Tech News on G4
Kidz Gear Bluetooth Headphones with Boom Mic
Feb 10, 2016
By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin' - G4 Canada
When you think of headphones for Kids, you’d likely think- cheap in terms of both price and build quality, often candy-coloured and fairly vanilla in terms of features. But one company doesn’t totally believe in that philosophy. In fact they are quite adamant, touting their latest offering the Kidz Gear Bluetooth Stereo Headphones with Boom Mic as being an adult product built for kids.
They’ve taken this direction, it seems, based on their assumptions that with kids being kids, they also want the same things that adults have. So to that end, the company introduced a fully featured wireless headset with detachable omnidirectional boom mic, ideal for use at home for gaming, on-line chatting and listening to tunes but also suitable for serious school work including activities like language learning.
At first glance it sort of looks like a toy. With a plastic frame construction and a choice of two fun colours, pink and blue, it’s certainly smaller than your average pair yet my better half and I could wear it quite comfortably with no issues. But once you play with it for a while, no pun intended, you’ll see that fun colours can be deceiving. It’s certainly not a toy.
The earcups are nicely padded. On the right earcup is an actual on/off switch, a large control panel with a series of buttons suitable for any sized fingers. You can easily control your volume, change tracks when listening to tunes along with pause and play and even answer a phone call. There’s also a multicolour LED indicator that depending on colour and flashing sequence, indicate power, battery level, charging and pairing status. And in the event your battery runs out of juice, there’s a standard 3.5mm audio jack that allows you to connect to your device via the included cable. On the left earcup is a micro-USB charging jack.
The headphones pair easily with almost any compatible portable device. Simply switch them on - you’ll hear an audible alert, then hold down the Pause/Play button on the right earcup for 3-4 seconds and select the headset in your mobile devices settings. This new model is not only Bluetooth 4.0 enabled, in fact, it supports Bluetooth profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HF and HS.
The built-in 3.7v 240mAh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery is rated at 10 hours play and 180 hours standby, so it’s good for all day and them some.
As for the sound, it’s quite acceptable but certainly not what I would call extremely high fidelity, favouring more the high mids and a little lacking in the bass. The boom mic does a good job and certainly adequate for Skype or FaceTime calls and dictation apps. And it gets along fine with Siri too!
Overall, I think the Kidz Gear Bluetooth Stereo Headphones is a great little wireless headset for kids. In fact it received Creative Child Magazine 2015 Product of the Year Award in the “Kids Products-Kids Headphones Category”. It’s cable-free and that it’s means safer and less hazardous, especially for younger ones and great not to have to worry about the cable getting tangled up or having it fray and tear. Of course being battery operated they will have to remember to keep them charged.
As for “grown-up performance, built for kids,” I do agree for the most part, particularly with features like Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity typically found on full-sized models. The smaller size is great for fitting kids and can certainly appeal for those casual adult users who prefer something a little more petite. With that said, perhaps they could have made them available in at least one neutral colour like grey or black.
The ability to detach the mic is also a nice feature so it can be stored when the kids just want to listen to tunes. With that said, they will need to remember where it is when it’s time to use it, which for some may be a challenge thinking back to my younger years. And finally, sound performance is average but more than acceptable considering what the headset is designed for.
The Kidz Gear Bluetooth Stereo Headphones with Boom Mic ships with an audio and USB charging cable. It’s reasonably priced, retailing for $59.99 US and available from www.gearforkidz.com. One item to note: At full retail, with the weak Canadian dollar, they may be a little out of reach for some families on tight budgets. Although, at time of writing they are currently on sale for US $49.99 including free shipping (select locations) and a free carry pouch.
The company does offer educational pricing for school and libraries through the Gear Up For Education! Program. (Lower cost wired models could be had for US $29.99 or US $19.99 without a mic.)
Rating: 4 / 5
About G4 in Canada
G4 launched on September 7, 2001 as the ultimate television resource for technology news, information and entertainment. Co-owned by G4, Rogers Media Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc., G4 is Canada's first television channel 100% dedicated to technology, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The channel features the latest technology news, information and entertainment in an exciting and high-energy format. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite.