What are the best sorts of headphones for teens needing quality sound, practicality & style on the move?
On the lookout for a new set of headphones for your teenage boy or girl?
Unlike younger children, teens need no convincing that they need headphones on while relaxing with their favorite electronic devices – a crucial part of our traveling kit these days.
Whilst their hearing is not as sensitive as young children, there are still plenty of important things you should look for when picking out an excellent set of teen headphones that are sure to last the mile when you travel.
This post is part of our best travel products series – you can find more teen travel advice over here
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Best Headphones for Teenagers
Let’s take a look at the best teen headphones side by side; we look at over-ear headphones first, but also a quick look at some earbuds for your teens to try too.
Price range guidance: $ = Under $30USD; $$ = $30 to $70USD; $$$ = $70 – $150USD; $$$$ – over $150USD
Types of Headphones for Teenagers
Buying headphones for a teenager is no easy job. That’s because teenagers can graduate from being childlike kids to young adults in no time. You have to be careful about the features while it looks cool enough to match their personal style – and can deliver the sound quality your teen desires.
To buy their headphones, you must learn about the basics. First, we’ll discuss the different types of headphones to choose from, then the common features your teen will need in any type of headphones.
Take a quick look at the types of headphones for teenagers:
- Over-Ear Headphones: They have a band connecting the ear cups. These headphones sit on the head and offer a ‘soundscape” that’s closest to a real-life listening experience.
- On-Ear Headphones: These are lighter versions of the over-ear headphones that are supported on the ears. They aren’t hefty at all and mostly offer great adjustability.
- In-Ear Monitors or Earbuds: Instead of cups covering the entire ear, they have small buds sealing the opening of the ear canal to keep out sounds. They’re light and portable.
Features To Look For In Good Headphones For Teenagers
Let’s take a look at the essential features you need to consider while hunting for headphones for teens.
Wired vs Wireless
Wired headphones offer wider connectivity and deliver excellent sound quality without interruptions due to analogue signals. Wireless headphones, however, provide greater freedom. You can also find headphones that offer both features.
- Tangle-Free Wire – Find wired headphones with a cord that is tangle-free and durable.
- Bluetooth – One of the leading technologies used in wireless headphones is Bluetooth. These headphones range from the smallest earbuds to the largest headsets.
- Wireless Range – Verify the highest distance from the original device at which the headphones still offer distinct sound.
- Battery Life – Wireless headphones need to be charged. Their battery life dictates the playtime and the time required for charging.
Noise Canceling Isolation
Headphones that offer noise isolation do so by providing a physical barrier between your ears and the outside world. On the other hand, noise-cancelling headphones are technologically designed with two sets of headphones and produce waves that cancel external sounds.
Let’s be honest; it’s hard to pick the right gaming headphones. You can rely on specific brands known around the world for gaming headphones. If you feel like you’re heading into the world of the unknown here, you can simply go for headphones that offer excellent surround sound and an inbuilt mic with hands-free communication.
We are going to focus here on those over-ear headphones for teenagers and bud headphones for older kids that are lightweight, easily portable, and great for travel.
Best Headphones and Earbuds For Teens – The Details
So now you know what you should be looking for, let’s really get into the detail, and why we’ve selected these as the best headphones for teenagers.
Best overall Teen Headphones: Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones
A trustworthy brand that offers quality headphones, Beats is a name popular among patrons of music, games, and movies. For your kid, you can buy the Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, one of the best headphones for teens. This wireless headset is designed for everyday use and offers unbelievable battery life as a result of just 5 minutes of charging.
What we love about Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones:
- Sleek and streamlined design that offers comfort and portability
- Available in a vast range of colors to match the taste of any teen
- Offers wide compatibility, including Android and iOS devices
- Offers excellent clarity and balance of sound experience
- Superior audio quality and technology by Beats and Apple
Runner-Up Best Teen Headphones: Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
If there’s one brand that brings you style and quality at pocket-friendly rates, Skullcandy is your destination. For your teenage kid, the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Headphone can be an excellent choice. It has a sharp look in attractive shades and can be a style statement for your kid. It’s designed to provide an immersive experience while enjoying music, movies, or games.
What we love about Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Over-Ear Headphones:
- Easy to control calls, play music, and adjust the volume
- Immersive experience with bass effects like a live concert
- Background noise isolation for a completely undisturbed experience
- Incredible sound quality and durability of Skullcandy
- Available in various attractive colors
Best Foldable Headphones for Teens: PowerLocus Bluetooth Wired/Wireless Foldable Headphones
Does your teen kid love to carry their headphones with them everywhere? Then the PowerLocus Bluetooth Wired/Wireless Foldable Headphones can be perfect for them. It folds into a small protective case that also protects the headphones from scratches and moisture. It has a built-in mic for communications and is compatible with phones, tablets, and PCs.
