10 Best Open-Back Headphones 

10 Best Open-Back Headphones 

Open-back headphones live up to the users’ expectations seeking an immersive listening experience. With their low isolation levels, you can dive into your world and listen to your favorite tracks while staying mindful of your surroundings. In addition to the isolation levels, they also have a wider soundstage, making the listening experience even better. You can plug in and play music; it feels like the song is played right in front of you because you can hear every detail and beat drop. While this may sound interesting and immersive to some, others may not feel like it is for them. 

But if you are looking for excellent sound quality, you have landed on the right page because we have reviewed the ten best open-back headphones in the market. Let’s jump in to find out which of them fulfills your criteria!

The 10 Best Open-Back Headphones in the Market 

Finding the best ones in the market can be a task, but our list plays a helping hand in making the right choice to get open-back headphones for yourself.

1. Sennheiser HD 800S

Sennheiser HD 800S

The Sennheiser HD 800 S is the top open-back headphone we’ve evaluated. With these wired headphones, you can create a passive soundstage that gives the impression that speakers are in the room around you rather than within your head. With a very accurate mid-range response that guarantees instruments, vocals are obvious. They also deliver a balanced sound profile ideal for several genres. They lack a bit of rumble and punch in the bass area, as most open-back headphones do.

Fans of genres with many low basses, such as EDM or hip-hop, may find their sound unimpressive because they don’t offer sound adjustment tools. The planar magnetic drivers in these headphones produce a little extra thump and rumble. The Sennheiser provides better build quality and a more immersive audio experience.

Pros

  • Impressive passive soundstage 
  • Crisp and clear sound 
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

It May does not have the right punch when it comes to bass

2. AKG K240 Studio Headphones

AKG K240 Studio Headphones

The K240 Studios are AKGs persistent leaders in semi-open headphones and are currently obtainable at an insanely reasonable price. Customers love these lightweight headphones for their accuracy, longevity, and comfort, and they are great for personal use or as a gift to someone fond of listening to blasting music or podcasts.

Here is a suggestion; if you are just an individual who loves stocking up, now is the time to purchase them in a larger quantity at the cheaper rate of sub-$100.

Pros

  • Promising headphones at a reasonable price
  • Comfortable and lightweight open-back headphones
  • Crisp and accurate sound

Cons

  • Outside noise can be pretty distracting for some people

3. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro

Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro

The DT 880 Pros have a velour headband enclosure and indulge you in a memorable, expansive listening experience. These headphones are perfect for you if you love to watch movies, listen to music at home or in public, or have mixing sessions outside the studio. The semi-open design is excellent at fighting and canceling noise inside and out of the listening stage. 

These headphones produce intense bass and soft highs, making your listening experience phenomenal. The DT 990 Pros have 45mm drivers that can play the lowest bass and highest highs well. The coiled cable is not ideal, but it is not a deal breaker.

Pros

  • Impressive listening experience
  • Semi-open design to fight out noise
  • All-rounder headphones 
  • Intense bass and soft highs make listening quite good

Cons

  • The cable isn’t very ideal

4. HiFiMan Edition XS 

HiFiMan Edition XS 

The HiFiMan Edition XS are the top mid-range open-back headphones we’ve evaluated. These sturdy headphones are frequently offered for less than half the cost of our top choice. Additionally, they employ planar magnetic drivers rather than dynamic ones, which results in a larger construction but improves the accuracy of the bass reproduction. 

They have a well-balanced sound profile with lead instruments and vocals that are crystal-clear and in-depth. They also create a comprehensive, spacious, and relatively natural passive soundstage.

Although they fit well, you could find their headband irritating during extended listening sessions because it feels heavier than other headphones from this brand. If that worries you, you might like the flexible ski-band headband design of the HiFiMan Sundara 2020, which does a better job of evenly distributing the weight of the headphones. 

They’re also less expensive; however, they deliver audio less consistently and have a worse passive soundstage performance.

