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Headphones for kids (and parents)

The 'AirDrive' phones let them hear the music without drowning out voices.

Chip Chicklets

If you're not a parent, you might not see the immediate value in a pair of headphones designed especially for kids. But if you have progeny of iPod-bearing age--which will soon come before they're crawling, at this rate--then the need for Mad Catz's "AirDrive" headphones is all too clear.

Anyone who's been forced to endure a multi-hour car ride with children aboard knows that they'll never hear you, or anything else for that matter, because they generally keep the volume on their MP3 and DVD players turned up somewhere between 9 and 10. The child-sized AirDrives are apparently aimed at this infuriating age, contoured for smaller ears for a good fit that still allows them to hear grown-up voices or fire-engine sirens.

They're not the cheapest pair at $70, but Chip Chicklets was impressed with the sound quality. More important, the little brats won't be able to use them as an excuse to ignore you.