What we love about PowerLocus Foldable Headphones:
- Foldable design and stretchable band for teens of all ages
- High-definition headphones with noise reduction for great sound
- Bluetooth 5.0 with a radio-frequency level of 10 m
- Available with a wired option and wireless for more flexibility
- Compatible with FM radio and Micro SD/TF
Runner-Up best Foldable Teen Headphones: TUINYO Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
When it comes to accessories for teens, you have to consider both quality and look. That’s why one of the best headphones for teenagers is the TUINYO Wireless Bluetooth Headphones.
It’s designed for your kid to go anywhere with it. For avid gamers and music lovers, this set with a mic offers outstanding stereo sound quality with strong Bluetooth connectivity within 10 m.
What we love about Tuinyo Wireless Bluetooth Headphones:
- Fantastic color range with a shiny finish
- Slot for TF/Micro SD card for a playlist on the headphone
- Padded band and soft foam ear cups for comfort
- Both wireless and wired options available
- Light and easy to fold into small spaces
Best Value Teen Headphones: JLab Neon Bluetooth Folding Wireless Headphones
Wireless headphones equipped with Bluetooth connectivity offer great freedom to teens so they can move around freely. The JLab Neon headphone is one of the best value wireless headphones for teens, coming in at under $20 USD.
It offers noise isolation, too, so that your teen can enjoy being away from the world. It has a sharp look that your teen will love if they have developed a “grown-up” sense of style and looks.
What we love about JLab Neon Bluetooth Folding Headphones:
- Available in a wide range of unisex colors
- Excellent sound quality for all types of music, games, and movies
- 13 hours of playtime on Bluetooth with a range of 9 m
- Adjustable band and rotatable cups for ultimate comfort
- Inbuilt mic for clear communication during calls
Runner-Up Best Value Teen Headphones: Elecder i37 Adjustable Headphones for Teens
Are you looking for headphones that will allow your teen to enjoy great sound on any device? The Elecder i36 wired headphones, compatible with any 3.5 mm jack device like smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc., can be a perfect choice.
These headphones are easy to carry and can be adjusted to fit children and teenagers of different age groups. You’ll surely find a color that your kid will love!
What we love about Elecder i37 Adjustable Headphones:
- Light, foldable, and easy to carry
- Broad range of colors for both boys and girls
- Soft ear cups and padded band for greater comfort
- Premium-quality nylon wire that’s strong and tangle-free
- Excellent sound quality with great bass
Best Wired Headphones for Teens: AILIHEN C8 Wired Headphones
Most teens and teen parents consider the AILIHEN C8 Wired Headphones as one of the best wired headphones for teen girls and boys. Their fun colors, especially the matte ones, are attractive without looking too vivid or tacky. This headset allows hands-free communication and volume control and the ear cups are designed to keep out outside noise for better isolation.
What we love about AILIHEN 28 Wired Headphones:
- Stunning range of boyish, girly, and unisex colors
- Collapsible headphones with flexible hinges for better portability
- Mic and remote control for hands-free calls, as well as gaming as music
- 3.5 mm jack for wide compatibility with all types of devices
- Isolated sound with crisp mids and deep bass
Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Teens: Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
There’s nothing new that we can tell you about Bose, the ultimate name in the world of sound technology. If the cost is no barrier for you, Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones is one of the best headphones for teenagers.
It is a noise-canceling headset that offers advancements in the industry – with the voice assistant and Bose’s special augmented reality.
What we love about Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones:
- Three noise cancelation levels to suit every ambiance
- Equipped with Alexa-enabled voice assistant for complete control
- Dual mic system with noise rejection for better communication during calls
- Enabled with Bose AR, i.e., the innovative augmented reality technology
- Easy to pair with any iOS and Android device with Bluetooth and Bose app
Runner-Up Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Teens: Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Bluetooth Headset
Sony continues to be a name synonymous with quality in the electronics industry. If you have a big budget, the Sony WH1000XM3 Headset is one of the best wireless headphones for teens who are responsible enough to handle an advanced device. Equipped with top-notch technology, this headset enables hands-free calls with a built-in mic.
What we love about Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Bluetooth Headset
- Available in two sophisticated unisex colors ideal for mature teens
- One-touch volume instant volume turn-down system
- Digital noise cancelation for the best soundproof experience
- Alexa-enabled device that offers voice assistant
- Exceptional quality and sound quality from Sony
Best for Teens with Samsung Devices: Galaxy Buds 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds
We simply love the stylish look and superior sound quality you can get from Samsung’s Galaxy Buds. Ok, we’re going to admit total bias here as we’re a Samsung household when it comes to mobile devices, and we all have a set of these earbuds with our smartphones!
Our teen girl especially loves hers in Bora Purple to match basically every other accessory she owns!
