Whether you are a hardcore gamer or just want to listen to your favorite music, you might want to have the best open back headphones in the market. Open back headphones provide immense experience and keep your ears comfortable. These headphones are fabulous for Critical listening and At-home use.
One drawback is that these best open back headphones leak a lot of Sound due to their structure. They are also not so well performing when it comes to noise reduction. But if you want good audio experience overall, then these are the right choice for you. In this article, we have prepared a list of 10 best open-black headphones after comparing each neck to neck. But before going into details first, let’s check out the difference between open back headphones and closed-back headphones bellow.
????15+ Best Open Back Headphones 2020????
Now that we have discussed the difference lets come to the comparison of the best open back headphones.
???? Sennheiser HD 800 S [best budget open back headphones]
We would put Sennheiser HD 800 S in the first spot due to its exquisite shape and style. This bad boy is exported all the way from Germany. It comes with a high price tag, but it’s worth every penny.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
When it comes to design and build quality, this beast outperforms the others in the market with a considerable margin. It’s the best fusion of plastic and metal, giving you a look which you’ll fall in love with, at first sight.
This headphone will take your comfort to the next level. It has big earpads, which will cover most of your ears hence giving you a soothing experience.
Sennheiser has left no stone unturned to ensure the best sound quality possible. They have redefined what a headphone can do. If you want all features enclosed in one headphone, then Sennheiser HD 800 S is the right choice for you.
???? Sennheiser HD 660 S [best open back headphones for mixing]
The Sennheiser HD 660 S is an best open back headphones excellent for critical listening. It is the successor of HD 6xx line, Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
You will not see many designs and body changes in this headphone. Some will even find it similar to the original Sennheiser HD 600 that was released in 1997. Although the design isn’t changed much, the material is undoubtedly improved. This headphone is built from high quality, lightweight, yet durable matt plastic that does not catch stains or fingerprints. So you can use it while eating your favorite snacks.
When it comes to sound quality, this headphone produces good audio, and if worn for a long time, does not cause much discomfort because of its big and soft earpads.
It has an open design, which makes Sound leak a bit, but if you use it in a less noise environment, you won’t feel much difference.
???? Grado SR325e [best open back headphones for gaming]
Grado SR325e is a flagship model and the successor of SR325 previously known for its unmatched quality and design. Grado has been handcrafting headphones since 1953. They take pride in their designs, and this is one of the reasons why the exterior design of SR325e has not changed for over 50+ years since its launch.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
Grado takes pride in its design, and they haven’t changed it from the last fifty years. You’ll not see many changes in SR325e too. While some don’t like it and criticize this, others endorse it for keeping the retro look alive and rolling. You have to decide in which category do you fall.
Though they haven’t changed the design much, their quality has gotten a lot better. One of the worth mentioning features of this product is that the ear cups rotate 360-degrees, which take UX to a whole new experience.
You’ll have no complaints in regards to comfort as SR325e has foamy ear pads, which will provide you good listening experience.
As they are not so big and round in shape, they do not fit on most of the ear types, so if they are not the right fit for you, they can make you feel at discomfort. So before buying, check whether it will fit on your ear or not.
The sound quality is the signature of Grado as they are known for it. They may not have made changes in regards to design, but they have indeed adopted new technology and made their sound quality better than their competitors. You should try out Grados if you haven’t heard about them before, as you will be shocked to see the retro headphones producing such detailed audio.
Grado’s aim isn’t limited to a punching bass, warmth, or exquisite highs. They strive to achieve perfectness in audio.
????Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro [best open back headphones under 100]
The original version being released in 2004, became the choice of many people to this date. This headphone has survived for a long time because of a great deal it provides while maintaining the price tag.
You can use it for multi-purposes such as a studio headphone for mixing and mastering audio or just to play games in your home.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
If we talk about its design and body, we see that it uses plastic for the most part of the build except the headband, which is made of metal. The wires are exposed just like the old fashioned way, so you have to be careful in this regard. You make a long term investment by buying this headphone as it is handmade in Germany. This ensures its quality and meticulous craft
The sound quality is what makes them third on this list, and this is the reason why they have stayed around for so long. It provides the listener with a detailed sound at both high and low volumes.
There are some critics who argue that this set doesn’t handle bass well, but we believe that it depends on the Soundtrack being played.
Last but not least, these headphones provide you comfort because of their large ear cup in which most of the ears can fit. The earpads are made from such a material that you can wear them for a long drive.
