It’s the time of year for saving money!
There is a point in every headphone using audiophile’s life when they will find that the need a headphone stand. For some it will be after they buy their second pair full-sized headphones. For others it won’t be until every spare surface area on their desk is filled with headphones. But whenever you decide to take the plunge, rest assured that you have a myriad of options from cheap to very pricy.
My bias is simple – I am not a big fan of expensive headphone stands. But from my own research it’s obvious that with headphone stands the least expensive options can have some drawbacks, but they can offer a way to get all your headphones off your desk without requiring you take out a 30-year loan.
The least expensive “headphone stand” I have in my collection isn’t a stand at all and wasn’t even created for use with headphones. It’s a banana hanger. For you $8 you get a plastic hook that can attach to any shelf. I have 16 of them, all occupied. The disadvantage to these is that they can leave a crease on a padded headband, so the trick is to move the phones every couple of days so that they are resting on a different part of the padded band. If you actually use all the headphones you’ve got on these hangers this should not be a problem.
For $10 you can get “the Anchor” from Elevation labs. This headphone holder was designed to go under a desktop and had a larger area for the headband than the banana stands. The only problem is the hanger does not have holes for screws but instead relies on 3M sticky take to adhere to the underside of your desktop. I would recommend drilling a couple of holes and mounting it with a pair of screws for maximum adherence.
My current favorite cheap desktop headphone stand will set you back $17. Made and sold by Jackcube design through Amazon, this padded stand even has a place for you to coil your cables on its back side. I’ve yet to find a pair of full-sized headphones that don’t fit comfortably on it. Also the stand is tall enough that even the new Sony flagship headphones, the MDR-Z1s, which have rather long ferules on its detachable cable, rest comfortably without stressing the cable connections. Finally, the large base makes it more stable than many stands.
My final suggestion for an inexpensive headphone stand comes from Massdrop. Their Just Mobile stand is usually $40 but they have it down to $27. It’s tall enough so that cables don’t get stressed and has a nice clean modern look. My only reservation is that with some padded headbands the stand could leave an indentation, but only if the headphones sit in the same position for a while. So, use ’em…
Obviously, there are far more expensive stands such as the $600 Klutz Design Can Cans which is a lovely and well-thought-out design that’s perfect for your Focal Utopias. But thrifty audiophiles don’t use stands that cost more than their cans. Another stand, that is more affordable, but still above the $50 limit is from Oppo. It’s $80 and features a clear plexi top coupled with a wood base
For audiophiles who like to DIY, I’ve seen headphone stands made of white plastic plumbing parts that had a neat steampunk vibe. The important things to look for in any stand, whether you make it yourself, buy an inexpensive one, or go for a premium-priced model, is whether it is stable and not likely to tip over, tall enough so your cables aren’t stressed, and won’t crease or deform your headband cushion. If your stand does all these things well, then you have a winner…