Music is an integral part of many people's lives. We listen to music on the go, while doing chores, and simply for relaxation. To enhance the listening effect, many people opt for headphones. Apart from the desire to listen to music, we also use headphones to enhance the sound quality when taking calls. For conscious customers and music lovers, we've curated a list of some of the best eco-friendly headphones.
Naturally, when shopping for new headphones, we look for certain qualities. Such qualities include superior sound quality, long battery life, and powerful bass. Also, we consider if the product can sit on our heads comfortably.
Although these are important, another aspect needs to be carefully considered. We also need to take into account the environmentally friendly features of audio products. Many brands are now creating durable headphones that complement sustainable living.
Certain features come to mind when you think of the perfect choice for headphones, whether wireless headphones or wired products. However, it's important to also consider the lifecycle of your headphones and wireless earbuds during the purchase stage.
Many headphones in the market consist of cheap plastic materials. As a result, they have a negative environmental impact. Apart from the fact that they are entirely plastic, many don't last long. As a result, people often end up throwing them out regularly - thereby increasing their environmental impact. If you're looking to reduce the negative impact on the environment, look out for eco-friendly headphones.
Apart from essential qualities like sound quality, built-in microphone, and the fit of ear cups, also look out for:
Although it can be difficult to find audio devices entirely from natural materials, companies are becoming more conscious. Many conscious brands are now switching to sustainable and environmentally friendly materials when producing modern headphones. Many of them now incorporate recycled materials and eco-friendly materials like FSC-certified wood and organic cotton. You can also look out for materials like recycled aluminum and recycled plastic.
Conscious companies create PVC-free devices as a way to protect the environment further. PVC is a type of plastic that releases toxins into the environment throughout its lifecycle. That is, from manufacturing down to disposal. This material harms the planet.
When you purchase a high-quality device, you choose something that'll last long. Longevity is an eco-friendly feature because it ensures that people use an item for an extended period. This prevents tossing products out constantly and, therefore, reduces piles of items in landfills. Therefore, properties like long battery life and high-quality sounds speak to how durable a product is.
Packaging is another aspect that determines a company's carbon footprint and its devices and whether or not they can genuinely claim carbon-neutral production. Therefore, also look out for packaging with minimal plastic components and ideally sourced from recycled materials.
For the conscious music lover, here are some of the best eco-friendly headphones that have less impact on the environment.
Related: For further inspiration, check out our list of environmental podcasts to hear from experts and influencers working towards and championing ecological protection—a perfect listening option for trying out your new sustainable headphones. Or grab an audible subscription (#ad) to listen to some of the best sustainable living books.
Highlights: Conscious sourcing and values
This brand is a prominent name in the eco-friendly headphones market. This brand's identity and purpose are linked to the desire to carry on Bob Marley's legacy. It's a collaboration with the Marley family to continue spreading the legend's passion for not just music but also the planet.
The company created this pair of over-ear headphones with premium comfort, sustainability, and superior sound in mind. The device features plush ear cushions that offer a snug fit on the ears.
This House of Marley product provides high-quality sound to enhance your audio listening experience. The company uses FSC-certified wood, recyclable aluminum, and its environmentally friendly 'Rewind' fabric to craft its devices. When you get the Positive Vibration 2, it comes in recyclable packaging.
Apart from seeking to enhance lives through immersive quality experiences, the brand also commits to charitable causes. The company financially supports ocean and land conservation.
House of Marley's sustainable audio products combine eco-friendly materials to deliver an all-around planet-friendly pair of headphones. The combination of sustainability and craftsmanship makes these headphones stand out at the top of our list of the most eco-friendly headphones. Even better, they support global reforestation and ocean conservation by donating to credible environmental foundations.
Highlights: Long-lasting properties
Looking for headphones intentionally built to last? Then, the Meze Audio 99 Classics might be the device you're looking for. You can fully service these headphones because they contain parts that you can take for replacement. As a result, you can use your product for a long time. The product includes walnut wood ear cups and a steel headband. It also features soft earpads to support your listening experience.
These 99 Classics earcups have a natural sound-isolating feature. This can support activities like podcasts and studio recordings. You can easily plug the headphone jack into various devices like smartphones and laptops. The self-adjusting headband allows you to adjust this pair of headphones to fit on your head comfortably.
Meze Audio created this device to ensure that it's fully serviceable. So, apart from the warranty you get, you can always service or replace any of the parts. No more throwing out your headphones once you detect that something's wrong.
The brand avoids plastic by choosing items like wood and spring steel instead. By selecting elements from nature, Meze Audio can reduce waste and its carbon footprint.
Highlights: Comfortable design
Thinksound carefully picks its materials to reduce its environmental impact. For instance, its headphones' cables are PVC-free. Also, the brand sources its wood sustainably. This ov21 is Thinksound's flagship product and its first design that you can wear over your head.
The ov21 features call and music controls to deliver the best audio experience to you. It has a passive noise isolation feature to help you concentrate on the sound you're listening to.
Thinksound uses a material called Treva in this product. Treva is a bioplastic that comes from sustainable wood pulp. Apart from its earth-friendly features, at the same time, it produces better acoustic results.
Unlike many headphones that feel uncomfortable on the head, the adjustable strap and memory foam aid support.
With the Thinksound ov21, you get quality sound, comfort, and earth-friendly materials. The design supports not only superior quality but also a nature-friendly life. With this purchase, you support eco-conscious and waste-reduction practices while enjoying your sounds.
Highlights: Earphones with non-toxic plastic
If you're looking for eco-friendly earbuds, BioBuds is an excellent choice. The brand uses bamboo and plant-based bioplastics to craft this product. The bamboo has properties that enhance sound quality, so this product gives you crisp audio. The brand contributes to saving trees and preserving the natural world by using bamboo.
Acoustic engineers are behind the design and manufacturing of these BioBuds. As a result, they carefully handcraft the earbuds. This results in a well-crafted small but powerful audio listening device. The Organic Affinity BioBuds also have noise-canceling features that enhance your audio listening experience.
This brand's plant-based bioplastics serve as an earth-friendly alternative to regular plastics. This way, you can enjoy your sounds while avoiding toxic plastics and ingredients.
Highlights: Earth-friendly wireless premium design
Symphonized uses natural wood to craft its offerings. The brand leverages the acoustic properties of wood to craft its products. Apart from these headphones, the brand also creates speakers and earbuds. As a result, you get effortless sound when connecting your headphones to any device.
Before rolling out products into the market, Symphonized meticulously tests them. This ensures the items deliver the best audio experience to the users.
Symphonized uses walnut wood and properly padded ear cushions to give it a sophisticated style. The Wraith 2.0 also has an adjustable sleek metal frame that gives it a rustic look. So, if you're into the rustic or vintage style, you'll appreciate the design of these headphones.
The Wraith 2.0 gives you premium style, structure, and properties you can enjoy. It also offers noise-isolating properties that deliver powerful sound. Due to the brand's meticulous design, you get a long-lasting product.
You can make eco-friendly choices even with your audio products. As we've examined in the list above, companies use innovative techniques to serve people and the earth better.
The best part is that when you choose more eco-friendly & sustainable headphones, you also enjoy better acoustic properties due to the enhanced sound effects that some natural materials provide.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.