The Best Cat Ear Headphones in 2021

The Best Cat Ear Headphones
The Best Cat Ear Headphones

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Today we’re going to discuss perhaps the single most important and serious of all consumer electronics topics – the Cat Ear Headphones. No, I’m sorry, did I say important and serious? What I meant, of course, was cute and fun. What started out as a great idea by animé artist Wenqing Wan turned into a wildly popular crowdfunding campaign and now, only a few years later, one of the biggest, most visible, and most random of crazes.

The original Axent Wear Neko headphones (“Neko” is Japanese for cat) spurred an enormous range of imitators, and while the vast majority are kind of awful – cheap, flimsy construction and tinny, distorted sound – pretty much all of them are absolutely darling. But while they may not really look that serious, the best Neko headphones in fact have seriously good sound quality, and are well designed and well built, and knowing which ones to get – and which ones to avoid – can make an enormous difference.

So we here at Speakergy have put together this buyer’s guide to the purr-fect cat ear headphones to help you make heads or tails out of all this, and make sure you avoid a real buying cat-astrophe.

What to Look For in Cat Ear Heaphones

Well, first and foremost the ideal pair of cat ear headphones should have cat ears. Even with all of the research as we’ve done into this subject we’re still not sure exactly why, but cat ears do seem to be an important component of the best cat ear headphones – we’ll just chalk it up to kawaii (and we have to admit they are really, really cute!).

What you do notice, in seeing and listening to lots of different cat ear headphones, is that there are major differences from brand to brand in two areas:

  • Sound Quality
  • Construction Quality

This can be frustrating, but it also proves to be one of the most delightful things about these super-delightful N

eko headphones – many people purchase them just because of the darling design, the bright colors and lights and the fun factor, but (if they’ve made a good choice) realize they’ve ended up with a pair of headphones that feel really good, like they will actually hold up and last, and sound fantastic.

We will also consider other important factors, like safety in kids’ cat headphones, the right features and sound for the best cat ear headphones for gaming, good effective Bluetooth circuitry in wireless kitty phones and more.

How Can You Find the Best Pair of Cat Ear Headphones?

So, after listening to lots and lots of cat ears, checking out how they sound, how they feel and how they look, and poring over countless verified customer reviews on various brands, we’ve compiled this list of the very best cat ear headphones on the market today.

We’ll include a couple of pairs of kitty headphones for younger kids as well as several great sets for everybody else, with brief descriptions of how they sound and why we love them. All you need to do is figure out how much you want to spend and then select the right pair from the list below, and you can be sure that you will get the best cat headphones for your money.

So, without fur-ther paws, let’s claw our way through the litter of cat ear headphones to find the best of the best – especially before I write any more a-paw-ling and in-fur-ior puns and make everybody hiss-terical!

The Best Cat Ear Headphones in 2021

Best Cat Ear Headphones for Younger Kids

Best Budget Cat Ear Headphones

Best Cat Ear Headphones for Gaming

Best Noise Cancelling Cat Ear Headphones

Best Sounding Cat Ear Headphones

Best Cat Ear Headphones Overall

Best Cat Ear Headphones for Younger Kids – Wired

Our Pick
iClever HS01 Kids Headphones with Mic
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Available in a range of colors, all of them cute, the iClever kids’ kitty headphones are perfect for younger children. They are tough and well-made, and should be able to withstand the wear and tear that kids inflict on even their most treasured possessions. The iClever nekos also have noise limiting, an incredibly important circuitry that limits the maximum volume at which these kawaii phones will play and protects your precious one’s hearing.

Made of non-toxic materials, including food-grade silicone, the iClever cat ear headphones have a microphone for use with a phone, and the conveniently angled mini-headphone jack will work with pretty much any device out there, including phones, tablets, computers, music players and a lot more. And, speaking of music, the iClever phones have surprisingly good sound quality.

A safe, tough, well designed product  that sounds great and is quite inexpensive, the iClever HS01 cat headphones are the best wired cat headphones for kids in 2021.

Best for Cat Ear Headphones for Younger Kids – Wireless

Our Pick
Kids Headphones, Riwbox CT-7S Cat Ear Bluetooth Headphones
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A more expensive product than our choice for best wired kitty headphones for kids, listed just above, these Riwbox wireless Bluetooth headphones have a correspondingly more premium look and feel, and better sound quality as well.

