Let’s face it: being human is pretty cool. We get opposable thumbs, vastly increased lifespans compared to most other animals, and Netflix. It’s not a bad deal when you think about it.
But anyone who’s spent any time around cats will have gotten the feeling from time to time that it would be nice to try out their lifestyle for a while. Sleeping. Playing. More sleeping. Eating. Sleeping again. Cats do what they want when they want. When you have to get up to go to work or school and your cat gets to stay in the warm spot you left in the bed, you can’t help wondering if you’re getting the worse side of the deal.
Unfortunately, you can’t just quit your life and become a cat. But what if you could get a taste of that sweet cat life as you go about your regular day? Well, maybe you can. The answer is cat ear headphones.
Cat ear headphones combine the very human ability to listen to music wherever you go with the adorable pointy ears of a cat. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. You can get that classic feline look without having to give up lattes and Wifi. If you’re looking to spend your day as some sort of beautiful cat person, these headphones could be just the thing you need.
So let’s take a closer look at this cute cat-themed trend. Here are the best cat ear headphones money can buy.
Best Cat Ear Headphones – Our Top Recommendations
Cat ears aside, there are a few things you need to think about when you’re shopping for headphones. Thanks to Apple getting rid of the headphone jack on the latest iPhones, Bluetooth headphones have become increasingly popular. It’s easy to see why.
Having a wire trailing down your neck is no fun. Feeling like an android might be your thing, but you at least want to feel like a high-tech android. Not some analog monstrosity built in a garage.
Bluetooth headphones free you from the constant nuisance of a wire that is liable to get snagged on everything you pass by. Even if you’re not part of the Apple clan and still have a headphone jack on your phone (you savage!), Bluetooth headphones offer a lot of freedom you don’t get from traditional wired headphones.
The Brookstone headphones are certainly made to be eye-catching. Besides the cat ears themselves, these headphones feature LED lights which can be made to flash in time with the music you’re listening to. While this might be a little much for the bus ride to work in the early morning, this feature goes down a lot better at parties.
Speaking of parties, these headphones boast a nifty feature for social occasions. The cat ears on the headband contain speakers, and you can switch from using the headphone to using the speakers so that you can share your music with your friends. These headphones can turn you into a cat-themed battery powered LED lit mobile human speaker. Opportunities like that don’t come around every day.
The sound quality of these headphones is impressive, especially in the headphone mode. The external speakers don’t offer the same quality, but it’s a fun option to have when you need it. And the LED lights feature isn’t quite as silly as you might think. You can change the color of the lights manually, which allows you to coordinate your headphones with your outfit on any given day. You can’t say that for the cheap earbuds that came with your phone, can you?
Like all Bluetooth headphones, one of the chief weaknesses of this set is the fact that you have to charge them. This is accomplished via a micro USB port, so you probably have a lot of compatible chargers lying around already. While these headphones are comfortable to wear, they are a little on the heavy side. That’s not always a bad thing, though. You don’t want to forget you’re wearing them and start nodding to the beat so hard you drop them. The weight helps you to remember that the headphones are there.
OK, in the interests of journalistic accuracy, I should point out that these Brookstone headphones are basically the same as the other Brookstone headphones mentioned in this review. The same 40mm drivers in the headphones, with a 20Hz-20KHz response. The same Lithium Ion rechargeable battery that boasts 5 hours of playing time per charge. The same adjustable LED accent lights. The same built-in microphone that allows you to use your feline headphones to take phone calls. The same headphones, basically.
So what’s the difference? Well, to start with, this version of the Brookstone headphones comes in a shiny metallic finish. Sure, it’s purely cosmetic. But the metallic shine of these headphones really makes them stand out. And if you’re not wearing cat ear headphones to stand out, why are you wearing them at all?
The unique styling of these headphones comes from the design input of Ariana Grande. Since you’re reading an article about cat ear headphones, you probably already know who she is, but in case you don’t, Ariana Grande is neither a Microsoft Word font nor a limited edition beverage from Starbucks. She is, in fact, a massively successful singer and actress. And Ms. Grande is partially responsible for the cat ears trend in the first place, often wearing cat ears on stage and at glitzy events. So the partnership between her and Brookstone on these cat-inspired headphones makes more sense than it may seem at first.
The inner workings of these Ariana Grande Limited Edition headphones may be the same as the regular Brookstone wireless headphones, but they look cooler. And they would make an excellent gift for an Ariana Grande fan, or just someone who wants their headphones to look a little different, even from those of other cat people. Sometimes looking good is just as important as sounding good, and these headphones certainly manage that.
We all like to play pretend from time to time, but kids really love it. And any kid that likes cats will get a kick out of a pair of headphones that give them cat ears. The bright colors that these headphones come in are sure to appeal to kids, and these headphones can be a godsend on long car rides or during waits at airports or doctor’s offices. Really anywhere where you just need the kids to be quiet for a while.
