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10 Best Cat Ear Headphones [2022]

Cat ear headphones
Cat ear headphones

Here’s a rundown of the 10 best cat ear headphones that will make you feel all kawaii

NameConnectivityLEDMicPrice
Razer Kraken Kitty RGB USB Gaming Headset Best OverallUSB-AYBoomBUY
SOMIC G951 Strong Runner-UpUSB-AYBoomBUY
Riwbox CT-7S Best for KidsBluetooth 5.0 & 3.5mm wireYIn-lineBUY
iClever Kids Cat Ear Headphones Budget Pick for Kids3.5mm wireYN/ABUY
TCJJ Cat Ear Headphones Budget Pick for AdultsBluetooth 5.0 & 3.5mm wireYBuilt-inBUY
Edifier HECATE G2 II Best for Gaming3.5mm wireYBoomBUY
YOWU 3G Best Wireless Connection StabilityBluetooth 5.0, UCB-CYBuilt-inBUY
iClever BoostCare Most Durable3.5mm wireNIn-lineBUY
Censi Moecen Best Noise IsolationBluetooth 4.0 & 3.5mm wireNBuilt-inBUY
Axent Wear Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (2021) Best LED lights3.5mm wireYBuilt-inBUY

Headphones nowadays come in different shapes and sizes. Some may look more like your average headphones but some are much more unique — perhaps with flashing LEDs and cat ears.

Kitty headphones or cat ear headphones have gained popularity through the years and you may want one for your own reasons. However, if you tried to buy one right off the bat, you may have learned the hard way that choosing one is not easy. Apart from their unique design, you also have to consider what’s inside to make sure that you’ll enjoy using them.

Lucky for you, once you know what to actually look for, it will be easier. More than that, once you find out which cat ear headphones are the best, all you really have to do is choose. So, that’s what we’re going to do here!

How Did the ‘Cat Ear Headphones’ Phenom Start?

Cat ear headphones trace their roots to the Japanese concept of Nekomimi. This is a type of moe anthropomorphism in Japanese anime or manga where human characters are given cat-like qualities. This includes sharp teeth, feline tails, and, yes, cat ears. It was started in 1924 by a novelist and children’s literature author named Kenji Miyazawa.

In Western pop culture, there is also a concept of feline characters led by the infamous Catwoman from DC Comics. Other characters who exhibit cat-like behaviors are DC’s Cheetah and Marvel’s Black Cat.

This concept is not limited to female characters. Famous examples of male characters who exhibit animal-like features are Marvel’s Black Panther and Japan’s Naruto Uzumaki.

Fast forward to 2014. An animé artist named Wenqing Yan was working on an animation where she started designing cat ear headphones. This was where the seed was planted. Together with her co-founder and then best friend, Victoria Hu, they sought to make these cat ear headphones a reality and set the wheel in motion.

From yuumeiart.com
They started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with the goal to reach $250,000. Eventually, the campaign became a huge success, hitting the goal way out of the park with a funding of $3,429,046

The downfall of a partnership

However, the story didn’t just end there. Raising the fund is just one part of the puzzle. Manufacturing the product at scale is a whole different monster. This is where the partnership took a big downfall.

Through her written account Looking Back, Looking Onward on DeviantArt.com, Yan chronicled the events that took place from the conception of the idea up until earning her success.

“A year ago in 2014, at this time, I was frantically trying to resolve the Axent Wear manufacturing issue… My best friend at the time, and co-founder of Axent Wear (Victoria Hu), had promised to provide manufacturing for the headphones but when I actually visited the factory she had set up, I found out it was a horrendous sweatshop with workers breathing lead.

I told her that was not acceptable and that she needed to provide a humane and environmental alternative. She initially agreed, but ended up ignoring me while I was stuck in China waiting for her replies. Communication completely broke down and we never recovered even after I returned to America to speak with her in person.”

Long story short, they went through a legal battle. Although it did not come to a redressed ending, Yan was left to push the product forward.

Birth of the cat ear headphones market

After learning about the whole situation, Brookstone reached out to Yan with a partnership proposal at hand, particularly to help Yan in the production of the headphones. For Yan, it was a no-brainer deal. Brookstone had the capacity to deliver on the promise of high-quality production, while cat ear headphones already had the attention of major media outlets.

Fast forward to October 30, 2015, the first pair of Axent Wear Cat Ear Headphones was finally shipped to the backers.

Some people prefer to call it neko headphones. In Japanese, neko means cat. Those less inclined toward the Japanese language often call it the kitty ear headphones.

Unfortunately, Brookstone’s supposed capacity to deliver high-quality headphones didn’t pan out well. In an effort to make the special headphones happen with a limited budget, most models turned out faulty and had to be returned.

The pool of unsatisfied customers created a market gap that other competing brands quickly recognized. Before you know it, big names such as Razer started jumping onto the trend with their own Kraken Kitty.

