The Chinese manufacturer Onanoff has introduced the Standard, Explore and InFlight models, three lightweight on-ear headphones designed specifically for children, each with anti-allergenic synthetic leather upholstery, an integrated audio splitter for monitoring and a volume limit. Regarding the latter, this is 85dB for the Standard and Explore versions, while the InFlight headphones offer an adjustable limit in three levels
The Buddyphones are made of plastic and make a sturdy impression because the stirrup construction is not rigid, but soft and flexible. Nevertheless, the headphones provide sufficient stability for a good fit, especially as the extendable size adjustment offers a lot of variabilities. Given a recommended minimum age of three years, the on-ears are still comfortable for adults with a narrow head shape—the adaptability is excellent.
When it comes to cables, all three models are equipped with a rubberized ribbon cable that at the very least appears to resistant and of high quality. This has a gold-plated mini jack and the integrated audio splitter, which allows the monitoring of another headphone. On Buddyphones, a total of up to four headphones can be connected to each other via the splitter. The cable length of the headphones with 80cm is too short in my view, quickly diminishing the pleasure of listening. Although a short cable can minimize dangers, it limits the child’s freedom of movement in this case.
Compared to the standard version, the cable that comes with the Explorer and InFlight headphones has a 1-button remote control and built-in microphone to control Android and iOS device features. At the touch of a button, playback can be started or stopped and a call can be accepted or terminated. You can also double-click to jump to the next track, while a triple click navigates back to the previous one. The speech intelligibility when making a call is present in both headphones, but the button has too much freedom on the InFlight model, which causes it to rattle. This is not the case with the Explorer headphone, which has a smaller control. Another positive, in my opinion, is that the cables in the Explorer and InFlight model can be replaced as both Buddyphones have mini-jack sockets on the left earphone shell.
The InFlight version also has a padded upholstery for extra comfort and it is foldable, perfect for travelling. Fittingly, the model is also delivered with a fabric bag and airline adapter. Another special feature is the adjustable volume limitation. Since 85dB can be too quiet in a noisy environment, such as on a plane, a louder 94dB mode is available as an alternative to the recommended default setting. For particularly young listeners, the limit can also be set to 75dB. The adjustment is made on the right earphone shell and has a child safety: the rotating mechanism is modelled after the safety caps on medical capsules two pressure points. This will certainly not be a challenge for older children. In this case, the setting would have to be checked regularly if the kids aren’t allowed to listen at this volume, but this is possible from the outside. The safety mechanism should prove sufficient against any attempts by younger children.
The volume limitation of the Buddyphones takes place through an integrated circuit and is thus always active. It limits the level to a predefined maximum value to protect children’s hearing from high levels but allows for volume control until the limit is reached. However, the audio splitter is not limited, so that children who want to listen should also use a headphone with independent volume limit. Adults or large siblings, on the other hand, can listen in without this restriction.
The tonal tuning of the Buddyphones is balanced so that neither the treble and mids or the bass range dominate. However, the sound is dull and in more complex representations also diffuse and not well defined. Although the headphones have a fanned stereo image and the sound is warm and round rather than cold or metallic, it lacks clarity and liveliness. In that sense, the sound quality does not go beyond an acceptable mediocrity. It is quite possible to follow a radio show or podcast, but the headphones will reach their limits with more complex music.
Die Buddyphones Standard, Explore und InFlight zeichnen sich durch eine hohe Anpassungsfähigkeit aus, wirken robust sowie pflegeleicht und bieten einen guten Sitz. Ein Manko stellt aus meiner Sicht das kurze Kabel der drei Modelle dar, welches insbesondere beim gemeinsamen Hören über den Audiosplitter wenig Bewegungsfreiheit zulässt. Lobenswert ist hingegen die implementierte Lautstärkebegrenzung der Kinderkopfhörer, welche das Gehör vor Schädigungen durch zu laute Pegel schützt und beim InFlight-Modell dem Alter und der Hörumgebung entsprechend angepasst werden kann. Dabei mangelt es den Buddyphones klanglich an Offenheit und Klarheit, um höheren Ansprüchen gerecht zu werden. Ein akzeptables Mittelmaß wird jedoch geboten.
- Ear couplingOn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Impedance32 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)83,92 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head340 g
- Weight with cable89 g
- Weight without cable80 g
- Cable length80 cm
- Weight Standard: 89g
- Weight Explorer with cable: 88g
- Weight Explorer without cable: 77g
- Weight InFlight with cable: 113g
- Weight InFlight without cable: 101g