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11 Best Cat Ear Headphones and Headsets in 2024

Last updated: 6 months ago
11 min read

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Want to look “kawaii” wearing headphones?

Here are the best cat ear headphones for music and gaming, how to pick them, and what to avoid.

You’ll also learn the story of a broken friendship surrounding their origin.

Read more Price Connection Battery LED lights Foldable
Under $130
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Under $140
Wireless – Bluetooth
48 hours (LED off)
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Under $50
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Under $50
Wired – USB
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Under $130
Wireless – Bluetooth
30 hours
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Under $40
Wireless – Bluetooth
70 hours (LED off)
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Under $20
Wired – 3.5mm
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CONTENTS (show more)

    There’s much more to headphones with cat ears than meets the eye.

    They’re are a fashion statement to some. For others, they’re an extension of their personality, showing their admiration for Japanese culture and anime.

    In this guide, you’ll learn:

    • What to look for in cat ear headphones
    • How various features work and why are important
    • And a little bit of history behind the cat ear design.

    It’s quite interesting.

    How To Choose Cat Ear Headphones?

    Here’s what you should consider when buying cat ear headphones (click the links to jump below):

    • Design: You want your headphones to look cute and also be functional. They come in various colors and display different lighting effects, or they even double as external cat ear speakers.
    • Comfort: You can’t wear headphones if they aren’t comfortable.
    • Sound Quality: You can’t enjoy headphones if they sound bad. While you can’t expect audiophile audio quality, look for good clarity and bass response.
    • Connection: For a gaming headset, get it wired; for headphones, get wireless connectivity.
    • Durability: Avoid cheap build quality. Look for a quality plastic body from a reputable brand.

    Best Cat Ear Headphones in 2024

    1. Razer Kraken Kitty Edition

    Razer Kraken Kitty Edition

    The best cat ear headphones for music and gaming.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – USB
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 14.3 oz (406 g) | Cable lenght: 4.27 ft (1.3 m) | Surround sound: THX Spatial | Features: RGB effects, Cosplay mode, unidirectional ECM boom mic
    • Bassy but good sound quality
    • Great mic performance
    • Durable & comfortable build
    • Cosplay mode
    • Quite heavy
    • Non-detachable cable

    Razer Kraken Kitty Edition are loved by many streamers and otaku in general.

    The wired headphones don’t skimp on bass, producing a head-rattling rumble when playing games or listening to more modern music genres.

    Connecting them to the Razer Synapse app gives you the ability to tweak EQ settings and play around with lighting effects. They work via the USB connector.

    There’s even a dedicated Cosplay Mode, which remembers the selected RGB effects, which means that as long as you keep them powered, they’ll shine through the entire cosplay convention.

    The design and construction of these kitty headphones aren’t shabby, as well. You get extremely comfortable gel-filled cushions to keep your ears cool, whereas the aluminum inside the adjustable headband provides rigidity.

    It’s worth noting there’s a Bluetooth version of the Kraken Kitty aimed at mobile users or Nintendo Switch.

    2. YOWU Cat Ear Headphone 3G

    YOWU 3G

    The best alternative to the original cat ear models.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 + USB
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 10-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 48h (LED off), 3-20h (LED on) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.6h – quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Weight: n/a | Surround sound: 7.1 | Features: RGB, aptX, companion app
    • Decent sound with heavy-bass
    • Cool design with RGB lights
    • Great battery life
    • Hard-shell carrying case
    • Lackluster microphone performance
    • LED lights use a lot of energy

    Whereas original Brookstone and Axent cat ear headphones are hard to find, the YOWU 3G provide an excellent alternative to those offers.

    Much like the Kraken Kitty, these also display a bass-heavy output. The audio quality improves when going into audio settings and selecting the “YOWU 3G” and not the one with the “Hands-Free” tag.

    Depending on the color, some models resemble cat ears, whereas others look like fox ears.

    Classified as gaming headphones, they come with RGB lights and 7.1 surround sound for a stellar gaming experience.

    Downloading an app enables you to change LED settings on the fly, sync sound effects with your favorite music, and even change your voice when taking in the microphone.

    Speaking of the latter, it’s pretty basic and only good to use in a quiet room.

    A beefy 48-hour battery is the longest one on this list, and it will last you a long time. These Bluetooth headphones with cat ears are the top choice for daily listening.

