Discover the Best Open Back Headphones for Ultimate Sound Quality

Welcome to our guide on finding the best open back headphones for ultimate sound quality. When it comes to headphones, choosing the right pair can make all the difference in your audio experience. Open back headphones offer a superior listening experience, making them a popular choice among audiophiles, music producers, and gamers. In this article, we will provide expert reviews and recommendations for the top open back headphones of 2021. Whether you’re in the market for a new pair or just curious about the benefits of open back headphones, you’ve come to the right place. To get started, check out for a selection of high-quality open back headphones.

What are Open Back Headphones?

best open back headphone

Open back headphones are a type of over-ear or on-ear headphones that have perforated ear cups. This design allows air and sound to pass through the cups, creating a more natural soundstage. Unlike closed-back headphones which have sealed-out ear cups that provide noise isolation, open-back headphones allow ambient sound to mix with the audio. This design produces a more spacious and accurate representation of the original recording.

Not only do open back headphones produce a more natural sound, but the design also reduces heat buildup and minimizes sound pressure on the ears. This makes them more comfortable to wear for long periods, and an excellent choice for individuals who experience discomfort or sweating with traditional closed-back designs.

How do open back headphones work?

Open back headphones work by allowing air and sound to pass through the ear cups. It achieves this by using a grille or mesh that covers the headphone drivers. The open design allows the sound waves to escape the headphones unrestricted, resulting in a more open and spacious soundstage. The design also reduces the internal reflections that can cause sound distortion and makes the sound more natural. However, as the design allows sound to escape, it can also leak to the surrounding environment, making it unsuitable for noisy environments or public places.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Open Back Headphones

When selecting open back headphones, there are several important factors to consider. Taking the time to evaluate these factors can help you make an informed decision about which headphones will be the best fit for your needs.

1. Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, open back headphones tend to offer a wider soundstage and a more natural listening experience compared to closed-back headphones. Consider the frequency response, impedance, and sensitivity of the headphones to ensure they can produce the sound quality you desire.

2. Comfort and Fit

Since you’ll likely be wearing these headphones for extended periods, comfort is a crucial factor to consider. Look for headphones that have a well-padded headband and ear cups, and an adjustable fit to ensure maximum comfort.

3. Durability

The durability of open back headphones varies between models and brands. It’s important to check the materials used in the construction of the headphones and read reviews from other users to gauge their durability over time.

4. Price

Open back headphones can vary significantly in price, from budget-friendly options to high-end models. Consider your budget and find headphones that provide the best value for your money.

By taking these factors into account, you can select the open back headphones that best fit your individual needs and preferences.

Top 5 Best Open Back Headphones

best open back headphone

Choosing the right open back headphones can be a daunting task, but we’ve done the research for you. Here are our top picks for the best open back headphones of 2021:

Headphones Sound Quality Comfort Durability Price
Sennheiser HD 660 S Exceptional Very Comfortable Highly Durable Expensive
Philips Fidelio X2HR Outstanding Very Comfortable Highly Durable Reasonable
Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Excellent Comfortable Highly Durable Affordable
HIFIMAN Sundara Impressive Very Comfortable Moderately Durable Moderately Expensive
Grado SR80e Exceptional Comfortable Moderately Durable Reasonable

Note: Prices listed are subject to change and may vary depending on the retailer.

1. Sennheiser HD 660 S: These headphones provide an exceptional sound experience, making them an audiophile’s dream. The open back design offers a wide soundstage and excellent clarity. The comfortable fit and durable build make these headphones a great investment for anyone looking for first-class sound quality.

2. Philips Fidelio X2HR: These headphones boast outstanding sound quality with deep bass and clear highs. They’re also incredibly comfortable, making them perfect for long listening sessions. The durable build ensures longevity, while the reasonable price makes these headphones an excellent value.

3. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO: These headphones offer excellent sound quality with a well-balanced sound signature. They’re also very comfortable, thanks to the plush earpads and headband. The highly durable build ensures these headphones will last for years to come, and the affordable price makes them a great choice for anyone on a budget.

