Sony is not an unknown name in the headphone market. In fact, the company offers some of the greatest variety in the area, with sets in nearly every size, shape, and color. Now, Sony has a pair especially for the little ones in your life: the MDR-222KD Children's Headphones. These pint-sized earphones let your children enjoy music without putting their hearing at risk by employing a volume limiting feature, and you can pick a pair up without breaking the bank--they'll only set you back $15. Audio quality is pretty appalling, but unless your child is an audiophile-in-training, it probably won't matter.
The Sony MDR-222KD headphones are very similar in design to the original Walkman headphones, right down to the cheap plastic construction and foam earpads. However, they do offer a modicum of style. Choices include a light pink version with shiny pink accenting and a black headband or an all black model with minor silver accents. The headband is adjustable down to extra-small especially for children, but also gets large enough for most adult heads. It also has plenty of give, so it puts very minimal pressure on the ears, and the materials are all lightweight, making the headphone comfortable during extended wear.
As one might expect from $15 headphones, the MDR-222KD's audio performance is pretty bad. Bass is almost entirely absent, and the 'phones tend to drop out the mids for a lot of songs (hip-hop and classic rock, notably). Overall, music sounds hollow. On the plus side, there's no background hiss, and certain songs (acoustic rock and pop) sound just fine. Also, the volume limiting feature works as advertised. We pumped music at the highest volume from the Creative Zen and were not blasted out. Levels are a bit higher than what we got from the Ultimate Ears Loud Enough earphones.