    3. SOMIC G951

    SOMIC G951pink

    Affordable cat ear gaming headsets.

    Connection icon Connection: WIred – USB
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 14.1 oz (400g) | Cable lenght: 7.2 ft (2.2m) | Surround sound: 7.1 | Features: Vibration engine, LEDs, detachable cat ears
    • Decent audio with 7.1 surround
    • Size suitable for kids and adults
    • Good microphone…
    • … but it's non-detachable
    • Not the most comfortable

    Thanks to a suspended headband, this budget pick fits most head sizes.

    The budget cat ear headphones produce a decent audio quality with moderate loudness. As a gaming headset, they also support a 7.1 surround sound solution.

    As for the design, these are primarily targeted at young girls. Apart from the detachable cat ear, there’s a cute kitty face on both ear cups.

    The latter have a white LED light built into them, supporting static and breathing effects. You control them using onboard buttons.

    The built-in boom mic delivers good quality and is a great addition for kids required to school from home. Unlike cat ears, it isn’t detachable.

    Lastly, earpads are made of faux leather and have a breathable mesh. However, since the pads are smaller, they might feel uncomfortable to adults.

    4. Edifier HECATE G2 II

    Edifier HECATE G2 II

    The best headphones with cat ears for call quality.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – USB
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: 9.38 oz (266g) | Cable lenght: 8.2 ft (2.5m) | Surround sound: 7.1 | Features: Detachable cat ears, RGB
    • Balanced sound signature
    • Excellent detachable microphine
    • Comfortable fit
    • Only for USB connection

    Redesigned G2 gaming headsets for extra cuteness.

    Unlike other cat ear headphones, the HECATE G2 II don’t blast you with bass. Instead, you get a clear audio with very balanced response. While the detail retrieval isn’t outstanding, it should be fine for casual use.

    Otherwise, these are slightly a redesigned version of the existing G2 model but with detachable cat ears and all-pink color. You can put your own touch on them by using adjustable lighting effects.

    Earpads are nicely cushioned and should provide a comfortable experience during long listening sessions.

    As for the detachable microphone, it works amazingly. It will provide more than enough clarity for online gaming and basic streaming needs.

    5. Axent Wear New Edition Wireless Cat Ear Headset

    Axent Wear New Edition Wireless Cat Ear Headphones

    The original cat ear headphones. A true style statement.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth & Wired 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 30h (LED off), 5h (LED on) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h – quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: No | Features: LED effects, loudspeaker mode
    • Attractive design
    • Included hard-shell carrying case
    • Very bassy sound
    • Loudspeakers aren't the cleanest

    These are a new design from the founders with slightly upgraded specs.

    Headphones produce rich bass audio above anything else, which can muddy other frequencies. Basshead will love them, whereas audio purists should look elsewhere.

    That’s not all…

    Cat ears also double as tiny outdoor speakers to share music with your friends. However, due to their size, don’t expect excellent sound performance.

    The Bluetooth headphones change colors in 12 different tints and boast 6 effects. On top of that, you get a stable connection with up to 30 hours of battery life.

    One thing that might turn you away is their weight of 16.2 ounces. That’s noticeably heavy despite having plush earpads. At least they’re universally compatible with all gadgets (Bluetooth and wired mode).

    Axent is the original brand behind cat ear headphones, so expect good quality and the original “cute” factor.

    6. MindKoo Unicat

    MindKoo Unicat Bluetooth Cat Ear Headphones

    The best cheap cat ear headphones.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 70h (lights off), 30h (lights on) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: No | Features: 3.5mm port, light effects, foldable
    • Affordable
    • Flashy lights with 7 different colors
    • Good battery life
    • May be too big to fit kid's head
    • Not the most durable

    These look great despite their low price. Even kids will like them. They also have some impressive features, considering the price.

    The MindKoo Bluetooth headphones may not win many awards for sound quality, but they’re good enough for most people. Not for demanding users, but it has plenty of clarity for gaming and casual listening.

    Some headphones neglect vital features as they’re seen as a novelty item. The value of these is their cute design and Bluetooth performance, with the sound as an addition. Fancy LED lights add to the fun. They look great.

    The wireless connectivity is fairly reliable. Battery life of up to 10 hours is also respectable, and you can use the Bluetooth headphones wired if you want.

    Moreover, their foldable headphones are a major convenience. Along with a built-in mic for making phone calls.