What we love about Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
- Superior AKG sound
- Up to 29 hours of use with wireless case (that also acts as a charger)
- Dual microphone for crystal clear voice calls
- Waterproof rates IPX7
- Bluetooth makes it both Android and iOS compatible; you’re not locked into Samsung-branded products whatsoever.
Best for Teens with Apple Devices: Apple AirPods with Charging Case
Airpods are the classic Apple product companion, so it’s easy to see why teen Apple fans will immediately flock to the stylish and sleek Airpods. The con – you need Apple products! Usually, the most expensive devices on the market so may be out of range for many teens.
What we love about the Apple Airpods
- Compatibility only with an Apple device
- Up to 5 hours of battery life on one charge
- Battery life of 24 hours with charging case
Best Value Earbuds for Teens: TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds
There’s no need to buy a branded earbud to match your smartphone. These wireless buds from TOZO deliver powerful bass, mellow midrange, and clear treble in an incredibly stylish package. Easily connect to any device via Bluetooth.
What we love about the TOZO T10 Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds
- Comes in several stylish unisex metallic finishes
- The earbuds and the case are IP-X8 waterproof rating – great if they’re kept in your kid’s gym kit or bags left in the rain!
- 1.5 hour fast-charging via USB-C cable
- Easy Bluetooth 5.0 pairing with any device
- Playtime over 6 hours from a single charge or get a total of 30 hours with the charging case
- NB note you will need a wireless charger – sold seperately
Best Quality Wired Earbuds for Teens: 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphones Hi-Res Headphones
It’s hard to find in-ear headphones for teens with noise-canceling technology AND comfortable to wear. 1MORE headphones truly deliver on both fronts. Designed by sound engineers, they provide excellent sound quality and include noise-cancellation technology.
Unlike most earbuds designed as “one size fits all”, 1MORE gives the wearer a choice of 9 different ear tips.
What we love about the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphones
- Obliquely angled ear fittings naturally match your ear canals
- Choice of 6 silicone and three foam ear tips for the most comfortable fit
- Stylish magnetic clasping case for travel
- Generous 125cm cord (over 4 feet)
- Superior mems microphone eliminates cross-talk and background static
- Beautiful presentation box, ideal for gifting
Runner Up Best Teen Wired EarBuds: Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbud Headphones
Another great choice for teens serious about their sound quality but at a more affordable price point. The integrated microphone and smart device playback control.
What we love about the Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbud headphones
- Hybrid silicone earbuds
- 12-millimeter dome-type driver units deliver powerful deep bass
- Tangle-free, Y-type flat cord with slider
Best Value Teen Earbuds: KZ ES3 Dynamic Hybrid Dual Driver in Ear Headphones
These hybrid headphones can be used as wired or wireless. Compatible with all 3.5mm jack devices, these are a pretty neat and stylish set of earbuds at a reasonable price point. The dual-driver refers to the sound quality – one mid-treble balanced armature and one dynamic bass driver are built-in, which gives the earphones balanced frequency.
What we love about the KZ ES3 Dynamic Hybrid Dual Driver in Ear Headphones
- Superior ergonomic fit for comfortable wearing
- 3.9-foot cable for plenty of maneuverability
- 2 silicone earbuds included – small and large
- NB not all models include a mic, do select carefully if this is a required feature.
So which teen headphones will you go for?
It’s quite clear that there is a huge range of product choices and like all tech products, the latest models are CONSTANTLY changing!
Don’t use too much guesswork; when it comes to teen products, DO consult on what they need and consider:
- Will the headphones need to go to school too? Therefore you don’t want to risk them being lost, damaged or stolen.
- How comfortable does your child find headphones? Whilst all over-ear models are adjustable over their heads, some teens simply don’t like their headphones sitting snuggly on their head
- Conversely, many teens hate the feel of buds in their ears for long periods.
- Will you have access to charging points? Wireless is definitely preferential for the lack of cords, but lack of battery and no charger point could be a far bigger issue for your teen after 30 hours in transit.
- Budget. Put simply there are some very nice but VERY expensive products. Are you buying your teen headphones as a special gift as you expect them to last, or willing to accept that headphones are something that constantly needs to be replaced?
Good luck with that buying decision, we hope you find the ideal pair of headphones for your teen.
More Gear Reviews and Travel Advice For Your Teens
If you are traveling with your teens soon on a family vacation, you may also want to check out:
- Our complete guide to tween & teen packing – with a downloadable packing list so they can independently pack for your next trip.
- Tween games and toys perfect for long journeys
- Finding the perfect travel gift for a teenager for their upcoming adventures
- Our dream destination ideas for traveling with teens
- Can Disney still keep kids entertained? The best Disney parks and rides for teens
- The Best Teen Suitcases – picking the right sort of luggage for every type of trip
- Helping you pick out suitable gifts for adventure-seeking tween girls
- Want your teens to join in the family conversation? See our favorite Would You Rather Questions for Teens
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