The best noise canceling headphones for babies

Micayla Mead

Wearing earmuffs during nap time can give your baby the perfect opportunity to get quality rest.

Parents have so much to keep in mind when taking stock of how best to care for their little ones, from babyproofing the house and car to scouring grocery stores for the best baby foods. Certainly among those concerns is protecting babies from loud sound whenever possible. Music, industrial sounds or just ambient sounds that adults can take for granted as white noise can all cause a baby to wail.

Thankfully, there are many great options for noise canceling headphones on the market, including the Baby Banz Infant Hearing Protection Earmuffs. It’s a popular model among parents for its impressive sound protection, stylish design and color options and fair price point.

What to know before you buy noise canceling headphones for babies

Noise Reduction Rating of noise canceling headphones

The most important factor in considering a pair of noise canceling headphones for your baby is how well they actually insulate your baby’s ears from outside sounds. A good pair of headphones should block about 20 decibels of regular exterior noise, or up to 30 decibels for concerts or other unusually loud sound settings. This is measured by its given Noise Reduction Rating, or NRR, which will list how many decibels a pair of headphones is capable of blocking.

Comfort of noise canceling headphones

Second only to sound reduction is the actual comfort of the pair of headphones you buy your infant. If they fit too tightly, have an awkward fit or are made from an unpleasant-feeling material, they may well block sound but still irritate your baby, and may even cause a crying fit out of sheer discomfort. Be sure to buy an adjustable pair of headphones that properly fit your baby’s head; otherwise, they’ll be practically useless if your baby cannot stand wearing them.

Age and head size when choosing headphones

In a similar vein, head size, which often correlates to age but not always directly, will determine the type of noise canceling headphones that will be the best pick for your baby. Some types of noise canceling headphones for babies come with adjustable or expandable parts, allowing your baby to grow and still be able to use them; others are not so accommodating. If you have a toddler or a baby with a larger head, be sure to look for headphones that don’t run small or that offer customized sizing.

Noise canceling headphones for babies features 

Noise canceling headphone colors 

Noise canceling headphones come in a variety of styles for your baby, giving you the chance to find an option that’s not only effective and comfortable but also cute and stylish. Most colors tend towards baby-themed pastels or childish patterns, but there are also more basic options like black, white or metallic.

Noise canceling headphone styles

Some models look more industrial or plain, while others go for a softer, rounder look to match your baby.

Cleaning of noise canceling headphones

Since you never know when a baby will make a mess that may get on their headphones, they’re often made to be easily cleanable. Most headphones can be cleaned with a simple rub of a wet wipe to clean and disinfect the surface.

Noise canceling headphones for babies cost

A pair of noise canceling headphones for infants will cost about $15-$30, depending on the quality of the materials used.

Noise canceling headphones for babies FAQ

Why are babies so sensitive to sound?

A. Many of us aren’t aware that a baby’s ear canals are actually smaller than that of an adult’s, so everyday sounds are augmented to intolerable levels that we find hard to imagine. That’s why every day, seemingly harmless sounds like household creaks or passing cars can set them into a crying streak. They don’t have any other way of controlling their environment, also, so crying indicates that they need help from a parent to change their environment for them. Noise canceling headphones are a great option because they directly shield the baby from all environmental noises, including sounds you can’t avoid like car honks, thunder and the like.

How loud can a sound be before it starts to bother babies?

A. Sounds that range up to 70 decibels and above will bother babies and cause them to be upset and cry; prolonged exposure to sounds at this level or above can risk causing permanent harm and should be avoided with noise canceling headphones at all costs. Sounds at this level include hair dryers and vacuums; even louder noises would include sounds like heavy traffic, loud music or ambulance sirens.

Which pair of noise canceling headphones for babies should I get?

Best of the best noise canceling headphones for babies

Baby Banz Infant Hearing Protection Earmuffs: available at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY

Our take: Foam-cushioned, stylish earmuffs that will protect your child’s hearing against loud noises.

What we like: Fits infants to two year olds. Comes in many colors and patterns. NRR is 26.8dB. Accordant with both U.S. and European noise protection standards for babies. Block unpleasant noise without completely blocking softer ambient sounds. Adjustable.

What we dislike: They tend to run small.

Best bang for your buck noise canceling headphones for babies

Kidco Whispears Hearing Protection Headphones: available at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY

Our take: Kidco offers an effective and affordable option to guard your baby from harsh sounds.

What we like: Great price point. Various color options. Adjustable fit to be comfortable for your child’s head. Easy to clean with a wipe. Protects against harmful noise.

What we dislike: Some parents rated it as not very effective against certain sounds.

Honorable mention noise canceling headphones for babies

Walker's Infant Passive Earmuffs: available at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY

Our take: A cute and comfy way to block harmful sounds from bothering your baby.

What we like: Adorable, soft design with many color options. NRR is 22, so it will protect your baby’s hearing even in loud settings.

What we dislike: They fall on the more expensive side.

Micayla Mead is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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