Open Back Vs. Closed Back Headphones Comparison

Open Back Vs. Closed Back Headphones Comparison

If you find it difficult to decide between open back vs. closed back headphones, you have come to the right place. This distinction between headphones is the single most notable difference that affects your sonic signature.

Truth be told, each type of headphones offers distinct advantages. It’s up to you, as the user, to analyze their features, pros and cons and, and pick accordingly.

Headphones for recording.

On that account, we consider that establishing your priorities will definitely help in the process. Leaving that aside, let’s have a close look at the main characteristics of open vs. closed back headphones.

Introducing Open Back Headphones

Simply put, open-back headphones are equipped with sound-generating drives that remain open. That might contribute to making the sound clear and crisp.

In fact, the perforations/grills present on open-back headphones facilitate the air to pass freely in the headphone cups. The fundamental advantage of choosing such a model is that it dramatically changes the listening experience.

As opposed to the typical in your head listening experience, open-back headphones offer an in the world around me listening experience.

For example, if you sit around with a pair of closed-back headphones, the sounds from your surroundings will be utterly eliminated and dampened. In other words, you might feel as if you’re in a perfectly quiet studio.

On the other hand, open-back headphones make you feel as if the musicians you’re listening to are in your proximity. That makes you feel and experience the music on an entirely different level.

Nonetheless, the setting in which you’ll do the actual listening is due to affect your experience altogether. If you want to listen to music at the library, or on your daily commute to work, open-back headphones might not be the best pick. That’s primarily because others will hear what you’re listening to, as well.

Open Back Headphones

Still, how loud you prefer to play your music will also play a role in the equation, so that is not necessarily the case. Even so, you might still hear unwanted background noise from your environment.

For example, if you’ll be at a bus stop, you’ll hear the cars passing by. That being said, even though they do sound fantastic, they are better suited for private, serious music listening at home.


  • Soundstage is airy and natural.
  • The clarity and accuracy of the sound aren't affected.
  • ​The music surrounds the listener.
  • The ears are less likely to get sweaty or wet.
  • An entirely music-listening experience, allowing you to notice the tiniest details of a recording.


  • The music leaks, which might disturb those nearby.
  • In order to compensate for the outside noise, playing a higher volume could be unsafe.
  • A Minimal level of isolation from surrounding environments.​
  • Low-level frequency appears less intense.
  • Increased sensitivity.

Introducing Closed Back Headphones

When it comes to closed back vs. open back headphones, you should know that the first ones are entirely sealed around the back.

So, although the accuracy and naturalness of the sound might not battle the one captured by open back headphones, closed-back ones will obstruct outside noise.

Such headphones are suitable if you want to listen to music in quiet environments, such as at the office or in the library. Simply put, no one will hear what you’re listening to, even if the volume is high.

If we were to compare open back headphones vs. closed ones, you should know that the latter are better fitted for noisy surroundings.

Closed Back Headphones

You won’t be bothered by external noises whatsoever. This can be quite effective especially if you are on a crammed train or subway station.


  • People surrounding you won’t hear what you’re listening to.
  • Low-level frequencies are enhanced.
  • ​More accessible price range.
  • You can enjoy music at lower, safer volumes.
  • Ideal isolation for loud environments.


  • After extended periods of use, the ears tend to get sweaty and wet.
  • Soundstage appears less airy and open.
  • Clarity and accuracy are slightly reduced.


To conclude, now you know the fundamental differences between the two types of headphones. Jotting down your priorities and expectations should help you decide.

Every listener has different preferences. That being said, we couldn’t say that closed or open back headphones are better or worse. At the end of the day, perhaps you’ll come to realize that you need distinct headphones for different music listening situations – something we totally get.

We are hopeful that you found our open back vs. closed back headphones comparison handy. Let us know which one you prefer choosing and why!

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