Happy Plugs Play is for kids – 5-15 – because of their shape/size, and it is volume-limited to the World Health Organisation 85dB. Oh, and they are Biomaster anti-microbial protected for grubby kids.
First, congratulations to Happy Plugs for addressing the younger market with a no-compromise product that includes: cabled and Bluetooth connections; vegan leather earpads and headband; and looking suspiciously like your parents Bose 700s – very stylish. It even comes in a zippered, hard carry case.
Second, Happy Plugs have avoided copious use of fragile and garish cheap plastic typical of kid’s headphones. These will last with an alloy head strap (wrapped in vegan leather), replaceable vegan leather ear pads, and metal fittings. They come in black, pink, gold and white – elegant.
Happy Plugs (Est 2011 Stockholm) by Andreas Vural was looking for a pair of colourful headphones for his girlfriend. He took the matter into his own hands – he painted a pair of headphones himself. Happy Plug is a merger of fashion and tech.
Brief specs – kids don’t care, but parents do (Happy plug claims)
Suits 5- to 15-year-old average-sized kids heads
Pink Gold, White and Black
BT 5.0 or 3.5mm 3-pole (Left/right stereo and mic)
Audio sharing via cable with another Happy Plugs Play
Yes, for hands-free calls and Google Assistant or Siri
On/off slide, volume up/down and fast forward/pause
SBC or Qualcomm aptX
Passive isolation blocks up to 82% of ambient noise
40mmm, 32Ω, 20Hz-20kHz
85dB on-ear (and that is plenty loud enough)
400mAh up to 25 hours (tested 22 hours at 60%)
Depends on USB charger wattage but under 2 hours Fast charge 10 minutes for 5 hours
Biomaster can stop the growth of harmful bacteria up to 99.99%.
In the box
Hard-sided zipper case, USB-A to USB-C, USB-C to USB-C and 3.5mm cable
Our test kid loves them
They look very sophisticated (like the Bose 700) and are well made. Our subject found them easy to adjusts (all metal) and comfortable. Being on-ear, she could easily slip them off or up.
We had to explain that vegan leather does not come from vegetarian cows. The tech explanation is that it mimics leather created from plant products instead of animal skins. It is soft and pliable like leather, and as it does not absorb body ‘grease’, it can last longer.
These are headphones that discerning kids may want to wear,
How does it sound?
Let’s not pretend kids are audiophiles. It is pleasant for kids music focusing on reasonably flat mid and low treble. As it does not have an app or equaliser, it is what it is. It is fine for vocal, singing and the types of music kids prefer.
The sound stage is good, left/right separation is well defined, and the maximum volume is 85dB with no perceptible distortion. BTW – the WHO limit is important. Smartphones automatically limit volume to 80dB, but other sound devices do not.
The headphones can pass through their audio to another Play headphones via the USB-C to USB-C cable.
While we achieved 22 hours of Bluetooth use at 60% volume. A nice feature is that the 3.5mm cable connection dose does not require power.
Happy Plugs have nailed the perfect kids’ headphones and done it at a very reasonable US$79.99 (A$110). Given that these should last years, that is not bad value.
My only suggestion would be to include a spare set of earpads as these are the only thing likely to wear out.
Kids headphones, even WHO volume-limiting, are not unique, but on the whole, they are garish coloured plastic things that any self-respecting kid would not want to wear. Cheeky as it is, the similarity to Bose 700 adult headsets is uncanny.
Happy Plugs Play kids headphones
Happy Plugs Play have nailed the perfect kids’ headphones and done it at a very reasonable US$79.99 (A$110). Great quality and value.
Value for money
Ease of use
Very well made
replaceable ear pads
Qualcomm Bluetooth 5.0 or 3.5mm cable
Sharing is a nice feature, but you need to Plays
Great battery life
Very minor – ramp up the bass a little or have a pre-set switch