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Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus
215 x 209 x 65mm
Because kids’ headphones need a lot of considerations that headphones for adults simply ignore, what makes a good set can vary from your expectations quite a bit. Issues like loudness protection, good fit, and value will all be much more important. But does the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus stack up? Let’s find out.
What you need to know about the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus
- Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus: $119 USD / $165 CAD
On paper, the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus is a step-up option for anyone looking for kids’ headphones with more premium creature comforts. For example, the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus has larger ear pads, with soft vegan leather on the headband too. Though there are no “high-end” kids’ headphones out there, the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus comes the closest to fitting that description — without the inclusion of active noise canceling (ANC).
This headset is squarely aimed at parents who want their kids to limit their sound exposure and have more than a few bucks to spare. The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus is far more expensive than competing kid-centric options like the JLab JBUDDIES STUDIO and JBL JR310BT. However, when compared to the regular wireless headphone field, it’s relatively inexpensive.
Like most electronics nowadays, the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus charges via USB-C and includes both a USB-C to USB-C, and USB-A to USB-C charging cables. Also included in the package are the headphones, a carrying case, 3.5mm TRRS jack cable, a set of smaller ear pads, and assorted documentation.
This is product hit shelves in late April of 2023, and the field it competes with is fairly thin. The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus is available in several colors, including black, blue, green, pink, purple, and teal.
What’s good about the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus?
The main thing we like about the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus is that its battery lasts over a full day’s worth of listening at safe volumes (75dB for 25 hours and 23 minutes in our tests). For anyone who has ever traveled with their kiddos cross-continent can tell you that the quickest path to a meltdown is a tired, hungry kid whose entertainment just stopped working. Removing the headphones as something that can go wrong on a trip is a small comfort, but a comfort nonetheless. Should the battery give up the ghost, the headphones do have the ability to be used passively with a cable (included), though you will have to use it with a device with a headphone jack.
We find the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus to be easy to wear for most child-sized heads, as the clamping force of the headphones isn’t very high. One of the most difficult things with kids’ headphones is to actually make them wear the things, so going to such lengths to avoid causing discomfort is a very good thing. Large ear cups like the ones found on the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus go a long way to keeping pressure from building up on your kid’s ears. However, this can lead to the odd issue of the ear cups slipping a bit on younger kids’ heads if they move around too fast. On an airplane it may not be such a big deal, but if your kiddos like to tear around the yard with their headphones on it could cause problems.
Connecting the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus to your phone is also as easy as it gets. A Bluetooth 5 connection over aptX or SBC means most phones and tablets can connect to the headphones wirelessly with no issue, and a wired 3.5mm connection is available if the battery runs out (or you just prefer it). Controlling the headphones is also straightforward, as the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus makes use of chunky controls that are very difficult to accidentally press. There’s no app and there’s no companion software to worry about here.
Yes, the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus has a microphone, and can be used for calls. Below are a few selected clips to give you an idea of how well it performs.
Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus microphone sample: Ideal conditions (wireless)
Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus microphone sample: Windy conditions (wireless)
For multi-child households, Puro’s daisy-chaining ability is also a godsend if you need them to stay entertained on a long car trip or flight. You can connect two Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus headsets together via a USB-C to USB-C cable (included) to share audio from one headset to another. This allows both kids to enjoy the same thing at the same time.
What’s not so good about the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus?
Though there’s a lot to like about the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Remember when we said above that the fit is a bit loose? Well, that has a few consequences for certain use cases. For example, we wouldn’t suggest these for the bus to school as they could fall off fairly easily and get damaged or lost. There’s also the issue where the large carrying case may not fit well in a backpack or cubby. These headphones will likely only be a fit for kids already in middle school — where they’d likely already have grown out of using the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus anyway.
The pairing process leaves much to be desired. Because it is difficult to prevent the headphones from trying to pair to the last device it used, if you lent your phone or tablet to Junior to watch something, you’ll have to disable Bluetooth on your own device first so you can re-pair the headphones to any other device. This can be annoying.
Then there’s the manufacturing quality. When we got to testing the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus, we found an odd deficiency in the matching between the left and right side drive units, right in the middle of the audio band. Outside of the very cheapest products, this kind of defect is rare in this day and age. While young kids aren’t likely to be audiophiles, things like this can be noticeable, or annoying, to anyone.
Another negative aspect regarding sound quality: switching between wired and wireless listening changes the sound massively, and it shouldn’t be that way at all. While we tested with the larger pads, we found that
It’s very frustrating that the sound quality changes so much from wired to wireless listening. The Bluetooth audio quality is better than that of the wired and it’s something your kids will notice. Keep in mind, our measurement results were achieved with a perfect fit with the large ear pads, so if you’re unable to guarantee that — say, the headphones slip around a bit — you may have worse results than what we were able to get in the lab. You can also expect the smaller ear pads to provide less consistent results than the ones shown here.
Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus specs
Researching kids’ headphones can be a slog. Here’s a list of all the important specifications of the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus that you may care about.
|Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus|
Ear pads: 48mm inner diameter, 94mm outer diameter
Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm
25 hours, 23 minutes
Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus review: Should you buy it?
Whether or not a set of kids’ headphones is worth it to you depends entirely on what features you need. For the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus in particular, it’s a good buy for the right person — though there are a few caveats that keep us from outright recommending it. For example, the loose fit can turn off people looking to get rambunctious kids a headset, as the headphones will simply fly off once they get the zoomies.
Be aware that there are other options on the market — including other Puro Sound Labs models that we have recommended in the past — that may be a better fit for your needs or wallet. For a bit more, you could pick up a pair of noise canceling headphones from the same company, or you could even just save yourself some money and buy something else until your kids are old enough to wear something larger. You can also most likely set a volume limiter on your phone, which, while a bit less convenient: it’s still effective. Considering that kids’ headphones don’t always volume limit even if they say they do, you should be doing this anyway.
If you like the form factor and can put up with a microUSB charging port, the BT2200 by Puro Sound Labs is superior in most ways, oddly enough. You can also find it for less than the BT2200 Plus online. You could also spend $20 more and get a set of active noise canceling headphones in the PuroQuiet headset, also by Puro Sound Labs. There are a lot of options out there at a similar price point.
Frequently asked questions about the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus
Yes, the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Plus works with any device that supports Bluetooth or a 3.5mm jack.
Not that we can identify. A full charge was able to withstand our torture test for over 25 hours, so it’s conceivable even achieving 25% charge should last you for a few hours.