4. HIFIMAN Sundara: These headphones deliver an impressive sound experience with fantastic detail and clarity. They’re also incredibly comfortable, thanks to the lightweight design and plush earpads. The moderately durable build ensures these headphones will last for a while, and the moderately expensive price makes them a great choice for anyone looking for top-notch sound quality without breaking the bank.

5. Grado SR80e: These headphones provide exceptional sound quality with a warm, natural sound signature. They’re also comfortable, making them perfect for long listening sessions. The moderately durable build ensures these headphones will last for a while, while the reasonable price makes them a great value.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to finding the best open back headphones, it all comes down to your individual preferences and needs. We hope this list has provided you with valuable information to make an informed decision. Remember to consider factors such as sound quality, comfort, durability, and price before making your final choice.

Open Back vs. Closed Back Headphones

When it comes to choosing headphones, you may be faced with the decision between open back and closed-back headphones. Both types have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences.

Open back headphones have perforated ear cups that allow air and sound to pass through, creating a more natural and spacious soundstage. This design also allows for better breathability and reduces any buildup of pressure in the ear cups. However, this also means that sound can leak out and ambient noise can seep in, which can be bothersome in noisy environments.

Closed-back headphones, on the other hand, have sealed ear cups that provide better noise isolation and prevent sound from leaking out. This design also results in a more emphasized bass response, which can be beneficial for some music genres and gaming. However, the closed-back design can also create a perceived pressure inside the ear cups, which may cause discomfort during prolonged use.

Choosing Between Open Back and Closed Back Headphones

The choice between open back and closed-back headphones ultimately comes down to personal preference and the intended use. If you’re looking for headphones to use in a quiet home studio for music production, open back headphones may be the better choice due to their natural soundstage and breathability. If you’re using them in a noisy environment or for gaming, closed-back headphones with noise isolation may be the better option.

It’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type and assess your own needs before making a decision. Keep in mind that there are also semi-open headphones available, which provide a combination of the benefits of both open back and closed-back headphones.

How to Properly Care for Your Open Back Headphones

best open back headphone

Open back headphones provide exceptional sound quality but require proper care to maintain their performance and longevity. In this section, we offer tips on how to keep your headphones in top condition.

Cleaning Your Open Back Headphones

Regular cleaning is essential to prevent dirt and grime buildup that can compromise sound quality and lead to headphone damage. Use a soft cloth or microfiber towel to gently wipe down the headphones, paying special attention to the earpads and any visible dirt or dust. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that can scratch the surface of the headphones. For tough-to-remove grime, use a mild soap solution and a damp cloth.

Storing Your Open Back Headphones

Proper storage is key to keeping your headphones free from damage and preserving their lifespan. When not in use, store your headphones in a cool, dry place that is away from direct sunlight and humidity. Avoid leaving them in places with high temperatures or extreme cold, as these conditions can warp or damage the headphones.

Handling Your Open Back Headphones

When handling your open back headphones, be gentle and avoid pulling or twisting the cords. Keep the cords untangled and avoid wrapping them tightly around your headphones. This can cause stress on the wires and may lead to damage over time. Consider investing in a protective case to keep your headphones safe when traveling or storing them.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

If you encounter any issues with your open back headphones, such as sound distortion or connectivity problems, consult the user manual for troubleshooting advice. If the issue persists, contact customer support or bring your headphones to a professional technician for repair.

By following these simple tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your open back headphones and ensure optimal sound quality for years to come.

Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming

Gamers know the importance of having high-quality headphones that can deliver superior audio performance, and open back headphones have become increasingly popular in gaming circles. In this section, we have put together a list of the best open back headphones for gaming.

Headphone Sound Quality Comfort Microphone Quality Compatibility Price
Sennheiser HD 660 S Excellent Very comfortable, but can be heavy Crystal clear voice quality Works with PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox, and Switch Expensive
Philips SHP9500 Great soundstage Lightweight and comfortable No microphone included Works with most devices, but may require an adapter Affordable
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Clear and detailed sound Very comfortable, but can be tight on the head No microphone included Works with most devices, but may require an adapter Moderately expensive

Note: Prices are subject to change, and may vary depending on the seller.