    7. FosPower Kids Headphones

    FosPower Kids Headphones

    The best cat ear headphones for kids.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 30mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: On-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 4 ft (1.2m) | Features: Volume limit, LED effects
    • Volume limiter (85dB)
    • Flexible construction
    • Braided cable
    • Multiple LED effects…
    • … that require batteries to power
    • No built-in microphone

    All-around adorable kitty headphones with flashy effects.

    These are cheap cat ear headphones for kids that will not amaze anyone with audio performance.

    However, as a parent, you’ll be pleased to know the FosPower headphones have a built-in volume limiter. It’s set to 85dB, which should prevent your kids from blasting their music.

    The design is pretty simple in construction yet colorful in design. While their on-ear design and small size won’t appeal to adults, they should be relatively comfortable on kids’ ears.

    On top of that, the wired headphones are flexible and twistable in all directions without causing any damage to the drivers. Sadly, they don’t come with splashproof protection.

    8. iClever Boostcare

    iClever Boostcare

    The best kids’ cat ear headphones with a 2-mode volume limiter.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: On-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: n/a | Features: Volume limiters
    • Durable design with soft silicone
    • Inline remote with a mic
    • 85dB & 94dB volume modes
    • No LED lights
    • Not the best sound quality

    While they lack flashiness, they at least protect your kid’s hearing with 2 volume modes.

    These kid-friendly headphones have 2 volume options: 85dB and 94dB. One mode is for home use, whereas the other is meant for traveling.

    While the design isn’t as exciting-looking as with FosPower headphones, the iClever kids headphones come in many colors. The in-line controls let you navigate playback and answer phone calls.

    Furthermore, they’re equally as flexible and extremely durable. Cat ears, despite being pointy, are made of soft food-grade silicone, so you shouldn’t be afraid of your kids hurting themselves over sharp plastic.

    On-ear fit and small-sized ear cups don’t scream comfort. But then again, you don’t want your kid to listen to music all day long.

    How to Add Cat Ears to Headphones?

    You don’t have to buy the whole headphones. You can add removable cat ears to your existing headphones.

    Here are the best options (just make sure they fit your headphone headband size).

    Razer Kitty Ears for Kraken Headsets

    WeThinkeer Pink Kitty Ears

    SplashNcolor Cat Ear Headphone Attachment

    REEYEAR Kitty Ears for HyperX Headsets

    What Are Cat Ear Headphones?

    Cat ear headphones (or kitty ear headphones) are headphones with, you guessed it, cat ears.

    However, not all are the same. Some use ears only for decorative purposes, whereas some ears light up or even double as small speakers.

    Why are cat ear headphones so popular?

    Kitty & cat cosplayers

    Cat ear headphones are primarily popular among otaku (people of all age groups who are interested in anime culture  and entertainment).

    While some wear them because they’re cute, some also use them as an addition to their cosplay outfit.

    If you ever visit a gaming or anime convention, you’ll surely see at least a few people wearing cat ears.

    Streamers and celebrities

    In recent years, cat ears have become very popular among streamers. Some wear them because they’re kawaii (adorable, cute), whereas others use them for fun. Popular YouTuber PewDiePie wore headphones with cat ears in his videos.

    PewDiePie cat ears
    Source: YouTube

    Furthermore, Ariana Grande, a famous pop singer, also brought some attention to the new headphone design. Beforehand, she used to wear big bunny and cat ears on stage and social media.

    Therefore, it was only logical for Brookstone to team up with her in 2016. The result of the partnership was signature Ariana cat ear headphones.

    Ariana Grande with her famous cat ear headphones.
    Ariana Grande with her famous cat ears.

    A Short History of Kemonomimi

    Throughout history, people loved imagining humans with animal characteristics, from Greek mythology to modern fantasy stories, comics, and manga.

    In Japan, kemonomimi describes a female with cat-like features (cat ears, tail). The first mentions of characters with nekomimi (neko = cat, mimi = ears) date back to the 1700s.

    Nekomimi image
    Source: Wikipedia

    However, you can find the first modern version of a “beautiful girl with cat ears” in 1924’s “Suisenzuki no Yokka” by Kenji Miyazawa. After that, many more manga and anime adopted the catgirl form.

    The Beginning of Cat Ear Headphones

    The idea of cat headphones was first born in 2014. An anime artist, Wenqing Yan, saw the opportunity, created a company called Axent Wear, and launched an Indiegogo campaign with her friend and co-founder, Victoria Hu.

