Home / Parenting / Safety 8 best noise-cancelling headphones to protect baby’s hearing From fireworks to vacuum cleaners, these will keep little ones safe, happy (and maybe even asleep!) By Sara Goldstein Updated March 9, 2023 We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. As parents, we’d never consider taking baby on the water without an infant life jacket. We spend hours babyproofing our homes and we research car seat guidelines until our eyes cross. But one safety measure that’s easy to overlook? Hearing protection in the form of baby noise-canceling headphones. Anyone who’s ever put a baby down for a nap knows they hear everything. Creaky floorboards? Better memorize those fast! Want to microwave that coffee for the third time? Should have thought of that earlier, my friend. Because babies have smaller ear canals than adults, everything sounds louder to them than it does to us. And much of the world is pretty loud! Related: Why you should be talking to your baby–even if they can’t answer you In general, babies should not be repeatedly exposed to noise that’s higher than 70 decibels. (For reference, 70 decibels is about the noise level of a hairdryer or vacuum.) So bringing babies along for all the fun stuff like ball games, concerts or even fireworks means finding a way to keep them safe. The best noise-canceling headphones for babies should be comfortable and lightweight and offer an NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) of at least 20 decibels. If you’re planning to use them at super loud events like drag races or festivals look for something closer to 30. Remember the higher the rating, the more protection they offer. We’ve scoured the internet for the best noise-canceling headphones for babies, toddlers and kids. Here are our top picks. Banz • $30 Baby Banz Earmuffs With nearly 13K ratings, Baby Banz are one of the most popular choices for baby hearing protection on Amazon. They’re lightweight, durable but still offer plenty of padding around the ears and band to keep little ones comfortable. A collapsible design makes them easy to transport when traveling or for stashing in your bag just in case. We also love the wide variety of designs and patterns! Ages: 0-2+ NRR rating: 28dB Reviewers say: “I have two sets of these, one for each of my kids. It’s important to me to preserve my children’s hearing, and they wear these at concerts, sporting events, for fireworks, etc. Love them! They are adjustable, so can work on the very young (my daughter just wore them for 4th of July fireworks at 11 weeks old), but also fit my 3-year-old with room to spare. They have one of the best NRR’s you can find in this size, and combined with the versatile fit, they’re my recommendation for anyone who wants to protect their child’s long-term hearing health.”– Alsilon SHOP JLab • $20 JBuddies Protect With plenty of padding, room to grow and a lifetime warranty, the JBuddies Protect from JLab are money well spent. The foldable design offers plenty of noise reduction without being squeezy and that matte lavender shade? Love! Ages: 0-teen NRR rating: 23dB Reviewers say: “I just bought these for my 8 month old baby girl as we are going to an event where it will be loud and I wanted something that would cushion her little head while keeping her ears covered and protecting her hearing. These are perfect and I love the color! I might buy a spare pair for her Grandmas house and daycare too!” SHOP HearTek • $15.99 Noise Canceling Headphones For noise canceling on a budget, you can’t do better than HearTek. The padded headband and soft cups muffle everything from drag races to classroom overwhelm and are a favorite among parents of kiddos on the autism spectrum. They easily fold for transport and come with a convenient travel bag to keep them clean. Ages: 3+ NRR rating: 27dB Reviewers say: “Love these! Bought them for my 3 girls ages 7 and 2, for NHRA drag races. They works perfectly! One of my 2-year-olds slept through most of the day with them on and not a sound bothered her. Not even the sound of top fuel cars, which are so loud not only so they shake your insides but even from a mile away from the track they sound like a ZL1 just raced past you, affected them while they had these on. They fit my girls who all have different-sized heads, very well, not too tight. Stayed on well too. At the end of the races, my girls were mad that they had to take them off. Definitely a great purchase.”– Mel Zach SHOP Dr. Meter • $19.99 EM100 Kids Protective Earmuffs The fully adjustable earmuffs from Dr. Meter fit a wide range of wearers from infants to adults. The fit is snug but comfortable and they easily collapse for storage. Ages: 6 month+ NRR rating: 27dB Reviewers say: ” Adjustable size to fit children to adults. Fits my 4-month-old, my 3-year-old, 10-year-old, myself and my partner. The size fully extended is too big for all of us, and the smallest size fits my two smaller ones. They’re great!”–Sidney F. SHOP Muted • $24.99 Designer Hearing Protection For Infants & Kids Stylish and comfortable, the Muted Designer headphones offer top-notch protection in designs kids want to wear. The soft, wide headband stays comfortable for long periods of time and the design is overall less bulky than competitors. Additionally, they fold up neatly to toss in your bag when not in use. Ages: 2+ NRR rating: 27dB Reviewers say: “I used to own another brand of children’s headphones/hearing protection, but my 3-year-old daughter didn’t like wearing it and I personally thought they were ugly. These Muted headphones definitely stand apart and look awesome! The quality seems good – especially the head strap. The packaging is nice too. Now that my daughter has a pair that she thinks looks cool, she practically wants to wear it all the time which is a lifesaver for our family because our daughter has a fear of loud noises (fireworks, thunder, football games). I really like the unique white head strap and colorful design on the ear cups. The headphones are comfortable for my daughter and it does a great job of blocking out loud noises so she can get through loud environments comfortably. It’s nice being able to take her out and about without her looking like someone who belongs on an airport tarmac. Rather, she looks way hipper than me and my wife!”– JT SHOP SyeiouC • $11.99 Noise Canceling Headphones for Kids and Babies These highly-rated noise canceling headphones are perfect for young babies as they offer extra internal space which means no pressure is put on baby’s ears. Made with a professional-grade noise dampening sponge, these headphones are also super comfy due to the soft padded cups that will envelop your little one’s tender ears. Super lightweight, compact, and adjustable, you can’t go wrong with this choice. Ages: 0-2+ NRR rating: 31dB Reviewers say: “I brought these for my 7 month old because he was going to be taking the train with me to New York City Comicon and for a plane trip. I cannot believe he was able to not only fall asleep with them on but stayed asleep during very loud convention meetings.” — Janice Prestano SHOP EMs for Kids • $31.99 Baby Earmuffs EMs for Kids are uniquely designed with a stretchy elastic headband as opposed to the standard built-in band. This allows it to more evenly distribute the pressure and ensure a firm but comfortable fit. The super-compact design folds small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Ages: 0-2+ NRR rating: 27dB Reviewers say: “If a ten-day-old can fall asleep at a loud rock concert you just know these are the real deal. The adjustable headband is wonderfully soft and stretchy and easy to put on even the most squirmy of little ones. The size is also compact bought to keep in a diaper bag or purse. Great buy!” SHOP Alpine Hearing • $27.99 Muffy Baby Ear Protection for Babies and Toddlers Muffy Baby offers another option with a soft headband that protects the fontanel from applied pressure. Available through the Alpine Hearing Protection Store—a leader in quality hearing protection based in The Netherlands—these headphones are adjustable, built for baby’s comfort, and come in a variety of fun colors and patterns. Ages: 0-3 years NRR Rating: 26dB Reviewers say: “We went to a KC Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium. It has been tested and Arrowhead is THE loudest stadium in the NFL. We bought tickets for our son’s birthday and didn’t want to leave 5 month old baby sister at home. I didn’t want to buy something that MIGHT work since this is her hearing we are protecting. I splurged for these earphones. They were great! Not only did she not have any negative reactions to the sounds, they were so comfortable and worked so well, she slept through the game. The game went into overtime and was sooo loud my ears were ringing. But my baby slept. Buy these.” — Team Kness SHOP A version of this article was published June 24, 2021. It has been updated.