Here at CES, headphone maker Etymotic is focusing on its new range of earphones for children, the Ety-Kids line.
We tested them out (apparently the editor of iPad & iPhone User has child-sized ears) and the odd thing is that they don't noticeably reduce volume; we still found it painful to ramp up volume to the maximum. But Etymotic insisted that even at this painful maximum volume, the earphones would be safe for a child to use for a full four hours per day. And up to twice that figure, assuming it's not a particular loud, rock-type recording.
The Ety-Kids earphones work by reducing sensitivity rather than electronically limiting the volume. And this means the sound quality isn't degraded; our go on various rocky tunes with the Ety-Kids 5 pair revealed the sound quality to be rich and sharp.
There are two pairs available, the Ety-Kids 5 and the Ety-Kids 3, but the only difference is that the 3 has a three-button inline remote. The two pairs have the same drivers and audio quality.
The Ety-Kids 5 are available now in the UK - Amazon has them for £44.20 (for Ripoff Britain-type comparison, the US price for these is $49). The Ety-Kids 3 are expected to launch in the UK in late January, but currently cost $79 in the US.