Image credit: Axent Wear

The use of headphones doesn’t always have to be limited to just utility. Headphones can work well in elevating your style profile as well. And what better way to improve your style statement than by using a pair of cat ear headphones? 

Cat ear headphones look out of the ordinary; trendy and cute are the two terms that best suit and describe them. What are cat ear headphones? Should you buy a pair for yourself? What factors to prioritize when choosing cat ear headphones? Find the answers to these intriguing questions below: 

What are cat ear headphones and how did they start? 

For someone who is unaware, the term “cat ear headphones” may itself seem confusing. However, it’s not. Cat ear headphones are similar to regular headphones. What is different about the former is they sport a pair of cat ear-shaped projections on the headband. 

The most interesting bit to know is that the cat ear-shaped projections are not just for style as they also serve the utilitarian purpose of including extra speakers and adjustable lighting. 

The original cat ear headphones

The inception of the original cat ear headphones dates back to 2014. Illustrator, designer, and comic artist Wenqing Yan came up with the idea of cat ear headphones when she was working on a quirky animation project. The idea of sharing your music with others while listening on your own in a stylistic way was what led to the birth of the original cat ear headphones. 

Wenqing Yan teamed up with her friend Victoria Hu to start a new company, Axent Wear. Axent Wear then partnered with the company Brookstone for bringing cat ear headphones to the market. 

Image credit: Axent Wear Indiegogo

Image credit: Axent Wear Indiegogo

Image credit: Axent Wear Indiegogo

To launch the company and improve the prototype for the final product, the duo started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The campaign was a huge success as it raised US $3,429,046. Here’s a screenshot of the fundraiser campaign: 

Image credit: Axent Wear Indiegogo

To learn more about the crowdfunding campaign for Axent Wear and the process behind bringing the cat ear headphones on the market, check out the fundraiser details on Indiegogo

What’s with the cat ear headphones craze?

The very design of cat ear headphones makes them a trendy electronic product. However, it’s also the association with artwork and comic characters of Wenqing Yan that improved the stylistic appeal of the headphones from the very start. 

Here are some of the artwork Wenqing Yan did on the design and marketing phase of the original cat ear headphones: 

Image credit: Axent Wear Indiegogo

Image credit: Axent Wear Indiegogo

Image credit: Axent Wear Indiegogo

Image credit: Axent Wear Indiegogo

Image credit: Axent Wear Indiegogo

Here’s Wenqing Yan describing the work in progress in one of her tweets back in 2014. 

Image credit: Wenqing Twitter

You can check out Wenqing’s more artwork based on the cat ear headphones on her artwork website

Ariana Grande contributed to the headphone’s popularity 

It’s not just Wenqing’s original artwork that has made cat ear headphones popular. Pop singer Ariana Grande partnered with Brookstone in 2016 and released Ariana Grande signature cat ear headphones. 

Image credit: Ariana Grande Wiki Fandom

Image credit: Ariana Grande Wiki Fandom

Ariana self-promoted her signature cat ear headphones by sharing several pictures of herself wearing the headphone with cat ears on social media. 

Image credit: Ariana Grande Wiki Fandom

Even before the partnership with the company Brookstone and the launch of the Ariana Grande signature cat ear headphones, the pop singer incorporated cat ear headbands as part of her stage style and presence. This has played a major part in making the cat ear trend mainstream. 

Image credit: Vanity Fair 

PewDiePie also made the cat ear headphones popular and trendy

PewDiePie, a popular YouTuber, has also played a key role in popularizing the cat ear headphones trend. He has worn headphones with cat ears on many of his game stream and reaction YouTube videos. 

Image credit: PewDiePie YouTube

Image credit: PewDiePie Archives YouTube

6 best cat ear headphones

The best cat ear headphones are the ones that make no compromises on style appeal as well as functionality and overall audio performance. Check cat headphones reviews online and you’ll learn that the best models are stylish, well-built, and good-sounding. 

Below listed are some of the best cat ear headphones that you can find online:

1. Brookstone wireless cat ear headphone – check it out here

What better way to celebrate your love for cat ear headphones than by getting your hands on an original pair? Brookstone cat ear headphones (aka Axent Wear cat ear headphones) have had their fair share of popularity after Ariana Grande promoted them. If you want to embrace the kitty style profile of the pop singer, you cannot go wrong with this model. 

