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Best headphone cases
Whether you’re getting your first pair of headphones or your fiftieth, build quality always comes into play. If you’re going to be commuting with a pair of headphones, will it hold up to everyday wear and tear? How much you paid for your headphones will likely dictate how well you care for them, but a solid headphone case is a good idea whether your cans are $1,000 or $20. When it comes to headphone cases, fit is the most important thing to take into account.
Editor’s note: this list of the best headphone cases was updated on January 24, 2023, with answers to frequently asked questions.
Why is the Geekria Case the best headphone case for most people?
Many commuters cover their bases and carry two pairs of headphones: one pair of good 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 ear cups to lie flat, and it has a small section in the middle that can 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.
If you own large over-ears, look into the Slappa HardBody Pro. Helpfully, Slappa lists some of the headsets (like the Beyerdynamic DT 770 line, Sennheiser HD 6xx line, and it seems most of the Audio-Technica ATH-M line) the case has been tested to fit to reduce the guessing game. Water-resistant ballistic nylon covers the molded hardshell—nice.
The Pelican 1020 can handle extreme conditions
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. Under the list of pros, you have some color options to spruce up the utilitarian aesthetic.
What if you have neckbuds? Get the Cosmo case
Neckbuds have increased in popularity thanks to products like the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd Generation) and Beats Flex headphones. 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 is specifically designed to house neckbuds.
The hardshell case protects the headphones from being crushed in your bag while the PU leather looks at home 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.
Carry more with the Peak Design Travel Tech 2L Pouch
Say like most of us you tote other tech goodies and accessories around besides just earbuds. What if you had a home for all your various cables, chargers, battery packs, and any number of other everyday necessities? Consider the Peak Design Travel Tech 2L Pouch. It’s constructed of lightweight 200D Water-Resistant Nylon and several stylish colors. Keeping your tech dry is always a must.
It zips up like any other organizational pack, but it kind of accordions open to reveal a surprising amount of space and pockets for your earbuds, and basically anything else you’d chuck into your bag. Nicely, it still stands upright when opened too.
If your style is more traditional, you can also check out the Bellroy Classic Pouch, which operates with a similar principle in mind, but doesn’t open as wide. You might as well invest in your investments.
What case should you get for the AirPods?
Headphone cases may not make the most sense for AirPods, and for reasons I can’t explain, the AirPods (3rd generation) is extremely popular. We recommend the Catalyst Influence Series case, which is a simple silicone covering that wraps perfectly around the AirPods case protecting it from harm. However, using the Catalyst case adds a bit of bulk to your AirPods, making it less pocket-friendly.
This case has an IP67 rating which basically makes your AirPods case resistant to dust and water. Catalyst’s Influencer Series case also merits an MIL-STD-81G certification so it can withstand drops and other torments.
Again, for the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) the battery charging case redesign (which is IPX4 rated) necessitates a new cover. The Spigen Silicone Fit fits the bill as a sleek and functional option. It protects with the added grip of silicone. The included carabiner means you can secure it to your bag or belt loop.
Keep in mind that the AirPods line has three different case sizes depending on the model. The Catalyst case is also available for the AirPods Pro. For the most abusive AirPods Pro owners out there, Catalyst has an IP68 and MIL-STD-810G certified case to protect against three-meter drops with a lid lock. It definitely has that over-engineered aesthetic shared by Hummers, for example, but it’s probably the sturdiest option out there currently for AirPods Pro.
If you want a lower-profile case that protects your first two generations of AirPods from dings and scratches, check out the Nomad Rugged Case V1. It’s made of quality Horween leather and is compatible with both the standard and wireless charging cases. Similarly, Native Union makes stylish leather cases for AirPods.
For people who don’t want to step into Apple’s product ecosystem, there are a few AirPods alternatives to choose from.
What if you want a bag to hold (almost) everything Apple?
Sometimes you just want a bag that smartly holds your earbuds, cables, and other tech peripherals. It’s better than having them floating around and banging into all manner of stuff you’ve got in there, or landing at the bottom never to be found again. Native Union’s Stow Organizer is outfitted in quality canvas and thoughtfully laid out with elasticized straps and pockets.
You can fit your AirPods case, charger, stylus, and a plethora of other accessories. You’re not going to fit your AirPods Max in there, granted, but we have a list for such cases and accessories too.
The best headphone cases: Notable mentions
If you just want a carry-all bag for your phone and earbuds that is IP67 certified, try the Nite Ize Runoff series of waterproof pouches. They come in a large variety of dimensions and even allow you to use your phone’s touchscreen if you stash that in there too.
Most importantly, if you go for a hike you don’t need to worry about water or grime getting in and damaging your electronics. Sometimes all you really need is a barrier, and not shockproofing. For the less outdoorsy amongst us, a waterproof pouch prevents your buds from getting waterlogged if your toiletries explode during a flight. It happens.
What if you just have a few regular pairs of earbuds?
So you got the magnetic cable ties, but you want to stow your wired earbuds. Try this selection of color-coded cases by Sunmns cases. It isn’t fancy, but it’s practical. You 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. What makes the Sunmns cases so appealing are 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.
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 a magnetic cable tie might be worth looking into. 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. Of course, this only works with wired headphones and earbuds. It’s also cleaner than using conventional hook and loop cable ties which pick up lint and fluff.
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. If you tend to throw your headphones into your bag while commuting or have a little one around the house 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 want something a little more extravagant, we have you covered there too. While we’re at it, check out some headphone stands for your investment. Hopefully, you’ll find something that suits your needs.
Frequently asked questions about headphone cases
Plenty of headphones come with their own cases. Some notable mentions include Sony WH-1000XM5, Sennheiser PXC 550-II, Monoprice Monolith M565, and V-Moda XS.
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.
Yes, the Pelican and Nite Ize Runoff cases have some waterproofing. 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.
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.
Generally speaking charging cases for earbuds are highly specific to the buds. Some manufacturers like Jabra offer support where you can buy a replacement charging case.
The “Smart Case” that comes with the AirPods Max really doesn’t live up to its name. It’s pretty much useless as a protective case, and at best simply serves as an on/off button for the headphones.
A case is always a good idea when traveling, but there are many solid sets of headphones that can take a beating. Take a look at our list of the most durable earbuds, as well as the best workout headphones.