Schools should be a safe zone where no damage can be done to students but, most classrooms daily use headphones that can harm the hearing of the youngest students. That’s because they fail to limit the level of sound the headphone pumps into students’ ears
These three school-friendly headphones are not only inexpensive but include an electronic circuit that limits the amount of sound that kids are exposed to. While the World Health Organization suggests restricting sound levels (opens in new tab) to 85 decibels to prevent hearing damage, some headphones pick 93 decibels as the cut-off point under the assumption that they will only be used for brief periods.
Happily, the headphones come in a variety of colors and shapes, and any of the three can help make the classroom a safer place for hearing. By limiting the hearing damage, not the learning, these headphones can make schools a safer place to learn. What they can’t do is stop students from cranking their phones and earbuds to 10 during lunch.
Lil Gadgets Connect+
While the Connect+ headphones limit volume exposure, they do so at 93 decibels, not the WHO’s recommended 85 decibels. Don’t worry, the company explains that the higher limit won’t cause harm if use is limited and the kids take breaks every hour, exactly how headphones are used in schools.
The headphones come in seven colors, fold up and include a 40-inch nylon braided cable with an inline microphone and 3.5-millimeter jack; the entire cord can be unplugged when not in use. There are two bonuses for schools: the headphone’s passive noise reduction can turn a boisterous classroom into a quiet zone while Connect+’s Shareport allows audio to be listened to with a second headphone.
With 40-millimeter speaker drivers, Conenct+ conveys the full range of audio from 20- to 20,000-hertz with outstanding clarity considering that at $15, the Connect+ is about as inexpensive as quality headphones get.
More info: lilgadgets.com/products/connect (opens in new tab)
The Onanoff BuddyPhones Discover may be available in only blue and pink versions, but that’s just the start of customizing the headphones. Each set includes six vinyl stickers with a variety of animals, mermaids and even blank spaces for a class name or a personal painting.
The headphones don’t fold up but have soft ear cups and have been designed and manufactured to take a beating at school every day. They also have a built-in stackable splitter that allows up to four listeners to share a source. Inside, the headphones have 30-millimeter speaker drivers that reproduce the full spectrum of human hearing from 20- to 20,000-hertz, while limiting the audio exposure to 85 decibels, potentially preserving a student’s hearing.
With a 30-inch cord, the Discover headphones have a gold plated 3.5-millimeter jack. Price, like the Connect+, is the best part, at $15 each.
More info: onanoff.com/collections/headline/products/buddyphones-discover-2019 (opens in new tab)
PuroBasic Wired Volume Limited Headphones
The PuroBasic headphones not only make a colorful statement but can limit the sound level and preserve a student’s hearing all while being among the comfiest headphones available. Available in four colors, the headphones don’t allow the volume to rise above 85dB yet continue to deliver smooth and balanced audio from 20- to 20,000-hertz.
The headphones have soft ear cups that feel good, regardless of whether it’s worn by a tiny 6- or burly 16-year old. PuroBasic headphones not only fold up when not being used but come with a protective bag. When they need to be used, the PuroBasic headphones connect via an extra-long 4.5-foot cord that contains a built-in microphone and a 3.5-millimeter audio jack.
At $30, they may not be the cheapest headphones around, but they sound good and can comfortably help safeguard a student’s hearing.
More info: purosound.com/products/purobasic (opens in new tab)