Should i get open back or closed back headphones?

Are you struggling to decide whether to get open back or closed-back headphones?

As an audiophile or music lover, you want to ensure you get the best possible sound quality from your headphones. But how do you know which design is the right fit for you?

In this article, we will break down the difference between open-back and closed-back headphones, and help you decide which design is better suited for your listening preferences.

What are open-back headphones?

Open-back headphones are designed with perforated ear cups that allow sound to escape.

This means that you can hear ambient noise around you, and people can also hear what you are listening to.

The open-back design creates a more natural and spacious soundstage, making it a popular choice for audiophiles who prefer a more immersive listening experience.

What are closed-back headphones?

Closed-back headphones, on the other hand, are designed with a sealed ear cup that isolates the sound.

This design is ideal for blocking out ambient noise and preventing sound leakage.

Closed-back headphones are commonly used in studio settings for recording and monitoring purposes because they provide a more accurate representation of the sound being recorded.

What are semi-open-back headphones?

Semi-open-back headphones combine elements of both open-back and closed-back headphones.

They have a partially perforated ear cup that allows some sound to escape while providing some noise isolation.

Open-Back and Closed-Back Headphones: Which Is Better?

To help you decide between open-back and closed-back headphones, we have created a comparison table.

FeatureOpen-Back HeadphonesClosed-Back Headphones
Bass responseLess pronouncedMore pronounced
SoundstageMore SpaciousLess spacious
Sound leakageMore leakageLess leakage
Noise isolationMinimal HighHigh
VersatilityNot suitable for outdoor useSuitable for all environments
ComfortBreathable and lightweightIt can feel heavy and warm
FitLooser fit Tighter fit
BreathabilityAirier ear cupsLimited breathability

So, Which Design Should You Buy?

Ultimately, the decision between open-back and closed-back headphones depends on your individual preferences and needs. Here are some factors to consider:

When to buy open-back headphones

  • If you prefer a more natural and immersive soundstage
  • If you value breathability and lightweight design
  • If you are not concerned about sound leakage
  • Suggested open-back headphones
  • Sennheiser HD 600
  • Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
  • Grado SR80e

When to buy closed-back headphones

  • If you value noise isolation and minimal sound leakage
  • If you prefer a tighter fit and more pronounced bass response
  • If you plan to use your headphones in noisy environments

Suggested closed-back headphones

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
  • Sony WH-1000XM4
  • Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

Open-back headphones provide a more natural and spacious soundstage, while closed-back headphones offer more noise isolation and bass response. Semi-open-back headphones offer a balance between the two.

When deciding which design to buy, consider your individual needs and preferences, and use our comparison table and suggestions to make an informed decision.


Whether you choose open-back or closed-back headphones, make sure to invest in a quality pair that will provide the best possible listening experience. Consider your needs and preferences, as well

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Krishanu Dhali is the founder of Headphoneidea and a passionate audio expert. Through in-depth reviews and comprehensive guides on the latest headphone models, he shares extensive knowledge with audiophiles and newcomers alike. His blog is a valuable resource for staying up-to-date on all things audio.