While it might seem silly to spend more for better sounding cat phones for a smaller child, studies have concluded that lower distortion and smoother, cleaner sound can actually be better for hearing, and that broken up, distorted sound can potentially damage the ears. And with volume limiting circuitry which will prevent the Riwbox CT-7S kitty phones from playing too loudly, these may be the safest wireless phones for kids – the fact that they sound great is just a bonus for your little toddling audiophile!

Foldable, with big, soft ear pads, great colors and a changing light show that corresponds with the music, these are brilliantly designed as well, and feature very sturdy construction, making the Riwbox CT-7S an easy choice, then, for the best wireless Bluetooth cat ear headphones for kids in 2021.

Best Budget Cat Ear Headphones – Wired

Our Pick
SOMIC G951S Purple Stereo Gaming Headset with Mic
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Ok, we have to admit it – we might have been a little swayed in our choice for best budget wired Neko headset by just how cool these Somic kitty headphones look. They have a clean, modern design with strong angles and simple color schemes, and a super-premium overall look and feel.

The Somic G951S cat ear headphones are not just cool looking, though. They have excellent sound quality, are extremely comfortable and have an overall highly intelligent design. You can get the Somic neko phones with either USB or headphone jacks – the first better for gaming and the second more flexible for listening to music, movies or videos from computers, TVs, music players, phones and more. And there is a built in microphone, optimized for both gaming and phone use.

The premium feeling is clearly not just appearance, but the sign of a well-made, tough and durable pair of headphones, and this, combined with the superior sound quality, versatility, intelligent and comfortable design and, yes, cool looks, make the SOMIC G951S our pick for best budget wired cat ear headphones in 2021.

Best Budget Cat Ear Headphones – Wireless

Our Pick
Riwbox Bluetooth Headphones, Riwbox CT-7 Cat Ear LED Light Up
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We go back to Riwbox for our recommendation for best Bluetooth neko headphones – this time the wonderful Riwbox CT-7.

Remarkably premium feeling considering their low price, the Riwbox CT-7 also have beautiful sound quality – clear and clean, with plenty of deep bass, smooth and extended highs and an overall dynamic, musical and engaging sound. The Bluetooth 5.0 works perfectly, and the CT-7 neko headphones also come with an audio cable for wired use, complete with a good quality microphone.

Extremely comfortable, well designed, well made and sturdy, and with awesome sound, the Riwbox CT-7 Bluetooth kitty headphones are our choice for best budget wireless cat ear headphones in 2021

Best Cat Ear Headphones for Gaming

Our Pick
Razer Kraken Kitty RGB USB Gaming Headset: THX 7.1 Spatial Surround Sound
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Anybody who knows gaming knows Razer Kraken, the default choice for top gamers around the world. And while the Razer Kraken neko headphones may look better suited for playing Hello Kitty Cafe, they are pure Kraken, with stunningly accurate, detailed and three-dimensional sound that makes absolutely any gaming experience more enjoyable, immersive and successful.

Full THX certified 7.1 surround sound gives freakishly precise spatial cues for gaming, and the stunningly full, rich and clean sound is also amazing for any type of music, movies and any other listening. The Razer Kraken Kitty headphones are designed for comfort for even the longest gaming sessions, and the noise-cancelling microphone, stream-reactive lighting and on-earcup controls all make the Kraken Kittys (or is that kitties?) one of the best gaming phones on the market today – kawaii or not!

Our choice for not just the best cat ear headphones for gaming, but the best cat ear headphones overall, and a truly amazing product!

Best Noise Cancelling Cat Ear Headphones

Our Pick
Censi Music Headset Headphone Creative Cat Ear Stereo Over-Ear
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We should say right at the outset here that the Censi neko headset is not a normal noise-canceling headphone – that is, in the Sony / Bose mode of active electronic noise canceling, with special phase-inverting circuits and ambient noise sensors. These are, in fact, just very well made headphones which use premium quality oversized memory foam to isolate your ears from the outside world.

