Go Back   > > >
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 23, 09, 4:24 pm   #1
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,086
Headphones for little ones

I want to get headphones for my toddler that he'll actually wear while watching videos on the computer in flight.

A quick scan of Amazon brings up the following decent-looking options, all of which receive generally positive reviews and are available for under $20:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007NWL70
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000EONVWG
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WS3KGQ
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MUXVZO

Does anybody have any experience with any of these? Any particular headphones you recommend? One feature most of these seem to lack is the ability to fold up for easy transport. But I'll take toughness and comfort (no hair snags, covering the whole ear) over foldability if that's a choice I'm forced to make.

We don't fly often enough with babymicah to justify noise canceling headphones.
themicah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 09, 5:14 pm   #2
  
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by themicah View Post
I want to get headphones for my toddler that he'll actually wear while watching videos on the computer in flight.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MUXVZO

Does anybody have any experience with any of these? Any particular headphones you recommend? One feature most of these seem to lack is the ability to fold up for easy transport. But I'll take toughness and comfort (no hair snags, covering the whole ear) over foldability if that's a choice I'm forced to make.
Wondering why you want some that cover the whole ear? Have you experimented with toddler and other earphones? We had some similar to the pair linked above, which my offspring quickly came to hate - he didn't like anything that completely covered his ears.

Our greatest success was with the old [ancient, actually ] earphones from my Sony Walkman. They only partial cover the ear, but have decent sound quality and are comfortable. We use these with the DVD player as well other portable sound equipment.
CDTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 09, 5:44 pm   #3
  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SEA
Programs: AS-GoldMVP,Hilton-Diamond
Posts: 895
My nephew is 4. He won't wear anything that covers his ears, BUT he has no problem putting in the ear buds. He thinks those are "cool". Give him his DVD player and an apple juice and he is good for a flight from Boston to Seattle..... LOL LOL
Emeraldcity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 09, 9:30 pm   #4
  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 325
I bought the second one, the Califone, for DS last summer when we were taking a long roadtrip and I didn't want to listen to his DVD player for 9 hours at a time. I was really nervous that he wouldn't want to wear them, but as soon as he figured out that he couldn't hear the tv without them, it was all good. He likes them, even fell asleep with them on. They've been through two 8+ hour road trips, and two 24 hour roadtrips and they've been great!
GBeckman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 09, 10:07 pm   #5
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,086
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
Wondering why you want some that cover the whole ear? Have you experimented with toddler and other earphones? We had some similar to the pair linked above, which my offspring quickly came to hate - he didn't like anything that completely covered his ears.
Interesting. I guess I figured that the around-the-ear cans would be more likely to seal out some of the ambient noise, allowing us to keep the volume a little lower on the video. I hadn't thought about the fact that he might not like 'em...
themicah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 09, 11:10 pm   #6
  
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by themicah View Post
Interesting. I guess I figured that the around-the-ear cans would be more likely to seal out some of the ambient noise, allowing us to keep the volume a little lower on the video. I hadn't thought about the fact that he might not like 'em...
AFAICT, it was the sealing out of other noises that bugged my son. When he was littler, he always wanted the reassurance of being able to hear that we were still there, even when he was watching something. Our house is rarely completely quiet, so he's used to background noise when he watches TV or a video.

And as for the volume knob, *I* still control that. Periodically I'll check the volume through the headphones to make sure he's not blasting his eardrums out.
CDTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 09, 12:53 am   #7
  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Arizona
Programs: *wood Gold, Marriott Gold, DL Silver, Hilton Silver, F9 Ascent
Posts: 2,420
BigBoyJonesing likes his Koss earphones. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002EQUL2
I like that they were about $8 at Target.


