If you have kids, at some point they will ask you to buy them headphones that they can use with their music players, computers, and gaming systems. Headphones can enhance children’s experience with these entertainment and learning media, but there are some characteristics you should look for when shopping for these headphones.

The first consideration is proper fit. Headphones which are created for adults are made for their full-sized heads, and will not just not fit correctly on children, they will not provide a complete range of sound to them. You should not justify buying a larger size by believing that the kids will grow into them. In point of fact, the constant repositioning and adjusting will probably result in a shorter life due to breakage. Headphones made for kids are developed with a growing child in mind. Most come with an adjustable head band allowing your son or daughter to obtain a great fit now and in the future.

A second characteristic you need to look for, which we believe is the most crucial, is some form of Sound Limiting Technology. Kids will want to crank the volume up as high as they can, to a sound level that can quickly hurt their ears and cause permanent hearing impairment. Looking for headphones that have a built-in volume limit – somewhere around 80 to 85 decibels – is the best way to counteract this tendency. The volume limit recommendation is applicable to both headphones that fit over the ears and ear buds, although it is undoubtedly more important for the ear buds which sit inside the outer ear canal.

Another factors that parents need to consider is durability, because some headphones may be too delicate for use by younger children. Parenting magazines or consumer guides which contain product ratings are an excellent place to learn more about headphone durability. Occasionally you will have to sacrifice a small amount of durability to get a lighter weight product. Some headphones are quite simply too heavy for kids’ heads regardless of how many additional great features they have.

Whichever type of children’s headphones you choose, do them a favor and create limits on how frequently they are able to use them. Remember the fact that noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is triggered by both the volume and length of the contact. Despite having the Sound Limiting Technology, too many hours wearing headphones may cause ear damage.