MyFirst Headphones Bone Conduction Wireless review: At €76 you want a little more than just okay

The sound quality of bone conduction audio products may not meet your standards if you have been using decent in-ear buds

MyFirst Headphones Bone Conduction Wireless
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Price: €76
Where To Buy: Oaxis

In theory, the MyFirst Headphones Bone Conduction Wireless are a great idea. As any parent who has been faced with the choice between suffering the sound of Peppa Pig on full blast or handing over a set of headphones will tell you, there is a compelling case for both sides of the argument.

On one hand, you don’t want your child to disappear into a TV show or, worse, damage their hearing by wearing headphones to block out the world. On the other, Peppa is incredibly annoying, Cocomelon may want to make you hurl your tablet or phone out the window, and hearing the “Mammy Finger, Daddy Finger, where are you?” song over and over again in a small space might be what finally pushes you over the edge.

There are nuances, you see.

But the MyFirst headphones neatly solve all these problems. They will keep your child’s hearing safe, ensuring they are still able to hear the outside world, while also keeping the volume on their viewing material away from the rest of us. Or at least, mostly away from everyone’s else’s hearing.

Bone conduction technology isn’t like your average earbuds, which deliver sound through the air, directly into the ear canal. The technology instead uses the bones of the skull to transmit sound. This leaves your ears uncovered – and free from potential hearing damage – and means you can hear what is going on around you.

So are the MyFirst Headphones Bones Conduction Wireless the audio solution you have been looking for? It’s a very wary “maybe”.

MyFirst is a brand aimed at children. The company has a range of kid-focused technology, from headphones and smartwatches to cameras. For the most part, they are decent and do what they claim in a relatively durable form. Any product that has crossed this desk (so far) has survived the over-enthusiastic attentions of several children.

The bone conduction headphones follow the same design principles as the rest of the products. The company claims they are unbreakable, although that sounds more like a challenge for a determined four-year-old, and they are water resistant so should survive being dropped down the toilet (don’t ask).

They consist of a very flexible band joining two circular pads with soft rubber contact points that allow the headphones to conduct the sound through your cheekbones, and two flat rectangles that sit against your head behind the ears, containing the rechargeable battery and the controls for the headphones plus the built-in microphone.

They aren’t the most stylish, although the second colour option of green with purple accents is more aesthetically pleasing than the standard grey.

They are comfortable, though. They are lightweight and the band is big enough to accommodate this adult-sized head, so should fit a range of children without difficulty.

As your child cranks up the volume, you don’t have to worry that they are destroying their hearing for the future. Just your appreciation of music and general mental wellbeing

The issue with the headphones, though, is one that everyone implementing this technology needs to take into account. While some of the higher-end headphones fare better, the limitations of the technology mean the sound quality of bone conduction audio products may not meet your standards if you have been using a decent set of in-ear buds.

But you also have to consider the audience for these headphones. It’s hard to step away from all the usual considerations for headphone reviews. Those aimed at children do not have to have top-notch sound quality, for a start. Your five-year-old is unlikely to be looking for the same bass quality or the detail an adult audio fan will; they just want to hear Muffin Cupcake Heeler’s antics without interruption.

On the other hand, you can’t just serve up substandard sound, slap a child-friendly label on it and charge more than €70 for wireless headphones and expect parents to stump up. So a nice balance between the two would be good.

The MyFirst headphones are okay. They’re not going to make me give up my usual earbuds or my over-ear alternatives; at €76, I want a little more than just okay.

But I would be willing to hand them over to the youngest member of the family, as long as I don’t have to sit next to him while he’s wearing them. Because limitation number two of bone conduction tech is, rather than being silent to everyone else, they can actually leak sound in the same way that all other headphones do.

It’s volume dependent, of course, but like earbuds you can hear just enough of the tinny sound for it to be annoying but not enough to clearly discern what is going on. (Unless it is Cocomelon, and then the repetitive songs will eventually find their way into your brain, where they will stay, driving you up the wall.)

The only difference is that as your child cranks up the volume, you don’t have to worry that they are destroying their hearing for the future. Just your appreciation of music and general mental wellbeing.

The MyFirst headphones have a microphone built in, so your child can use them with games – not something I’m keen on – or for video calls with family. The battery lasts about five hours, and the charger is proprietary, so don’t lose it or else you’ll find the headphones are fairly useless. And getting a replacement isn’t as easy as searching the drawer of spare cables.

Good

These headphones solve a number of problems you may have with handing over headphones to a young child: they don’t damage their delicate ear bones, and they can still hear what is going on around them. And you don’t have to listen to whatever TV show or game they are obsessed with.

These are also fairly durable, despite the best efforts of some of the testers.

Bad

If you are looking for top-notch sound quality, the technology isn’t quite there yet. Plus be prepared for lots of complaining about being able to hear what is going on around them. Also the sound leak could be irritating.

The buttons for controlling power and volume are fiddly, even for small fingers.

Everything else

Battery life is fine at five hours of continuous listening, and the headphones charge quickly enough. Keep the cable close though.

A built-in mic makes these wireless headphones usable for gaming and video calls.

Verdict

A good way to sidestep the worries about hearing damage, but sound quality is just okay.

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