Aside from brands like Razer, personalities such as Pewdiepie and Ariana Grande also contributed to the rise of cat ear headphones. Online streamers followed suit and that’s how the trend shaped up.
Screenshot of Pewdiepie wearing cat headphones (From: YouTube/Pewdiepie) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-2qf3WrN68
Pewdiepie wearing cat headphones (From: YouTube/Pewdiepie)

How to Pick the Best Cat Ear Headphones

Whether you are an otaku, streamer, gamer, or just someone who wants to wear something uniquely cute on your head, cat ear headphones would be a great addition to your look.

However, choosing the best one is not just a question of design or color. You also need to consider things such as compatibility, sound quality, mic quality, and more. This makes things a little more challenging — but not if you know what to look for.

Design

The design is the biggest buying factor for cat ear headphones because it is their defining feature. After all, cat ear headphones without the cat ears are just, well, your typical headphones.

Different manufacturers design and integrate the cat ears of their products differently. Some cat ears can be thick, some can be pointed, while some can even be soft and fluffy. The choice is up to you!

Another defining feature of cat ear headphones are their LED lights. These colorful RGB lights complete the whole experience and would seriously make you feel like your favorite streamers. LED lights are often placed on the ear cups, on the headband, on the mic, or even on the cat ears themselves.

The LED light isn’t there just to illuminate the headphones. They also add another layer to the design that you can also customize to your liking. If you like this idea, then you need to get headphones that offer adjustability in this department.

Color Changes

Some kitty headphones allow you to change the colors you see around the headphones. Because of this, you can easily display your favorite color. Headphones today typically have RGB lights which, through combinations, can result in around 12 more colors.

Color changes are usually done through a companion app where you can select a specific color. In some headphones, you can also change the colors through the buttons.

Research also suggests that colors can affect our brains subtly. Blue is said to boost creativity while seeing red enhances attention to detail.

Light Modes

After changing the color of the light, you can also change the light mode to add more groove and funk. Light modes pertain to the pattern in which the lights move. For example, you can have the lights blink, change colors, swivel around, and more!

Like changing the color, you can also change light modes through a companion app or through button combinations on the headphones. Some headphones may limit you to around 2-3 patterns but if you want more choices, you can get headphones that allow for more light modes.

A cool example of a light mode is Razer’s Stream Reactive Lighting. This syncs the lights of the headphones to the stream so that whenever someone reacts to the stream, the lights would blink or change colors.

Music Sync

The Music Sync is a special light mode. As the name suggests, this mode is where the lights on the headphones would follow the music being played. To be exact, the lights would flicker or move up and down to follow the beats or rhythm of the music.

Since this is still technically a light mode, you can access this through a companion app or perhaps a button on the headphones. However, this feature is quite advanced so don’t expect all of the kitty headphones out there to have this.

RGB Lighting for gaming accessories (From: Pexels)
RGB Lighting for gaming accessories (From: Pexels)

Connectivity & Compatibility

Cat ear headphones sold today can come in wireless or wired connectivity, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Wired headphones tend to provide higher sound quality than wireless ones. This is because manufacturers of wired headphones can allot more budget to developing sound quality without thinking about spending for wireless technology. Furthermore, wired headphones use analog signals that can handle more data than digital signals like Bluetooth.

With wired headphones, you also wouldn’t need to worry about battery life. Plus, you can easily fix broken wires at home.

On the other hand, wireless headphones offer freedom of movement and portability. They usually connect wirelessly through Radio Frequency (RF), Infrared Frequency (IF), or Bluetooth. But, Bluetooth headphones get access to some of the latest features like multipoint connectivity and Bluetooth tracking.

Wired and wireless headphones also have different devices they are compatible with.

Wired headphones can connect to different devices depending on the type of jack that they have. Headphones today usually come in a 3.5mm jack but there are those that have interchangeable connections that can accommodate even USB ports. The more options the headphones offer, the better.

Make sure to check out what type of connection your device is using to make the right choice.

Wireless headphones, especially those powered by Bluetooth, are a little bit more flexible. Bluetooth headphones can connect to any device that is Bluetooth ready — which is basically any smartphone, tablet, or even laptop out there.

Connecting to Gaming Consoles

However, the case is different for gaming consoles as they tend to be a little trickier to connect to. For example, connecting headphones to your PS4 is easier said than done because you can’t just plug in or connect the headphones and expect it to work. You have to rummage around the setting to change the sound output first.

It gets even more complicated with Xbox One because you can’t exactly use any ordinary headphones for this console. Instead, you’ll either need to use any of these compatible XBox headphones only or buy a dedicated Xbox Bluetooth Audio Transmitter instead.

Sound Quality

For cat ear headphones, design is the priority and sound quality is only second to that. But, that doesn’t mean that you should go and buy anything that’s a sorry excuse for headphones — sound-wise.

Let’s admit it, you won’t find studio-quality headphones with cat ears on them. Still, you should look into some specific sound factors when deciding on which headphones to buy. You want headphones that are clear and accurate enough — as simple as that.

Clarity refers to how much detail you could hear through the headphones. Good clear headphones will help you hear every syllable of the vocals and every sound made by the instruments properly.

Accuracy, on the other hand, refers to how close to the original sound you can hear. This is achieved through a more neutral soundstage that let’s the sounds be what they were meant to be and not exaggerated through the equalizer.