????HiFiMan HE-400i [best open back headphones under 200]
The HiFiMan HE-400i is the successor of once bestselling HE-400, which made history for this brand, The HE-400 made into the market in 2012 and got sold a lot. Let’s see if HiFiMan has managed to improve its iconic headphones?
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
The new HE-400i consists of full-size planar magnetic flat drivers so that the experience of critical listening in the home or studio can be improved. This gives you a better sound image by enhancing the low end.
The headphones are best-used for indoor activities such as watching movies, playing games, or listening to music. An amplifier or receiver ups it’s performance a notch. But it doesn’t mean you can’t use this on your mobile phone. Yes, you can. If you want to experience its true potential, then you should try an external amp.
One thing that is changed from the original model is that cord is now cut short from 3 to 1.5 meters. Now it comes with a 3.5 mm gold-plated connectors. HE-400i, for most of the part, is made from plastic, but it gives you a rigid look and feel.
One of the factors that have improved from last time is the comfortability. The new HE-400i is 30% lighter, so it’s more convenient to wear for a long time.
We also get to see a new headband design, which improves the fitting over the head. The new headband balances evenly on both sides, and the pressure becomes the same, providing you with more comfort. The same is the case with earpads as they have become better, softer, due to such as high-quality materials like artificial leather and velour.
One more thing which is improved from the original one is the sound quality. HE-400i produces better audio output. It’s audio is more detailed and pure. This all made happen due to the planar magnetic flat drivers used in these new headsets. This headphone takes lows to a whole new level. B
Though it is a mid-range headphone, this doesn’t hold it from providing crystal clear and subtle audio due to its high-quality mechanism. One of its down factors is that the treble is not clear and often gets too much. But for this price tag, we can ignore it.
????Philips X2HR [best cheap open back headphones]
Philips X2HR replaced the Philips X2 as it was discontinued by the manufacturers.
You can say X2HR is the updated version of X2. The company has made some changes but didn’t share the changelog with the public. Some users complain that it’s the same product but just launched again as they notice no changes before and after. Some audiophile reveals that changes have been made but limited to the headband and the earpads.
The new version means X2HR comes with improved padding, which is softer than the prior version and also more comfortable. The same is the case with earpads as they are breathable like the one Philips SHP9500S has. The bad news is that they cannot be replaced anymore as the manufacturer used glue to attach them to the cup.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
Philips X2HR comes with a solid quality being made from top-notch material. The all-black design looks aesthetic and provides a beautiful look. Although being a midrange, it comes with real leather in its headband, which makes it give a premium feel. Overall the frame is solid and rigid and can’t be damaged easily.
The X2HR excels in the area of comfort and fit. The new earpads are made from memory foam, which is wrapped in soft velour to give you the comfort you deserve. This new material allows pressure to be evenly distributed, making heat, less on your ears.
The same is the case with the headband, which comes with a self-adjusting headband suspension mechanism. This provides you a lot of comfort by distributing the weight evenly over your head.
The X2HR gives you a feel like you are in front of a speaker. This takes your experience to the next level. This headphone create really detailed music allowing you to distinguish between guitars, piano, and other instruments
Although it’s a midrange headphone, it smoothly runs higher and lower frequencies. This headphone provides a true experience of realism.
????AKG K 240 MKII [best open back headphones under 150]
AKG K 240 MKII is the successor model of the AKG K 240. Its previous version was sold a lot because of its affordable price tag despite having some fundamental issues.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
This headphone follows the classic design, and we do not get to see much change. Although the material used is of average quality, for this price tag, it’s still a steal.
The headphone comes with two cords 3 and 5 meters long. You can detach the wire and attach the other one due to the easy mechanism installed in the left cup.
For the comfort part, AKG K 240 MKII has used better quality earpads. They also give an additional pair of softer and larger earpads along with the headphones. You can also adjust the headband and modify it as you like.
These headphones have smooth and soothing audio quality, even for the price range, they come in. Although the highs could be improved a little bit, the overall quality is good. The best thing is that it provides the listener with detailed audio, so vocals and instruments do not get mixed up.
???? AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-AD700X [best open back gaming headphones]
If you are looking for budget headphones, especially headphones under $100, then ATH AD700X is the right choice for you.
This set comes with a two-year limited end-user warranty so you can enjoy without worrying about it being getting broke. The targeted audience of this headphone is mostly listeners who want a budget headphone for home use.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
When we look at its design and body, we see a bulky structure with large and circular earpads. Despite it being bulky, it’s lightweight because of the aluminum used in it. If you look for beauty and aesthetics in headphones, then this may not be for you as it has a dull and monotonous look.
