Before product designers were scratching their heads trying to figure out how to make gadgets look good on your wrist, they had to figure out how to make them look good on your head. Eventually, they succeeded, but not with some horrifying results along the way. Even modern headphone makers get caught up in a flashy fad every now and then.
After perusing this list of horrid headphone design, you’ll probably never look at your own cans the same way again. Here are some of the ugliest headphones I’ve ever seen, with several contributions from Head-Fi’s exhaustive forums.
It’s like a crown for the king of losers. The idea was that this tube would simulate surround sound using phase algorithms. Unfortunately, no one in their right mind would ever want to wear something that looks so much like orthodontic headgear. The manufacturer eventually caught on to that significant draw back and tried its best to hide the band as much as possible. But yeah, that didn’t really help that this thing was just plain ugly.
Fake bullets and a hidden pocket for a bottle opener. Guns and booze always mix. Honestly, we could just fill this entire list with godawful Skullcandy headphones, but at some point, you’ve got to respect its commitment to not giving a fuck.
If you ever read the words “Swarovski crystals” in a pair of headphone reviews, don’t bother reading any further. Crown is optional.
I’m pretty sure this rectangular arc is not how heads are shaped. Supposedly they sound really good, and they should for $5,000. But with that much cash, you’d hope you wouldn’t end up with headphones more fit for Gumby than a human being.
I’m not sure how you’d even wear these, so my best advice is to just avoid them at all costs. AKG Describes these headphones like so:
The K1000 are a unique design that is the equivalent of wearing a pair of loudspeakers on the head.
And somehow that didn’t raise any flags. I will give them an A for uniqueness and making people look like dorks.
Headphones based on a specific audio player, let alone one you have to strap to the side of your head. Doesn’t seem like a great idea. To be fair, a couple companies tried out this idea. It’s best to just keep these headphones abominations in the past with Apple’s old 30-pin connector.
Technically, these aren’t even headphones—they’re neckphones. The idea was you’d wear this around your head, like so, when playing video games or whatever and you’d get a surround sound-like experience. Cool idea and thankfully one that never took off.
If you’re going for a retro feel, you’re in the right place. Unfortunately, Stax headphones use a special jack so you can’t use these with your smartphone, laptop, or anything really. And the Lambdas aren’t much better.
I don’t even know what to say about these things. They work with a super-thin electrically charged diaphragm, explaining how they get their weird name. The only use I could possibly imagine is a cool prop for a B-list sci-fi flick. Bring along the Ergo AMTs as well.
I don’t think Weezy understands the word “restraint.” Even Drake is amazed.
Have you seen ever more nightmarish examples of head gear? Share in the comments below.