These headphones are wired rather than being Bluetooth compatible, so they won’t work with any phone that doesn’t have a headphone jack (although you can get an adapter to make them work through the Lightning connector of an iPhone). The cable is attached to the headphones only on one side, which makes it less likely for a child to get tangled up in it. The cord is also flattened to resist kinking and snagging.
Another child-friendly feature of these headphones is the volume limitation. These headphones are designed to keep the volume they put out at a reasonable range, no matter how loud the input they are receiving. These headphones won’t go above 85 decibels no matter what. This is important since younger ears are more vulnerable to the damage that can be caused by excessively loud sounds.
The cushioned ear pads are on the smaller side, but that’s not a surprise with a headset made for children. The cute cat ears are made of soft silicone that bends rather than breaking, so you won’t have to worry about your child injuring themselves or others with the pointy ears on the headband.
Anything designed to be used by children is bound to take a beating. These headphones are advertised as being able to stand up to the punishment kids can dish out. They are flexible and bendable to withstand being dropped, stepped on, bitten and whatever else may happen to them. At least, that’s what the manufacturer says. How much rough treatment they would actually stand up to in the real world is debatable. But at least these headphones are affordable enough that replacing them won’t break the bank.
These sleek-looking headphones have a futuristic look that will fit in well with whatever device you use to listen to your music. Even the cat ears mounted on the headband have a low-profile, rounded appearance. But there is more to these headphones than meets the eye, with several design elements that set them apart.
The first is their noise canceling abilities. The sponge ear cups are designed to cover your ears entirely, blocking out any sound that would otherwise interfere with your listening pleasure. If you’ve never tried noise-canceling headphones, you owe it to yourself to experience the difference it can make. There’s nothing worse than having your music tainted by the loud voice of strangers or the dull rumble of an airplane engine. These headphones will help to make you feel splendidly isolated with nothing but your music.
Another feature of the Censi headphones that makes them great for travel is the fact that they are foldable. With airline baggage limits getting tighter all the time, anything that can save space in your luggage is a good idea. Also, the fact that these headphones fold makes them less prone to being damaged inside a bag.
The headphones come in both wired and wireless formats, so you can choose which suits you. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Wired headphones don’t need to be charged. But trailing wires are annoying, and depending on your phone, may not even be compatible. Being able to choose for yourself is nice.
Finally, the cat ears on these headphones are removable. On days when you don’t feel like being a cat, you don’t have to be. The cat ears on these headphones can even be replaced with other accessories. Currently, antennae are available for an alien/robot vibe, and there are plans to introduce devil horns and even a fancy little top hat. These cute headphones offer more than your average cat ear headphones.
The Censi headphones certainly look the part. Unfortunately, the sound quality isn’t what it could be. Especially on the low end, bass notes are muted and sometimes altogether absent. If a heavy bass is essential to you, these may not be the right headphones to choose. On the other hand, if you want a pair of functional headphones that can also be used in cosplay, these could be ideal.
Kids will be blown away by the look of these earphones. Not only do they have cat ears, but the LED accent lights really make this set stand out. The lights can be set to four different colors or switched off entirely to conserve battery life. This is an excellent option to have in dark environments – for instance, when driving a car at night. You don’t want to be seeing the reflection of your kid’s headphones in the windscreen while you drive. But in the appropriate context, the colorful lights add an exciting look to these already interesting headphones.
Unlike some other cat-themed headphones, these headphones don’t have external speakers. Whether this is a drawback or not is really up to you. After all, most phones have their own speakers anyway, so if people want to share music, they can. You may want a pair of headphones that function solely as headphones. If so, these may be for you.
In addition to their cool looks, these headphones offer the option to be either wired or wireless. This can be very handy, especially for kids. The wireless option removes the risks of damage or injury that come with having trailing cords hanging from a child’s ears. The padded ear cups are soft and comfortable for long-term use. The headphone set is foldable, which makes it great for bringing along on trips where children need to be entertained.
These headphones also have a built-in microphone, allowing the possibility to use them as a gaming headset. The headphones are charged using a micro USB, and charging takes around 3 hours. In the wireless mode with all the lights on, a single charge will last approximately 5 hours of listening time. Switching the lights off will increase that time to 8 hours or more. And using the headphones in wired mode with no lights on means that the battery won’t be used at all, so you can listen for as long as your device holds a charge. This gives these headphones great flexibility.
The headphones come in a range of colors, and the materials feel surprisingly durable given the relatively low price. All in all, these headphones offer an excellent option for kids. And for adults who don’t see why kids should get all the cool stuff all the time.
Reasons to Use Headphones
Back in the days of the Walkman, headphones were about the only way to listen to music while out and about. But now that everyone carries a phone, we all have constant access to every song ever recorded, and a speaker with which to play it. It’s become more and more common these days to find yourself forced to listen to someone else’s music, whether on a bus or a plane, in an airport or a park. Sometimes it seems like headphones are dying out.
