One of the most important and most difficult parental duties is to keep the baby safe from all kinds of hazards. When the baby comes, we are trying to childproof everything and make the environment as baby-friendly as possible. One of the things we often overlook or don’t think about is noise pollution and the effect the environmental noise has on the baby’s ears.
Fun fact – ears are the only fully developed organ at birth. This means that our ears are the most sensitive the moment we are born. Aging and constant exposure to all kinds of noises affects our hearing and our audible spectrum gets shorter. That’s why our children, especially babies, have much more sensitive ears than we do and can hear the sounds that we can’t. Consequently, they are more sensitive to loud noises. What you perceive as a moderately loud environment, it might be too loud for your baby and you have to be aware of that.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC, 80dBs is the max allowed ”safe” SPL level for babies but the exposure time must not be longer than 8 hours. Some studies suggest that anything above 70dBs can be dangerous if the exposure time is too long. From our point of view, 70dB may not be too much, especially when you know that the average SPL level of a conversation is 60dBs, cars and city traffic produce 70dBs, and trucks can produce 80dBs. There’s so much noise around us and many things can produce sounds that are much louder than the recommended 70dBs. Protecting our children from all those noises is practically impossible but we can try to attenuate the noise and minimize the exposure periods. Before we move onto our main topic, let’s discuss some of the consequences of excessive noise exposure.
According to the WHO, excessive exposure to loud noises can cause direct and indirect damage.
Direct damage includes noise-induced hearing loss and hearing threshold shift.
Indirect damage can be even more dangerous than direct. Excessive noise could cause stress-related somatic disorders (like increased blood pressure or muscle spasms). It could also have an effect on your child’s psychological well-being (sleep disturbance and mental health issues). In the end, noise can even affect your child’s cognitive abilities and academic performance (reading difficulties, concertation and attention disorders, etc.).
We’re not telling you this to scare you into buying headphones. We just want you to know what excessive and too long noise exposure can cause but you must not panic or start reassessing all your previous actions.
The most important thing is that now you know how important your child’s hearing is and you know that you have to protect it from all the potential hazards. So, what are the common hazards?
Since you can’t keep your child completely isolated from the world, it’s absolutely impossible to eliminate all the risks but you can be aware of the most common hazards and try to minimize the exposure. Some of the potential hazards are live events (concerts, sports events), loud toys, home appliances (especially vacuum cleaners, hair driers, blenders), loud TV and music, etc. Airplane travel can also be quite traumatic for the baby’s ears. So, what can you do? Well, you should take some precautionary measures. Soundproofing your home is one of the things but that protects your child only within the walls of your home. But what about the outside world? What about traffic jams, city noises, airplanes, live events? Well, in all those situations, baby noise-canceling headphones seem to be the only solution.
The last sentence gives the answer to this question. For all the outdoor purposes, there’s no other way to protect your baby’s ears but to use noise-canceling headphones. Also, noise-canceling headphones can come in handy indoors, especially when using noisy household appliances. Furthermore, soundproofing your home is not an easy job and it’s quite expensive while you can find a nice pair of baby noise-canceling headphones for less than $30. This is not a huge price, especially when you consider all the benefits.
Buying baby noise-canceling headphones is the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way of preventing all those damages caused by excessive noise exposure. So, yeah. Baby noise-canceling headphones are quite necessary.
It’s not recommended to use in-ear headphones and earplugs for two reasons. First of all, since the baby’s ears and ear canals are small, the earplugs could damage the ear canal and, even if they don’t hurt the ear canal, they put pressure on it and that can be quite uncomfortable. Second, since the earplugs, especially if they are made for babies, are really tiny, the baby could swallow them. So, to conclude, you should go for larger over-ear baby headphones.
Now that you know how important baby noise-canceling headphones are, we can move onto our selection of 15 best baby noise-canceling headphones on the market. These are our top picks.
PuroQuiet headphones are the only ANC Bluetooth headphones, that we know of, that are designed for kids (not for infants). These are the most feature-rich headphones for kids we’ve ever seen. They feature Bluetooth and AUX input, they have ANC, the battery is quite powerful, and the sound quality is surprisingly good.
We’ve had the chance to test PuroQuiet ANC headphones a few weeks ago and if you want to find out more, you should read our in-depth review.
Inside the box, you will find your Puro ANC headphones, volume-limiting AUX cable, charging cable, and a carrying case.
PuroQuiet headphones look quite different from all the other models on this list. The cups are large but squarish (not oval) and the headband is entirely wrapped in padding.
The build quality is also more premium compared to other models. The cups are plastic but the headband frame is made of aluminum and it’s quite sturdy and durable.
Comfort is not an issue. The paddings are thick and soft, the weight is perfectly acceptable (5.92oz) for a kid, and the clamping force is just right. They won’t cause any discomfort or pain.
Since they can be used for music playback and call answering, they have some control buttons on the cups. The buttons are large and easily reachable. The left cup houses 4 buttons – play/pause/call, ON/OFF switch, and two volume buttons. The right one houses the ANC switch.
PuroQuiet features Bluetooth 4.0 with a reliable connection and 30ft range. You can also use them in wired mode (the cable is included).
The battery will deliver up to 20 hours of playback when the ANC is disabled (up to 16h with ANC). The recharge takes 3 hours.
PuroQuiet headphones deliver decent passive isolation and also feature the ANC. When the ANC is enabled, the headphones can eliminate 82% of all the ambient noise. Also, the headphones feature volume limiters and the limit is set at 85dBs.
One of the biggest qualities of PuroQuiet headphones is their sound reproduction. They deliver dynamic and punchy bass, clear mids and vocals, and a little bit brighter treble. Playing with EQ settings and softening the treble response is recommended since our kids have more sensitive ears (especially when it comes to high frequencies). Regardless of this minor issue, PuroQuiet headphones deliver a very good and enjoyable sound. Thanks to the ANC, your kid won’t have to crank up the volume to the maximum and, even if he/she does that, the volume is limited at 85dB.
The biggest downside is the price. PuroQuiet headphones are pricier than any other pair of headphones on this list. Also, these headphones are not designed for kids under the age of two.
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