Open Back vs. Closed Back Headphones | Which Sounds Better?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

It might be easy for you to pick the best headphones available for you, but sometimes it becomes complicated when you choose from various designs. Hence, this is where your real test begins!

Have you ever thought about what is the difference between open-back and closed-back headphones? What makes them two different from one another in terms of sound quality and functioning?

Over-the-ear headphones are available in two primary flavors namely open-back and closed-back. But before you sink yourself into some serious cash to have a nice pair of headphones, it would be better if you know the difference.


The major difference between open-back and closed-back headphones is often seen through the quality of sound delivery. As for the open-back headphones, they do allow the sound to easily pass through the back of the ear cups. But in closed-back headphones, nothing of such kind happens. Based on for what purpose you are using the headphones, one model of headphones may be more suited for your basic needs than the other.

Right through this guide, we will help you figure out the main differences between open-back vs. closed-back headphones. We are sure that at the end of the blog, you will be able to know what’s better than open-back or closed-back headphones.

Difference Between Open-Back and Closed-Back Headphones:

Moving to the main topic, let’s not waste time and proceed toward the discussion of differentiating between open-air headphones vs. closed:

What are Open-Back Headphones?

These headphones are not the common ones that you find as a consumer-based set of headphones. But still, open-back headphones are highly used by sound engineers and audiophiles. They are generally available in a different price range which starts from $1000. Based on modern design, you will achieve better sound quality in comparison with closed-back headphones.


Features of Open Back Headphones

  • Critical Music or Listening Experience: Helps you to listen to each pitch of the sound or tone.
  • Comfortable ear cups: Fresh air will flow freely all through the ear cups and even onto the ear
  • Excellent Stamina from the Airflow: Significant in withstanding for long years in a comfortable manner
  • Hi-resolution Audio Capabilities: Play with high clarity no matter whatsoever the sample rate is.

What are open-back headphones popular for?

Regarding the usage of open-back headphones, you will find them excellent for analytical listening for casual use. To enjoy the best sound quality, make sure you are using it in a way where there are no background noises.

Plus, it is also excellent for movies and gaming due to the bigger soundstage to have better immersion. Last but not least, open-back headphones are perfect for mixing because they give you a chance to hear all the mixes together when creating any music track.

Benefits & Drawbacks of Open Back Headphones

Now let’s move to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of open-back headphones with a mic:


  • Enjoy music volume even at the lower level
  • Picks up all the details of instruments and music to make it perfect
  • Best for environments that require a higher level of quietness
  • Great for gaming and mixing
  • Do not interfere with other nearby people
  • Helps to improve lower-level frequencies


  • Lesser airy sound stage
  • Ears might get sweaty on prolonged use
  • Diminished the accuracy or sound clarity

What are Closed-Back Headphones?

These have probably been the most common type of music headphones you can ever have. They are entirely designed practically for your daily use. Hence, this is one such headphone that you will find in almost every home where it is commonly used for casual music listening or playing games.


Features of Closed-Back Headphones

  • High-quality Noise Isolation: The involvement of the closed-back of these fabulous headphones will cause the external noises to get isolated.
  • Little Leakage of Sound: The sealing of the ear cup will block all the surrounding sounds from escaping.
  • Become Fully Engulfed by the Sounds You Are Listening to: These closed-back headphones have been all designed to get snugger into your ear to make you feel comfortable. It will immerse all the sounds that you have been listening to.
  • Mixing of Samples or Recording Tunes: As closed-back headphones will effectively isolate the outside noises, these headphones will pick up fewer extra noises.

What are closed-back headphones popular for?

For starters, this headphone is excellent for listening to music during travel time. But for that sake, you need to have proper isolation, such as while visiting public places or crowded streets. You will also find their multiple uses in the studios where you don’t need to put yourself in the hassle of using microphones to leak your voice out. Closed-back headphones act as the best option for online streaming, music studio monitoring, or running any podcast.

Benefits & Drawbacks of Closed Back Headphones

To clarify more about the differences between closed-back headphones vs. open-back, let’s discuss the benefits and drawbacks of closed-back headphones below:


  • Extra airier, natural, and more extraordinary open soundstage
  • Excellent sound clarity
  • Air penetrates fully earplug without making your ears feel sweaty
  • No such confinement to space for channeling the sound wave through the driver
  • Leakage of music can be a distraction for other people
  • To keep away the surrounding noises, you need high volume set-up
  • Not suitable to be used for hospitals, public libraries, or incorporated offices

Open-Back Headphones vs. Closed-Back Headphones: Final Verdict

Through our detailed review guide, you must have gained enough understanding about the main differences between open-back vs. closed-back headphones for gaming. We have clearly explained to you how loud open-back headphones are.

Still, it would be challenging for you to pick the right one because numerous models will pop up your way to make you. For mixing, studio work, or gaming, the use of closed-back headphones works best. Each one of them has its unique features and advantages for specific purposes.

Which one do you prefer the most?

Leave a Comment