The main difference between open-back headphones and closed-back headphones is their casual design that sits comfortably on the outside of your ears, protecting them from any of the restraints that closed-back headphones are known for. In terms of sound quality, open-back headphones are fairly similar to closed-back headphones, so no worries there. They do, however, demand a little more maintenance depending on the model you get.
We should also point out that headphones tend to differ from one model to another anyway, so it shouldn’t surprise you that open-back headphones also exhibit certain dissimilarities. With studio headphones, for instance, you get a better sound isolation along with the capacity to reach certain frequencies that regular headphones simply do not. For the most part, a big number of open-back headphones display studio qualities, especially among the high-end part of the market.
All things considered, you shouldn’t run into any functional issues with most open-back headphones, and the sound output is usually top-notch when it comes to quality models. Speaking of which, not all open-back headphones can be expected to meet the same operational standards, nor are they all built to be just as durable and sturdy. To give you some pointers in that regard, we put together a list of the ten best open-back headphones for you to look at.
Best Open Back Headphones – Reviews
10Philips Fidelio X1
Philips is a brand known around the world for their excellence and the Fidelio X1 is an outstanding headset that shows us why that is. This headset is used by both professionals and amateurs alike, a versatility that speaks volumes about their overall quality. The open-back technology used in these headphones produce excellent audio quality. To get minimal sound reflection, the drivers are pre-tilted and fit the ears comfortably. At the same time, the earpads have a soft memory foam that cushions the ears and are comfortable for long hours of continuous usage. Furthermore, the ear shells are double-layered to help reduce vibrations and resonance.
9AKG K 701
The AKG K 701 headset is great in its output performance as well as its price. It is a budget-friendly pair that is tuned especially for DJs and mixers, one that enjoys a durable build and produces clear sound. The 3D designed ear pads are soft and fit comfortably over the ear and offer good noise cancellation. It also has a headband that is soft and comfortable for long hours of use. The mesh used on the outside ensures audio quality remains great at all times.
8Sony MDR MA900
With the Sony MDR MA900, you get an exceptional product that also is extremely budget friendly. The design is quite simple but delivers an excellent performance in terms of comfort and sound quality. The ear pads are soft and thick which make it comfortable for long hours of use. These headphones are ideal for almost all types of music genres and are used by professionals and amateurs alike. With the reputation Sony has, durability is nothing to worry about with these headphones and understandably so.
7Sennheiser HD 660 S
The Sennheiser HD 660 headphones are designed for ultimate comfort and performance above all everything else. Their oversized design also adds to the overall comfort, which is definitely something to look for in a pair of headphones. These headphones deliver the perfect balance of 93dB which is ideal for the human ear. The headset also features ortho-dynamic drivers installed in these headphones. The open-back design of these headphones deliver an excellent audio experience and are great for all types of music.
Audio-Technica’s ATH-AD700 is a remarkable headset, one that has the potential to become one of the best open-back headphones on the market given its recent rise in popularity. The honeycomb aluminum designed casing is built to last and is often seen on their headphones. Their drivers are 53mm but deliver an excellent performance with crisp audio and powerful bass. The soft ear pads have velvet on them which make them even more comfortable on the head and ears.
5AKG K 240 MKII
The AKG K 240 MKII are designed for comfort and reliability over extended periods of continuous use. The headset is made from lightweight and imported materials that are both comfortable and durable. With its semi-open technology, the bass is solid and highs are airy. These headphones offer dynamic range and perfect signal transfer thanks to its patented Varimotion 30 mm XXL transducer. The headband fitted on these headphones are adjustable and fit comfortably on any head, which is great considering that this headset is universally used by professionals and delivers an excellent performance.
Even though Beyerdynamic isn’t the most well-known brand when it comes to headphones of any kind, the DT-990 really stand out for all the right reasons. They are quite expensive but offer exceptional quality, mostly as a result of a quality headband pad and ear pads that are extremely soft and comfortable. The flat frequency response ensures sound is always delivered in a suitable frequency for the comfort of your ears. At the same time, the design of these headphones is stellar by most standards.
The Shure SRH1840 professional open-back headphones are professional headphones in the true sense of the word, a headset that delivers excellent sound quality and durability as well. The 40-mm neodymium drivers offer exceptional bass and high ends while the open-back design is great for an increased depth of field and wide stereo image. The body is made from lightweight aircraft grade aluminum and has stainless steel grills. Not only that but their headband is padded for comfortable listening and a great fit.
Audio-Technica is one of the top names in audio equipment and the ATH-R70x stands out for all the right reasons. The pure alloy magnetic circuit and magnets ensure exceptional high-frequency response and reduced distortion. The carbon composite resin used in the headphones construction improves its structural integrity. At the same time, the aluminum mesh is honeycomb shaped and delivers a great open-back sound. The ear pads are soft and comfortable, mostly as a result of their breathable fabric construction.
1Sennheiser HD 600
With the Sennheiser HD 600 headphones, you get some of the best open-back headphones ever made. Their lightweight aluminum design and voice coils deliver a brilliant transient response, which is precisely what to look for in a high-end pair of headphones. The headphones also have Neodymium ferrous magnets which carry excellent dynamics. Furthermore, their overall design is beautiful and ergonomic, a design that allows them to sit on the head perfectly and rather comfortably over long periods of time. With black and gray combinations to choose from, this sophisticated headset stands out not only from a technological point of view but also in regards to its aesthetics. Case in point, the cable is detachable, made from oxygen-free copper, and is reinforced with Kevlar for good measure.