How Headphone Hats Work

Essential Gadgets Image Gallery A headphone hat will handle a bad hair day and keep you jamming along to your favorite playlist. See more pictures of essential gadgets.
Steve Wisbauer/Photodisc/Getty Images

These days, many of us don't go anywhere without several different portable pieces of technology in tow. Seriously -- what would we do without our cell phones? How would we call, text, e-mail, Twitter, search the Internet and take photos while we're out grocery shopping? And what about that portable DVD player? It's a lifesaver on long car and plane rides. Our laptops come with us everywhere and have replaced notepads and pens on college campuses around the world. And then, there are all the options we have for music. Walk down any city street and it's more than likely the majority of passers-by will be walking to the beat of their favorite tunes.

But what can an avid music lover do when the winter winds bring frostbite to uncovered ears and the need to bundle up takes precedent to jamming along with your latest play list? Try sorting through the many options available in the headphone hat market.

Headphone hats are exactly what they sound like -- hats with attachable headphones. This way, you can keep your music turned up and keep your head protected from the harsh elements of winter. In fact, these hats aren't meant just for warmth. For a few years, baseball style caps with radio hook-ups have been available for your listening pleasure. Long before the days of MP3 players, headphone hats were available for tape players, portable CD sets and more [source: Anderson].

Try looking around online to read about the many options you have. While this seems like a sporty product, you'd be surprised by the wide array of manufacturers. Big box stores can offer you great deals and your favorite clothing store at the mall may have a variety in interesting or stylish patterns. Expect to pay anywhere from $10 for a basic hat and headphone pairing, up to about $200 for the most technologically advanced hat you can find.

Check out the next page for the specifics hidden underneath that poly-cotton beanie.

Mechanics of Headphone Hats

There's nothing too complicated about the engineering of a headphone hat. The hat can come in baseball styles for regular wear and warmer styles for winter weather. Like a normal set of headphones, there will be two speakers either connected across the top of your head by some sort of band, or secured to the sides of the hat. The speakers are connected by a cable that leads to a universal plug. This plug should fit into most headphone jacks, so you can use your hat with your MP3 player, your cell phone, your computer and so on.

Most styles allow you the convenience of being able to remove the headphones from the hat. This way, you can throw your hat in the washing machine, and you'll have a spare pair of headphones if you need them. Because of this ease, if you lose the headphones, you may be able to replace them with a pair similar in size and design.

For information about other interesting gadgets, check out the links on the following page.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Anderson, Laurie. "Headphone Hats for War Child." Media Art Net. (Accessed 01/28/2009).
  • DVD Converters. "The History of the iPod." (Accessed 01/28/2009).
  • Nextag. "Headphone Beanies." (Accessed 01/28/2009)