Best Open-Back Gaming Headphones – With and Without Mic

Gaming controller and TV with persons hands holding it in front of TV

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Do you hate that your headphones make your ears sweat? If so, chances are you’re using a set of closed-back headphones.

So why should you choose open-back headphones over closed-back models? I can’t categorically say one option is better than the other, but if you don’t care too much about advanced noise-canceling and prefer comfort and breathability instead, you’re more on the open-back side.

Apart from putting less pressure on your ears and weighing less, are there any other benefits to open-back headphones? Yes, there are.

Closed-back headphones can often improve bass dynamics by creating a closed box environment, a little like a speaker cabinet.

The side effect is that they can become warm or hot to wear over time and the sweating can become really uncomfortable. When you’re gaming, this isn’t very cool. This is where open-back can be a better option if you don’t game in a noisy environment.

Editor’s Pick
Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset

Drop haven’t been offering their headphones or collaborations with brands for long. This venture to offer this on Amazon is new and shows their confidence to put their product partnerships under the fire of the amazon review machine.

A great choice of headphones for gaming, made even more spacious with the open back design.

Sennheiser has been a powerful force in open back headphones and this continues with this model.

Open-backs offer a wider range of drivers, and often a superior sound. However, the sonic superiority is limited to home environments, or basically the more quiet places.

On the downside, they can be a little more fragile, although you should treat your gear nicely and not throw it across the room when you get iced and miss a Royale, and often they deliver a weaker bass punch.

Considering that most folks don’t play games in loud places and that bass frequencies aren’t the driving sonic force of video-game audio in any way, I say go for it.

Personally, I use open-back headphones for gaming and I believe they work better for most gamers.

What makes a good pair of open-back gaming headphones?

I’ve used a fair share of open-backs, and I can say these are the best open-back gaming headphones you can get right now.

Editor’s Pick

Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset

Editor’s Pick, the top option for gamers in 2022

5/5
Price Range: $$$
Brand: Sennheiser
Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset

TL:DR;

I’m so impressed by the extensive research and the time Sennheiser invested in this set. You get everything that makes a high-end headset, but fully gaming-optimized and at more than a fair price.

The sound quality is exceptional. The PC38X features a set of angled drivers. What these drivers deliver in plain terms is higher locational accuracy.

If you play first-person shooters, this can actually make the difference between winning and losing the game. It’s a genuine advantage over other players. For other genres, it’s still a boost for your gaming experience and immersion.

Apart from being sonically accurate, the sound is also well-balanced. The mids offer just enough punch to stand up to the basses, while the trebles clear out the audio image.

And since we touched on the drivers, this set’s major improvement compared to the PC37X model is the addition of venerable drivers. They are taken straight from the Sennheiser GSP 600, possibly the finest set of headphones the company can offer right now.

That covers the sound, but what about comfort. It’s a 10/10 for me once again. The headband is top-notch and grips your head just enough to stay firmly in place without too much pressure.

The company has included two sets of earpads with this one, velour and mesh knit. “Breathable” is the word of the day here Everything about this set, from the sound delivery to the physical aspects, is about breathability, comfort, and low tension.

To round up the perfect gaming experience, the manufacturer has also included a noise-canceling microphone in the mix. It delivers a clear and articulate mix that you can also use for any type of video or audio call. I like how the mic mutes the sound when you lift it; saves the time from having to do it manually.

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The Specs

  • Works with:  Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, Sony PS4/PS5 controllers

What’s in the Box?

  • Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset
  • Travel bag
  • Velour and mesh knit ear pads
  • PC audio cable
  • Console audio cable
  • User manual

Stuff I like

  • Staple high-end Sennheiser sound, but gaming-optimized
  • Exceptional comfort
  • Noise-canceling mic
  • Premium looks and design
  • High versatility, comes with cables for PC and console

Stuff I like less

  • No wireless option

Best Value

Philips Audio SHP9600MB Open Back Headphones for Gaming

Top Bang for the Buck!