Pros 

  • The sound profile is quite balanced
  • Strong build quality
  • Accuracy reproduction of bass 
  • Decent quality for a lower price

Cons

  • Not very comfortable when worn for extended periods

5. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 

The DT 990 Pro is an excellent option for listeners who want an open-back response. These headphones have been a staple in the open-back headphone market for years and are loved by hobbyists, musicians, producers, and mix engineers for their quality and performance. This is because it’s an over-ear headphone with a closed-back design, so the sound will not leak out from the ear cups. This makes them perfect for recording studios or music production purposes where you want to hear your performance without outside interference.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro also has an extensive frequency range starting from 10 Hz up to 35,000 Hz, which ensures accurate reproduction of bass, mids, and highs.

Pros 

  • Excellent sound quality 
  • Wider frequency ensures accuracy in bass
  • No sound leakage  
  • Perfect for all users 

Cons 

  • Earpads are not replaceable, so in case they break, you will need a new pair

6. Philips SHP9500

Philips SHP9500

The Philips SHP9500 has a tremendous passive soundstage that feels open and large, produced by these over-ear headphones. They are the most budget-friendly headphones and should be your go-to choice if you listen to the audio for extended periods due to the large ear cups that make for a comfortable fit. 

Unlike other open-back headphones, they don’t have low bass, but they feature a boost in the high bass to assist in balancing out the spectrum and bring more warmth to mixes. Vocals and lead instruments seem genuine and natural due to their midrange’s flatness and balance.

The low prices affect the quality of the product as they are made of plastic, and the fabric of the padding in the headphones seems like it might tear up anytime. Furthermore, even the ear cups seem like they might break anytime, ruining their experience. Lastly, sometimes the audio may sound harsher and blare, and the audio cable isn’t detachable.

Pros 

  • Budget-friendly headphones
  • Excellent for extended usage 
  • Decent bass quality 

Cons 

  • Price affects the quality of the headphones

7. Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019

7. Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019

The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 is an open-back headphone. They have excellent performance and the bonus of a boom mic, which can make life easier, especially when gaming with your friends. The inclusion of Mixamp helps you control presets such as volume, mixing the chat, and EQ.

The soundstage is passive, which allows it to seem vast, broad, and natural and helps make the gaming experience immersive. The added boom in the sound emphasizes the sound effects while maintaining a pleasant sound profile. Although at times, it may take longer to arrange their fit to make it more consistent because they can usually erratically deliver bass and treble.

They are available in two models, PC/Xbox and PC/PS4 variants, so choosing the model that fulfills your requirements is essential.

Pros 

  • Best open-back headphones for gamers 
  • Mixamp allows you to make changes according to your liking
  • Passive soundstage for an immersive listening or gaming experience

Cons 

  • Bass and treble aren’t too good

8. AKG K240 MKII

AKG K240 MKII

The latest version of AKG’s most wanted, top-selling semi-open headphones is the K240 MKII. You can note down the remarkable upgrades such as sweat-resistant soft velour cups or an extra detachable coiled cable provided along with it.

The AKG K240 MKII headphones are lightweight, durable, and comfortable to wear, and they produce clean sound with accurate reproduction of bass frequencies. They also offer a good noise isolation performance, making them perfect for musicians who need to monitor their sound while playing live on stage or recording in a soundproofed environment.

Other than the few cosmetic upgrades, you get the same frequency response, drivers, and self-adjusting comfortable and secure headbands you’ve known and have had faith in.

Pros 

  • Travel-friendly and lightweight headphones
  • Impressive passive noise isolation 
  • Comfortable and wearable for extended hours

Cons 

  • No active noise isolation

9. Neuman NDH 30 Headphones

Neuman NDH 30 Headphones

High-precision monitoring is crucial when making critical mixing decisions, especially in the final stages of a mix. Neumann’s NDH 30 open-back headphones are made for these situations, with excellent linearity, transient response, unmatched resolution, and stable stereo imaging. Your ears can now bear the long listening sessions with comfort and easement due to the over-ear memory foam ear cushions. 

The NDH 30 headphones also feature a detachable internal balanced cable with a 1/4″ adapter that folds for easy and secure portability. The NDH 30 utilizes its open-back design to deliver impressive sonic precision, making it an excellent choice for producers, broadcast professionals, and mixing and mastering engineers.

