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Headphone storage - what do people use for larger collections?

  1. project86 Contributor
    I've historically kept my current rotation on stands for easy access, while putting the rarely-used models in storage. I'm now realizing the drawbacks of this approach - those on active duty get dusty and take up lots of room, while those in storage aren't easily accessed if I do want to use them at some point.

    So I'm thinking of putting everything in storage - but keeping that storage readily at hand, somewhere near my audio rig. I feel inspired by the case included with the Ether C and even the little V-MODA case from my M100. I was thinking of grabbing something like this or this or this (you get the idea) and then labeling each one, and storing them all in a cabinet or something. But with a dozen or so headphones (or more) this will add up, and I'd also need to be sure the case fits every headphone out there. Most of these cases are from no-name brands and I'd hate to buy a dozen of them only to find they either A) don't fit all my headphones, or B) have crappy quality and fall apart quickly.

    I know I'm not alone in this - some of you folks have even more headphones than I do. What do you do to keep them manageable?

  2. ogodei
    My warning on those cases is that 1) you can never tell whats in them without labels, 2) they take up lots of space on a shelf or in a drawer, especially when they are open, 3) you're just going to leave them lying open on your desk, you know you are :wink:

    If the issue is just dust: A dust cover ? Simple as a piece of plastic from Home Depot or a custom shape off Etsy \ eBay.

    You mentioned a cabinet: If you can go that direction why bother with hard cases?

    DSCF2352.jpg DSCF2355.jpg DSCF2353.jpg

    I use "Omega" stands from AliExpress (link, about $23 per in bulk) in a cabinet with adjustable shelves. Mine is a 21 inch deep built-in but someone on a budget could do an Ikea / Menards job for $120 or so (link). Before I had the cabinet I had the same stands in an open book case.

    Bottom shelf holds storage bins for cables. Bins can be pulled out, cables are stored in labeled foam pouches making them easy to identify. Non-removable cables are coiled and stuffed in organza drawstring bags (I used to use cable wraps but that took too long). Bags are then shoved into the stands.

    Benefits are: Doors can be closed or even locked to keep away prying children's fingers and wive's \ guest's eyes. Stands are sturdy and can be pulled out and set on the desk for a while, then put away. Very fast access and storage, dust free while cabinet is closed.

    Negatives are: Floor space is required. Each of the three shelves holds 9 stands, so cost of stands alone was $621. Open cabinet doors could get in the way if they are right nest to your chair (look for 'retractable" doors).

    Overall this is a great solution for me. You could probably negotiate a cheaper price on Omega's these days or use your current stands. "Rack bars" like you have in the are cheaper but don't work well in the closed space.

    Ohh, I forgot about storage for my full IEM collection:

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
    koenoe likes this.
  3. project86 Contributor
    Thanks for your excellent post! That's some useful food for thought.

    I guess I had been thinking of a bunch of individual storage cases so I could just include the cable inside each case. That way it would be grab and go instead of hunting down a matching cable (which also takes up more space).

    I realize that this idea requires an ideal storage case that can fit all my headphones with their cables - that might be unrealistic. I'm not sure if any single case can do everything I want, but at the same time I want to keep it uniform rather than use a bunch of different cases.

    I also realize that I'd have to label each one, which is another hassle and will probably be ugly as well.

    My initial thought was just throwing all the cases in some basic storage unit with sliding drawers. Something like this:

    Ugly, but functional, and could be stored out of the way. But now I'm rethinking everything based on your post. My original idea is probably still easier to grab a headphone and get to listening. Your idea is far better looking though. Will have to examine my space and think on it some more. Thank again!

    Any other ideas?

    Btw forget to mention, for CIEMs - I use a larger humidor to store them in. Works pretty well. Will try to grab a picture.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  4. ogodei
    Since different amps take different inputs (Pass Labs, dual Questyles, etc.) and cans often involve multiple stock or custom cables, I don't think you can get around having a bin of these things laying around somewhere. That fact led me to the bin and bag concept. First I used it just to store the extras, then when I moved to the 'display' shelves to store most most cables. That's just a looks thing though: I often leave the default cables on the cans and stuff them into the organza bags & stands when I put them away. Takes no more time than putting them into a hard-shell case. Given that I can't imagine how digging cans out of the hard case could be any faster than using my set up.

    If you are interested: Bins, foam pouches, cable bags.

    One concern I have with the plastic cabinet you reference above is space. How many hard cases will each of those drawers actually hold? I would do some math, and I cant tell the scale but it looks like 3 or 4 at best. If I was going to do pull-out drawers I would dispense with hard cases and move to a divider concept, with a layer of neoprene on the bottom and foam-board dividers in each drawer. Get a press board, 3 drawer dresser and you might get 24 storage slots out of it. Or, you could do a combo unit and have both display shelves and storage drawers.

    For IEMs I am actually using a wooden chess-piece coffer, which a smoker would recognize as a humidor :)
  5. project86 Contributor
    I've never even heard the term "coffer" for chess storage but that does look very much like a humidor. With the added bonus of internal organization. I had big plans to somehow get my IEMs all organized using foam inserts but I never went through with it. Right now all mine get individual ziplock bags, which works well enough. Something like this could work if the spacing was right though:


    I will explore your links and see what might work for me. This is more of a long term project than an immediate change, and I want to make sure I think it through before starting down the wrong direction.

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