Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Great Kids Headphones for Travelling: A LilGadgets Review

If you've every travelled long-haul flights with young kids, you'll know headphones is an essential gadget for your onboard bag. We visited family abroad at Easter and I bought my kids (ages 6 and 8) LilGadgets Untangled Pro headphones for the long flight!

There are SO many headphones on the market for kids, it's really difficult to know what's the best choice. I am not an expert in this area, so my review of LilGadgets headphones is based on my own experience and how they have worked for our family.

In this review, I will link to a couple of articles I found useful to make my decision.

Why I Chose LilGadgets?

I was looking for headphones that were specifically designed for kids, so they had to be appealing in design and also fit their heads. Adult headphones are NOT suitable for kids. The designer in me cringed at the sight of any cartoony options! Plus Minions is only 'cool' for so long - I was looking for longevity too.

The headphones had to be wired (this is essential for air travel), have good specs on the sound front and ideally be Bluetooth enabled and have a microphone.

That's a lot of requirements to pack into one headphone, but I found it in LilGadget's Untangled Pro.

LilGadgets Headphone Range

I absolutely love the design and colours in the LilGadgets range. There are no cartoons and the colours are bright and suitable for girls and boys (and they are not just pink and blue!)

There are 3 different headphones as well as a set of in-ears in the LilGadgets range. The headphones have a volume limited at 93db, which is slightly higher than the recommended 85db.

The Connect+ is specifically designed for the youngest kids (ages 2+) and the Connect+ Pro (5yrs+) is extendable for bigger kids. The Connect+ range is foldable, wired only and come in pink, purple, green, blue and black.

Then there is the Untangled Pro which is Bluetooth enabled and wired and it has a built-in microphone. The Untangled Pro come in all the same colours including white (which was the colour my 8-year old wanted!). I tried to convince my other son to get the purple ones (I liked those), but he was set on the bright blue ones!

LilGadgets also have in-ear headphones called BestBuds in their product range, but I've found earbuds frustrating to use with younger kids. My teen however only uses earbuds, so it's nice to know the brand caters for the whole family! The volume limit is lower at 73db and comes in blue/white, pink/white and black/red. They also have a SharePort® Splitter to share music with friends and a music and video playback control.

Sharing Sounds with SharePort®

The whole LilGadget range has SharePort® which allows you to share sounds from a single source. This is a brilliant feature and works really well in our family.

If you have two headphones you can connect them with a cable and connect one of the headphones to the source, like an iPad / MP3 player. Now the kids can listen to story or music or watch a film together.

Where we only have one iPad for the kids to share, this is a really useful feature. I also love that they can be connected to a single activity. This feature is a life saver for long car journeys, where the kids want to listen to something and you could do with silence! :)

Most of the time I prefer my kids not to use headphones, but sometimes it's necessary and then this is a fantastic option!

LilGadgets' Limited Volume

It's worth noting the LilGadgets headphones have limited volume to 93db compared to the 85db industry standard.  They argue that listening duration is the main cause of hearing damage.

What LilGadget however does have is noise reduction, getting the outside noise down to 13db, which means kids don't need to put the sound up too much.

I found these article by Wirecutter and PC Advisor helpful to read about the recommendations for kids headphones.

Unboxing the LilGadgets Untangled Pro

The LilGadgets Untangled Pro comes in a nice cardboard box, including the headphones, USB charging cable, cable for SharePort® and the wired option and a cloth pouch for storage.

This model doesn't fold up, but that didn't seem to bother us too much. The Connect+ range is foldable.

How the LilGadgets Untangled Pro worked

You can use the headphones straight out of the box when using them as wired headphones. If you want to use the Bluetooth feature you need to charge them first using the USB cable, which can be charged from a computer/mains adapter (not included).

The nylon audio cables seem to withstand the less careful use of kids. Plus they don't get tangled - hence the name I guess!

The Bluetooth features works really well with our iPad, the kids Kindle Fires and Alexa Dot. You can move up to 30feet away and still maintain a connection. You can't pair two headphones to one source though. However, you could pair one and then link another with the SharePort®.

The headphones don't need charging all the time with 12 hours battery life. We've only charged ours once, but then my kids tend to use them wired more.

The built-in microphone is good quality too and the kids seemed to be able to use it well to call granny abroad.

The headphones are a perfect fit for the kids, but they are a bit small for my adult head. The Untangled Pro is made from a SoftTouch material which I was a bit nervous about for durability, but again they've had a lot of use and still look brand new.

Things to Consider when using Kid's Headphones

Every family will have different needs;

  • Headphones designed for kids, like LilGadgets, is great for travelling and when you need kid's device sound to be private 
  • Be in a habit of not using headphones at home! It's better for kids not to have directed noise in their ears for long periods of time plus headphones have a tendency to isolate kids. I like that my kids can hear when I'm calling them for dinner!
  • Take regular breaks from using headphones. This can be difficult, especially if you're on a 13-hour flight during the daytime, but even then kids can take a break and do something else.
  • Be aware of the sound levels your kids are using. Encourage them to turn the volume down and avoid using the maximum sound level. The noise reduction feature of LilGadgets headphones means you don't need to turn the volume up too much when there is outside noise.
  • Headphones are never a good idea when cycling or walking outside. 

More from Tech Age Kids:


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