And in this they work remarkably well – better, in fact, than many more expensive “true” noise cancelers out there. The Censi Bluetooth neko headphones also have really superb sound quality, with their large 40mm moving coil drivers and super-solid acoustic housing, with tight, smooth and clear sound without a hint of harshness and deep, solid bass – great for all kinds of music.

Leather ear pads, memory foam insets, extremely strong frame and durable construction, effective noise handling and brilliant sound – the Censi Bluetooth cat ear headphones have it all. They are a real customer favorite, and out choice for best noise-canceling cat ear headphones in 2021.

Best Sounding Cat Ear Headphones

Our Pick
MindKoo Wireless Headphones Bluetooth LED Light Up 7 Color
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It may be a bit of a surprise that our choice for best sounding neko headphones is so inexpensive, but even at their bargain-basement price these MindKoo nekos sound absolutely amazing, with a dynamic, engaging and fun sound perfect for rock, pop, rap and hip hop, electronica and pretty much any electric music. Even with classical, jazz, acoustic and singer/songwriter genres they sound fantastic, but for bass response, punch and energy these MindKoos absolutely shine.

They are super cute, with a fun design, great colors and rhythm-matching LED lights in 7 colors and with 4 blinking modes. The MindKoo cat ear headphones are also quite well designed – foldable, comfortable, with a big battery and both Bluetooth 5.0 and an included audio cable with 3.5 plug – and well built.

Cute, convenient, comfortable, durable and with amazing sound for the money, the MindKoo wireless kitty headphones are one of the best values on the market today, and our choice for the best sounding cat ear headphones in 2021 – especially for the money!

Best Cat Ear Headphones Overall

Our Pick
Razer Kraken Kitty RGB USB Gaming Headset: THX 7.1 Spatial Surround Sound
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Our choice for best neko gaming headset is also our choice for best neko headphones overall, the Razer Kraken.

These superbly built headphones feel like they will last forever, and the incredibly rich, detailed, punchy and energetic sound is not only perfect for gaming, but for any kind of music, movies, TV or any other listening. The Krakens also are designed for long gaming sessions, and are secure, comfortable and cool.

Comfort, sound quality and overall durability and reliability – it seems that the things that make a great gaming headphone also make a great headphone overall, and the Razer Kraken cat ear gaming headphones are the perfect (you’ll notice I resisted the temptation to say purr-fect) example of this, and our choice as the best cat ear headphones overall in 2021.

Final Thoughts: Are Brookstone Cat Ear Headphones Any Good?

Our Pick
Brookstone Wired Cat Ear Headphones
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In doing research for this article, one of our main jobs was to check out other buyer’s guides and review sites and their choices for best cat ear headphones, and pretty much every single one of them had the Brookstone neko phones at the top of their list – everyone except us, that is.

The Brookstone cat ear headphones are the original neko phones, and arguably at least have the best sound quality, the best design (including amazing little stereo mini-speakers in the cat ears) and the best look and feel, and they do seem to get everything right. Based on all of this, we would definitely put them at the top of our list too, as the best kitty headphones on the market today.

The only problem is, they seem to have increasing problems with reliability and quality control. Time after time verified customers complain about how one or both of the drivers simply stops working, the lights go out, the cable connection breaks or the physical housing or headbands break.

Even considering Brookstone’s excellent reputation and the fine quality products they have sold over the years, and even with the extremely nice, apparently premium look and feel of this neko set, the actual reality might be that the Brookstone cat ear headphones are not the best bet, and in the long run may bring more problems and frustrations than fun.

Our choice, then, for the best of the best? Easy – the Razer Kraken, which though designed as a gamer is actually a really incredible sounding set of headphones with any kind of music, is intelligently designed and incredibly well built, and provides a perfect experience for not just gaming but music, movies, phone calls and absolutely anything you would use headphones – with or without ears – for. The Razer Kraken is, in fact, not just the very best cat ear headphone set we’ve ever tried, it is one of the best quality headphones overall, and gets our highest recommendation.

Timothy Scott
Timothy Scott
Hey there, I am Timothy and I am an aspiring bass guitarist and lover of high-quality speakers. Music has been my life. I've owned several high-quality speakers over the last few years and have become obsessed with them. At Speakergy.com I share my knowledge on choosing and using speakers. I hope you enjoy my articles!

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