The ATH AD700X comes with its newly designed 53mm drivers in combination with copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils. Due to this combination, you get to experience clear and detailed audio. This combination is unlike anything you’ll experience in this price range.
???? Philips SHP9500S [best open back headphones under 500]
If you don’t have a budget for good headphones or you are saving to buy a good one later, then you can get your work done with Philips SHP9500S for the time.
This headphone is built for basic indoor tasks like gaming, movies, and music. This headphone isn’t a suitable choice for outdoor use, such as jogging.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
This headphone has an athletic build quality, which is rare to see in this price range. The earpad kind of looks like it can be improved, but it can be ignored seeing the price tag of this product.
What makes this set unique is that it uses 50-millimeter neodymium drivers, which not only deliver full-spectrum but also balance the frequency reproduction.
When it comes to low budget headphones, comfort isn’t what most people ask for as they know they can’t get many things in the low price range.
But Philips delivers up to its name and provides comfort even in this price range. Due to the double-layered soft padding used in the headband, it becomes super comfortable. And you can even adjust it to suit your needs.
These headphones have breathable ear cushions, which mean no pressure build-up, and your ears don’t get warm up after extended use. The material used in the pads can cause disturbance after extended use in some cases.
Keeping in mind the price range of this set, the sound quality of this product is not bad. The company claims to use 50mm high power drivers, which indeed make a difference in its sound quality.
???? SAMSON SR850 [best open back headphones under 300]
These are the cheapest headphones on this list of best open back headphones. When something is cheap, people don’t value it mostly. But the case is different here. The Samson SR850 has a lot of positive ratings on the internet, which makes the user curious about how they maintain quality with this price tag.
For starters, they keep pricing low by not spending too much on branding and keeping it simple. You get a 1/4 jack adapter, and that’s all there is, in the box, what’s more, to expect in this price tag.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
The Samson SR850 and AKG K240( which we have reviewed above) both have the dual metal band design in common, and they kind of look the same visually.
We wouldn’t call it a high-quality product, but if handled with care, it can serve for a long time. One thing which is interesting is that they are quite lightweight despite their size and rigidity.
You should keep in mind that this headphone features a semi-open back design, which is basically a hybrid version of a closed back and open back type headphones. They have some properties of the former while some of the latter. You can also plug it into your phone or other portable devices. You don’t need an amplifier as they have a low level of impedance.
At first, you’ll feel a little discomfort while wearing, but you’ll get over it after few times. To make it more comfortable, you can adjust the height of the leather headband to create a secure and comfortable fit.
Once you modify to suit your needs, then you’ll have no further discomfort as this thing is equipped with velour padding, which is quite comfortable.
Now comes the surprising part. When most of the people see the pricing tag, they think of this as a low sound quality product. But that isn’t the case with SR850. It does a pretty good job in this regard and impresses the listener with the wide and immense soundstage. Not the top-notch, but something to count upon.
If we match the price tag with the audio quality, then we get to know that it outperforms some of the high price headphones too. So it’s unmatched for the value it provides in the price it gives.
If we take a look at the drawbacks while ignoring the fact that it’s the least expensive headphone on our list, then we can only point out its problem of missing depth at sometimes, which means the audio becomes blunt sometimes.
Difference Between Closed And Open Back Headphones
If you are here, then the chances are that most of you know the difference, but for those of our brethren who don’t know, let’s take a quick look.
best open back headphones are good at eliminating little echoes as they allow air to pass through. Due to this reason, pressure doesn’t build up and doesn’t affect sound quality. But this only happens when there’s not much noise nearby as open back headphones don’t do well in blocking the outside noise. These headphones are the best choice for the at-home experience.
When we see at closed back headphones, we see a complete seal around ears blocking the external noise and providing you more focused Sound. On the downside, these headphones, when wearing for a longer time, make your ear warm and gives you a little discomfort.
In the end, it’s your choice which one attracts you and provides you with more comfort.
Best Open Back Headphones Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to buying headphones, there are many factors you should consider so you can end up buying a great product in your budget. While writing this guide, we have taken many things into consideration. We have measured every aspect in every way possible to compile the list of best open back headphones for you.
You’ll find that information available online is really different from one another. Some have a different point of view while some have other. It comes to you at the end which headphones you want to buy.
Nevertheless, here are some of the factors we consider while making this list, and you should also consider it too.
You should pay close attention to drivers while buying headphones. These are the main component in a headphone and have a great impact on sound quality. You should purchase headphones with excellent quality and durable drivers.
