f you didn’t know Cat Ear Headphones were a thing...well, you do meow. Believe it or not, these fun, pet-inspired headphones aren’t new in the tech world either. Back in 2014, anime artist, Wenqing Yan found inspiration for Cat Ear Headphones while working on a new animation design. Since then, Wenqing and her best friend, Victoria (co-founder) worked to make Cat Ear Headphones a reality. Like any business venture, Victoria and Wenqing set out to gain funding through initiating a crowdsourcing campaign and worked closely with Indiegogo to raise a whopping $3,429,046. Whether you’re surprising your little ones with the latest tech toy that’s been on their wishlist, or getting ready for a rave, you truly can’t go wrong with a pair of Cat Ear Headphones.
Manufacturing the Cat Ear Headphones
Okay, so a lot of money was raised for Cat Ear Headphones to make their entrance into society...but it wasn’t a walk through the park, to say the least. Unfortunately, Wenqing and Victoria’s partnership took a bit of a downfall during the manufacturing process of the Cat Ear Headphones when Wenqing realized factory workers were being treated inhumane, under sweatshop circumstances.
After a legal battle about the sweatshop, Wenqing was approached with a partnership deal by Brookstone to aid in the production of the Cat Ear Headphones. While the product already had major media attention, it was merely just a matter of producing the headphones at this point, which was a no-brainer for Wenqing. The first pair was released in October 2015 and since then, many manufacturers have hopped aboard the Cat Ear Headphone trend. Let’s take a look at the top 5 pairs you can get your hands on in 2021.
5. LOBKIN Kid Headphones
Starting the list off with an entry geared towards the little ones, the LOBKIN Kids Cat Ear Headphones are a great choice for children. They’ve got padded earpads and even come equipped with volume-limiting technology so you don’t have to worry about it going too high. These headphones could even be suitable for adults, as they have an adjustable headband and the volume limitations can be turned off to enjoy the good sound quality at a higher level.
The ear design on these headphones comes with a cute ear pad that even has flashing lights! The only ‘con’ that’s been reported is related to the headphones battery life, but for a wired pair of Cat Ear Headphones under $30, you really can’t go wrong.
4. Riwbox Foldable CT-7 Headphones
Next on the list is the Riwbox Bluetooth Cat Ear Headphone. What makes this a best seller? Well, with over 570 reviews with a 4.5 star-average, that says enough, doesn’t it? These offer a great combination of fun lights, colours, solid sound quality and different lighting patterns. And yes, the colours do change as the music or sounds change. It’s been noted that the battery life can drain semi-quick if the lights are kept on, but all you have to do in this case is plug in the included braided audio cable so you can continue jamming out. Oh, and a fun fact: the audio cable comes with a microphone that delivers crystal clear calls as well. A favourite feature about these Cat Ear Headphones specifically is their ability to fold for easy storage.
Check out the Riwbox CT-7S (the exact same as the CT-7 but with volume limiters in place).
3. MindKoo Bluetooth Cat Ear Headphones
Listed as one of the best Cat Ear Headphones for under $30, the MindKoo headphones offer built-in microphones and volume control. The LED lights have 4 different settings and the battery life is said to hold a charge for approximately 5-10 hours before needing a recharge.
One of the primary drawbacks with MindKoo is strictly related to call audio. Although they do have a built-in mic, the microphone isn’t sensitive enough to produce clear voice transmission for the recipient. All in all, though, the adjustable headband, foldable design and rotatable, padded ear cups are all loved by each user and have been given 5 stars for convenience.
2. Brookstone Wired Cat Ear Headphones
With over 1000 reviews, the Brookstone Wired Cat Ear Headphones are some of the most popular headphones on Amazon. What differentiates these from the rest? Well, the main selling point is the cat ears. Well, not just the ears, but they actually dual as speakers, meaning you can turn on the cat ear speakers to share music with your friends (or whoever else is close-by)! Of course, this is just an option, and you can still listen to your music privately as well. The speakers have been reported to look and sound amazing. As Brookstone being a forefather of the Cat Ear Headphone business, they definitely feature all the qualities that sparked popularity amongst the headphones.
1. Razer Kraken Kitty TGB USB Gaming Headset
It’s not much of a surprise that Razer is number 1 on the list of top 5 Cat Ear Headphones. Wait, Razer makes Cat Ear Headphones? Yes, you heard that right - the popular gaming accessory manufacturer has outdone themselves with the release of their 7.1 surround sound Cat Ear Headphones. Aside from the amazing sound, these headphones have retractable active noise-cancelling microphones and on-ear cup audio controls. At a bit of a higher price point, you definitely do get what you pay for with these and listening to music, or gaming for hours on end will truly feel amazing with these around your ears.
Which Pair Is For You?
Now when it comes to choosing which pair is for you, yes, Razer is number one on the list for performance, but it all comes down to whether you want wired or wireless. With or without LED lights. Removable or non-removable cat ears. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with a nice budget-friendly pair for under $30, but just keep in mind, they might not be the absolute best for performance.
Either way, the unique design and flashy nature will make a great addition to your current headphone collection, or even make for a great gift for children or friends.