Review: Puro hearing-safe kid headphones - great for boomers/seniors, too

Review: Puro hearing-safe kid headphones - great for boomers/seniors, too

Do you worry about your grandkids' hearing when they use headphones for listening to music or playing video games? There's good reason to; too many kids experience some degree of hearing loss from their private listening activities. One way to stop worrying is to buy them a pair of headphones that won't let the kids turn them up too loud. When Puro Sound Labs' founder sadly discovered his daughter had experienced some hearing loss from wearing non-protective headphones every day, he decided to do something about it.

The company now makes the Puro model BT2200 kids wireless Bluetooth headphones (and several other models) with built-in hearing protection features. And this protection works just as well for baby boomers and seniors who want good sound without risking hurting that precious audio magic in our ears. They sent a pair to facilitate this review; opinions are strictly the writer's.

At $80/pair, these headphones sound way better than cheaper models and yet are safe. And people, if you appreciate the sound of bass and drums in the back of your rock 'n' roll or blues, if you like the crisp and subtle tones of classical music, you'll enjoy these 'phones.

Of course you can buy headphones cheaper or for lots more money. Just browse Amazon and see what serious audiophiles can buy. But the point of difference here is the hearing protective feature of Puro's BT2200 model headphones. This model is designed to give good audio quality while protecting your kids—and you, when you borrow them—from potentially damaging sound levels. Audiologists recommend limiting volumes to under 85dBA (a level known to causes hearing loss), and that's the top volume on these.

The aluminum used in the earcups and the band makes these fairly light, but the nice padding gives them an expensive look that older kids will appreciate. You remember what it's like to be a teenager… The flattened audio cord that comes with these Puro headphones is easier to manage than the typical round cord. Lies flat. No tangles. This, in itself, could be a selling point for people who hate those ubiquitous round, can't-store-‘em-without-knots cords or those 1960s-phone-curly cords.

Haven't tested it yet but hope not to be constantly buying new batteries—battery life is said to be up to 18 hours of active use and 200 hours of standby time. The device comes with a USB charging cord so you can charge it in your computer even while you’re using it.

It's safe to let younger kids use these on their own because, with the noise-canceling feature, even kids who love loud music will be satisfied with the volume without wanting to turn it up—which they can't do anyway beyond a safe level. Look out, though. If they haven't had quality headphones before, the good sound on these may make kids love their games or videos even more.

Happily the headphones aren't too tight for most grownup heads, so you can get good crisp, clear, nicely blended sound for music or TV or computer activities when you wear them. For some people, it will help maintain comfort to remove them periodically for a couple of minutes. It's also nice that the on-earcup volume control lets you turn the sound down or up at least within a small range; you can feel around for the buttons without having to take the 'phones off.

Was able to connect the Bluetooth function easily with even an old iPhone 4s, but for some reason couldn't pair the device with a newer Dell Inspiron laptop. Contacted the manufacturer, an IT consultant, online forums and more—still no luck getting the Windows 7 OS to find the device. Clearly not a problem with the headphones themselves. Fortunately, the wired connection works fine, and that's the basis of this review.

Sometimes you can get these Puro headphones on Amazon with a free hard carrying case. Very convenient and a great way to help the kids—or you and your baby boomer memory—keep from losing the charging and wired-connection cords.