We’re used to seeing plenty of over-ear headphones targeting little listeners here at TechRadar, but true wireless earbuds for children, such as the just-announced SoundForm Nano Wireless Earbuds for Kids from Belkin, are very much a rare breed.
Designed for children aged seven and upwards, the new Bluetooth earbuds feature output limitation to keep volume below 85 decibels (the current US Occupational Safety and Health Administration's limit for workplace exposure), making sure that they can't damage their hearing by accident.
While sound quality often tends to be something of an afterthought for headphones designed for youngsters, that doesn’t seem to be the case here, with the Nano’s featuring 6mm dynamic drivers in each earbud.
They also promise a decent 24 hours of battery life in total, with up to 5 hours of non-stop playtime in the buds, plus an additional 19 hours of juice offered from their charging case, while their IPX5 water resistance should ensure they can withstand a water pistol fight.
Younger kids have smaller ear canals that often make in-ear headphones an irritating and uncomfortable experience, but Belkin are addressing that with a selection of included ear tips that go down to a special extra-extra small size.
Equally diminutive is the asking price, with the Nano set to retail for $49.99 / £29.99 and will go on sale towards the end of June 2022, in a choice of three colors.
Analysis: Could Belkin be down with the kids with these earbuds?
There’s an obvious reason why true wireless headphones have not up to this point been widely offered for younger listeners – those little earbuds are forever being lost by adults, let alone easily distracted kids.
But it’s also worth bearing in mind just how children view the world – seeing their parents and older siblings wearing AirPods make those wacky colored cans that they got for their birthday seem altogether uncool, which means the SoundForm Nano could be a big hit.
They’re cheap enough to replace if one does get lost, they have volume limits to avoid accidental hearing damage, and should save the sanity of parents on those long summer car journeys who can no longer bare the canned laughter of The Thundermans and that Bluey theme tune.
We can understand parents being nervous about giving kids true wireless buds, but we think Belkin's offering a good formula here.
Belkin is probably best known for its wide range of Apple accessories and chargers, but the last couple of years has seen the Californian firm make a big move for the headphone and smart speaker markets with its SoundForm branding.
Alongside the Nano, and their premium Immerse noise cancelling earbuds which were launched earlier this year at CES, the firm has also expanded its audio portfolio further with the unveiling today of another set of True Wireless earbuds for grown-ups.
The new SoundForm Play headphones feature 3 touch-controllable EQ presets for personalised sound and Dual Beamforming tech with 2 microphones in each earbud for improved audio clarity on calls, and go on sale priced at $59.99 / £49.99 later this summer.
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Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.