What happens when 3 entrepreneurs with tech backgrounds aim to do something about hearing loss in children? The dads create a better headphone. But do Puro Sound Labs' new headphone pass the kid test?
What happens when 3 entrepreneurs with tech backgrounds aim to do something about hearing loss in children? The dads create a better headphone. “We got together to start a company but it’s become a cause,” says Jason Wehner, Chief Technology Officer for Puro Sound Labs.
Launched in January 2015, the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 wireless headphones for kids protect young ears using 3 signature features. Most headphones for children either reduce ambient noise, making it easier for kids to hear what they are listening to, or limit the volume.
A few, like Puro, do both. Puro blocks 82% of background noise by using a passive ambient noise reduction system that eliminates the seashell whooshing sound that often creeps into active systems.
If a child on a school bus filled with boisterous buddies can’t hear his music or mimic the blasts and pings of his game’s soundtrack, he turns up the volume. That could be a problem.
“We partnered with the Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) to look at hearing loss prevention,” says Wehner. “HHF recommends that people listen for no more than 2 hours per day at 85-95 decibels and at higher levels, no more than 15-minutes a day.” Puro’s children’s headphones limit volume to 85 decibels, a level deemed safe for 8 hours of daily use.
To prevent hearing loss, parents should be as picky about their child’s headphones as they are about choosing a kid-friendly tablet or mobile device. “As many as 16 percent of teens (ages 12 to 19) have reported some hearing loss that could have been caused by loud noise,” according to a 2010 survey by the Center for Disease Control.
Calling Puro’s third signature feature “balanced response,” Wehner says, “We carefully engineer the sound from bass to vocals to high range. Headphones tend to be bass heavy which can lead to a very unnatural sound. We eliminated the extra mid-bass and made sure that the vocals are prominent. Therefore, users can listen at a lower level.”
Put the 3 special elements together and you get a studio-grade headphone that delivers an elegant clarity of sound.
And importantly, our kid-testers, Daniel, 8 years old, and Dillon, 7, like the Puro headphones, rating them high for comfort, sound quality, and looks. After all, in order for the headphones to be beneficial, your budding rock stars and game aficionados must use them.
Daniel dons the BT2200’s first and when Dillon tries them on, he instantly connects to Daniel’s music. That’s not a flaw, as we first think, but a user-friendly feature. “The headphones keep in memory the last 8 devices it connected to. If you turn it off, then turn it on, the headphones reconnect to the most recent device,” says Wehner. That’s why Dillon heard Daniel’s music.
What to do? Hold down the Bluetooth button for about 3 seconds until it flashes blue. Then the headphones will automatically pair to whatever device it finds as “ready.” No fumbling with required settings, a relief for tech-challenged parents.
Watch Daniel and Dillon's full review below.
Although designed for children, Puro’s BT2200 fits most adults. That could make some parents rethink the value of sharing, at least until September when Puro is slated to release new headphones targeted to both adults and teens.
Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones, recommended for ages 2.5 years and older, retail for $79.99. purosound.com.