Whether you’re getting your first pair of headphones or your fiftieth, build quality always comes into play. If you’re going to be commuting with a pair of headphones, will it hold up to everyday wear and tear? How much you paid for your headphones will likely dictate how well you care for them, but a solid headphone case is a good idea whether your cans are $1,000 or $20. When it comes to headphone cases, fit is the most important thing to take into account.

Editor’s note: this list of the best headphone cases was updated on December 3, 2021, to add Peak Design Travel Tech Pouch 2L, Slappa HardBody Pro, Nite Ize Runoff, and options for AirPods (3rd generation) and AirPods Pro. FAQ about waterproof cases was updated.

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For most over-ears, you should just go with this case from Geekria

Many commuters cover their bases and carry two pairs of headphones: one pair of good over-ears and a backup pair of cheap earbuds. If that sounds like you, then the Geekria case is sure to make you happy.

Geekria Case

It’s large enough to fit a pair of headphones assuming that the pair in question has rotating ear cups to lie flat, and it has a small section in the middle that can hold a pair of earbuds or a portable amp. It also has a bit of style to it, thanks to a light gray fabric exterior. It’s not a huge deal but it’s a nice differentiating feature in a sea of leather and plastic cases.

If you own large over-ears, look into the Slappa HardBody Pro. Helpfully, Slappa lists some of the headsets (like the Beyerdynamic DT 770 line, Sennheiser HD 6xx line, and it seems most of the Audio-Technica ATH-M line) the case has been tested to fit to reduce the guessing game. Water-resistant ballistic nylon covers the molded hardshell—nice.

What you should know when looking at headphone cases

The V-Moda Crossfade 2 Codex headphone cases elastic interior for cable management.

Useful elastic bands bolted into the case’s interior.

Headphone cases are useless if the headphones don’t fit in them. We’ve picked a few options here that fit all shapes and sizes of headphones, as well as one or two that are tailor-made for specific kinds. Almost as important is how much can the case withstand? Obviously, these aren’t going to be very helpful if you run them over with a truck. If you tend to throw your headphones into your bag while commuting or have a little one around the house these will offer much-needed protection.

The last thing to consider is the price. Luckily for you, we’ve already browsed the internet for quality cases that won’t break the bank (or your headphones). But if you want something a little more extravagant, we have you covered there too. Hopefully, you’ll find something that suits your needs. So let’s get into it, what are the best headphone cases?

If you have Bluetooth earbuds that need charging, check out the Mophie Power Capsule

Whether you’re going to the gym or just prefer to go wireless on your daily commute, Bluetooth earbuds can be super convenient. Not so convenient is that they run out of battery. This is why the Mophie Power Capsule is a good option if you’re tired of getting to the gym and realizing your headphones are out of juice. It’s one of the more impressive headphone cases with an integrated 1,400mAh battery inside, which gives your earbuds an extra 60 hours of battery life.

Mophie Power Capsule

There’s even a battery indicator button and four small LED lights on the back so you know exactly how much power is left in the case. Of course, the biggest downside to this is that if you forget to also charge the case then you’re really out of luck. But if you’re looking for an easy way to not have to plug in your headphones at the end of every night, this is one of the better headphone cases out there.

What if you have neckbuds? Get the Cosmo case

Neckbuds have increased in popularity thanks to products like the LG TONE and Beats Flex headphones. Storing them when not in use is as easy as taking the buds out of your ears and leaving them be. But if you’re not comfortable with leaving your expensive headphones dangling around your neck you can always opt for the Cosmo case, which was specifically designed to house neckbuds.

Cosmos Case

The hardshell case protects the headphones from being crushed in your bag while the PU leather looks at home in the office. On the inside is a mesh pocket perfect for storing cables which is super helpful, but there’s also a weird place in the center to store a charging brick. Convenient if it fits perfectly, but most likely it’ll just get in the way. Still, at least you have the option to use it if the charging brick fits.

If you’re carrying a few things, check out the Peak Design Travel Tech 2L Pouch

Say like most of us you tote other tech goodies and accessories around besides just earbuds. What if you had a home for all your various cables, chargers, battery packs, and any number of other everyday necessities? Consider the Peak Design Travel Tech 2L Pouch. It’s constructed of lightweight 200D Water-Resistant Nylon and several stylish colors. Keeping your tech dry is always a must.

Peak Design Travel Tech Pouch 2L

It zips up like any other organizational pack, but it kind of accordions open to reveal a surprising amount of space and pockets for your earbuds, and basically anything else you’d chuck into your bag. Nicely, it still stands upright when opened too.

If your style is more traditional, you can also check out the Bellroy Classic Pouch, which operates with a similar principle in mind, but doesn’t open as wide. You might as well invest in your investments.

What case should you get for the AirPods?

Headphone cases may not make the most sense for AirPods, and for reasons I can’t explain, the AirPods (2nd generation) is extremely popular. As useful as the original AirPods might be for some people there’s still one significant issue with them: they’re not waterproof (not even the case).

Catalyst Airpods Case

For the first two generations, we recommend the Catalyst case, which is a simple silicone covering that wraps perfectly around the case protecting it from harm. However, using the Catalyst case adds a bit of bulk to your AirPods, making it less pocket-friendly.

