You caved. You said you wouldn’t do it. But then (like me) you realised it’s far better for your kid to potentially break a tablet than your mobile phone and now it’s a designated playroom gadget.
So now that you’ve succumbed to filling your iPad (we actually have an Acer Iconia A1 which sort of looks like a fat Android-type iPad, but I’m just going to use the term iPad here loosely for tablets in general) with things like Peek-a-Boo Zoo/Farm/Forrest/Water, you’ve hit a second problem. How do you keep the sound down? When is it okay to give your child a set of headphones? Will the sound damage their ears? Won’t they fall off? Is the cord a choking hazard?
I’m not an audiologist but there is a limited amount of times I can listen to “The Wheels on the Bus”. What I do know is tech and that there are a number of fun, practical and brilliantly-designed headphones out there that your kids will adore.
Small heads, safe ears? Here are five of the best headsets we’ve tested:
1. Marblue HeadFoams Foam Headphones
Squashable and durable, Marblue HeadFoams are perfectly childproof in every way. You could probably run them over with your car and they would survive because they’re virtually indestructible. Simply put, they’re the Crocs of headphones and are made from a similar material. Specifically designed for children over the age of three, HeadFoams even have a limited volume level. Get them in purple, orange or blue from Loot.co.za for R292.
2. Griffin Crayola MyPhones Headphones
Like the Marblue headphones above, these cute, customisable headphones from Griffin have a “built-in volume-limiting circuitry that keeps the sound pressure down to levels recommended as safe for young ears.” (That’s 85 decibels if you’re curious.) What makes the Griffin Crayola MyPhones a win is that they come with three Crayola markers and 40 stickers that your kid can doodle on and personalise the headphones with. Stickers finished? Buy more from China City. This is an entertaining headset, even when it’s not plugged in. Buy Griffin Crayola MyPhones from the Apple Store for R299 (istoreonline.co.za)
3. LeapFrog Headphones
You have a LeapPad, a LeapReader, a Leapster Explorer and one of those talking teddy bear/dogs things. Can we all just agree that LeapFrog make some pretty good kiddie’s things although they are a tad on the expensive side? (I have the bus, FYI.) Next on your list should be the official LeapFrog headphones which work well with all the LeapFrog products – they do work with regular iPads etc. – and will keep your kid’s pseudo-gaming educational time quiet so you don’t take a leap out the window. LeapFrog Headphones are R179 on shopandship.com and come in LeapFrog pink and green.
4. Griffin KaZoo MyPhones Headphones
The charming KaZoo collection from Griffin will make any animal-loving kid giggle with glee. These sweet headphones come in penguin and frog format and the details are too lovely – the penguin ones, for example, have a little rubber blue fish on the connector cord, perfect for little fingers. What’s also smart is that these heavy-duty aux cables can also be purchased separately if lost for around R150. KaZoo headphones are adjustable with nicely-padded ear cups that block out sound (a win for you). Both comfortable and cute, if these came in a bigger size, I would get a pair for myself. Find Kazoo headphones on shopandship.com for R290.
5. Soundlogic Kids Headphones
If you’re looking for a cheaper headphone option, Soundlogic has a pair for R180 that offer the all the basics – colour (they come in bright hues of blue, pink, purple and orange), sound (they capped at 80 decibels, five less than all the kiddie options) and size. While I’m not sure if they will last as long as the never-say-die HeadFoams, they do look really modern which means they’ll probably appeal to pre-tweens who are less destructive with their gear. Soundlogic Kids headphones are also easily available at good toy stores. Find the Soundlogic Kids Headphones at Toys”R”Us for R179.95.