Noise cancelling headphones and earmuffs for kids and babies can provide several health and mental benefits. In this article we’ll examine the top 5 benefits, as well as recommend some of the best headphones and earmuffs for noise reduction that are available today.
Who should consider purchasing a set noise cancelling earmuffs? The answer is anyone who might bring their child with them into an environment where there is the potential for high noise levels, and risk of noise induced hearing loss.
These are places you might overlook in day to day life, yet contain sustained or periodic high decibel levels. Places like schools, airports, airplanes, sporting events, concerts, shopping malls, festivals, and firework displays are all good examples.
In addition to the benefit of hearing protection, children with Autism, ADHD, and sensory and auditory processing issues can benefit from the reduction of noise that a set of top noise reducing headphones can provide. School classrooms are not always soundproofed, and the amount of noise in a busy classroom can have detrimental effects on some kid’s ability to learn.
5 Benefits of Noise Cancelling Headphones for Kids
There are undoubtedly many and varied benefits to providing your child with some quiet time. If you cannot apply any soundproofing to the rooms in your home, then periodic use of some noise reducing earmuffs may be a good alternative. Let’s take a more detailed look at 5 of the common benefits of
1. Protect Developing Ears
Sound pressure from noise is amplified in the narrower developing ear canals of young children and babies, making them more sensitive and susceptible to hearing damage. Kids can perceive a noise to be up to 20 decibels louder than an adult. Hearing loss is cumulative and irreversible, and your child may not notice the effects until much later in life.
2. Provides Sensory breaks
Too much stimulation can be a harmful thing, especially for children with sensory conditions like Autism and ADHD. Headphones can provide a break from the stimulation, and prevent a ‘meltdown’ or sensory overload situation.
3. Helps to Calm Nervous and Uneasy Feelings
Some children feel nervous and uneasy when louder unfamiliar noises are present. What might seem like normal noise to the adult, might actually be perceived like ”nails on a chalkboard” to the child. If the noise reducing earmuffs work, it can actually help you and your child to visit and experience new places that might otherwise upset them.
4. Reduce Noise Related Stress
The calming effect of wearing noise cancelling headphones can also reduce the stress the child may be feeling. Loud or unpleasant sounds can largely be filtered out, and possibly will prevent outbursts and meltdowns.
5. Increase Focus
Reducing background noise and distractions can help children with auditory processing issues to focus. A pair of noise cancelling headphones for kids with this type of disorder can help them pick out the important sounds while filtering out the background noise. This can help the child with listening problems and also help improve their learning skills.
Top 10 Baby Headphones and Noise Canceling Headphones for Kids
To make a quick comparison we made this chart of the 10 top rated baby headphones and hearing protection headphones for kids.
Baby Banz Baby Hearing Protection Earmuffs
Baby Banz earmuffs are specifically designed for newborns (3 months per the manufacturer), but are suitable for kids up to 2 years old. They are lightweight, at 6.7 ounces, and are compact in size to fit into your purse or bag.
Baby Banz are known for their soft padding around the cups, making it comfortable for your baby to wear for several hours at a time when needed. Many parents have discovered that by traveling on airplanes is much easier when they bring a pair of Baby Banz along for their baby.
The headband is designed for a nice balance of a snug fit over the ear, but not so tight that it will hurt your baby’s head. Baby Banz come in multiple colors for both boys and girls so your baby will be stylish as well as protected.
Em’s for Bubs Baby & Newborn Hearing Protector Earmuffs
While Baby Banz are for babies 3 months and up, the Em’s for Bubs is truly meant for newborn infants.
Bubs are unique in that there is no plastic headband, using a soft stretchy fabric instead. The fabric headband and 6 color designs also make for a stylish baby on the go.
This type of headband is better suited to spread the pressure of the ear cups around your baby’s head, making it more comfortable and safer for infants’ still developing skull. Some parents have found this headband is more prone to slipping down their kid’s foreheads, and requiring more adjustments than traditional over the head bands.
It really is a matter of preference for both parents and the baby. Due to being so inexpensive, many parents buy both Baby Banz and Em’s 4 Bubs to test which fits their child the best.
Em’s 4 Kids Hearing Protection Earmuffs
When your baby reaches 1 year to 18 months, they can graduate from the Em’s for Bubs to the slightly larger Em’s 4 Kids that feature a full headband yet remain remarkably light weight. These hearing protection earmuffs can fold up into a compact and convenient size that fits in your bag or purse. Choose from Pink, Silver, and Blue colors for whatever suits your toddler best.
One nice thing parents have remarked about these earmuffs, is that while they definitely reduce the louder noises like fireworks, concerts, or loud restaurants, your child will still be able to hear you speak to them. The comfort factor on the Em’s 4 Kids is pretty high. Parents have noticed their kids can wear them for hours without discomfort, or as one parent put it “They must be comfortable or he would throw them right off.”
Snug Safe ‘n Sound Kid Ear Defenders
The Snug Safe n Sound is a great alternative to Baby Banz, for 6 month and up babies.
This pair of noise cancelling headphones has an adjustable and foldable headband that provides maximum comfort.
This feature also means they can fold up into the smallest size possible, making it easy to pack and take with anywhere.
The Snug’s come in 7 different colors, and the manufacturer fully stands behind their product with an awesome 5 year warranty and guarantee.
Pro Ears ReVO Hearing Protection Headphones
The Pro Ears ReVO are a top rated passive noise cancelling headphones for kids 2 years old and up. With 13 different colors, anyone can find a color to match the personality of their child.
The ReVO has an adjustable, and padded, headband, to make a snug but comfortable fit for different sized heads. They may cost a little bit more than other brands, but you do get a higher Noise Reduction Rating of 25 decibels, compared to the average NRR of 21 dB.
After giving a pair of ReVO’s to their kids, many parents have discovered how much they like them, even asking to use them at home when they want some quiet time. Other reviewers have given the Pro Ears good ratings for their ability to block out most of the strong bass sounds at concerts.
Peltor (3M) Optime Hearing Protection Headphones
The Peltor Optime 105 is the #1 bestselling passive noise cancelling headphones on Amazon.
They provide superior comfort with the over-sized foam padded ear cups, and padded stainless steel wire headband. The wire is more flexible than a plastic band, creating less pressure on kids’ heads.
The Optime’s are sized for small children ages 2 and up, but are adjustable enough for adults with smaller heads. The other standout feature is the noise reduction rating of 30 dB. This is far and above the average NRR of 21 dB found on most other brands of noise reduction headphones. We highly recommend the Peltor Optime for loud environments.
Soundproofing as an Alternative to Noise Cancelling Headphones
As great and cheap an investment that noise cancelling headphones for kids are, you definitely don’t want to overuse them. Be sure to set a specific schedule when your child will use them for quiet time at home or in the classroom.
If you are able to, a low cost way to get the benefit of noise reduction in your home is to use sound dampening curtains, or soundproofing foam panels. Placing these products in your room can help reduce the amount of sound and echo in the room making it easier for your child to concentrate.
Another possible solution is to buy a white noise machine for your home. White noise machines produce a low level background noise, intended to mask obtrusive sound. White noise has been shown to help adults and children relax and sleep, as well as increase productivity.