Other than clarity and accuracy, some special features can also make the sound quality and overall listening experience better. Watch out for features such as Surround Sound, Volume Limits, and Noise Cancellation. Let’s go over them one by one!

Surround Sound

Surround Sound is a feature that creates an immersive audio experience by using multiple channels to mimic a lifelike sound field. To simply put it, surround sound gives that effect that you are actually surrounded by sound — front to back, left to right, and all around.

This feature is an improvement from the more traditional stereo sound. Compared to surround sound, stereo sound is a lot less immersive because the sound would evidently come from the left and right sides only. Surround sound also utilizes subwoofers that produce sound waves undetectable by the ears but can be felt by the body to add to the experience.

If you’re using your cat ear headphones for gaming, having surround sound would be very helpful. Other than making the sound deeper and more immersive, this feature will also make you aware of where the sounds are actually coming from. So, let’s just say nobody will sneak behind you successfully anytime soon.

Volume Limits

Because of their cute design, cat ear headphones appeal to kids. As you may know, kids have a more delicate sense of hearing compared to adults so it’s important to protect them from possible damage. Volume limits can help you with that.

Even if you’re an adult already, you still need to protect your ears from damage.

As the name suggests, volume limit is a feature that prevents headphones from exceeding a safe level of listening volume. For reference, the ears can safely tolerate 90db for up to 2 hours. As sound levels increase, listening time that is considered safe decreases. Volume limits prevent users from exceeding around 85db.

Volume isn’t just concerned with safety but also with sound quality. Increasing the loudness of music directly decreases sound fidelity and possibly listener enjoyment. According to the Loudness war, if the music’s too loud, sound distortion is more likely to happen and sound quality is sacrificed to compress the signals and make the music louder.

Noise Cancellation

This is one of the latest features you can find in high-end headphones today. In fact, people even try to make noise cancelling headphones at home.

Noise cancellation helps the users focus only on what they want to hear without having to turn up the volume to max levels to try to drown out outside noise. There are two types of noise cancellation — passive noise cancellation and active noise cancellation.

Passive noise cancellation, or noise isolation, physically blocks out the noise by using thicker materials to enclose your ears. You can say that this is the more natural way of blocking noise, but it’s a little less effective than active noise cancellation.

Active noise cancellation or ANC is more advanced and smarter because it relies on negating sound waves instead of just physically blocking them out. Because of this, ANC headphones are much more effective in preventing external noise from getting inside your ears while you’re listening.

However, some may find the lack of ambient sound with noise cancellation unnatural. Let’s admit it, not everyone wants to feel like they’re in a soundproof room. This is one of the ways noise cancellation affects sound quality. To solve this, some noise-cancelling headphones have different modes to let users control how much outside noise they want to let in.

In the end, with noise cancellation, you’re more likely to get a safe and immersive listening experience, and free from distractions.

Razer Headphones (From: Pexels)
Razer Headphones (From: Pexels)

Mic Quality

These days, a lot of people, including you, are relying on the internet to communicate with people. Whether you’re talking to your teammates in-game, catching up with your friends online, or presenting at work, good mic quality is a must.

Luckily for you, it’s not unusual to find cat ear headphones with mic/s so your concern now is on the quality. When it comes to this, the most basic thing to look for is clear audio. You don’t need to sound like your favorite artists, you just need to prevent people from saying “what?” every time you say something.

Mics today come in two forms – built-in or booms.

Headphones with built-in microphones often have the mic system integrated along the wire. Because of this, built-in microphones are also called in-line microphones. In this case, this mic is usually positioned between the neck and the chest of the user. For wireless headphones, built-in microphones are usually positioned on the ear cup.

On the other hand, boom mics protrude out of the ear cup. They are positioned close to the mic but can often be repositioned or retracted if not in use.

Between the two, boom mics are more likely to produce better mic quality for various reasons. First, because of their close proximity to your mouth, boom mics can capture what you’re saying clearly. Boom mics also boast of a more advanced mechanism that is able to gather more audio data than in-line microphones.

Also, not to put in-line microphones down but they tend to rub against your body and produce that shushing sound that can be annoying for those who are hearing you.

Comfort

Although comfort is arguably a subjective matter, it should not be taken lightly. Comfort can be a deciding factor whether the cat ear headphones you got are worth it or not.

Buy something that ends up hurting your ears and you would probably need to spend on another product again. Buy something that fits and feels well and you would probably use them multiple hours a day for years.

Cat ear headphones prioritize looks over anything — including comfort. So, you may need to temper your expectations when it comes to comfort. Remember that the most important thing is that the headphones do not hurt you.

For comfort, you should look into the headphone’s adjustability, weight, and size. Decide on these three properties properly and you should be able to find something comfortable enough.

Adjustability

People have different ear shapes and sizes. In fact, our ears are so unique that they can be used as a way to identify people the same way that fingerprints do. So what does this mean for headphones?

To simply put it, this means that the whole idea of one-size-fits-all is not really true. What you may find comfortable out of the box can be annoyingly uncomfortable to others. So, this is where adjustability comes in.

Adjustability enables users to have a chance at a comfortable listening experience. The more adjustable the headphones are, the higher the chances that you would find a comfortable combination of settings.