But there are plenty of reasons to still use headsets. Let’s look at a few of them:
Come on. You don’t want to be that person who forces everyone to listen to your music, do you? It’s rude. And once one person starts doing it, everybody else does too. Soon, every public space is overrun with competing sounds. Be the change you want to see in the world. Put on some headphones and keep your music to yourself.
Freedom Of Movement
Most modern headphone sets have built-in microphones. We can thank the popularity of video games for this, as many gamers use headsets to play multiplayer games. But you don’t have to be a gamer to find a headset useful. Holding a phone against your ear during a long conversation can get uncomfortable. A good headset with a microphone allows you to keep your hands free while talking on the phone.
No matter what the manufacturer of your phone might claim to the contrary, there are limits to what a tiny phone speaker can do. Even the best phone speaker can’t match the sound quality you get from a good pair of headphones. If you want to hear your music the way it was intended to be heard, it’s best experienced through a pair of headphones to catch all the subtleties of sound that make up a song. Some tinny phone speaker is not how your favorite artists wanted their songs to be heard.
In fact, many artists spend a lot of time and effort designing their songs in such a way that they sound best through headphones. Stereo effects, for instance, can be incredibly striking when heard through headphones. Often, the first time you hear a favorite song through headphones gives you a whole new appreciation for the music you thought you knew.
Filling your ears with your own music and blocking out the sounds of the outside world can be one of the best ways to mentally escape. No one likes being on the bus, and air travel these days is nothing more than an extra long bus ride through the clouds. If you can block out the sound from your environment, you’re halfway to feeling like you’re somewhere else entirely.
Modern noise-canceling technology has come a long way. It’s possible now for a quality set of headphones to block out all but the loudest noises, allowing you to focus solely on your chosen music. Once you’ve been on a long flight with a good pair of noise canceling headphones, you’ll never want to go back.
Pros and Cons Of Using Headphones
There’s a cloud to every silver lining. Headphones are great at certain things, but there are other aspects to their use which are less than ideal. Often, the same thing that makes headphones useful is a disadvantage when viewed from another perspective.
Privacy vs. Sharing
The whole point of headphones is to allow you to listen to music, or a movie, or a podcast, or even a phone call without anybody else hearing what’s being said. Whether it’s because you’re in a crowded environment and don’t feel the need to expose everyone around you to your love of Norwegian thrash metal, or because you don’t want to share Aunt Nora’s latest updates on her foot pain, headphones can preserve that layer of privacy you sometimes need.
Of course, the flip side of that is that you can’t share what you’re listening to when you want to. Some things are better shared, but headphones cut you off from that communal experience.
Portability vs. Comfort
Headphones provide the best sound quality available in a portable package. You can’t haul a sophisticated speaker set with you everywhere you go. And even if you could, you wouldn’t be able to control the acoustic environment the way you can with a pair of headphones. Having a good pair of headphones is like bringing your own private music studio with you wherever you go.
But even the most comfortable pair of headphones can start to bother you. And as a general rule, the better quality those headphones are, the bulkier and heavier they will be. Over the long haul, the weight and pressure of headphones can start to become a nuisance. And when you add in the possibility of a trailing wire snagging on things, headphones begin to look a lot less appealing.
Isolation vs. Safety
Life can’t be all pleasure. Sometimes, you find yourself forced to perform tedious tasks like waiting in a doctor’s office or riding a bus. A good pair of headphones can take you out of a moment you’d rather not be in and improve what would otherwise be a boring chore. It can also free you from the noise around you that you would rather not hear.
But sometimes you need all your senses. The world can be a dangerous place, and removing one of the ways you can detect danger makes it more so. There are many situations in which headphones should not be used. For instance when driving, since it becomes essential that you can hear the sirens of emergency vehicles. Or while jogging alone on a dark morning, when not being able to hear makes you more vulnerable both to traffic and to other people. Headphones can be great, but there are times when you need to keep your wits about you.
Music has an almost magical ability to enhance virtually any experience. Whether you’re sitting on a beach watching the sunset or merely trudging around the grocery store, the right song can simultaneously lift you out of the moment and enhance your experience of just about anything. The ability to enjoy our favorite music wherever we go is one we often take for granted. It’s easy to forget that this was basically impossible only a few decades ago.
There are all kinds of pros to using headphones as you go about your day. But like anything, headphones can have negative sides and need to be used responsibly.
These days, headphones are more than just a way to listen to music on the go. They can also be functional headsets for talking on the phone, or for gaming. And, as we’ve explored in this article, they can also be fashion accessories.
Headphones don’t have to look drab and dull. With the options available these days, you can find the perfect pair of headphones to compliment your style. And if you feel like looking more like a cat, you have that option too. These headphones can brighten your day just by the simple act of wearing them. And you’re bound to get some comments as you go about your day with the ears of a cat. It goes with the territory.
So don’t be afraid to get out there and let your feline flag fly. Being human doesn’t mean you can’t have cat ears. Maybe that’s the best thing of all about being human – the ability to also sometimes be a cat!