There are a lot of companies making over the ear headphones and they try to differentiate themselves from each other by making bold claims about sound quality. But nobody talks about whether it’s fun to wear the headphones so why shouldn’t Brookstone? Seems they have, because their Cat Ear Headphones is about as much fun as as you could ask for — be you the one wearing them or the one looking at the person who’s doing the wearing.
For those not inclined to look at a picture, let’s describe the headphones as obviously consisting of two ear cups, one for each side of a person’s head and fitting onto same through a headband that holds the two in position. All that is conventional to pretty much any pair of headphones…except that these headphones doesn’t stop there. A pair of “cat ears” are part of the design, only instead of being just for show, there’s actually speakers embedded in them. This means that the person wearing the headphones can choose to listen to whatever audio the corded cable is connected to or, with the flick of a switch, choose to share the sound through the ear speakers.
If that is all that happened, it would be enough but it’s not enough for Brookstone. So they built LED accent lights Ito the cat ear speakers and the ear cups as well — these lights go on only when the person wearing them wants them to, so it becomes a fashion statement and not just a very large and colorful night light.
Now before we get to the audio itself, let’s finish a few more things about the headphones which are worth the mention. First, the audio cable is detachable so other types can be used instead if desired (this also removes the misery of having an attached cable fail to work due to broken wiring or some other mishap and negating the headphones completely). There’s also an inline volume control with buttons for forward/reverse use — conventional sure, but highly useful. The final add-on is a removable gaming boom mic for use by those who want to use them, and if not they get taken off and forgotten about. The built in battery to handle the external speakers/lighting needs recharges via USB and has an up to 5 hour charged lifespan. What this means is that you’ll be getting a good 3 hours without fail and then for however much longer till the battery gives up and needs recharging.
The ear cups themselves are very comfortable and have large cushioning so as to fit snugly over the ears. This also enables a person to wear the phone over for an extended period of time without developing ear burn. The frequency response that you hear with the ear cups on is 20Hz-20KHz, as driven by a pair of 40mm (large) drivers. The cat ear speakers are a bit smaller (32mm) and the response a bit less (200Hz-18KHz) due to their being designed for an open air environment.
The Cat Ear Headphones retails for $129.99 and includes a carry case and USB recharging cable. As if all this wasn’t enough, they also come in a choice of colors, with red and purple being favorites for some over the green and blue. If color isn’t your thing, then just turn off the lights and let the illumination and music drive the conversation.