Generally speaking, headphones with good adjustability would at least allow the following:

  • Rotatable ear cups – This feature helps with getting the right angle to fit the ear cups properly around or on your ears. Most ear cups can tilt up to 45 degrees diagonally. But, if you can find ear cups that can also rotate inward or outward, that would be great.
  • Adjustable headband – This adjustment is used to properly match the distance between the top of your head and your ears. There are different types of mechanisms for this but the common one uses sliding hinges with locks.
  • Replaceable parts – Replaceable parts allow you to redesign the headphones to match your preferences. The most common replaceable parts are the paddings of the headphones

Weight

Weight is also a crucial factor in comfort. If you use heavy headphones for hours while gaming or watching a movie, don’t get surprised if you wake up the following day with a strained neck.

The added weight of the cat ears themselves can make this tricky for kitty headphones. Even without the cat ears, headphone manufacturers already have a challenging time creating lightweight headphones.

Ideally, headphones should weigh below 0.55 lbs. Anything above 0.75 lbs is already considered ‘heavy’.

The weight of the headphones is also related to their clamping force. Clamping force pertains to how tight the headphones press onto your head. If your headphones are heavy, the weight would pull the whole thing down and the clamping force would have to compensate in order to keep the ear cups in place. This will cause ear fatigue and pain along the ear cartilage called the pinna.

With proper clamping force, the headphones would feel lighter. For reference, clamping force should fall between 0.7 lbs to 1.74 lbs.

Size

Cat ear headphones have a very diverse market that includes both kids and adults. Because of this, some kitty headphones are kids-size and no amount of adjustment will make these amenable for adults.

Lucky for you, headphone brands would declare whether their headphones are for kids or for adults. This information is often disclosed in the package so be sure that this is one of the first things you’ll check before buying the product.

Unlike shirts or shoes, there isn’t a standard sizing metric for headphones. Oftentimes, the clearest sizing you could get is “adult-size” or “for kids” so just watch out for these words and act accordingly.
Kid wearing headphones while gaming (From: Pexels)
Kid wearing headphones while gaming (From: Pexels)

Who Are Cat Ear Headphones For?

Cat ear headphones may have started out as a novelty item for Neko fans or otakus, but it sure isn’t limited to them now. These days, because of the attractive and attention-grabbing design, female gamers or streamers often use this as well. There’s also the fact that gamers or streamers like to watch anime and are otakus themselves.

Otaku is a Japanese word that describes people with obsession with anime and/or manga. Otaku culture grew through the years and out of Japan to become a global phenomenon.

Cat ear headphones are also popular among kids today and that’s not necessarily because they watch anime. Kitty headphones are simply cute and comical which makes them at home on kids’ heads.

10 Best Cat Ear Headphones in 2022

Razer Kraken Kitty RGB USB Gaming Headset

Best Overall
Close look at Razer Kraken Kitty RGB USB Gaming Headset (From: Amazon)
Close look at Razer Kraken Kitty RGB USB Gaming Headset (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired USB-A
  • Microphone: Boom w/ Active Noise Cancellation
  • Battery: N/A
  • LED Lights: Yes – Razer Chroma
  • Surround Sound: 7.1
  • Other Features: Cooling gel cushions, streamer companion app

When you talk about cat ear headphones or headphones in general, you just couldn’t avoid talking about Razer and their Kraken Kitty. The Razer Kraken Kitty is the cat-eared representative of the notorious Razer Kraken Family.

The Kraken line features Razer headphones for gamers on a budget. This line headlines an immersive audio experience to go with other features essential for gamers. If you’re interested in some of these non-cat ear headphones, you can check out our review for the Razer Kraken v2 and the Kraken X Lite.

The Kraken Kitty are wired gaming headphones that connect through a USB-A type of connection. If you’re more of a wireless person, you’ll be glad to know that these headphones also come with a Bluetooth-ready variant.

These headphones feature Razer Chroma LED Lights from ear cup to cat ears. Razer Chroma is Razer’s proprietary RGB light system that features 16.8 million colors, patterns, and in-game lighting effects. You can easily customize this through the Chroma Studio while additional interactive effects can be set through the Streamer Companion App.

Much like the others in the Kraken family, the Kraken Kitty feature the THX Spatial Audio. This is a 7.1 surround sound system that lets you stand right in the middle of the action. They also feature Razer’s noise-cancelling HyperClear Cardioid Microphone. Say goodbye to the excuses made by your teammates about not hearing you.

Onto the cons, the Kraken Kitty seems to lack functionality as it does not have the on-ear mute button that the other Kraken headphones have. It is also noticeably big and heavy especially with the addition of the cat ears.

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SOMIC G951

Strong Runner-Up
Close look at SOMIC G951 (From: Amazon)
Close look at SOMIC G951 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired USB
  • Microphone: Boom
  • Battery: N/A
  • LED Lights: Yes – Breathing LED Light Effect
  • Surround Sound: 7.1
  • Other Features: Passive Noise Cancellation, Vibration System, Detachable cat ears, Self-adjusting headband, on-ear controls

Next on the list is the SOMIC G951. Not only do these wired headphones come with detachable cat ears, but they also come with a long list of features too!

