Whether you’re getting your first pair of headphones or your fiftieth, one of the factors that always comes into play is build quality. If you’re going to be commuting with it, will it hold up to everyday wear and tear? If you’re keeping them at home, where can you store them safely? Of course how much you care for your headphones also depends on how much you paid for them, but a solid headphone case to protect your investment is a good habit to get into whether your cans are $1,000 or $20. When it comes to headphone cases there are only a few things that you should worry about. The most important is fit.
Editor’s note: this list of the best headphone cases was updated on January 13, 2021, to address an FAQ.
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For most over-ears, you should just go with this case from Geekria
Many commuters tend to cover their bases by carrying two pairs of headphones (speaking from experience). One pair of quality over-ears and a backup pair of cheap earbuds. If that sounds like you then the Geekria case is sure to make you happy.
It’s large enough to fit a pair of headphones assuming that the pair in question has rotating earcups to lie flat, but it also has a small section in the middle that can perfectly hold a pair of earbuds or a portable amp. It also has a bit of style to it, thanks to a light gray fabric exterior. It’s not a huge deal but it’s a nice differentiating feature in a sea of leather and plastic cases.
What you should know when looking at headphone cases
Headphone cases are useless if the headphones don’t fit in them. We’ve picked a few options here that fit all shapes and sizes of headphones, as well as one or two that are tailor-made for specific kinds. Almost as important is how much can the case withstand? Obviously, these aren’t going to be very helpful if you run them over with a truck, but if you tend to throw your headphones into your bag while commuting or have a little one around the house that might get a little too playful with your prized over-ear cans these will offer much-needed protection.
The last thing to consider is the price. Luckily for you, we’ve already browsed the internet for quality cases that won’t break the bank (or your headphones). But if you’re looking for something a little more extravagant we’ve got you covered there as well. Hopefully, you’ll find something that suits your needs. So let’s get into it, what are the best headphone cases?
If you have Bluetooth earbuds that need charging, check out the Mophie Power Capsule
Whether you’re going to the gym or just prefer to go wireless on your daily commute, Bluetooth earbuds can be super convenient. Not so convenient is that they run out of battery. Which is why the Mophie Power Capsule is a good option if you’re tired of getting to the gym and realizing your headphones are out of juice. It’s one of the more impressive headphone cases with an integrated 1,400mAh battery inside, which gives your earbuds an extra 60 hours of battery life.
Mophie Power Capsule
There’s even a battery indicator button and four small LED lights on the back so you know exactly how much power is left in the case. Of course, the biggest downside to this is that if you forget to also charge the case then you’re really out of luck. But if you’re looking for an easy way to not have to plug in your headphones at the end of every night, this is one of the better headphone cases out there.
What if you have neckbuds? Get the Cosmo case
Neckbuds have increased in popularity thanks to products like the LG Tone and BeatsX headphones, and storing them when not in use is as easy as taking the ‘buds out of your ears and leaving them be. But if you’re not comfortable with leaving your expensive headphones dangling around your neck you can always opt for the Cosmo case, which was specifically designed to house neckbuds. Neck earbuds? Collar ‘buds?
Whatever you call them, the hardshell case protects the headphones from being crushed in your bag while the PU leather gives it a stylish appearance that won’t look out of place in the office. On the inside is a mesh pocket perfect for storing cables which is super helpful, but there’s also a weird place in the center to store a charging brick. Convenient if it fits perfectly, but most likely it’ll just get in the way. Still, at least you have the option to use it if the charging brick fits.
If you’re carrying a few things, check out the Bellroy Classic Pouch
It’s not hard to find yourself with more than just a pair of headphones. Some now require charging cables and other accessories like ear tips or wingtips, and for those you should check out this quality pouch from Bellroy. The company is known for its quality materials, and the fabric/leather build of the Classic Pouch is sure to last.
