Headphones are a challenging purchase for parents. Most are sized for adults and don't fit children properly. Those that are styled for kids are sometimes pricey and often poorly made. This is a niche that LilGadgets hopes to address with their Untangled Pro Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (US$49). The headphones are sized for children and offer a price tag that is competitive with other Bluetooth headphones in their class.
- Bluetooth wireless headphones, sized for children 4+
- Compatible with Bluetooth devices that supports HSP, HFP and A2DP/AVCRP rpofiles. Range of 30 feet
- 40mm drivers and a range of 20Hz to 20kHz
- SoftTouch breathable mesh material covers the ear pads and headbands
- 10 hour battery life with a 180 hour standby.
- Includes a USB charging cable for charging and a 3.5mm cable for wired listening
- Available in four color options
- 100% LilGadgets Satisfaction Guarantee
LilGadgets created its Untangled Pro Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with children in mind. The over-the-ear cans feature ear pads and a headband sized appropriately for children. They are crafted with ample padding and covered with a soft, mesh material that won't scratch your child's skin. The band itself is made of metal, while the earphone pieces are plastic.
The ear pads are easy to adjust with a notched slider to fit the ear pads to match your children's head size. The connection that attaches the ear pads to the headset is a plastic disc, which looks attractive but is a weak point in the design. Within the first few days of testing, one of the ear pads got caught in my daughter's long hair as she was taking it off and the ear pad broke off when she tried to tug it free. The plastic disk broke, leaving the ear pad to dangle free on that side. It's still usable as the cabling that connects the ear pad to the headphone is still very much intact.
One of the ear pads has a volume control button and a power button, both of which may be difficult for younger children to control. The power button matches the finish of the device and is only slightly raised. On the volume side, kids have to be able to master motions such as slide up/down to change tracks, press and hold to pause/play and slide up/down and hold to change the volume. The same ear pad with the volume and power buttons also houses a micro USB charging port and a 3.5 mm wired headphone jack.
LilGadgets' Untangled Pro Wireless Bluetooth Headphones were a dream to use. They fit a range of children from ages 4 to 12 and were easy to pair with a Mac mini, a MacBook Air, iPhone and iPad. Audio quality was very good for music, online videos and educational games. Sound was as good as other headphones in the under $75 price point, but it was not at an audiophile level. That is to be expected as these are kid's headphones, where the emphasis is placed on comfort and affordability and not necessarily stellar studio sound.
The bluetooth connection was solid with no drops when I was actively listening to music or watching a movie. The Mac also picked up the headphone right away when I turned it on. The estimated 10 hours of battery life and 180 hours of standby time seems accurate as I only had to charge the headphones once a week with light daily usage. The package also includes a 3.5mm cable that provides a backup wired option for those times when you forget to charge. This cable comes in handy as you cannot charge and listen at the same time.
As is the case with most headphones, the Untangled Pro models include controls on the side of the ear piece for power, volume and playback. While volume is adjusted universally at the system level, playback control is limited to apps such as iTunes and does not work with web browser-based players or apps such as Spotify. Also, there is no volume limiter built into the headphone, instead you must rely on the source device to keep the sound at a safe level for your kids.
Bluetooth headphones tend to be more expensive than wired options as you are paying extra for the cordless connection and everything that goes along with it. The Untangled Pro is no exception with a price tag of $49 at Amazon as compared to $15 for Sony's entry-level wired model for children. This price disparity begs the question -- does the performance and design quality of the Untangled Pro justify this extra cost?
After using the headphones for the greater part of a month, I would have to say yes, but with a warning that you need to be gentle with the ear pads as they can break more easily than you may expect. The good thing, though, is that if they do break, LilGadgets has a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and will work with you on getting the device repaired or replaced. According to LilGadgets, they also have an improved model that address this ear pad problem. This more durable version will be available from Amazon starting June 29th.
Other than the broken ear pad, my month with the Untangled Pro was fantastic. It has lasted longer than other wired models that my children have used. I also like the cordless operation which prevents a child from dashing from the desk while they are still attached to a laptop. I've had this happen with a wired model and inevitably, either the laptop comes crashing to the floor or the cable on the headphones breaks.
Sound quality in the Untangled Pro is very good, rivaling other bluetooth headphones I've owned from Knivio, Photive and Motorola. The headphones also are extremely comfortable to wear, so much so that I found myself wanting to wear the Untangled Pros, even if they were for kids, instead of my wired Sony models.
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 4 stars possible