I'm sure they aren't the best at reducing ambient noise but when we pop in his homemade DVD (Handy Manny, Wonder Pets and Sid The Science Kid) they turn into the best Seinnheiser noise canceling headphones around
jonesing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 09, 1:57 am   #8
  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Berlin and Buggenhagen, Germany
Posts: 3,509
Don't use headphones on toddler, protect his ears

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
And as for the volume knob, *I* still control that. Periodically I'll check the volume through the headphones to make sure he's not blasting his eardrums out.
That's good! Because most pediatricians will tell you that using headphones on a child (especially a toddler) is not something one should do at all. I would rather protect their ears from continuous noise levels close to 90db by using wax or foam plugs. Make sure you take them out before the plane descends or it could hurt badly.

See here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_noise

and here (excerpt below) http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000501/2749.html

Sound intensity is measured as sound pressure level (SPL) in a logarithmic decibel (dB) scale (Table 1). Noise exposure measurements are often expressed as dB(A), a scale weighted toward sounds at higher frequencies, to which the human ear is more sensitive. Noise can cause permanent hearing loss at chronic exposures equal to an average SPL of 85 dB(A) or higher for an eight-hour period.7 Based on the logarithmic scale, a 3-dB increase in SPL represents a doubling of the sound intensity. Therefore, four hours of noise exposure at 88 dB(A) is considered to provide the same noise "dose" as eight hours at 85 dB(A), and a single gunshot, which is approximately 140 to 170 dB(A), has the same sound energy as 40 hours of 90-dB(A) noise.8

This means that two hours of 91 dbA, which is what you will get on a lot of flights, can lead to permanent hearing damage even in adults. Let alone tods.

Here is a 127 page document by the FAA detailing noise levels for most plane types.
http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/aeab4e3e783d2b6086256e3700762a57/$FILE/AC36-3H.pdf


Besides that, two parents on one child should find the time to take care properly of the child so that using the "easy-way-out" brain paralyzer of a video will not be necessary.

So much for telling you how to raise your kids.

In terms of headphones, as an audiophile, I recommend the Sennheiser PX100 or PX200 series. They fold flat and sound good. They also come with a sturdy and nifty carrying case.

The provided link is probably the best source for headphones on the net. Note that these can be had elsewhere for half the price, though.

http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-ma...ser-px-100.php

Till
tfar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 09, 2:20 am   #9
Moderator: Travel with Children
  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: France
Programs: United Plus
Posts: 1,760
Some toddlers will watch their videos without sound. If it's something colorful and if the child has a good attention span.

I bought our first DVD player when my youngest turned 3. The countless 10 and 11 1/2 hour transatlantic flights (plus others) they did before that were fine without. Mine would have never been disiplined enough to wear headphones as toddlers!
Eclipsepearl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 09, 12:30 pm   #10
  
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfar View Post
That's good! Because most pediatricians will tell you that using headphones on a child (especially a toddler) is not something one should do at all. I would rather protect their ears from continuous noise levels close to 90db by using wax or foam plugs. Make sure you take them out before the plane descends or it could hurt badly.
So you are suggesting putting a child in what is basically sound isolation for the duration of the flight?

Do you actually have any experience with young children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfar View Post
This means that two hours of 91 dbA, which is what you will get on a lot of flights, can lead to permanent hearing damage even in adults. Let alone tods.


Maybe you are telling us kids shouldn't fly at all because of the noise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfar View Post
Besides that, two parents on one child should find the time to take care properly of the child so that using the "easy-way-out" brain paralyzer of a video will not be necessary.
Bit presumptuous of you to assume it's always 2 adults to 1 kid. That's rarely the way we travel.

It's also kind of insulting of you to dismiss all videos as ' "easy-way-out" brain paralyzer.' As a parent who homeschools my son, I use a lot of curriculum related videos, even when we travel, so what he's watching just as easily could be a history lesson as a cartoon.
CDTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 09, 2:43 pm   #11
  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: EUG
Posts: 180
Our 4 year old also prefers the ear bud style headphones. The ones that came with my ipod seem to fit the best in her little ears.
yukira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 09, 6:03 pm   #12
  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Berlin and Buggenhagen, Germany
Posts: 3,509
The question is not whether one has experience with little children but whether medically, headphones and flight noise are good or bad for the sensitive hearing of children and especially toddlers. The answer to that is clear. The decision to act on this information is up to the individual.

