Protecting Kids Hearing – Methods of Headphone Volume Control

Using headphones with electronic electronic equipment (MP3’s, iPads/iPods, CD’s, computers, electronic readers, e.g.) is often necessary in inclusionary settings when students are working on parallel curriculum tasks in the classroom. A concern I always have is the volume level that is set on an iDevice,  MP3’s/CD’s or computer when our students are frequent fliers on those devices to engage in activities. You never know whether the volume has been changed (or bumped) batteries are dying or equipment is not working properly. Many of our students are unable to tell us its too loud, too soft and in the haste of getting them started it can be just too easy put the headset on and get them started with their learning task. We also all know of those students don’t have the patience to wait for an audio check to happen! 

What are some options?

  • Splitters – Audio output splitters have been around for along time. They allow two headsets to be plugged in so a caretaker can check the volume level with a second set of headphones, allowing the student’s listening to be undisturbed. For some programs I like to use the splitter option so that I know what the program directions are to help them of the student inorder to hel them through an activity. Sometimes it’s not just the volume but whether the equipment is working at all that is needed (i.e. someone turned on mute, headphones gone bad…). Splitters are available on at your local Radio Shack or other stores that sell electronics for about 3.00. has Belkin Speaker and Headphone Splitter for easy online purchase.

  • Headphones with controlled volume levels are also available such as Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids.  Kidz Gear provides audio limits with their kid headset that limit the volume up to 80% of the origninal maximum level. Quality of their build is comparable to adult headsets. Cost is 19.99.

  • Splitters with volume control are another option allowing use of standard headphones but providing a  volume control setting for a determined safe sound level. Kidz Gear Volume Limit Splitter Cable provides that easy access volume control.

Consider protecting your student’s hearing.

More for your OT iTool Kit!


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in Accessibility, iPad, iPhone, iPod, iPod/iPad Accessory, Special Needs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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