Reviewed by David Savage
I think most households can probably identify with the scene in our house some evenings – my other half is catching up on her favourite TV programme, one of the kids is sat watching Netflix on her phone, and the other is sat watching YouTube unboxing videos on her tablet – all whilst I’m trying to sit quietly and concentrate on my new book! The problem, as well as the cacophony of conflicting noise, is that everyone then turns their sound up a tiny bit at a time to hear their programme better, and before you know it no-one can hear or concentrate on anything – least of all me! We do limit the kids’ time on their tablets and phones, but sometimes you do just want to sit in your own world and there’s nothing wrong with that. It seems like the solution is headphones for the kids for their tablets, but one of the girls has a hearing issue and we’re both very aware that extended periods of loud noise, especially delivered directly to young ears via headphones isn’t great.
We do have a couple of pairs of noise limiting wired headphones in the house, but the youngest in particular forgets that she’s wearing them on occasion and when she gets up, everything goes clattering to the ground – not ideal when you’re talking about an expensive bit of tech! Additionally, because we’ve all got so used to being completely wireless, be it with wireless charging or console control pads, it does feel somewhat constricting to be wired again, so the kids tend not to use them.
The PuroQuiet Headphones from Puro Sound Labs are Bluetooth wireless headphones with sound limiters (they limit the sound to 85dB, which is a healthy sound level for young ears), as well as Active Noise Cancellation to help stop environmental sounds interfering with the listening experience. As with all Bluetooth headphones, you will need a Bluetooth enabled device to use these – we successfully paired them with an Android mobile phone, an iPhone and a Kindle tablet successfully. These headphones are designed with kids in mind, so are available in a number of colour options to appeal to younger people; pink & white, blue & black, and grey & black for slightly older listeners. We were sent a pair of the grey & black ones to try out.
We were immediately impressed with the quality feel of these headphones – first of all, they come in a hard, zipped case, so they can be kept nice and safe when not in use or whilst travelling. The headphones themselves (at least in our grey colour) wouldn’t look out of place as an adult pair, and I think even the most style conscious teenager would be happy to wear them. They have a nicely padded headband and the earpads can be adjusted easily to fit most wearers. We found that the fitted the 7-year-old in our house as well as they fitted the adults. Inside each of the pads is a giant L and R to indicate which side is which, which we really liked with them being kids’ headphones and younger people not always having the attention span to find the tiny engraved L and R in some headphones.
The left earpad is home to the microUSB port, where the headphones are charged from. A full charge takes around 3 hours, and this will give up to 22 hours of playtime (16 hours with the ANC enabled). This earpad also has the Bluetooth button, volume controls and power switch, as well as the LED charge indicator. The right earpad houses a 3.5mm socket, so even if your battery runs out, as long as your devices also has one, you can still listen with the 3.5mm wire, which comes supplied in the box. The ANC switch is also located on the right earpad.
We were very impressed with the quality of the sound on these headphones. The kids thoroughly enjoyed wearing them because they were so comfy, and because the padding on the band and the earpads is specifically designed for smaller heads and ears, they fitted perfectly, without any slipping or movement. This also helps to keep unwanted background noise out too, even if you don’t have the ANC enabled, as they create a good seal around the child’s ears.
The sound quality on these is as good as some of the adult pairs of headphones and earphones we have in the house, which is particularly important as younger ears are much better than older ones and are likely to be more annoyed by poor high-frequency sounds than older listeners. The ANC worked fantastically well, even in the lounge on a Friday night when there was an Xbox, a phone and a tablet switched on, I was still able to connect to my Spotify playlist and read my book in peace without everyone else’s noise making it impossible.
We have given these to the kids to share, as one will normally use them whilst the other watching something on tv, and we have no worries at all that they will be too loud or damage their ears, thanks to the volume limitation. They are fabulous for either using in the home, or just as good for using out and about or on longer car journeys. The quality of both the construction and the sound are outstanding, especially for a product aimed at children, and given the price, I am relieved that they will also fit the girls up into their teens too.