Kids headphones and earmuffs for long-haul flights – a Babyology roundup

Posted in Travel.

Heading overseas with little ones can be a daunting task. A good set of headphones for the kids will keep them entertained and block out the drone of the plane engines. We’ve rounded up some of the best.

Let’s face it, the headphones supplied by airlines are just not suitable for little heads. When looking for a reliable pair of headphones for your child there is a lot to consider.

First you want them to be comfortable and well-fitted, but then there is volume control. The maximum noise level for little ears is around 85 decibels (dB). For perspective, the average speaking human rates at 50dB. Not only is volume control important, but when flying you may also want to dull the noise of plane engines, chatter, and movies so your wee one can sleep.

You’ll also want something that looks good so those discerning older kids will actually put it on their heads. Because you don’t want to compromise on safety or style there is a lot to weigh up, but who has the time? We have done the research for you and rounded up a selection of headphones and earmuffs that tick all the boxes.

Now sit back, relax, and peruse our kids headphones and earmuffs roundup for long-haul flights.

Ems 4 Kids

If all you want is protection from sound so your wee one can sleep amongst the hubub of the food cart going by then Em’s 4 Kids has got them covered. These are a world-first in earmuffs for babies, with a soft elastic headband holding them in place. This innovative Australian business also has a range of kid’s audio headphones and earmuffs, including a pair that will drown out the sound of a V8 Supercar. Now that is some powerful protection.

Nabi Notes

We mentioned earlier that there is a maximum decibel rate for small ears, but how can you be sure that this is the volume your children are getting? Nabi Notes has parental controlled volume that allows you to set a maximum decibel rate of 80 decibels for the kids, but then remove the parental control for your own use. A light on the side of the headphones shows when the decibel cap is in place so you don’t have to worry about the kids being accidentally blasted with noise. The best thing about these headphones is that they can be shared by kids and adults so that’s one less thing to pack.


When we asked around the Babyology office for recommendations, more than one came back for generic brands available at Kmart. Check out these Sticker Fun sets that allow kids to decorate their own headphones, or the kids designs from Audiosonic (above). These are great if you desire cheap, no frills headphones that won’t leave you fretting if they get left behind, lost, or broken. That said, our Babyology team say they are surprisingly durable and have lasted the test of time.

Lil Gadgets

These wireless headphones by LilGadgets have been making a splash in the tech world this year. No cord means no worries about bub getting tangled up, or constantly pulling the cord out and asking you to plug it back in, please. Sigh. They work via Bluetooth and have a ten hour battery life. The battery charges via a usb cable and there is a cord included in case you like to listen the retro way. They also come with a one year warranty.


Califone First Kids Stereo headphones have fun, colourful designs that make younger kids happy to wear them. I’ve seen these gleefully worn by children as young as 18 months. They have a reinforced cord designed to resist the tugging and pulling of strong little hands, and volume control located on the cord so you can monitor volume easily.

Sony headphones

When flying with kids, a great idea is to sit near the engine so that the droning noise soothes them to sleep. Unfortunately, the extra noise can also mean that low-volume kids headphones cannot be heard. These Sony Sound-monitoring headphones are another set tested and recommended by our Babyology staff. Without noise reduction they can be heard over the engine, however we recommend testing the volume on your own ears before handing them to your child. These are great for older kids but we don’t encourage cranking the volume with little ones. The added bonus is they fold away neatly and won’t take up much room in your carry-on luggage.

MarBlue HeadFoams

The last in our roundup are these amazing innovative MarBlue HeadFoams. Made from a flexible foam, the headband won’t hurt little noggins if worn for extended periods. Plus they are pretty darn durable. At the time of writing, the MarBlue website was down, but you can pick up a pair on Amazon for around US$30.

For more stellar advice on travelling with the kids check out Come Fly with Me, our Road Trip roundup, and these tips for How to Keep the Kids Amused on Road Trips.


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