Bellroy Classic pouch
Of course, if you’re going to spend more than a few dollars, then one would hope that you can get multiple uses out of it, and the classic pouch can be as versatile as you need it to be, perfectly fitting pens, glasses, or any other smaller essentials you may need throughout the day.
What if you have AirPods?
Headphone cases may not make the most sense for AirPods, and for reasons I can’t explain, AirPods are extremely popular. In the review, I already shared how they didn’t really do it for me, but hey, I’m not going to hate. Though to be fair, the newer AirPods Pro did impress me as they are now actually usable, but I digress. As useful as the original AirPods might be for some people there’s still one significant issue with them: they’re not waterproof (not even the case).
Catalyst Airpods Case
If you get caught in a bad rainstorm, you can kiss those ‘buds goodbye. So the case we recommend is the Catalyst case, which is a simple silicone covering that wraps perfectly around the case protecting it from harm. However, using the Catalyst case adds a bit of bulk to your AirPods, making it less pocket-friendly. The Catalyst case is also available for the AirPods Pro, for people looking to protect their investments
If you want a lower-profile case that protects your AirPods from dings and scratches, check out the Nomad Rugged Case V1. It’s made of quality leather and is compatible with both the standard and wireless charging cases.
For people who don’t want to step into Apple’s product ecosystem, there are a few AirPods alternatives to choose from.
Related: Best Apple AirPods Pro accessories
What if you just have a few regular pairs of earbuds?
If you’re like me, you probably have a plethora of earbuds lying around getting tangled and doing whatever else earbuds do when no one is looking. One way to keep them all organized is to get a few of these Sunmns cases. It isn’t fancy, but it’s practical. You’ll get eight cases that each have elastic mesh inside to keep your earbuds in place and come with a carabiner to clip or hang from wherever you want. Obviously, this isn’t a super clever option and you might already have one or two of these. But what makes the Sunmns cases so appealing is the different colored zippers. This not only helps you organize your earbuds but helps you color-coordinate them so you know exactly which pair you’re grabbing as you head out the door.
When it comes to storing expensive earbuds, function over form is necessary
All of the cases we’ve listed in this best list strike a balance between form and function. However, if you are looking to protect an expensive set of earbuds—such as in-ear monitors used by professionals, consider investing in a sturdier option like the Pelican Case 1020.
With this case, you won’t ever have to worry about the state of your earbuds, thanks to its water-resistant, crushproof, and dustproof construction. Sure, the design of the case may not amaze anyone, but it’s better to see your earbuds in this case, rather than broken into a million pieces.
Rather than sifting through headphone cases, get a simple solution for your wired earbuds
If you mainly use earbuds and want something a little more minimal and (let’s face it) nicer than a bunch of plastic boxes with colored zippers, then the leather magnetic cable tie from ADV.Sound might be something worth looking into. They’re only about $10 a pop, but you won’t have to worry about the cable getting tied up in a knot the next time you throw it in your pocket or in a bag. You can just snap the tie shut around the cable keeping them securely in place.
Looking for a pair of headphones to protect? Check out some of our other lists:
Frequently Asked Questions
The interior of the Pelican Case 1020 does not come with any soft padding or organization channels/inserts. If you want to further protect your gear inside this case, you'll have to install your own foam padding/organization inserts.
Unfortunately, no. These can protect your investments from minor splashes, dust and debris, though you should still treat these cases with care—especially if your headphones are inside. If you want a pair of headphones that will give you peace of mind, check out the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Codex, which is one of the most durable headphones available.
The Mophie Power Capsule is equipped with a 1,400 mAh battery, which is well below the limit for transporting lithium batteries on commercial flights. However, there are some countries with more stringent rules surrounding power banks and electronics with lithium batteries. If you're planning to use this case for air travel, check with your home and destination transportation authorities before buying.
There's no law saying you need a headphone case, but we highly recommend purchasing one. Even if you may not be taking your headphones on-the-go, keeping them stored in case ensures that your investments stay clean and safe, free from dust or other debris, especially when not in use.