I have to start this review with a confession: I hate buying headphones. If you are anything like me, when the time comes to replace the short-lived ear buds that you paid $12 for at Target, it hurts. You know they are not going to last long, they will probably hurt your ears — if you don’t lose them first.
A few weeks ago I was trying to find a new pair of headphones before deciding I just did not want to pay $15 for another cheap pair that would not last. Lucky for me, the next day I was approached with the BT 2200 Studio grade Wireless Headphones.
Did I mention they are made for kids? At first I was very skeptical about reviewing headphones made for children, but for a woman nearing her thirties, I have a fairly small head so I figured, "Why not?" That was the best decision I made all week.
When unboxing the BT2200 headphones from Puro Sound Labs I was first impressed with the aesthetic quality. The stark white of the headband and ear cups up against the brushed silver of the rest of the headset is very attractive, teetering the line between feminine and masculine. (I do worry about how quickly they will get dirty. Kids rarely stay clean for long.)
The headband and ear cups are made of soft leather, making them very comfortable on the ears. The left ear is the one carrying all the power. On it you will find a BlueTooth button and LED indicator, on/off power switch, volume controls, a 3.5mm auxiliary jack, and a USB charging port. This may sound like a lot of buttons and switches for such a small surface, but they are laid out nicely and improve functionality.
After unboxing, you have two options: you can use the headphones right away with the aux cable or plug them in to charge. I choose to do the later — mostly because I have never used Bluetooth headphones before ,and I really wanted the experience. It was worth the wait to charge them.
To connect them to my computer (they work with any Bluetooth device, I just use my MacBook Pro the most) I pulled out the instructions thinking it might be tricky or that my six-year-old laptop might give me trouble. Nope! It was sooo easy! And what I like even more than that is once they are paired, as soon as I turn them both on they automatically pair and I never have to worry about pairing them again.
Fact: these are made for children. However they fit me just fine and I have a friend who liked mine so much when I told her about them that, despite being made for children, she bought a pair for herself. However, if I were to buy a pair of headphones for my children these would be my first pick.
The biggest and most important feature of these headphones and their relation to children is not the style or the fact that they are wireless; those are all just nice extras compared to the preset volume limiting. The volume limiter is set to protect your child’s hearing now and in the future, giving parents peace of mind when leaving their children alone with the headphones.
The volume limiting paired with the noise cancelation of the ear cuffs makes it unnecessary to have the volume loud, even in loud public areas. When wearing the BT2200 headphones I find that I don’t need them on the highest volume setting, even in public areas — and that is after years of abuse working around jet engines. I do not see a time when the volume would not be loud enough for a child.
The battery is also great. After using these headphones every day for over a week I have yet to see any signs of needing to recharge. I am going to have to assume Puro was not kidding when they said these headphones have an 18-hour battery life with a 200-hour standby on a full charge.
Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones are in an interesting position when trying to find competitors because they don’t really have any. Most headphones are wireless or have volume limiting; rarely do they have both and never are they made specifically for children. I think the $79.99 price tag is very reasonable. So does Puro. If you are not 100% satisfied you can return them within the first 30 days.
The biggest downside to these headphones is there aren’t any made specifically for adults, but I would keep my eyes open for them. With the demand I would be surprised if they did not rise to the occasion with a bigger set with a slightly higher volume control. And I will be first in line!
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being perfect), I'd give he headphones an 8 due to the lack of color sections. Especially when geared for children, the silver and gold may limit kids' enthusiasm over the product. Also the carrying case for the BT-Series headphones is sold separately for $19.99; I feel it is a must-have for the quality of headphones and highly recommend buying one.