As a parent, one of my favorite discoveries at International CES this year was the sense of volume limiting headphones for kids that seem to be creeping into the market. It’s been slow going–we discovered the Aerial 7 headphones close to two years ago, the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones for kids around the same time, and recently the adorable safe headphones for kids from Griffin which I really like a lot. But other entries have been slow to come, surprising especially since there are so many more kids with iPod Touches and hand-me-down smartphones out there.
Now there’s a brand new entry for kids called Buddyphones with a bonus that’s so smart: a built-in splitter at the base of the cord, allowing multiple kids to plug in to one jack at once.
The headphones are made for kids 3 and up, but the adjustable headband fits both my six-year-old and eight-year-old perfectly. And while the cans themselves seem teeny to me, my older daughter is so happy that they “really fit me.” They’re super lightweight but seem durable, and of course kids will go nuts for the stickers that let them make them their very own. (Also, make their bedroom walls their very own, since that’s where the extra stickers ended up in our place.)
The cap peak volume is reported at 85 decibels, but I think they may be even a little lower. Comparing with the Griffin pair that we own, the Buddyphones seem just a wee bit quieter, with much tamped-down percussion and bass. In fact if you are raising a future DJ or musician, I think the quality of the sound on the Griffin phones is far more nuanced. But for kids like mine who are just listening to Taylor Swift (uh, I mean David Bowie) in the back seat, they do the job nicely.
As for that splitter, it’s a really smart detail to allow you to plug in up to four total “buddy” devices through a single headphone jack without a separate splitter like the Belkin Rockstar. Which I love, by the way, but it is one more piece of gear to remember to bring on road trips.
Obviously the sound output quality decreases with each subsequent headphone you add, but nothing your kids will notice. And the fact that now both of my girls can plug in at once to watch a movie on the plane–quietly–makes me happy in ways you can’t imagine.