Finding the best headphones for my kids is a bit of a pain, because my two are too old for Fisher Price-style kiddie phones and too young for grown-up models with potentially dangerous volume levels. As someone who's ruined their ears after decades of high volume listening, I want to ensure that whatever my kids are listening to, they're listening to it safely. So I'm pleased to see that Belkin has created something my kids will actually like and that has a volume limit to protect their ears.
The new Belkin SoundForm Nano wireless earbuds for kids are a reasonable £29.99. They look very like AirPods and while I'm a bit meh about the blue and pink colour options there's a white option too, which I know for certain is the one both of mine would choose. There's IPX5 water resistance to protect from sweat, rain and splashes, and there are five ear tip sizes including a really small one for younger kids. Most importantly of all, they're limited to 85dB output. That's the World Health Organisation's recommended maximum for kids' listening.
Your kids aren't going to get AirPods-rivalling sound quality for thirty quid, but these are considerably better than the toytown headphones you tend to see in the for-kids aisles or the faux AirPods you see pretty much everywhere. There's 5 hour battery life, rising to 24 with the charging case. It's just a shame that there's no Find My compatibility here – I wouldn't expect it at this price but I'd happily pay more for it. I can't be the only parent whose kids can't seem to hang on to anything for more than a few hours.
These aren't Belkin's only new earbuds. There's an interesting pair of active noise cancelling earbuds for the grown-ups too.
Belkin SoundForm Immerse Noise Cancelling Earbuds for Apple and Android
The new Belkin SoundForm Immerse Noise Cancelling Earbuds cost a lot more than the kids' ones – the RRP is £129.99 – but they're a lot more grown-up too. There's hybrid ANC to suppress ambient noise, a hear-through mode so you're not rude to shop assistants or colleagues, and a six-mic setup for crystal clear calling and effective noise cancelling. You're looking at 31 hours of battery via the included charging case and a decent 8 hours without, and they're compatible with Find My on iOS and Fast Pair on Android.
I haven't heard these ones yet but I'd like to, because they've been pitched as audiophile-grade earbuds – and that means they're going up against the very best true wireless earbuds. That means aptX audio for higher quality streaming, and the early reviews I've seen say that the sound is warm, detailed and a vast improvement over their predecessors.