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Full disclosure: I’m most decidedly not the target audience for pink headphones with kitty ears and flashing lights. That said, there are some relatively new-to-the-world humans whose orbits cross mine now and again. Hence, I accepted the iClever MTH13 review assignment, regardless of their being sized for ears far smaller than mine.
I gave these surprisingly sonorous $40 headphones the usual tire-kicking with one additional criteria in mind: that the maximum volume would not exceed what’s appropriate for fresh, undamaged young ears.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best headphones, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
Design and features
I gave away the most salient design points in my opening paragraph, but the BTH13 are pink and blue, sport flashing lights on both ear cups, and feature little kitty ears at the top of the headband. iClever offers a very similar, but obviously not identical, set of kids’ cans that young boys might appreciate more: The iClever model BTH12 are the same price as the BTH13.
I could say the BTH13 will be comfortable for kids, but even used as on-ears with my over-sized (for the design) head, I found the cushioning, headband travel and tension, and cup depth adequate for short periods use. Note that the cups articulate, but only through a few degrees.
To the rear of the right cup, you’ll find the usual up/down/next/previous, play/pause (multifunction) buttons, and a real on/off (non-momentary) switch. Also found there are a USB-C charging port and 3.5mm audio jack. iClever includes a 3.5mm cable as well as a USB-A-to-USB-C charging cable.
The thing about the buttons is that using combo presses, you can limit the peak volume to 74-, 85- or 94dB—an important feature for freshly minted ears. Set your desired volume before you hand them to the kids. And don’t throw away the users guide, which contains the key combinations. Not all button combinations seemed to work if the headset is connected. I had to unpair the phones before I could change the maximum volume.
The Bluetooth version isn’t mentioned in the docs (it’s 5.0), but pairing was quick and reliable. There was, however, a fair amount of lag while viewing TV. Don’t buy them for that.
Testing and performance
The iClever BTH13’s sound good. Ignore the voice feedback, it’s misleadingly dull. They’re not Sony-like, but for the price you could do a heck of a lot worse. The mid-range is decently defined, there’s enough top-end to get the job done, and surprisingly, there’s quite bit of bass. If it had any complaint, it’s that I’d like a bit more sparkle. Young ears likely won’t care. Bottom line, these are not cheap toys for tots—they’re legit headphones.
Volume-wise, and I’m always concerned with young people pumping sound waves into their eardrums at such close range—the BTH13 just about nailed it. I might opt for a 65dB limit for very young children, but I don’t think the maximum volume at 74dB will be damaging. And trust me, if the music is compelling, the kids will max them out.
iClever never got back to me on the capacity of the battery, but the BTH13 were still running on my desk at the 8-hour mark with no end in sight, which I consider acceptable. Without the lights on, iClever claims 45 hours of run time.
I was a bit skeptical of the iClever BTH13’s, mostly because of the look, but they’re good headphones. Not great headphones, but for $40 bucks? A very good deal. Good enough to hand down or donate once your child has grown past the look. Or you could paint them black.
On 2/5/2021 iClever returned our fact check. The Bluetooth is 5.0, the battery is 500MaH, and lights-on run time it 12 hours. I tested run time with the lights on.