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Open Back Vs Closed Back Headphones: Which Is Best?

Headphones, like any other product, are a matter of taste. It is a common question that everyone asks while purchasing a headphone, which is better open-back or closed-back headphones?  But stating one is better than the other is not the correct answer, as both have their own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s dig into this so you can buy reliable headphones based on your requirement.

Closed Back Headphones

While open-back headphones are often the choice for audiophiles, closed-back cans are the go-to for people who want to block out ambient noise. They are also preferred by traveling gamers and sound engineers who must focus on their work.

Here’s What You Should Know About Them:

  • Closed-back headphones offer better sound isolation than open-backed models. This means you can listen at a lower volume in noisier environments and still enjoy clear audio without cramming up the book too high.
  • Closed-back headphones have slightly more bass response than their open-backed counterparts, which makes them ideal if you like listening to hip-hop or EDM (electronic dance music).

 Pros of Closed Back Headphones

  • They are suitable for blocking out external noise. While working in a noisy environment or planning to listen to music while doing household chores or exercise, closed-back headphones can help keep the outside world at bay.
  • They reduce the risk of sound leakage. Sound leakage occurs when sound escapes from headphones and can be heard by others nearby, which is particularly annoying if you’re listening to music on your commute or at work with other people around.
  • Comparatively speaking, open-backed headphones often offer less passive noise isolation than closed-back headphones. This means they do better at keeping sound from escaping into your environment without any other active noise-canceling technology (which adds extra cost).

 Cons of Closed Back Headphones

  • Professionals love closed-back headphones because they can hear everything going on around them.
  • They offer excellent sound isolation, making them ideal for multitasking or listening in noisy environments.
  • However, this increased noise cancellation comes at the cost of some naturalness in audio reproduction.
  • The lack of open space inside the ear cups also means that closed-back headphones don’t provide as much bass as their open-back counterparts (though it’s still there!).

In Short: If you want to block out ambient noise while listening on public transportation or in a busy office and prefer an immersive experience when you listen to music at home, Closed Back Headphones are probably best for you.

Open Back Headphones

If you want to experience natural sound, it is best to use open-back headphones. These headphones are not suitable for recording, mixing, or gaming, however, as they can leak a lot of sounds and let in ambient noise from your environment. They are also not great for traveling for the same reasons: You’re listening to music or watching videos with open-back headphones, so those around you will hear them too—and probably not appreciate it.

Pros of Open Back Headphones

  • They provide a better soundstage, which means you get a more immersive experience while listening to your music.
  • After all, that’s one of the reasons we listen to music in the first place: to feel like we’re at an actual concert.
  • And since open-back headphones have more space between your ear and the speaker.

So if you are looking for the best sound quality without sacrificing comfort or style—or if you want something with lots of basses—you should consider buying closed-back models instead!

Cons of Open Back Headphones

There are a few downsides to open-back headphones:

  • Noise leakage: Open-back headphones tend to leak sound more than closed-back ones, meaning you can hear your music playing in the room around you. This is great if everyone wants to listen with you, but not so good if you’re trying to keep your playlists private or need silence during an important meeting or presentation.
  • Less bass response: Because they don’t block outside noise as well as closed backs do, open backs don’t isolate as well either—meaning there won’t be quite as much bass coming through when listening through them (which is typically where most of the low-end frequencies live).
  • More expensive than closed backs: Open backs tend towards higher price points because they require more material and engineering for large earcups and openings for sound leakage/isolation purposes. This can sometimes be worth it for some people on the fence between these options but still want superior audio quality over anything else today! Just make sure to remember those other benefits before making any final decisions.

What Are The Differences?

Gamers, travelers, and anyone who needs to drown out ambient noise are the primary users of closed-back headphones. These headphones will include a sturdy cup or cushion that completely encloses the ear, which helps block out external noise while keeping in sound.

Open-back headphones are more realistic and natural-sounding, but some of your music may seep out and bother those around you. Open-back cans often have large enough openings for sound leakage to occur if there’s a lot of background noise, as well as an open design that allows air movement between the driver and your ears for better sound quality (and comfort).

The main difference is their sound quality. Open-back headphones are considered the more natural of the two, as they let in some ambient noise while delivering an utterly low-end response. On the other hand, closed-back models block out external noise for enjoying the music without distractions.

Both Are Great For Different Situations

A closed-back model will be best if you’re looking for something to use while traveling or working in noisy environments (like an airplane cabin). If you want something great for gaming or home use but allow fantastic sound from your favorite album to your ears, go with an open-back design!


  • Open-back headphones are fabulous if you don’t mind noise leakage and want the most natural sound, whereas closed-back headphones may be better for mixing, recording, traveling, and gaming.
  • Open-back headphones are better for mixing, recording, traveling, and gaming.
  • In noisy areas, closed-back headphones are preferable for listening to music.
  • Since they shield your ears from outside noise, closed-back headphones are excellent for noise cancellation.

Open-back headphones are definitely preferable if sound quality is your top priority. Closed-back headphones, however, can be preferable if you listen in noisy settings or for recording.

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