To start it off, the SOMIC G951 feature 7.1 surround sound for more realistic and immersive game sounds. If that’s not enough, they also have an interesting vibration system that elevates the gaming experience to a 4D level.

These headphones feature on-ear controls where you’ll be able to switch off the vibration and LED light, dial-up or down the volume, and mute the microphone. The ear cups are also quite large and sealed to provide passive noise cancellation. Their size and weight don’t make them quite ideal for kids.

The majority of the space on the outer part of the earcups is occupied by the LED light panel. Speaking of LEDs, the G951 only has a breathing light effect and nothing more.

The headphones also feature a self-adjusting headband as compared to the more common snap-lock type.

The G951 aren’t the only cat ear headphones from SOMIC — there’s also the GS510. The GS510 are pricier because of their wireless compatibility via a 2.4Ghz adapter and Active Noise Cancellation. Also, the GS510’s cat ears cannot be removed unlike the G951s.

In the end, the SOMIC G951 are great for their price but they will always be good for runners-up only against a product like the Kraken Kitty. The G951 suffer from comfort issues. They are heavy and the ear paddings are noticeably not very thick. The leather lining isn’t very breathable as well.

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Riwbox CT-7S Cat Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Best for Kids
Close look at Riwbox CT-7S (From: Amazon)
Close look at Riwbox CT-7S (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 or Wired (3.5mm)
  • Microphone: In-line
  • Battery: 5 hours
  • LED Lights: Yes – Music Sync
  • Surround Sound: N/A
  • Other Features: Volume Limit, Foldable, On-ear controls

The first and best kid-friendly pick on this list are the Riwbox CT-7S Cat Ear Bluetooth Headphones. For parents looking for cute cat ear headphones for their kid/s, you can start here.

The Riwbox CT-7S are great headphones with multiple connectivity options. You can connect them through a Bluetooth 5.0 connection or a detachable 3.5mm audio jack. Wirelessly, they can last up to 5 hours and are especially useful for kids who switch between devices such as their iPads, gaming consoles, and more.

The headphones’ LED lights are on the cat ears themselves with a music sync effect. The LED lights can easily be turned on or off through the on-ear controls on the left earcup. Unfortunately, the music sync effect is the only effect you’re getting with the CT-7S.

Being headphones for kids, the CT-7S features a volume limit of 85db — which is just the right volume for your little ones. The headphones are also light and foldable making them great for your road trips and vacations with your kids.

Riwbox also has a version of the CT-7S without the volume limit — the CT-7. Although, for safety reasons, we would recommend that you get the CT-7S still.

That said, these headphones are not as durable as the ones that adults ususally choose. The lack of durability and absence of warranty can explain the low price — there had to be a trade-off somewhere to keep them affordable. To add to that, the low battery life also gets further drained by the use of the LED lights.

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iClever Kids Cat Ear Headphones

Budget Pick for Kids
Close look at iClever Kids Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at iClever Kids Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired (3.5mm)
  • Microphone: N/A
  • Battery: N/A
  • LED Lights: Yes – 3 Light Modes
  • Surround Sound: N/A
  • Other Features: Food grade silicone, tangle-free chords, Warranty

Here’s another one for the kids — and by this, we mean for parents. The iClever Kids Cat Ear Headphones are great for those who are looking to give their kids something cute and useful without having to break the bank. These headphones are simple but complete enough, plus you won’t need to go above $20 to get them!

The iClever Kids Cat Ear Headphones are wired headphones that can connect to any device that can accommodate a 3.5mm jack. They can be used with tablets, smartphones, and even some gaming consoles.

They feature LED lights on their cat ears and the light modes can be changed by tapping the back of the ears. For one tap, the lights will be steady. For two taps, the lights will blink. And finally, three taps will bring out the strobe lights effect.

These headphones are loaded with kid-friendly features. Apart from the 85db volume limit, the entirety of the frame of the headphones are also made out of food-grade silicone instead of metal. This makes them extremely flexible and (safely) chewable — although we don’t recommend snacking on this of course. The tangle-free chords are also a great addition.

The iClever Kids Cat Ear Headphones come with an 18-month replacement warranty. This willingness of the manufacturer to include a relatively long warranty period gives us confidence in the product.

At 5.10 ounces, they can be quite heavy for kids. The headphones also do not offer a strong clamping force so you might find your kid occasionally bringing these back up. The absence of a mic is also a bummer, but we guess that’s the big trade-off for the low price.

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TCJJ Cat Ear Headphones

Budget Pick for Adults
Close look at TCJJ Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at TCJJ Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 and Wired (3.5mm)
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Battery: 10 hours
  • LED Lights: Yes
  • Surround Sound: N/A
  • Other Features: Foldable, SD Card Slot, On-ear controls

Here’s another budget pick — and for the adults this time. The TCJJ Cat Ear Headphones were originally made for kids. However, due to their size and features, they aren’t bad for adults as well, especially for those who are looking for something affordable yet adorable.

The TCJJ cat ear headphones are over-ear headphones powered by Bluetooth 5.0. The headphones have a 10-hour battery life making them good for gaming, and casual use. You also have the option to connect them via a 3.5mm audio jack cable.