    The campaign surpassed their expectations, collecting $3,429,046 in funding. After a huge success, they could finally become a reality.

    However, a ride to the final product was (allegedly) quite bumpy.

    Original design for cat ear headphones
    Design by: Wenqing Yan

    Firstly, Victoria Hu, who set manufacturing to mass-produce the headphones, didn’t care about the quality of the work environment. Instead, workers were placed in horrible sweatshops; some were even exposed to breathing lead.

    Read a full Wenqing Yan blog post.

    After unsuccessful reasoning with her friend (which resulted in a legal battle), Yan searched for other partners to produce the headphones.

    When the company called Brookstone learned about the dispute between the two founders, they reached out to Yan and offered to produce her headphones on a large scale.

    Brookstoone Wireless Cat Ear Headphones
    Original wireless Brookstone cat headphones.

    However, due to limited capacity and budget, many cat ear headphones turned out faulty or were sent back by users, which wasn’t good for business.

    Meanwhile, other brands saw the opportunity and started producing their own models. The most famous ones are Razer Kraken Kitty Edition.

    Razer Kraken BT Kitty Edition | World Learns to Meow

    What to Look For in Cat Ear Headphones?

    Design

    Apart from technical performance and comfort, users also want to find cat headphones that express their personality. That’s why it’s important to think about design.

    The cuter, the better. However, many of them also pack additional functionalities and the latest features.

    Cat ears can be:

    • Purely decorative
    • Or they can illuminate in different RGB colors and effects

    Some ears also double as tiny extra speakers so that you can share music with friends.

    The RGB lighting is usually found somewhere on earcups, as well. Color changes when you use a button, a mobile phone, or a PC app.

    Woman with kitty Razer headphones

    Since cat headphones are all about flashy design, some offer a feature to sync music with LED lighting effects. That looks cool if headphone ears double as speakers.

    Comfort

    The second most important part is comfort. If you’re streaming or have them as a part of your cosplay, you’ll be wearing them for long hours.

    Therefore, look for over-ear headphones that go around your ears. And if you opt for an on-ear model, try to find the one with super plush memory foam ear pads.

    Razer Kraken Kitty
    Look for thick earpads and headband padding for optimal comfort.

    Furthermore, comfort depends on the clamping force, weight, and adjustability.

    For the clamping force, you don’t want it to be extremely soft or too firm. If it’s the latter, you can always put headphones between a few books and leave them there for a while to loosen the grip.

    Weight-wise, the lighter, the better. Around 8.8 ounces is a perfect weight. Lightweight headphones aren’t necessarily the cheapest made. Also, by keeping the weight down, you won’t feel them pressing on your head as much.

    As for the adjustability, look for headphones with rotatable earcups in all directions, a big enough headband extension for larger heads, and the possibility of replacing earpads when they become stiff.

    Finally, you also have to consider size, especially if you’re looking to get headphones for your kid. In that case, make sure to search for smaller ones. Bigger cans are likely to slide right off their heads.

    Axent headphones

    Sound quality

    It’s worth pointing out that great audio performance isn’t the main focus of cat ear headphones. Meaning they aren’t going to please the audiophile in you.

    On the other hand, you shouldn’t completely skimp on sound. They should still play your favorite songs just the way you like them.

    Browse through reviews and look for headphones with as accurate and clear sound as possible. You don’t want an overly boosted bass response and piercing treble to ruin your listening experience.

    Razer Kraken Kitty Edition girl

    Features you might want to consider

    Noise cancellation

    While most headphones use passive noise isolation to keep the background noise out, some use active noise cancellation.

    The results are a significant reduction of low-frequency noise.

    • Active noise cancellation is perfect for noisy places where you want some peace, like working near a construction site, in a loud office, or during commuting.
    • Also, ANC can protect your hearing since you don’t have to raise the volume to overtake the ambient noise.
    • However, that could also be dangerous if you plan to use ANC near busy roads since you won’t hear passing cars.

    Moreover, ANC often interferes with sound quality. Either in a good or bad way.

    Some headphones are tuned to work best with ANC enabled. So, if you plan to use it non-stop, make sure to buy the ones with a dedicated tuning.

    Volume limiters

    Kids love cute things, so they might want to have headphones with cat ears themselves.

