Earmuff headphones are something of a novelty: the kind of thing you might give to a work colleague as a Secret Santa gift or to a twelve-year-old girl for a birthday present.
They’re a bit shit, aren’t they?
They sound like a reasonable idea on paper. Ears do get cold in the winter. We’ve probably all struggled to fit our headphones over hats, and who doesn’t want to keep their ears warm when the temperature drops? But in reality, furry headphones aren’t all that practical. There’s a reason that you’ll often see them in high street shops around the holidays or as part of the online inventories of discount retailers.
Audiophiles aren’t going to walk around in a pair of £20 ear warmer headphones just because a manufacturer has added some fleece to the cushions. When it comes to headphones, most of us would pick sound quality over warm ears. After all, you don’t see Bose or Beats advertising earmuffs that play music.
Fluffy earmuff headphones are usually targeted at the female market. Specifically, they’re aimed at younger girls and pre-teens as an introduction to headphones. These girly headphones are a precursor to Beats, Skullcandy and Apple Earpods, perhaps. They’re cute looking and fashionable for that age group — an UGG for the ear.
Unless they’re not.
Maybe you love your earmuff headphones. Maybe we’re doing them a disservice, but still, the vast majority of headphone wearers, those serious about music and sound quality, probably aren’t going to be seen dead in an off-the-shelf musical earmuff.
You may also have seen the in-earphone version of the earmuff headphone. It’s marketed more to middle-aged men. The earphone snakes under a fleece-lined wraparound keeping the ears covered and warm like a sort of musical sweatband. The problem is that some people can’t wear earphones as they’re uncomfortable and ill-fitting, and unless you’re able to provide your own earphone, then the quality of sound is probably pretty questionable. You’re paying for the novelty of keeping your ears warm rather than for the sound of the earphones.
Neither option is ideal for most headphone users. Which is a shame because what could be better than warm ears in winter when listening to your favourite tracks?
Earmuffs That Fit Your Existing Headphones
The important takeaway here is — pick YOUR headphone and THEN add the ear warmer.
Which is why something like EarSnugz are ideal. They’re earmuffs that you put on your own headphone cushions. EarSnugz fit ALL headphones and are made from thermal grade super soft material with a special fabric blend allowing sound to pass easily into the ear and offering 99.9% sound quality with near-zero losses.
Why is It Important to Keep Ears Warm in the Cold Weather?
Our ears are just as susceptible to the cold as our fingers and noses are. When we’re cold our brains redirect blood flow towards our vital organs so that our extremities receive less blood flow and get colder. It’s why when the temperature drops, the hats, gloves and scarves come out.
There’s an interesting post on the Well and Good website explaining why keeping our ears warm in the winter is so important.“Ears are often sensitive to the cold because of a very large network of nerves that provides sensation to the ears.” Jason Abramowitz, MD, at New York and New Jersey’s ENT and Allergy Associates told the website. He goes on to say that when your ears are cold, the rest of your body is likely to become colder, too.
There’s also a condition known as exostosis more commonly called surfer’s ear which is an overgrowth of bone in the ear canal that can require surgery to correct and is caused by repeated exposure to cold and wet conditions.
Tinnitus is more likely to occur in the cold weather, too. Typically meaning a ringing in the ear, tinnitus can also manifest as a hissing, buzzing or clicking sound inside the ear. If you’re a sufferer then adding a pair of EarSnugz to your headphones could help to relieve symptoms.
All headphones have a ‘clamping’ effect. This can feel more pronounced in the colder weather making headphones rather uncomfortable. This is especially true if the manufacturer has skimped on padding for the cushions. Beats has been criticised by some for having a clamping effect that causes headaches and discomfort.
Best EarMuff for Beats Headphones
Beats headphones are instantly recognisable. Its bass-heavy sound and sleek modern aesthetic has wide appeal and since parent-company Apple acquired the brand back in 2014, it’s gone from strength-to-strength. Add any of the EarSnugz earmuffs to a pair of Beats headphones and it’s going to look amazing, but we’d particularly recommend black-panther EarSnugz.
Keep it simple. Keep it warm.
Black Panther Ear Snugz are made from 100% allergy-free polyester. They’re quick drying and fade resistant. You could be a Stark in Winterfell and these would still keep your ears toasty warm. These fit the entire Beats range and they’re easy to add on and to remove thanks to a toggle fit. What’s great, too, is that there’s a cut-out slot for charging and cable leads.
Best Earmuff for Bose Headphones
Bose has been synonymous with noise-cancelling since the technology first went into production in the 1980s. Solid, dependable and comfortable, Bose headphones are ideal for winter walks and commutes. Bose doesn’t tend to opt for the bold colours and designs of brands like Beats and Skullcandy, but there can be no doubt that it makes a good looking headphone.
If you own the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones in grey, then the Wolf Paw EarSnugz are an ideal headphone accessory to add on. The colours compliment each other perfectly. Sound passes easily through the material of the earmuff — you don't have to lose sound quality just to gain heat.
Best EarMuff for Sony Headphones
White Rabbit EarSnugz pair super-well with either the silver or black WH-1000XM3 headphones. The toggle tightening system means these are really easy to take on and off the headphone and like the other EarSnugz, these are water-resistant.
Best Earmuff for Skullcandy Hesh 3 Headphones
Skullcandy surprised a lot of people with the Hesh3 Headphone. The sound quality is decent and the design choices surprisingly muted. We think the Skullcandy Hesh3 looks superb paired with Cotton Candy EarSnugz. These fluffy earmuffs are reminiscent of all the fun of the fare — super sweet and cuddly warm.
How do you keep your ears warm in the cold weather? Drop us a message in the comments below.