Many of us expose our headphones to damage every day without realising it. Whether it’s when we’re at the gym, commuting to work, travelling, studying, or even just chilling with them at home, we’re all exposing our headphones to potential moisture damage.
It’s corrosive. Over time it seeps inside the material and begins breaking it down. This leaves the plastic leather covering the earpad cracked and peeling. It doesn’t look good and it doesn’t smell good either.
One of the easiest ways to prevent moisture damage is to use headphone covers. These are removable sleeves that slip over or around the earpads and prevent moisture from seeping inside the material.
Gym-goers and gamers use headphone covers more often because they’re more likely to sweat heavily during an exercise or gaming session. But headphone covers aren’t just about protecting against sweat damage. They can also prevent make-up from transferring and staining the earpads. And some have striking or fashionable designs on them, so they’re an aesthetic choice, too.
Which headphone covers work best?
Cotton headphone covers:
Cotton headphone covers have several advantages.
They’re light for a start. And breathable. You can wash them. But cotton retains moisture, so they’re going to get uncomfortable pretty quickly if you’re working up a sweat or wearing headphones for long periods.
Cotton also stains easily which means you may have a problem keeping them fresh if you’re using them regularly. They’re also prone to growing mildew when damp. This isn’t a good look on Bose or Beats headphones. How good are you at remembering to empty your gym bag?
Cotton also creases easily. This may or may not be a dealbreaker for you. The poor elasticity could be a problem over the long term, especially as you’ll be stretching them over the earpads.
Cotton headphone covers will provide some measure of short-term protection but you may find yourself regularly buying another pair.
Moisture-wicking headphone covers.
These are our favourites. We’re biased, obviously, but hear us out. The reason that we like sweat-wicking headphone covers is that they’re a proactive approach to headphone protection.
They’re made from an absorbent Lycra material with MAX-DRI™ properties. They don’t just keep the moisture away from the headphones but they push it towards the surface of the material which makes it easier for the moisture to be evaporated. This is something that other headphone covers won’t do. Which makes sweat-wicking headphone covers more comfortable to wear.
They won’t end up covered in mildew either and are fully machine-washable.
Silicon Headphone Covers
Silicon headphone covers provide a barrier between the headphone and the sweat. They’re really easy to wipe down afterwards and keep clean. They’re also pretty durable, too.
One of the biggest downsides is that the moisture has nowhere to go until you wipe it down. It just sits there. That can be uncomfortable if you’re in the middle of a workout.
They’re not very attractive, either. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you but it will put some people off. They can also feel warm against the ears if you’re wearing them for a prolonged period. This won’t be ideal for gamers or for students.
Disposable Headphone Covers
If you’re shopping on Amazon or at a wholesaler, you’re probably doing to see plastic headphone covers. These are disposable headphone covers. They’re common in places where headphones and headsets have to be shared. Often this is in a workplace setting but it could also be at galleries or venues, too.
Disposable headphone covers are good for hygiene. They’re also cheaper to buy. But they’re bad for the environment because you’re using single-use plastic and they’re also ugly. They’re not going to do much for the design of your Sony’s.
They’re going to be uncomfortable, too. Fine for a short walk with an audio guide around a museum but not great for lifting weights in the gym.
Which Headphone Covers Work Best?
We think moisture-resistance headphone work best. They’re easy to add to headphones, they’re machine washable, they come in a wide range of designs, but most importantly: they keep sweat from getting inside your headphone cushions and ruining them.