.

The combination of volume-limiting control matched with them actually being a kid-favorite edged them to the top of the group. We love the 18-hour battery life, which means they can successfully get through 2 days of school—great for those nights when we forget to charge them. Not just us, right?

Plus, they block 82{a38ddb2ded6b05e28c8ae73a8db0e271c21f7193684bd9e4e28acae292f81d99} of background noise, a definite help for kids trying to focus on their Zoom teacher, not the loud construction crew on the street below. ($89 at Amazon)

Most comfortable pick for young kids

CozyPhones are the most comfortable earphones you can find for kids, hands down. In fact, my daughter wears hers around all day as a fashion accessory. I’m not sure she even knows they are functional!

It’s basically a fun fleece headband with flexible headphones inside. For a kid who is a little extra when it comes to their personal style, CozyPhones seriously deliver. They’re sure to cheer up any boring Zoom meeting.

They are safe too: they use volume limiting technology, and they can be washed to keep the germs away. The only downside—they are not Bluetooth yet, so make sure your device works with a 3.5mm stereo plug. ($10 on Amazon)

Related: Online learning this fall? Check out these 5 cool blue light glasses brands for kids

Most durable pick for young kids

If you’ve got a kid who tends to break things, then you’ll want to get the Onanoff BuddyPhones Play headphones for them. They are built to stand up to a rough and tumble kid who will drop them, spill water on them, or ride over them with their bike.

I love the Study Mode feature, too, which enhances spoken audio content so that kids can hear teachers’ voices more clearly over the background noise at home. Plus: each set comes with fun decals that give them a chance to customize their look. ($40 on Amazon)

Best overall pick for teens

We had a lot of factors to consider for teens—from affordability and comfort, to style and sound quality. Ultimately, I landed on the Mpow 059 Bluetooth headphones as the best overall pick for teens.

What’s great about these are that they’re ultra lightweight at just 7.5 oz and fold down for easy storage. So many people are saying they’re comfortable enough to wear all day—especially if you wear glasses or blue-light glasses (these don’t press into the side of your head too closely).

Also, affordability: these are under $30 and have excellent sound quality, great background-noise blocking capability and a built-in microphone which is great for Zoom meetings or to launch Siri or answer phone calls.

And yes, they do come in colors other than rose gold, for those who aren’t into that trend at the moment. ($26 on Amazon)

Related: How to boost your WiFi for online learning this fall 

Best earbuds to help teens focus

If you have teens you can trust to keep up with a set of earbuds, then the Urbanista London earbuds are a solid pair with good benefits for school.

The battery life is long enough to get through our school day, and the case holds 4 more full recharges before you need to plug it in. And they offer both background noise cancellation and ambient sound modes, which help my teen focus on his work while is 6 year old sister runs around the house.

These earbuds are a higher end model and slightly more expensive than some (although, $100 less than the AirPod Pros), but I’ve found when it comes to earbuds, even more than headphones, getting good quality ones really does matter. A scratchy, poor connection from a cheap pair won’t just be annoying, it could majorly impact how much they learn in an already difficult learning environment. ($149 on Amazon)

Photo at top by Ben Mullins on Unsplash