Pros 

  • Excellent for precise monitoring 
  • Impressive stereo imaging 
  • Comfortable and can be worn for more extended periods

Cons 

  • Not very cheap

10. Philips Fidelio X2HR

Philips Fidelio X2HR

These open-back headphones are one of the best models for under $200. They are recommended for long-lasting listening sessions because of the adjustable headband and comfortable design. They accurately reproduce voices and lead instruments courtesy of their remarkably neutral and well-balanced sound profile. And there, over ears design helps produce a passive sound stage that comes off as natural.

However, they are very bulky, which makes it challenging to carry them around, and they also fail to produce low bass like many other open bass headphones. Although to help balance their sound, they have a little more warmth and boom in the mid to upper bass. 

In case of damage, they also have the option to replace the cable as it is detachable. These are a well-built pair of headphones with a comparatively less natural passive sound stage, and they’re a good option if you’re seeking more reasonably priced audiophile headphones.

Pros 

  • Best in budget open-back headphones
  • Impressive and well-balanced sound profile 
  • Comfortable design and can work for an extended time

Cons 

  • Not portable because of bulkiness 

Buyer’s Guide to Purchase Open Back Headphones 

Buyer’s Guide to Purchase Open Back Headphones 

With the ten best open-back headphones, you now know what the market holds for you, but when purchasing a pair, a few things need to be considered to get your hands on a suitable model for yourself. 

What Makes Open-Back Headphones Stand out?

Open-back headphones have been in the market for quite some time, and they may have a lot of buyers, but some people still want to know what makes them stand out. Some of the features that highlight open-back headphones are:

Impressive Soundstage

A good soundstage has a wide, deep, and tall space that sounds around you, not inside your head as closed-back headphones do. Open-back headphones give you an extensive audio experience that makes you feel right in front of the singers, whether at a live concert or listening to your favorite album at home.

Natural Listening Experience

The open-back headphones are the perfect choice for people who want to enjoy their music naturally. They have an open-back design, letting the sound waves freely enter and exit the ear cups.

This means you can hear your surroundings while listening to your favorite tunes. The open-back design also lets you hear more of the music, as it is not muffled by a closed cup design.

Wider Frequency Range:

Open-back headphones offer better dynamics than closed-back headphones, which can reproduce a broader range of frequencies from soft to loud sounds.

3 Things to Consider When Getting a Pair of Open Back Headphones

When thinking of purchasing open-back headphones, we believe the three most important factors that make a good pair are the following:

1. Sound Quality 

The first thing to consider is the sound quality. Open-back headphones have a more natural sound than closed-back headphones, and they offer a more spacious sound stage, perfect for listening to ambient music or mixing and mastering music.

2. Comfort 

The second thing to consider is comfort. The most crucial feature of open-back headphones is that they are comfortable. The open design allows airflow and avoids pressure on the ears from the ear cups. This also means your ears will not get too hot, so you can use them for hours without feeling uncomfortable.

3. Portability

Thirdly, you should think about how portable you want your headphones to be. Open-back headphones are much heavier than closed-back ones because of their open design, which makes them less mobile than their closed counterparts.

FAQs

Are Audio Technica open-back headphones good?

The design of the Audio Technica makes the directional audio very impressive and much better than any other 7.1 headset. It is pretty good when used in gaming, especially FPS games. You can also use them in ASMR videos, but ensure you are in a quiet place because the open-back design allows many sounds to enter and escape. 

Which headphone has the best sound quality?

The headphones that have one of the best sound quality include Bose 700, Sennheiser Momentum, Sony WH-1000XM5, Bowers and Wilkins Px7, and Apple Airpods Max. 

Are Sony headphones open back?

The Sony LinkBuds’ offers users an open-back design that makes the listening experience even more unique. The warning about them online makes them less prevalent in the market. 

Conclusion

So if you want to give open-back headphones a try for your studio setup, gaming, or daily usage, then you won’t regret giving any of these headphones a try. We have listed the affordable ones leading toward high-end headphones models. You can choose a model that fits your requirements and get the best open-back headphones. 

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.

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