What Are Open-Back Headphones? Are They Better Than Closed-Back Headphones[Revealed]

What are open-back headphones

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The question of what are open-back headphones is pretty standard, especially among the people who are just getting into the audio enthusiast zone. Well, the name says it all! These headphones will have an open-back.

But is that all? Does the open-back nature do not have any impact on the sound-stage or listening experience? It does! In fact, the difference between closed-back and open-back is night and day. And if you want to know it all, you would like to continue reading!

Also read: Open Back vs Closed Back Headphones

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What Are Open-back Headphones?

What are open-back headphones

As mentioned, the name says it all! Instead of having a wall or closed enclosure, the headphones will have an open back. This trait will enable the air to pass through the ear cups and make them eventually get to the speaker driver. That is the main difference in terms of open-back headphones vs closed. 

Now, what does it mean? It means that the low-frequency and resonances that a rear enclosure usually builds up will not be a concern. Instead, the air passing through the back and to the driver will make the sound feel more transparent and more natural.

But what about the noise? Well, due to the open nature, they will also get in. There will be little to no isolation for these headphones. For that reason, you will not see anyone using these headphones in a noisy environment.

Are Open Back Headphones Good For Mixing?

Now that you know what are open-back headphones, let’s focus on the use case. Yes, open-back headphones are fabulous for mixing. In fact, they are meant for tasks such as this. 

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beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X is aopen-back Circumaural Studio Headphones with Detachable Cable

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SENNHEISER HD 559 Open Back Headphone

This open-back headphone is powered by proprietary Sennheiser 38 millimeter, 50 ohm transducers

The nature of the headphones makes it easier to make accurate mixing decisions. Additionally, as the sound will feel clear and natural, it will be easier to keep track of the reference sounds. You will end up with a mix that sounds exactly like how you wanted it to sound.

Are Open Back Headphones Good for Gaming?

The open-back nature of the headphones makes them perfect for prolonged usage. As the headphone will let air pass through, your ears can breathe a bit. Sweating and fatigue will not be an issue. For that reason, they are great for gaming.

Can You Use Open Back Headphones for Commuting?

Even though open-backs are the best option for listening to high-quality audio files, mixing, mastering, and critical listening, the ideal situation to use them would be at home. Remember, these provide little to no isolation. Considering that, you will not get a good listening experience with open-backs if you are commuting.

Bottom Line

If you are still wondering what are open-back headphones, these headphones will not have a closed enclosure. That design makes the air pass through and makes the sound feel more natural and clear.

Images: Sennheiser Website

Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.

This post was last updated on 2024-06-20 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.

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