These headphones offer a great range of options for gamers looking for the best open back headphones. The Sennheiser HD 660 S provides superior audio quality, but comes with a hefty price tag. On the other hand, the Philips SHP9500 and Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are more affordable options that still offer excellent sound quality and comfort.

When choosing the best open back headphones for gaming, it’s important to consider the sound quality, comfort, microphone quality, compatibility, and price. Before making your final decision, make sure to also check out reviews from other gamers to get a sense of which headphones will work best for you.

Best Open Back Headphones for Music Production

If you are serious about music production, you know that quality headphones are a must-have tool. The best headphones for music production need to offer excellent sound quality, a flat frequency response, and good noise isolation. That is why open back headphones are the preferred choice of many music producers.

With open back headphones, you will have a better sense of the soundscape and a more natural soundstage. They also allow air to flow through the earcups, which prevents overheating and reduces listening fatigue.

If you are looking for the best open back headphones for music production, here are our top 3 picks:

Headphones Frequency Response Impedance Sensitivity Price
Audio-Technica ATH-R70x 5 Hz – 40 kHz 470 ohms 99 dB $399
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro 5 Hz – 40 kHz 250 ohms 102 dB $599
Sennheiser HD 650 10 Hz – 39.5 kHz 300 ohms 103 dB $399

Note: Prices may vary depending on the retailer and location.

The Audio-Technica ATH-R70x is a favorite among audio engineers and music producers. With a frequency response of 5 Hz – 40 kHz, it provides a wide range of sounds and frequencies. It also has a high impedance of 470 ohms, which allows it to handle more power and produce more accurate sound. The only downside is that it can be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods.

The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro is a high-end headphone with an even wider frequency response of 5 Hz – 40 kHz and a lower impedance of 250 ohms. It is comfortable to wear due to its replaceable earpads and headband. It also comes with a high-quality carrying case and two sets of earpads (analytical and balanced).

The Sennheiser HD 650 is an all-time classic that is still popular among music producers today. With a frequency response of 10 Hz – 39.5 kHz and a moderate impedance of 300 ohms, it offers a balanced and natural sound. The downside is that it can be heavy and not very portable.

When choosing open back headphones for music production, it is important to consider not only the sound quality but also the comfort, durability, and price. Make sure to do your research and choose the best headphones that fit your needs and budget.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions about Open Back Headphones

If you’re considering open back headphones for the first time, you likely have a few questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about open back headphones:

Are open back headphones compatible with all audio devices?

Yes, open back headphones are compatible with all audio devices that have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. However, some higher-end models may require an amp to achieve optimal sound quality.

Do open back headphones leak sound?

Yes, open back headphones leak sound as the design allows for sound to escape through the back of the ear cups. This design is intentional as it creates a more natural and open soundstage. However, this means that others around you may be able to hear what you are listening to, so they may not be ideal for use in quiet environments or where privacy is a concern.

Are open back headphones durable?

Open back headphones can be just as durable as closed-back headphones. However, their design may make them more susceptible to damage if dropped or mishandled. It is important to handle them with care and store them properly when not in use.

Are open back headphones comfortable to wear for extended periods?

Yes, open back headphones are typically designed with comfort in mind. The open back design allows for better airflow and can reduce pressure on the ears. However, comfort is subjective and it is important to try on different models to find the best fit for your ears.

Can open back headphones be used for gaming?

Yes, open back headphones can be used for gaming. In fact, they are often preferred by gamers as they provide a more natural and immersive sound experience. However, they may not offer the same level of noise isolation as closed-back headphones and may not be ideal for use in noisy environments.

Where can I find more information about open back headphones?

For more information on open back headphones, visit They provide expert reviews and recommendations to help you find the best open back headphones for you.

Jillian Hunt is a music enthusiast and headphone expert whose passion for audio technology has led her to become one of the leading voices in the industry. With years of experience testing and reviewing headphones, Jillian has developed an ear for quality sound and a keen eye for design. Her insights and recommendations have helped countless individuals find the perfect pair of headphones to suit their needs.

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