Obviously, there are good videos for children, and I myself think that I learned a lot from watching TV. But when you see how much screen time children get nowadays between TV, computer and video games, any minute that they do not spend in front of a screen but with human interaction of any kind (except being beaten) is valuable. FYI, I do not own a TV anymore and don't miss it one bit. But you'd have to pry my internet connection out of my cold dead hands. And I also have a major home-theatre installation on which I watch 2-3 movies of my choice per week.

While I think of myself as an educated person, and I can back that up with the necessary diplomas and stuff, I would not think that I am able to home-school my children at the level that a good school can do it. If I lived way out from civilization that might be an option but not if I can avoid it. As someone dedicated to teaching (at university level), I know that certain methods can actually lead to good results for certain purposes. So I wouldn't want to rule out educational videos as bad.

The 2 parents/1 child proportion was referring to the OP's situation in this particular case.

Obviously, I do not suggest people stop flying with children, though I admit it would be wonderfully considerate (evil grin). But I think my advice and documentation on noise levels and hearing damage are worthy of consideration for parents who want the best for their children, which is certainly the case here. I'd clearly use a little wax ear plug for them. They can be molded to just the right shape and size so they won't put pressure and won't hurt. The attenuation achieved with this is probably in the 10-15db range. The best ear plugs for adults get around 30 db attenuation. But the 10-15 would already be enough to protect the baby's/child's hearing. The child will not be in acoustic isolation and will still hear what you say to them but there will not be any danger of hearing damage anymore. I think that is a good compromise, no?

Actually, I recommend even to adults to use plugs. I do and it makes flying much more agreeable and less stressful. The important thing I have noticed, as I said, is to only use them at cruising altitude. Otherwise, there can be painful pressure exchanges.

Besides, that themicah might want to check out www.head-fi.org and ask the question there. These guys and gals are total "can nuts" and can certainly be even more helpful.

Till
tfar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 09, 7:12 pm   #13
  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 620
I have the first ones (over the ear) and my son, now 5 never had a problem with them (he never had a choice). The only problem is that they are a little bulky, especially when in the same ag as all of the other bulky stuff.

As far as videos go, he only watches his DVD player on the plane (not at home, in the mall, restaurants or cars) so it is definately something special.

Keba
KebaNYC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 26, 09, 11:14 am   #14
  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: HPN
Programs: not anymore! I'm FREE!
Posts: 3,042
My daughter has never liked the headphones given out by the airline (United, in this case) because the "loop" that goes over the head is so big that the headphones always fall off. (This is between the ages of 2 and 5 or so; she's getting bigger, but still I think the airline headphones are bit too big.) She also didn't like earbuds or the kind with a clip that goes over the ear.

So I went to Target and got a cheap-o pair of over-the-ear type headphones that fold into a compact size when not in use. They aren't the Koss one's described above, but similar in price. The band diameter adjusts down to a very small size and they stay snugly on her head. Problem solved.

(Regarding headphone noise levels: if you control the volume, and if you let your kid use the headphones only while traveling, permanent damage to the kid's ears is unlikely.)
snic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 09, 11:39 am   #15
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,086
We ended up buying the tiger ones through eBay. They arrived yesterday and seem very good quality (in terms of build--nothing special in terms of fidelity). They're a little heavy, so they'll add to the weight of our carry-on bag-of-stuff-to-keep-babymicah-entertained, but far more importantly, he seemed cool with wearing them this morning to watch a couple Elmo videos on the computer.

I'll report back about how he does with them on the plane when we get back from our trip.
themicah is offline   Reply With Quote
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top