I've hesitated over getting headphones for my kids. Growing up in the '80s, I got my first hand-me-downwhen I was 10 and no one stopped me from -- so I did. I never really stopped either, at least not until I realized I was constantly asking people to repeat themselves and the ringing in my ears was never going away.
While my kids -- ages 7, 8 and 11 -- are fairly responsible, they're still kids and telling them to "turn it down" when using headphones only goes so far, so they typically useand their without headphones. That changed on a recent when I snapped after the backseat erupted in a full-blown audio assault of repetitive video game chiptunes, pop music and movie dialogue.
There's a whole world of kids headphones out there, but in many cases the differences are just about size and design. However, there are headphones like the Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet that, along with being sized for kids, have a volume limiter to stop them from getting too loud. To keep your hearing healthy, it's recommended that you keep volume at or below 85 dB and that's where PuroQuiets stop.
To help balance out the need to turn up the volume, the PuroQuiets have active noise cancellation (ANC) as well as thick earcup cushions. The padding combined with the strength of the headband blocks 82 percent of external sound according to the company, so even with the ANC off they provide solid noise isolation.
The headphones have a balanced sound quality, so they actually sound louder at a lower volume than other headphones. Like the, they have a natural, warm tone with full bass (not big and booming), so they work well for music, audio books and movie and TV dialogue. They're OK for gaming, too.