4/5
Price Range: $$
Brand: Philips
Philips Audio SHP9600MB Open Back Gaming Headphones

TL:DR;

If you are looking for the best-value gaming headphones on this years market, this is the one. If your budget is around a hundred bucks and you want a set that excels in a gaming environment and has a microphone, this is the one.

I stumbled upon this pair on accident and was pleasantly surprised. As you might have noticed, I’m a first-person-shooter guy, and this model excells at just about every game I played.

Driven by 50mm drivers, SHP9600MB excells at delivering crystal clear high frequencies, punchy mids, and even some growling lower mids. The basses and subbasses are nothing to write home about, but still decent.

While in action, I was thoroughly impressed by the sounds of bullets hitting all targets, shotgun blasts, team communication, and much more. Explosions could have used that extra low-end rumble, but were still solid.

On high volume, the higher frequencies start dominating the mix a tad too much, becoming harsh on the ears. But I think those critical volumes are way above what anyone goes for when playing games.

The comfort level is high, and the cups are breathable. I love the addition of a microphone, perfect for gaming. For the listed price, it’s not easy to beat this one.

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What’s in the Box?

  • Philips Audio SHP9600MB headphones
  • 1/8-inch audio cable
  • 1/4-inch cable adapter
  • User manual

Stuff I like

  • Stellar audio quality – even if it’s not technically a ‘gaming’ headset
  • Great value for money – typical of philips
  • High comfort
  • Versatility uses

Stuff I like less

  • Lower quality cable
  • Not technically a gaming headset (not really a negative as the really perform well)

Editor’s Pick

beyerdynamic TEAM TYGR Open Back Gaming Headphone & Fox Microphone

Best for Gaming Streamers

4/5
Price Range: $$$
Brand: beyerdynamic
Beyerdynamic TEAM TYGR Gaming Headphones

TL:DR;

If you’re a streamer, this bundle is a match made in heaven for you.

In my opinion, open-back headphones are better for streamers because they tend to work hard and spend hours playing games, recording content, and often editing it – all with headphones on.

Already you guys know I love Beyerdynamic headphones and the DT-1990 Pro are almost my end game for music and recording.

So as a streamer, you will need a pair of cans that delivers an even, well-balanced sonic attack, low ear fatigue, and high comfort. That’s exactly what you’ll get here.

I like to cover the audio quality first, so let’s talk sound. The basses are rich, the trebles are well-tamed and don’t cause fatigue, which I particularly liked, and the mids are slightly underrepresented in the sonic mix, but nothing special.

The majority of the sounds you hear in all gaming genres will stand out loud and clear, increasing immersion. This is a bit more of a higher-end device, so listening to music will work just as fine. The cans are durable, comfortable, and have everything it takes to spend full 10-hour work days wearing them without a break. You should take a break from time to time, though, for your own sake.

Now the second part of this deal is pretty interesting. Even more than a good set of cans, streamers need a quality mic. And this is a 2-in-1 deal, including the company’s large-diaphragm USB microphone called the Fox.

For streamers, built-in mics won’t cut it. Sure, they can be great for team communication, but you’ll need something better for streaming. Something like the Fox.

The mic has a solid construction, comes with a stand, and works great in the middle and higher registry – ideal for voice recording. It doen’t do an amazing job in picking up the low registry but that’s not what a streaming mic needs, unless you’re a music streamer, so all good there. No latency, either.

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What’s in the Box?