When talking about best open back headphones, then the drivers should be durable and sturdy because open back headphones are sealed totally. When it comes to sound quality, then you should buy ones with a planar or magnetic driver as they produce good audio.
You should also consider the driver size because factors like frequencies depend upon it. If you want to play audios with low frequencies, i.e., the bass, then a 40mm or above driver will do the job.
Sound quality is considered the most crucial factor while buying headphones. You shouldn’t compromise on this factor. The headphones with better sound quality are the ones that are expensive. But we have also mentioned some budget choices in this guide which produce good Sound.
Price is the deciding factor for most of the consumer. Obviously, they can’t get out of their budget to buy something that is high-priced. This goes without saying that the more expensive the headphone is, the more features it will have. It also depends upon the brand you are looking for. Because most of the time, well-known brands do not charge for features but for their logo. We have ranged headphones from a high amount of above 1000$ to a low amount of less than 50$.
So when buying headphones, you should ask yourself whether this product is worth this price tag or not.
The best way to buy a headphone is to read customer reviews about it. This will give you an idea of how this product is. When buying a headphone, read customer reviews to get the most out of it.
Size and Comfort level
best open back headphones cover most of your ear as they are over the ears headphone, but they still come in different sizes. You should choose the size according to your ear size and face structure. This way, you will feel comfortable.
Choose the headphone with good headband and earpads to ensure the best possible experience. Comfort should be the top priority when it comes to buying headphones. Most consumers complain that they feel uncomfortable after wearing headphones for a long time. So you should also consider this while choosing a headphone.
Cord and Connector/Adapter
This is a factor that most people do not pay attention to. When buying a headphone, consider which device you want to use it on. There are different connectors and adapter type. One connector may not work with the other. So buy headphones that will work with your device. You’ll mostly find a quarter-inch and 1/8 inch adapter, which is the industry standard.
Cord length also matters while choosing a headphone. Some headphones come with a longer cord while some with shorter. It depends on you and your need which one you want.
You should know that most of the best open back headphones require a high power source to run. So you can have some problems with running them on your phone. However, you can use AMP to overcome this problem.
best open back headphones FAQ
These are some of the questions that come to the mind of a person when buying a headphone.
What are best open back headphones?
best open back headphones are a type of over the ear headphones. They are designed in such a way to cover the ear while allowing air to pass through. This way, no pressure builds up, and your ears don’t get hot.
What are the benefits of best open back headphones?
best open back headphones allow air to pass through, so pressure doesn’t build up. This way, little echoes are eliminated, and sound quality gets better. These headphones are the best choice for the at-home experience.
What is the difference between closed-back and open back headphones?
best open back headphones are good at eliminating little echoes as they allow air to pass through. These headphones are the best choice for the at-home experience.
Closed-back headphones have a complete seal around ears blocking the external noise and providing you more focused Sound. On the downside, these headphones, when worn for a longer time, make your ear warm and gives you a little discomfort.
Is AMP required to run open back headphones?
There is no specific answer to this. Every headphone speaks for itself. This changes from headphone to headphone. Some headphones work with 30 Ohm amplifiers while others with 50 Ohm. There is no specific number that suits all headphones.
If you want to buy yourself one, then try for anything up to 50 Ohm as it would produce decent quality and sufficient volume. If you are getting a headphone with a high impedance level, then an amplifier is recommended.
What is Impedance?
Impedance is a technical term and not something that you can explain in plain text. When the voltage is applied, resistance is produced in an electric circuit to the electric current situation. Impedance is used to measure that.
In layman’s language, the higher the impedance of headphones, the more current it will need from the source it is attached to produce Sound. So when you buy a headphone, consider which source you will be buying it for and will that source provide enough current for it to run.
If you want a headphone for a mobile or a portable device, then try to get a headphone with an impedance lower than 50 Ohm.
What is Soundstage?
The soundstage is the placement of vocals, musical instruments, and other sounds in a soundtrack. When we talk about headphones, then a wide soundstage means that the headphones produce each Sound with a distance providing you a better experience. In other words, you can refer it to as detailed Sound.
What is Subpass?
These are the lowest frequencies that a human can hear. These frequencies range between 20Hz and 60 Hz. Instruments like a bass drum, bass guitar, and drum machines produce Sound in these frequencies range.
We have mentioned different open back headphones with different qualities and different price tags. It’s up to you what you want in a headphone and what not. Your budget is also a factor in deciding which headphone you’ll end buying. Consider all the things in this guide and then make the decision to get the best product.