    Kid wearing cat ear headphones

    And the best thing…

    They have volume limits built-in. Meaning the volume shouldn’t go past certain sound levels. The most common limitation is 85 dB.

    That way, your kids aren’t able to blast their music too loud, which protects their hearing in the long run.

    If you don’t find headphones with a volume limit, try to follow the 60/60 rule:

    60 minutes of listening at 60% volume, then take a break.

    Virtual surround sound

    Some cat ear headphones are popular among streamers and offer dedicated virtual surround sound modes. This feature enlarges the perception of the soundstage, placing sounds further away from you. If it’s done correctly, it adds to the immersion.

    Be aware that you don’t have to buy dedicated surround sound headphones to get spatial audio performance. If you own a Windows PC or Xbox, enabling Windows Sonic for Headphones does a similar thing.

    Connection

    General advice:

    • For gaming, get wired
    • For daily listening on the go, get Bluetooth headphones.
    wired and wireless headphones

    Wired options:

    • USB connection is mainly reserved for gaming headsets since they allow you to pair with PC apps, enable surround sound features, and provide power for RGB effects.
    • In contrast, the 3.5mm jack is far more popular due to its wide compatibility.

    Wireless options:

    • Bluetooth connection is the most widespread technology for headphones. It allows for complete freedom of movement and features like multipoint. Many Bluetooth headphones are also packed with extra goodies like ANC and ambient sound mode to amplify the background noise. And if your battery dies, most of them offer wired connectivity.
    • Wireless 2.4GHz connection via a USB dongle is mainly found in PC gaming headsets. Compared to Bluetooth, a regular Wi-Fi connection provides better audio latency, which is critical for gamers.

    On the flip side, dedicated PS5 or Xbox Series X wireless headphones easily connect directly to the two gaming consoles without a dongle.

    Durability

    Manufacturers battle between durability and comfort while keeping the headphones at a reasonable price.

    You have to keep in mind that:

    Cheaper headphones are usually less durable, you have to pay a bit more for ruggedness.

    • Always check professional and user reviews. A few bad reviews don’t necessarily mean a bad product. However, if most of them talk about poor build quality, you should definitely avoid them.
    Razer Kraken Kitty Edition taking selfie

    How to Pick the Best Cat Headphones with a Microphone?

    You might want to use your brand-new cat headphones to make phone or video calls. While most come with an included microphone, the quality varies.

    Where will you make calls?

    The environment you’ll be making calls is of great importance.

    • Most microphones do a good enough job in quiet places with no surrounding interference.
    • However, if you already know you’ll be using them someplace loud, consider a microphone with ANC technology.

    Is ANC technology for calls important?

    Yes, if you plan to make calls in a noisy environment. Otherwise, don’t pay too much attention to that.

    Overly aggressive ANC for calls can sometimes worsen voice quality by introducing distortion.

    Woman with Razer Kraken Kitty Edition

    Why Trust HeadphonesAddict?

    At HeadphonesAddict, we provide honest headphone tests through a rigorous methodology and a transparent process. See how we test here. We put a lot of effort into personally testing and measuring each pair so we can make educated recommendations.

    When choosing the cat ear headphones, we researched the feedback from users and considered the most important categories when choosing headphones like sound quality, comfort, build quality, battery life (if wireless), extra features like ANC, noise Isolation, and Bluetooth connectivity.

    More reasons to trust us:

    • We test headphones ourselves on 9 key points (less for wired models).
    • We measure frequency responses, ANC, passive isolation, battery life, and compare EQ presets.
    • We don’t take money for tests and reviews.
    • We don’t delete or edit “bad reviews.” Even when brands ask us to. If the headphones sound bad or have other faults, we tell you without embellishment.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I turn off the lights on my cat ear headphones?

    If your cat ear headphones connect with an app, try finding the setting inside of it. Or look for a dedicated button somewhere on the earcups or audio cable.

    Browsing through a user guide should provide you with the answers specific to your headphones.

    How do you pair Brookstone Wireless Cat Ear Headphones?

    The first time you turn them on, they should start pairing immediately.

    However, if you want to pair them to another device, press & hold the Bluetooth button until the built-in LED starts blinking.

    Are there noise cancelling cat ear headphones?

    Unfortunately, none of the best ones have the feature. While some have “noise cancelling” written in their descriptions, they’re actually referring to passive noise isolation.

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