This original cat ear headphone includes the option of enabling or disabling the LED lighting as well as the external cat ear speakers. The sound drivers of the headphones have a good frequency response and are suitable for gaming as well as music listening. 

Image credit: Amazon product page

2. Razer Kraken Kitty – check it out here

Razer Kraken Kitty is undoubtedly one of the best cat ear headphones for gaming out there. Apart from looking trendy and visually appealing, this gaming cat ear headphone with mic delivers a dynamic audio performance that’s required for gaming. What’s best about this model is that its cat ears and ear muffs include RGB lighting that is well suited for gaming as well as cosplay. 

You get the option to change the RGB lighting scheme as per your requirement. The RGB lighting of the headphone is designed to be reactive which Razer’s proprietary Streamer Companion app. 

Image credit: Razer

3. SOMIC G951s – check it out here

SOMIC G951s is one of the best cat ear headphones with mic on the low price category. This model includes the option of attaching or detaching cat ears which help you use it as a standard headphone or a trendy cat ear headphone. 

The high-quality 40 mm sound speakers of this headphone deliver great audio performance. Also, the ear cups include a thick cushioning to eliminate external noise. 

Image credit: SOMIC

4. Mindkoo wireless cat ear headphone – check it out here

Mindkoo cat ear headphone is one of the most popular choices on Amazon. Apart from being affordable, this cat ear headphone has a high-quality build and is just as functional as premium headphones. Similar to the original cat ear headphones, this model includes LED lighting on the external cat ears and earmuffs that you can adjust as per your choice. 

Mindkoo cat ear headphone is wireless and delivers rich bass audio; it fully covers mid-range frequencies as well. Its universal compatibility with different types of devices makes it a bang for the buck. 

Image credit: Amazon product page

5. Riwbox kids’ wireless cat ear headphone – check it out here

If you want to take your kids by fascination, you cannot go wrong with gifting them Riwbox kids’ cat ear headphones. This wireless cat ear headphone has small-sized ear cups that are well-suited for kids’ ears. Similar to cat ear headphones for adults, this model includes the option of changing the LED lighting color on the cat ears. 

Although a kids’ headphone, this model does not make any compromises when it comes to delivering a good audio performance. The biggest highlight of this model is the option of using it as a wired or wireless headphone. 

Image credit: Amazon product page 

6. Censi cat ear headphone – check it out here

Censi cat ear headphone comes as a perfect choice you want to gift your kids a sophisticated-looking cat ear headphone. Although the external cat ears do not feature LED lighting, they do include the option of getting detached from the headband. 

The memory foam cushioning on the ear cups improves the comfort factor of this cat ear headphone. Similar to other cat ear headphones, this model has wired as well as wireless operation. 

Image credit: Amazon product page

Trends associated with cat ear headphones

The one and the main reason why cat ear headphones are popular to this date and have garnered great heights of popularity as a trend is because of the previous trends associated with it. 

Here are the two biggest internet trends that have uplifted headphones with cat ears as a modern trend: 

1. Cat/kitty trend

Cats are one of the biggest and most popular internet sensations. Apart from regular cat-related content, including videos and lifestyle pictures, some of the most viral memes are the ones that include cat characters. 

As ThoughtCatalog puts it, cats are the “unofficial mascot of the Internet.” It’s safe to say that the popularity of cat-related content and memes worked to the original Axent Wear cat ear headphones’ popularity advantage.  

2. Cat cosplay trend

Cosplay, particularly cat cosplay, has also played a key role in boosting the popularity of cat ear headphones. Also known as Neko or Neko cosplay, cat cosplay involves using cat-like features such as cat ears that are typical to Neko characters in Manga and Anime. 

Take a look at some of these Pinterest collections to have a good idea about cat/Neko cosplay:

Collection 1 

Collection 2 

Transform your regular headphones into cat ear headphones

To embrace the cat ear headphones trend, you don’t necessarily have to buy a new pair of cat ear headphones. You can go for affordable external cat ear add-ons that attach to almost all types of over-the-ear headphones. 

Here are a couple of cat ear add-ons that you can use for your current pair of headphones:

1. Razer kitty ears – check it out here

Image credit: Razer

2. SplashNColor cat ears attachments – check it out here

Image credit: Amazon product page

3. REEYEAR silicone cat ears – check it out here

Image credit: Amazon product page

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