What Are Volume-Limiting Headphones?

by Emma Williams | Published On

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What Are Volume-Limiting Headphones

Loud music can be enjoyable and energizing, putting you in the mood to dance. However, exposing your ears to excessive volume for an extended period can result in severe damage, including hearing loss.

Children are especially vulnerable as their ears are still developing. Therefore, they should exercise caution when listening to music at high volumes for extended periods. Volume-limiting headphones help keep your children safe while providing hours of entertainment by regulating the maximum audio levels.

Know more about volume-limiting headphones in this exclusive article, where I have tried to explain their various benefits and their uses while maintaining the focus on their importance for children.

What Are Volume-Limiting Headphones?

Volume-limiting headphones set an upper audio output limit at a safe listening level. These headphones have level limiters that restrict the maximum volume to upto 85db or less, unlike regular headphones that can reach up to 115 dB.

These headphones also make sure users can’t bypass this volume limitation feature. They provide a simple, efficient way to ensure sound levels remain safe.

Volume-limiting headphones use resistors, machines that provide resistance in electric circuits, either within the cable or in each RCA connector, to reduce the amount of current that passes from the source to the output.

This ensures that sound levels remain well-controlled and do not exceed safety limits. These devices allow users to enjoy great sound without worrying about harmful loudness levels.

While regular headphones might not provide this protection and additional control, you should use them in moderation to make them safe.

Are Volume Limiting Headphones Safe?

Volume-limiting headphones are designed to restrict sound outputs at 85 dB or below and are a safe option for listening to music. Loud noises closer to 100 dB can start harming your ears in as little as two hours, so it’s necessary to be aware and cautious about noise levels to protect your hearing.

Sound intensity is measured in decibels (dB), and according to the CDC, the recommended and safe maximum volume level is 85 dB. This was calculated using risk assessment techniques and incorporating the hearing thresholds of people with hearing loss.

85 dB is considered a comfortable sound volume for extended listening periods and should not cause any long-term noise-related health risks as long as it is limited to no longer than eight hours per day. CDC also mentions that if the volume is exceeded 85 dB for a certain period, it may cause hearing loss.

You can also refer to the WHO document that talks about how you can make listening safe in your daily life.

Features You Should Be Looking for When Buying Volume-Limiting Headphones?

Bluetooth connectivity in volume-limited headphones means a built-in amplifier controls their loudness, which can help manage the audio’s upper limit.

In regular headphones, even when you increase the headphones’ volume, they might not sound that bright or screeching in the ears. However, wired headphones tend to surpass this limit due to their loudness being controlled by the audio device they are connected to.

Thus, Bluetooth-enabled volume-limiting headphones cannot supply too much power and increase loudness, protecting your child’s hearing ability.

It would be best to look for lightweight headphones that can be rounded or folded in half whenever needed so they can be carried easily. Volume-limiting headphones for your child should be light and comfortable, as your child will spend hours of the day wearing them around his ears. It should be considered that these headphones are not too heavy on the ears.

Also, many brands use cushions under the headbands to support the whole headphone. This will also protect the child’s head from the hard material of the headband.

While researching the brands for volume-limiting headphones, you can check for the material used during the manufacturing process. For example, you can go for headphones made from aluminum, steel, or metal other than plastic, as kids tend to break things out of curiosity or while inspecting them while figuring out how to use them.

The adjustability of the volume-limiting headphones should also be checked. You can go with a headphone that has adjustable headband length. This is important because your child should be able to adjust the speakers on both sides.

The main component of the volume-limiting headphone is the volume-limiting functionality. You need to go ahead and look for headphones without the volume-limiting bypass switch. This will ensure that these headphones do not give out louder volumes. The user of the headphone cannot turn it off, and neither can your child if they use regular headphones and go past the set volume levels.

Where Can I Find Them?

It is possible to purchase volume-limiting headphones for anywhere from $6 to as much as $100. Puro Sound Labs Volume Limiting Headphones come with clear audio quality and a 30-foot range for unrestricted movement while delivering these features for under $100. It depends on your desired features and whether you prefer an offline or online shopping experience.

Suppose online learning is your concern, and you do not want to negotiate with the battery backup. In that case, ONANOFF Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones for Toddlers and Kids come with a built-in microphone and about a 24-hour battery backup, falling under the $100 price range.

Whatever your budget may be, these headphones are worth considering due to their effectiveness and potential cost savings, and volume-limiting headphones need minimal maintenance while in use.

Problems With Volume Limiting Headphones

Like every electronic device, volume-limiting headphones may also give you some issues. The following points can be experienced while using these headphones –

The standard functionality of volume-limiting headphones is to keep the volume under 85 dB; these headphones are designed to protect your ears. However, sometimes they appear to be louder than that; if this happens, it defeats these headphones’ overall purpose.

Some volume-limiting headphones have a louder sound, around 89 dB to 90 dB, which makes it possible to say that they might not be suitable for usage and do not adhere to the volume-limiting regulations.

A few headphones have the bypass button. In this case, Volume-limiting headphones with dual purposes for disabling the volume controls can harm your child’s ear health because they are easily evaded with a single button. A headphone with a “safe mode” off button can be hazardous as these kids curiously turn on and off and touch random buttons.

As a result, you need to make sure you are going for a plain and straightforward volume-limiting headphone that does not have a volume-limiting bypass button.


Volume-limiting headphones are a creative invention for parents of children who enjoy listening to music. Not only do they protect your child from long-term hearing damage, but they can also give worried parents peace of mind.

And you don’t have to miss out on some quality tunes as volume-limiting headphones provide a safe way for everybody in the family to listen together without compromising ear health.

These headphones are comfortable and come in various sizes and styles, offering the chance to find the perfect pair.

However, I hope after reading this article about volume-limiting headphones, you have managed to gather some knowledge of volume-limiting headphones. Let me know in the comments section if you want to know the specific models of the best volume-limiting headphones.


Many manufacturers will explicitly state that their headphones are volume-limiting, so this is often the easy way to tell. Alternatively, you can check the specifications of the headphones to see if they include a volume limiter. 

Yes, volume-limiting headphones can be safe for adults to use as well. However, it’s worth noting that most adults do not need volume-limiting headphones, as they are typically designed for children. If you are an adult and looking for headphones, you will likely be better off looking for headphones without a volume limit. 

It depends on the headphone’s features and specifications. Some volume-limiting headphones allow you to adjust the volume limit while others do not. You may check the device documentation to see if the volume limit is adjustable. 

No, not all headphones are volume-limiting. Some headphones are designed to provide the highest possible sound quality, without any volume-limiting features. 

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