Keep in mind that the AirPods line has three different case sizes depending on the model. The Catalyst case is also available for the AirPods Pro. For the most abusive AirPods Pro owners out there, Catalyst has an IP68 and MIL-STD-810G certified case to protect against three-meter drops with a lid lock. It definitely has that over-engineered aesthetic shared by Hummers, for example, but it’s probably the sturdiest option out there currently for AirPods Pro.

If you want a lower-profile case that protects your first two generations of AirPods from dings and scratches, check out the Nomad Rugged Case V1. It’s made of quality Horween leather and is compatible with both the standard and wireless charging cases. Similarly, Native Union makes stylish leather cases for AirPods.

For the newer Apple AirPods (3rd generation) the battery charging case redesign (which is IPX4 rated) necessitates a new cover. The Spigen Silicone Fit fits the bill as a sleek and functional option. It protects with the added grip of silicone. The included carabiner means you can secure it to your bag or belt loop.

For people who don’t want to step into Apple’s product ecosystem, there are a few AirPods alternatives to choose from.

Related: The best Apple AirPods Pro accessories

What if you just have a few regular pairs of earbuds?

One way to keep all of your earbuds organized is to get a few of these Sunmns cases. It isn’t fancy, but it’s practical. You get eight cases that each have elastic mesh inside to keep your earbuds in place and come with a carabiner to clip or hang from wherever you want. What makes the Sunmns cases so appealing are the different colored zippers. This not only helps you organize your earbuds but helps you color-coordinate them so you know exactly which pair you’re grabbing as you head out the door.

When it comes to storing expensive earbuds, function over form is necessary

An angled view of the Pelican Case 1020

The Pelican Case 1020 sports a hard plastic construction that is water-resistant, crushproof, and dustproof.

All of the cases we’ve listed in this best list strike a balance between form and function. However, if you are looking to protect an expensive set of earbuds—such as in-ear monitors used by professionals, consider investing in a sturdier option like the Pelican Case 1020.

With this case, you won’t ever have to worry about the state of your earbuds, thanks to its water-resistant, crushproof, and dustproof construction. Sure, the design of the case may not amaze anyone, but it’s better to see your earbuds in this case, rather than broken into a million pieces.

Shows product shot of Nite Ize Runoff Waterproof pouch with AirPods and cables inside.

Nite Ize Runoff Waterproof Travel Pouch with TRU Zip No padding, but it’s water and dust proof.

Similarly, if you just want a carry-all bag for your phone and earbuds that is IP67 certified, try the Nite Ize Runoff series of waterproof pouches. They come in a large variety of dimensions and even allow you to use your phone’s touchscreen if you stash that in there too.

Most importantly, if you go for a hike you don’t need to worry about water or grime getting in and damaging your electronics. Sometimes all you really need is a barrier, and not shockproofing. For the less outdoorsy amongst us, a waterproof pouch prevents your buds from getting waterlogged if your toiletries explode during a flight. It happens.

What if you want a bag to hold (almost) everything Apple?

With plenty of pockets and straps, you can fit pretty much all your Apple accessories in the Native Union Stow.

Sometimes you just want a bag that smartly holds your earbuds, cables, and other tech peripherals. It’s better than having them floating around and banging into all manner of stuff you’ve got in there, or landing at the bottom never to be found again. Native Union’s Stow Organizer is outfitted in quality canvas and thoughtfully laid out with elasticized straps and pockets.

You can fit your AirPods case, charger, stylus, and a plethora of other accessories. You’re not going to fit your AirPods Max in there, granted, but we have a list for that too.

Rather than sifting through headphone cases, get a simple solution for your wired earbuds

If you mainly use earbuds and want something a little more minimal and (let’s face it) nicer than a bunch of plastic boxes with colored zippers, then a magnetic cable tie might be worth looking into. You won’t have to worry about the cable getting tied up in a knot the next time you throw it in your pocket or in a bag. You can just snap the tie shut around the cable keeping them securely in place.

Next: The best Apple AirPods Max cases

Frequently Asked Questions

Do any headphones come with their own cases?

Plenty of headphones come with their own cases. Some notable mentions include Sony WH-1000XM4Sennheiser PXC 550-IIMonoprice Monolith M565, and V-Moda XS.

Does the Pelican Case 1020 have any organization inserts/padding?

The interior of the Pelican Case 1020 does not come with any soft padding or organization channels/inserts. If you want to further protect your gear inside this case, you’ll have to install your own foam padding/organization inserts.

Are any of these cases waterproof/water resistant?

Unfortunately, no. These can protect your investments from minor splashes, dust and debris, though you should still treat these cases with care—especially if your headphones are inside. If you want a pair of headphones that will give you peace of mind, check out the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Codex, which is one of the most durable headphones available.

Can I take the Mophie Power Capsule with me on my flight?

The Mophie Power Capsule is equipped with a 1,400 mAh battery, which is well below the limit for transporting lithium batteries on commercial flights. However, there are some countries with more stringent rules surrounding power banks and electronics with lithium batteries. If you’re planning to use this case for air travel, check with your home and destination transportation authorities before buying.

Do I really need a case for my headphones?

There’s no law saying you need a headphone case, but we highly recommend purchasing one. Even if you may not be taking your headphones on-the-go, keeping them stored in case ensures that your investments stay clean and safe, free from dust or other debris, especially when not in use.