It’s the start of December and for the second year running, that means new headphones from Puro Sound Labs. In this case, it’s the PuroQuiet ANC wireless headphones—which are quite likely the best wireless headphones you can buy for your kids. Here’s why…
Puro Sound Labs and Hearing Loss Prevention
The founder of Puro Sound Labs created the company because his daughter suffered hearing loss from listening to music on headphones. This is an issue that affects everyone (well, everyone who uses headphones or earbuds), but kids are especially vulnerable to hearing damage. Puro Sound Labs develops volume limited headphones that sound great, look great, and are built to last. You can read the full story here if you’re interested.
I reviewed the company’s BT2200 wireless headphones in 2015 and my wife still uses them nearly every day. I’ve had samples of literally hundreds of wireless headphones and earbuds for evaluation since then, and she still prefers the ones from Puro. I was so impressed with the review unit, I bought a second pair for my teenage daughter and she still has hers as well.
PuroQuiet ANC Adds Active Noise Cancellation
Last year the company released Junior Jams. They were affordable, colorful, and still make a great choice if you’re looking for inexpensive wireless headphones for kids.
This year, Puro went more upscale, adding active noise cancellation to the mix for the first time. The PuroQuiet ANC wireless headphones are priced at $199.99, but if you have a child who’s distracted by background noise, the addition of active noise cancellation (-22 dB) may be worth paying a premium. Having ANC also means they are less likely to turn up the volume to drown out noise, so win-win from a parental point of view.
Like all Puro’s headphones, these are volume limited with a maximum sound limit of 85 dBA. This limit is set in the headphones, not the device playing music, so it can’t be over-ridden by playing with a smartphone or tablet system setting. A volume limiting 3.5mm audio cable is also included, preserving the 85 dBA limit if the headphones are used with a physical connection.
Kids (and especially music-loving tweens and teens) aren’t going to use volume limiting headphones if they sound terrible. Audio quality has always been a Puro focus and the PuroQuiet headphones continue the tradition. That includes 40 mm custom dynamic drivers with a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz with less than 1% THD. The headphones don’t really fit properly over my head (remember, they’re made for kids), but I was able to confirm they offer a great listen—not too heavy on the bass, not too bright on the highs, but plenty of detail and lots of energy. If you find the audio seems a little muffled, flip on the ANC and it improves significantly.
The only downside I found to ANC was the fact that the power switch doesn’t over-ride ANC. In other words, if you leave the ANC switch on, the feature will continue to use battery power even when the headphones are turned off. This didn’t make a big difference if left on for a night, but after a week it did drain the battery.
Premium Construction, Comfortable Fit, Solid Wireless Performance
One of the reasons I like Puro headphones is their construction. Many headphones aimed at the kids market are primarily plastic. The Puro Quiet headphones have aluminum ear cups (available in pink or blue). The headband is metal and feels solid. Ear cups and headband are both very well padded. Despite the solid construction, total weight is under 6 ounces. The look is premium and the upscale materials also happen to be more durable.
The company also includes a hardshell storage case, reducing the chances of the headphones being accidentally damaged when stowed for travel.
Wireless connectivity uses Bluetooth 4.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, and HSP support) and it was solid with my iPhone. Expect range of 30 feet or so. The rechargeable battery is rated at up to 22 hours of use, and 16 hours with ANC active. Since the headphones sound significantly better with ANC on, I’d count on 16 hours, which likely means charging a few times a week. That 3.5mm AUX cable is there if the battery ever does run out at an inopportune time.
The PuroQuiet ANC wireless headphones are the new gold standard for kids headphones. If you have the budget, these are the ones I’d go with. If you’re concerned about headphone volume and your kids, but don’t want to spend $199 (or don’t care about active noise cancellation), the company’s BT2200 and Junior Jams headphones also remain great options and are considerably less expensive.