These foldable headphones have LED lights that fill the cat ears and the paw print design on the ear cups. The standard and only light effect you’ll get from these is a glowing or breathing light effect.

The mic of the TCJJ is only a simple built-in microphone without any form of noise cancellation. This mic is located on the left ear cup where you’ll also find the on-ear controls together with the charging and audio ports. You’ll also find something interesting besides those ports — an SD card slot. If you’ve owned an MP3 back in the day, you probably know how this works and you’ll probably enjoy it again too.

You can load up the SD card with music and play them directly on the headphones. With this, you’ll be able to listen to your songs without having to connect to any of your devices!

They are pretty great for their price, but they are definitely for those who are willing to trade off quality for affordability. The TCJJ cat ear headphones’ mic is bad so if you’re thinking of using these for calls, then you’re better off looking away. They are also not very comfortable and you may experience battery issues such as uneven battery consumption between their two speakers.

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Edifier HECATE G2 II

Best for Gaming
Close look at Edifier HECATE G2 II Pink Cat Ear Gaming Headset USB Wired Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at Edifier HECATE G2 II Pink Cat Ear Gaming Headset USB Wired Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired (3.5mm)
  • Microphone: Boom
  • Battery: N/A
  • LED Lights: Yes – Breathing lights effect and color change
  • Surround Sound: 7.1
  • Other Features: Soft leather padding, Detachable cat ears, 50mm audio drivers, EDIFIER Gaming Center

Who says you can’t look kawaii while gaming? The Edifier HECATE G2 II are cat ear headphones with a set of features built for gamers. If you’re looking to replace your gaming headphones with something that’s more comical and (perhaps) less-threatening, these could be what you’re looking for.

The Edifier HECATE G2 II are wired for low latency and are equipped with 50mm audio drivers for stronger and detailed audio. They also feature 7.1 surround sound that would let you detect your enemies from all directions — these are gaming headphones after all.

The G2 II feature a standard detachable boom mic. The mic settings can be adjusted through the EDIFIER Gaming Center software. With the app, you’ll be able to adjust microphone echo and also play with other settings such as volume and equalizer.

The Edifier HECATE G2 II aren’t exactly bright and colorful unlike some of the headphones in this list. These headphones’ LED lights are limited only to the HECATE logo on the ear cups. And, although they can change to 16.8 Million colors, the lights are limited only to a breathing effect.

The absence of noise cancellation, passive or active, puts a dent in these headphones’ quality. In fact, you can even experience sound leaks with these. Overall, they are great budget alternatives to the Razer Kitty headphones because of their similarities in look and sound, but they are still leagues away from each other overall.

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YOWU 3G

Best Wireless Connection Stability
Close look at YOWU 3G Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at YOWU 3G Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 or USB-C
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Battery: 48 hours
  • LED Lights: Yes – customizable RGB and 4 light modes.
  • Surround Sound: 7.1
  • Other Features: Companion app, Supports aptX, passive noise cancellation, 40mm drivers

As cat ear headphones rose to fame, so did other novelty headphones and the YOWU 3G Cat Ear Headphones proves that. These fox ear headphones show us that cat ear headphones have now grown into a category already rather than a specific type of product.

YOWU is a Chinese brand that specializes in novelty audio accessories. Apart from cat and fox ear headphones, they also have the YOWU Elf Wireless Earbuds.

Onto the YOWU 3G, these Bluetooth 5.0 headphones can easily connect to any Bluetooth-ready device from your smartphone to your tablet. Bluetooth 5.0 provides a stable connection and — not to mention — the headphones also support the aptX codecs. This is one of the best Bluetooth codecs today.

They can also connect through a USB to Type-C connection — making them great also for PC and laptop users. Although, the built-in mic is not the best one out there so call audio can be a little sketchy.

The LED lights on the YOWU G3 are placed on the fox ears and on the ear cups. YOWU has done a pretty solid job in allowing users to customize these lights through the YOWU App. More specifically, the app allows you to change light effects, light modes, colors, and adjust other non-light related settings such as sound effects.

Other features include a massive 48-hour battery and soft PU leather ear paddings that provide passive noise cancellation. They also have 40mm drivers and 7.1 surround sound so they’re not just cute but powerful and immersive as well.

Build quality on these can use some improvement, though. The leather paddings crack after some time and even the ears can come off if you’re not careful. Since YOWU is a China-based company, replacement parts aren’t readily available too so be extra careful with these.

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iClever BoostCare

Most Durable
Close look at iClever BoostCare Cat Ear headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at iClever BoostCare Cat Ear headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired (3.5mm)
  • Microphone: In-line
  • Battery: N/A
  • LED Lights: N/A
  • Surround Sound: N/A
  • Other Features: Volume Limit, In-line controls, Heat-resistant and food-grade built

Here’s another one from iClever! The iClever BoostCare Cat Ear Headphones are kid-friendly wired headphones packaged in a heat-resistant and food-grade frame. These headphones are the most durable on this list so if you’re looking for something that won’t tear when you wear them, these would serve you well.

The iClever BoostCare Cat Ear Headphones are very flexible. The headphones can be, literally, twisted and turned without breaking because of the material used for the build.

