When my six-year-old’s teacher told us we had to buy her a wired headset for school, I must have spent an entire hour doomscrolling Amazon reviews. Normal headsets wouldn’t fit, and every option for younger kids was from an alphabet soup brand of dubious quality — they felt like so much of a gamble that we eventually just went with one of the cheapest options.
Logitech’s new Zone Learn would have been an instabuy for me. Not only does the $40 rotating boom mic headset come from a name brand but it also actually looks thoughtfully designed — minus one feature, perhaps.
It’s flexible, adjustable, gives you the choice of over-ear ear cups or on-ear ear pads (in case your kid needs more or less isolation or gets claustrophobic or sweaty) and your pick of audio cables: 3.5mm (AUX), USB-A, and / or USB-C.
Did I mention both those ear cups and cables are modular, and you can swap them right out? The $40 retail kit only includes over-ear cups and both 3.5mm and USB-C cables, but Logitech says even consumers can “simply order more earpads and cables when they need to be replaced.”
Logitech also says it’s been tested to repeatedly resist drops up to four feet, survive being cleaned again and again with school chemicals, and that its cables should even resist being casually chewed on by a bored kid.
Logitech doesn’t advertise any volume output limitation, though. We asked the company about that, and here’s a partial statement from Logitech spokesperson Wendy Spander:
We tuned the acoustic performance of the product to be optimized around learning applications, focused on vocal clarity, and designed the fit of the headset to balance the comfort for K-12 learners while maximizing the likelihood of good noise isolation. We were able to ensure that the Zone Learn headsets are compliant with EN 50332-2 and based on that testing, have a result that is well below the 100 dBA maximum as set by the EU requirements. Beyond this we do not currently limit the maximum sound pressure from the headsets (through the cables or otherwise) in order to meet the requirements and needs of schools.
That might be slim comfort if your kid cranks tends to crank up volume up to the max: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends less than 15 minutes of exposure per day to 100dBA sounds to avoid hearing loss, and even OSHA limits workers to two hours per day. But it depends on the device that’s sending audio to those headphones, too.
I’d probably be comfortable with it, personally, as my six-year-old is naturally adverse to loud noises and yet actually complained that her alphabet soup headset wasn’t loud enough to hear. YMMV.
The $40 retail package is coming this summer, while educators should be able to order sets with their choice of cable and ear pad this spring for $35 each.
Update, 3:03PM ET: Added that this headset doesn’t advertise a volume limiting feature, Logitech’s response, and some context.