  • Beyerdynamic TEAM TYGR headphones
  • The Fox USB microphone
  • Cables
  • User manual

Stuff I like

  • Exceptional value for streamers
  • Gaming-optimized sound output
  • Great looks
  • beyerdynamic quality – Made in Germany
  • 2-in-1 deal aimed at streamers – included microphone
  • Great for using with PC Gaming or Consoles

Stuff I like less

  • If you don’t need a pro-level streaming mic, not much point in investing in one

Budget Pick

Knox Gear TX-200 Open Back Headphones

Budget Pick for 2022

4/5
Price Range: $
Brand: Knox Gear
Knox Gear TX-200 Open Back Headphones for Gaming

TL:DR;

have to say that I’m generally skeptical about cheap open-back headphones. I tried a lot of them, especially when I was younger, and most of them either had poor sound quality with too much interference, or poor build. After all, these things are open and lightweight in nature, and it’s easy they end up flimsy if the budget is too tight.

With that said, Knox Gear TX-200 is an exception to the rule. For the listed price, which can go as low as 20 bucks, this set delivers everything a decent pair of open-back gaming headphones should. And that’s just amazing!

I like to point this out when discussing budget products – the only exceptional thing about this set if the price. Everything else is decent, good, or even pretty good, but you can’t expect a stellar performance in this price range.

With that said, the sound quality is the most surprising aspect. Specifically, the basses are genuinely booming. I’m not used to powerful yet balanced bass frequencies like this on budget headsets, especially open-back models!

Apart from that, the sonic attack is generally versatile and works both for gaming and listening to music.

When it comes to comfort, the TX-200 is lightweight and breathable as any open-back model, albeit not top-notch. At this price, you can’t expect high-quality materials but the headset will still easily serve you for some four-five hours of extensive gaming without causing discomfort.

Where Knox Gear doesn’t deliver is durability. These headphones are somewhat fragile and while they will withstand regular use and even getting dropped a few times, make sure you treat them with care or they might break.

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What’s in the Box?

  • Knox Gear TX-200 headphones
  • Audio cable
  • User manual

Stuff I like

  • Amazing performance considering the price
  • Strong Bass
  • Decent comfort – nice flow of air
  • Cool looks

Stuff I like less

  • Not the most durable product

Also Consider

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Open Back Headphones

Top Option for Audiophile Gamers

4/5
Price Range: $
Brand: Audio-Technica
Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Open Back Headphones

TL:DR;

Up next, a little treat for all you audiophiles out there. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X is a top-value pair of headphones on all front, but I was pleasantly surprised – almost shocked – by the audio nuance this set delivers in gaming environments.

I played Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with these puppies on. And man, the level of audio detail just blew me away! It’s as if you were actually in the middle of a real war, god forbid.

The high and mid-level frequencies are exceptionally balanced. In technical terms, this model sports 53mm drivers. They help the headphones deliver a well-balanced audio output, not too bass-heavy and ideal for games.

The clarity I just talked about allows this set to clearly separate various sounds during gaming sessions, be it enemy footsteps, incoming missiles, or any type of ambient sound you can imagine.

This will affect your performance, too. Hearing enemies approaching more clearly will make you more careful. I firmly stand behind the idea that quality audio will make you a better gamer.

Yes, you will still need to put in the hours and hone your skills, but a great set of cans will certainly help, and that’s exactly what this Audio-Technica product is.

In terms of comfort, I like the addition of the self-adjusting 3D wing support. The earpad quality is great, and you can easily wear these headphones during eight-hour gaming sessions.

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…and another 3,710 Reviews

What’s in the Box?

  • Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X headphones
  • 1/8-inch audio cable
  • 1/4-inch cable adapter
  • User manua

Stuff I like

  • Stellar audio quality
  • Great value for money
  • High comfort
  • High versatility

Stuff I like less

  • Lower quality cable
  • No mic

Summary

I hope this rundown was helpful and that I’ve piqued your interest in the power of open-back headphones.

I know most gamers primarily think about investing in gaming components and often neglect the sonic aspect.

But I just say – try a good set of open-back gaming headphones, test them in the store or something.

A whole new world will open up to you. You can thank me later.

Stay safe! Happy Gaming.

This post was last updated on 2022-09-28 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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