The cable on these headphones features a 3.5mm jack so they’re easily compatible with laptops, smartphones, and some gaming consoles as well. Along the cable are in-line controls — but it’s not what you would expect.

Instead of pause or volume buttons, the headphones feature a multipurpose button as well as a volume switch. The volume switch is primarily used to adjust the volume limit of the headphones since you have two options: 85dB or 94dB.

Unlike the majority of the products we’ve listed out here, there are no LED lights anywhere on the headphones. The cat ears are made out of a flexible non-toxic material while the ear cups simply feature a printed cat silhouette design.

Unfortunately, these headphones may be physically durable but that’s just about it. The sound isn’t very good and is quite soft also. As on-ears,ear cups are also small compared to over-ears. So, despite featuring protein leather paddings, the ear cups are more likely to squeeze the sensitive parts of the ears and cause pain.

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Censi Moecen

Best Noise Isolation
Close look at Censi Moecen Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at Censi Moecen Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 or Wired (3.5mm)
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Battery: 10 hours
  • LED Lights: N/A
  • Surround Sound: N/A
  • Other Features: IPX4 rating, Passive noise cancellation, 40mm drivers

They’re sleek, they’re adorable, and you won’t hear a single thing when you have them on. If you’re looking for cat ear headphones that can double up as an effective passive noise cancelling headphones, then the Censi Moecen are what you’re looking for.

Unlike other cat ear headphones that usually cater to gamers, the Censi Moecen accommodate leisure and comfort. Instead of blinking LED lights and colorful designs, these headphones feature detachable cat ears and Korean protein leather paddings. Because of that, these headphones have great noise isolation for a soulful day in bed listening to your favorite music.

You can choose from the wireless or wired version of these foldable headphones. The wireless version features Bluetooth 4.0 with 10-hour battery life. On the other hand, the wired version sports a 3.5mm audio jack. The headphones also feature 40mm drivers for a bigger sound.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the Censi Moecen is the IPX4 rating. With this, the headphones are safe against sprays and splashes of water. Looking for a new workout buddy that could handle the sweat? Well, here you have it!

The built-in microphone on these headphones are not that good and you would end up sounding like you’re underwater. They are also quite heavy, especially for kids, and the clamping force can be a little too tight.

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Axent Wear Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (2021)

Best LED Lights
Close look at Axent Wear Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (2021) (From: Amazon)
Close look at Axent Wear Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (2021) (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth or Wired (3.5mm)
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Battery: 30 hours
  • LED Lights: Yes – 12 color options and 6 light modes
  • Surround Sound: N/A
  • Other Features: Speaker cat ears, fast charging

Now, for those of you who want something that’s bright and loud, the Axent Wear Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (2021) are a fitting choice. Apart from having LED lights with 12 color options and 6 light modes, you’ll also find some interesting features in these headphones.

First up, cat ear speakers — yup, you read this one correctly. These cat ear headphones’ cat ears are far from ordinary. They have built-in loudspeakers that you can use to blast some music across the room. Plus, the speakers also light up together with the headphones’ ear cups.

The Axent Wear Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (2021) allow two connectivity options: wireless and wired. The Bluetooth version wasn’t specified but the cable for wired use has a 3.5mm jack. They also have a 30-hour battery with fast charging that can fully juice up the headphones in 1.5 hours.

The mic is a simple built-in microphone that does not have any special qualities like noise cancellation. Also, at 1.01 lbs (460g), heavy is an understatement for these headphones. This weight can cause a little discomfort which is really to be expected when you’re wearing loudspeakers on your head.

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Notable Mentions

There are a lot of cat ear headphones out there today and some good ones just missed the cut for our 10 best. However, not being in the top 10 does not mean the headphones are horrible already — it just so happens that some may have exhibited more desirable qualities.

While the top 10 are worth an extra look, some notable mentions are also still worth mentioning. Given the right circumstances, these remaining picks can definitely give some of the headphones on our top 10 a run for their money.

Brookstone Wireless Cat Ear Headphones

Close look at Brookstone Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at Brookstone Wireless Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)

The OG of all cat ear headphones. Without the help of Brookstone, we will never know if the cat ear headphones market is valid.

The first official version of these headphones were the Brookstone Axent Wear Cat Ear Headphones. Both the wired and wireless versions have the same look and feature the cat ear speakers, but they also have some key differences.

The first version was wired while the current Brookstone Cat Ear Headphones are wireless. Also, the wired version only had single-colored LED lights whereas the wireless version feature RGB LED lights already and allowed users to change colors or effects. The wired headphones also have a boom mic while the wireless version’s mic is built-in.

The colors available are:

  • Green
  • Purple
  • Orange
  • White
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Pink

Removable Ear Version

Brookstone Wireless Removable Cat Ear Headphones

If you love the wireless set but somehow want the flexibility to remove the cat ear, Brookstone got you covered with this – Brookstone Wireless Headphones with Removable Ears. The removable cat ears have a more subtle and rounded look. It also still can double as a speaker.

