Product Review – iHome eKids Kiddesign Over The Ear Headphones

In late September, we took a five-week trip to five cities on two continents. One day alone included two flights totalling 19 hours of travel. We knew we needed to be proactive to keep LB entertained, so we bought him a pair of over-ear headphones with a sound control keeping volume from going too high (an essential feature for kids in my mind). The vibrant Despicable Me design was an added bonus too! The cushions around the ears were handy to defuse surrounding noise and make sure his tiny ears were not squished by anything hard. The adjustable headband section was great so we could check the volume then readjust to fit LB. It also meant this purchase could grow with him.

Each time he wanted to watch something, he was set up with the headphones and an iPad or iPhone. We stored them carefully with our things when not in-use and they were treated well as LB cherished them. With all this, he was quite content for the long flights…at first. About a week or two later we noticed he would protest that the volume wasn’t loud enough. We didn’t think much of it until we tried them on ourselves and listened…to hear nothing. We turned the cord this way and that to hear  parts of the sound come through. No matter which device we paired the new headphones with, the same inconsistent sound result. But it worked more than it didn’t work so we thought hoped it was a fluke. It wasn’t.

A few more weeks later, on our return trip, the headphones were more trouble than help in entertaining LB. He grew frustrated trying to use them and they worked rarely and not long more than a few seconds at a time, making it impossible to watch even the shortest cartoon or program. Even holding the cord in a certain way wouldn’t do much to help the sound come through with clarity and consistency. Thankfully, it was only a 12-hour trip this time and relied on his books and well-timed naps instead of the iPad/iPhone.

By the time the sound became an issue, my son was already smitten with the headphones and his little minions so we let him wear them every so often but wouldn’t plug it into the iPad so he could hear through the iPad’s sound system but still feel grown-up to wear his special new headphones. Occasionally (like once a week), we would plug the headphones in to see if they were miraculously healed, with the same hit-or-miss short-lived success. This continued for about two months then a couple weeks ago, when we plugged it in and it didn’t work, we unplugged right away to have the cord separate from the plug element, leaving the plug in the iPad jack! I immediately Tweeted (shown below) iHome regarding the issue and also messaged them via their Facebook page, but have not heard back.

Wouldn’t you think electronics designed for and marketed towards children would last for more than a week or a month?

eKids Ui-M40MN.FX Headphones, Despicable Me
Visual appearance: *****
Sound quality: *
Longevity: *
Customer service: *

We are currently considering other headphone options and I’d love to hear what worked for you. I know it’s crazy, but has anyone else let their child use a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre Studio 2.0 Over-Ear Headphones?

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