I think it is safe to say that every person that uses headphones at home at least once has thought about how to store them. Let’s face it, continuous putting and pulling them out of the included in purchase case is not the most convenient thing in the world. Having them loosely on a desk or in a living room might also seem not appropriate. The obvious solution is a headphone stand, but here comes the question, what type should you choose.
Types of stands
The obvious ones and most popular are so-called hangers, where the support point for headphones is on the top of the arm. There is a wealth of choice in terms of prices, material, and thoughtfulness of design. Of course, prices are correlated with quality, it goes from even as simple solution as bent rod, through wood and aluminium ones to even some with concrete at the bottom for a modern, industrial look. In this type of stand, an important thing is stability. Because of its shape, usually slim and tall, it is crucial that it has a possibly low centre of gravity, in order not to allow your precious headphones to fall and damage. Usually, it is done by making the bottom of a stand heavy. For those who use more than one pair of headphones, there is also a variant, where you can hang two pairs of headphones at the same time.
An interesting simplification of this type of stand is a headphone hook. It is usually a cheaper and more ergonomic solution than a full “hanger” style/hanger-style stand. There are two possible ways to attach the hook, by using an adhesion or by clamping it to the desired surface. The adhesive hanging hook may be tricky to remove due to a strong adhesion but sometimes it can go the other way and such a hook can fall rapidly with hung headphones. The hook with clamps seems to be free from these drawbacks, but keep that in mind that they should have some sort of padding to prevent the clamped surface from scratches.
Although a hanger-style stand or headphone hook may look like an answer to a user’s problems of storing their headphones, such a stand has some disadvantages. Probably not everybody is aware of it, but headband compression is a real thing. The hanging position exerts a force on the headband the weight of earpads, which pulls headphones down. This very phenomenon, in long-term hanging, can cause shape distortion. However, there are some models with a well-designed top (saddle) (rounded and cushioned) that can mitigate the risk of distortion significantly. Another problem is the fact that some headphones simply shouldn’t be hanged because of their headband design. Well-known pair of headphones with such limitations is the AKG.
Another type of headphone stand is a head-like stand, which uses a shape that looks similar to a human’s head. If it sounds too fancy for you, a shape as simple as a block of wood does its job too. Speaking of which, these stands are very often made out of wood, so if you have a nice, cosy piece of furniture, it can fit your surroundings very well. Unfortunately, head-like stands suffer from earcup compression. The leather of the ear cups is prone to wear and tear due to repeatedly rubbing the earcups against the stand.
These problems move us seamlessly to stands that are in some way unique.
The first one that came up to my mind is the Dolby Dimension charging base. It has a unique way of storing the headphones, where the pair of headphones sit only on one earcup. I wish it was designed for more than just one model because it is simple, ergonomic, and looks awesome.
The second unique design is a stand where you put your pair of headphones in a specially shaped soft insert. This solution is free from headband compression and thanks to the fact that earcups aren’t squished, the pads are safe too. Now discontinued, but there was such stand from AKG designed for their K701 model so no wonder that an insert was made specifically for them and it doesn’t fit other headphones.
The new stand has emerged that has some similarity to AKG, but it can fit a wide range of headphones thanks to its two conical frustums inscribed in lemniscate. Hopefully, we will see them more often on the market.
Unibody headphone stand available at neederland.com
Type of a headphone stand and pros and cons connected with it is one thing, a material from which a stand is made is another.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of materials that you can choose from. Of course, for some, it doesn’t matter what material is their stand made of, but to some extent, the material determines the quality of the product and its functionality. On top of that, some users would like their stand to fit well in their surroundings. Sometimes it means a stand that is all plastic, but since many other computer gears are plastic, it seems like quite an obvious choice to make. For others that may be using an audiophile set of headphones and want to associate the stand with audiophile equipment, aluminum or wooden stand should be the one that comes up to their minds. For some time a trend can be seen where head-like wooden stands have gained in popularity. Very often it is a nice finished, lacquered wood that should fit perfectly in a living room where most likely it will be accompanied by wooden furniture. For those who are looking for a more modern look of a stand and their interest was awoken, when I mentioned about a concrete bottom end, there are head-like stands, entirely made out of concrete.
The last thing to consider is additional functionality. If you are into gadgets and like bells and whistles, maybe features like USB ports or wireless charging for your phone are a must-have. Don’t worry, there are plenty of such stands, some of them even have a mount for a tablet.
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