Mix-Style NEKOMIMI Cat Ear Headphones

Close look at Mix-Style NEKOMIMI Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at Mix-Style NEKOMIMI Cat Ear Headphones (From: Amazon)

The Mix-Style NEKOMIMI cat ear headphones have a solid sound and build, suitable for the sloppy user and savvy audio buff. But unlike the Censi Moecen’s, the cat ears of these headphones are built into the headband.

You might expect them to have those fancy LED lights and external speakers with their $50 price. But this is not the case. The Mix-Style NEKOMIMI headphones are all about durability.

However, these headphones aren’t designed for calling since they don’t have a mic. The inherently loud sound volume (115db) also explains why they’re intended for music listening only. Even so, it’s no longer safe, especially for kids, to use headphones with over 100db volume for over 15 minutes.

MindKoo Unicat

Close look at MindKoo Unicat (From: Amazon)
Close look at MindKoo Unicat (From: Amazon)

MindKoo has been designing affordable headphones and speakers for a while and consistently getting good reviews. Their recent offering, the MindKoo Unicat MH-6 wireless headphones, is probably one of the best cat ear headphones under $30.

But despite having a bargain-basement price tag, you’ll be surprised by the decent sound quality and solid build quality.

In terms of connectivity, the Bluetooth 4.2 guarantees a faster connection and a power-efficient use of your device — up to 5 hours when the LED’s turned on and up to 8 hours when turned off.

The MindKoo Unicat MH-6 wireless cat ear headphones come in six vivid color combos. But each can emit only one color light, unlike the other cat ear headphones.

Best of all, the volumes are optimized to be kid-friendly (not more than 85 decibels) so you don’t have to worry about your kid cranking up the volume.

However, if you’re intending to make calls with it, forget about it. It’s terrible. Although this has a built-in mic, the microphone itself isn’t sensitive enough to produce clear voice transmission for the person you’re talking with on the other line. This also only has Bluetooth version 4.2 instead of the latest version (v5.0), which may contribute to terrible call quality.

Conclusion

Cat ear headphones have really risen to fame in the past years, but there’s really nobody to blame here. Whether you’re a diehard otaku, a fashionable gamer, or just a parent looking to give their kid something cute, cat ear headphones just get it, don’t they?

These cute and stylish headphones quite literally add some color to our lives and some have been exceeding our expectations in terms of sound quality. We’re fortunate enough to choose from so many of these headphones today.

More than that, after reading this article you’re probably fortunate enough to know how and where to look. That is if you haven’t taken your pick already.

Tell us in the comments which one you’re going for and why!

4 comments

  1. As someone who backed Axent Wear on Indiegogo, I would like to bring to light what you completely “overlooked” in this article.

    You praise Brookstone as some kind of benevolent saviors, stepping in to provide a quality service, completely overlooking how they treated those of us who had backed the product in the first place. You listed the Ariana Grande models as having issues, however Brookstone failed to meet their “assured level of quality” for nearly every unit given to us backers, as reportedly some 80%+ units sent to us were faulty or outright dead on arrival, or succumbed to manufacturer faults after a few months (most commonly no power to the lights/speakers on one side – the issue was found to be with the circuit ribbon in the headband being very poorly mounted); we were given a 1 year warranty, while those sold through the store were given a 3 year warranty, and nearly everyone who tried to return their faulty units were denied without valid reason – treated as if we were not paying customers, despite us paying more than what they settled on for their RRP, providing them with just over 3.4M USD – and those who did manage to return their faulty products had to go through months of negotiations and/or threaten legal action.

    I was lucky enough that mine worked on arrival, and only the light was faulty after a month or 2, and lasted almost 8 months before the left driver lost connection (requiring a fairly violent shock to knock the ribbon back into place), and while I absolutely loved my Axent Wear (when they worked), I was appalled at the treatment we backers received from Brookstone, who refused/failed to acknowledge that without us they would not have had this product to manufacture/sell in the first place.

    Instead of taking the responsibility of a manufacturer who failed to meet their end of the deal, they allowed Wenqing Yan to take the full brunt of the backlash of their irresponsibility, and as much as I want a new, fully functional set of Axent Wear, I just cannot bring myself to give people like that my money.

    1. Thank you for your insights. Without any insider tip-off, it will be impossible for us to research this. I will be leaving this comment up here for other readers to judge the intention of Brookstone themselves.

  2. I was a backer of Axentwear as well, and can attest to the faultiness of the original pairs. We were supposed to get a deal on the headphones but instead Brookstone made the backer price the target price which resulted in them cheeping out on the quality. The backers were the first ones to get them and as as such were the first to review them so you would have thought they would have tried to send their best, but instead they sent out faulty items and then made it hell to get replacements.
    I consider myself lucky to have gotten through and had a replacement sent to me after my speakers stopped working after 1 day. It took a very aggressive email that left no room to argue. Even my replacement pair ended up having issues with the right earphone after a few months but it just wasn’t worth the hassle to try and have that dealt with.
    What was most appalling to me was that despite her handing over all control to Brookstone and simply having just her handle and art on the packaging, they let Wenqing Yan take the fall for their negligence. Not once did Brookstone step up and admit their wrong doing.

  3. gezee i wanna buy the censi headphones but I can’t find a
    trusted shop that would ship to the Philippines

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