Choosing a headphone stand: what type is the best?

It’s no secret that the biggest headphone enthusiasts can boast really impressive large headphone collections, which often consist of several or even dozens of different models of headphones. This hobby is an endless journey of constant buy-try-sell experience. That way it’s crucial  to keep your stuff in the best possible condition because you may soon have to sell it and buy another one. After spending several hundred or even thousands of euros on headphones, you certainly don’t want to keep them haphazardly thrown on the table or in a drawer, where they can get scratched or even damaged. Therefore, it is not surprising that the vast majority of headphone enthusiasts use special headphone stands. That way the headphones not only hang securely, but are also pleasing to the eye while not being used for their intended purpose. I think no one will argue that beautiful headphones should hang on a beautiful stand. In this article, I will briefly review several main types of headphone stands and tell you which ones I make and why.

When choosing a headphone stand, you should, of course, consider whether it will fit the headphones you have. Depending on the manufacturer and model, the size and design of the headphones can vary significantly. The headbands can be narrow, like many Sennheiser, Focal, Grado labs, Hifiman, ZMF, Beyerdynamic headphones, but it can also be wide, like some models from Audeze, Audio-Technica, AKG, STAX, Verum Audio or the aforementioned Hifiman manufacturer. The size and shape of the earpiece speaker drivers can also be very different – some smaller headphones are to be worn on the ears, while others completely surround them. But even the latter can vary greatly in shape and size. For example, the Hifiman Ananda or STAX SR-L500 feature very long drivers, therefore, the stands for such headphones must be particularly tall and also should have a deep headband support.

If we look at what is happening in the headphone stand market, we can easily distinguish three types of heaphone stands:

  1. head or omega-shaped headphone stands, on which the headphones rest by a large part of their headband while both earpads firmly touch the body of the stand;
  2. stands-hangers, on which the headphones hang freely, resting on a large part of their headband;
  3. stands-hangers, on which the headphones hang freely, relying only on the narrow part of their headband.

Head or omega-shaped headphone stands

A head or omega stand is, in my opinion, the safest in terms of holding the headphones the most firmly, as it rests on it at multiple points, so there is very little risk of the headphones falling off the stand if accidentally tripped over. Also, this helps to prevent the weight of the headphones from putting unnecessary strain on the headband and earcups which is very important for very heavy headphones.

The collection of melodeko unika stands is a great example of this type. Since I make these stands from solid hardwood, their heavy weight adds extra stability. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of manual labor and the cost of materials, these stands of mine are quite expensive and therefore not very popular.

Stands-hangers, on which the headphones hang freely, resting on a large part of their headband

This type of headphone stands is also rather safe for headphones, at least in terms of not damaging the headband, since it rests on the stand with almost its entire area.

Both melodeko brila and melodeko cigno stands would be an example of this type. To minimize the risk of accidental slippage, the part supporting the headband is concave shaped. Such headphone stands visually look quite minimalistic, they do not hide the beauty of headphones hanging freely in the air, so maybe for this reason they are currently the most popular among melodeko products, especially the cigno model.

Stands-hangers, on which the headphones hang freely, relying only on the narrow part of their headband.

And finally, the third type of headphone stands which I don’t make and never intend making. I do not like such stands for several reasons. First of all, such a stand can stretch the headphone band. This should be especially relevant for those with headphones with a thin natural leather band, as leather is relatively prone to deformation when subjected to loads. And those loads are quite considerable when it comes to full size over-ear headphones.

The second shortcoming – when hanging the headphones on such a stand, you need to place them precisely watching for the center of the headband. Otherwise, the headphones may slip and fall after losing balance.

Unfortunately, the market is crowded with this type of stands. No surprise there – these are the most universal and also the easiest and cheapest to make

What else needs to be considered?

Size. Believe me, size matters. If you have full-sized wired headphones, when choosing the stand, pay attention not only to its design, but also to its height. A stand that is too low can damage the headphone cable and jacks. A good headphone stand needs to offer clearance to hold a pair of large headphones with cable attached, and have at least 1″ clearance below for the cable to lay smoothly.

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