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Open back Vs Closed Back Headphones: Which one is more suitable for You?

Open back Vs Closed Back Headphones: Which one is more suitable for You?

Issue Time:2019-10-30

Open back VsClosed Back Headphones: Which one is more suitable for You?

by suki.wang@dgbosta.com   Oct. 30 2019

For musiclovers, sound engineers, DJs, and studio managers, getting the best headphonecan be very stressful and time-consuming. What is life without music?  Sometimes you can only rely on the beats froma quality headphone to make your heartbeat stable.

Often, you willbe drawn between going for open-back headphone and close-back headphone; theyare better suited for different purposes

What is open back headphones?


If you are newto headphones, you might not have an in-depth knowledge of what an open backheadphone means. Open back headphones are the types that lack a solidconstruction for the ear cups. They have distinct cut-outs for ventilation andhave the flexibility to expand the soundstage.


In openheadphones, the sound will leak through, which makes it not ideal for anenvironment that requires some level of ambiance. Talk about hospitals,libraries, administration office and other private rooms. Open headphones willnot filter out ambiance noise, and leakages cannot be prevented.


Open backheadphones sound clearer, airier and more expansive compared to the closedcounterpart. The only drawbacks are that it doesn’t allow you to keep the musicto yourself alone without disturbing the serenity of the other people aroundyou.


If you need tobe conscious of your environment, whether while you are walking on a publicroad with vehicles passing by, unsafe environment or places where total silenceis not a priority, I bet open back headphones might be the best for you.

What is closed back headphones?

Sometimes youjust want to be all by yourself; you want to escape the pressure of the world andisolate yourself with the tunes blasting out of your headphone. In a situationlike this, no other headphone fits in like closed back headphone.


Closed backheadphones come with a cushion that creates a complete fitting to the earplugand keeps the airflow away. A closed back headphone will accord you a maximumamount of isolation as much as possible, which makes it ideal for people thatfancy a quiet listening environment.


In closedheadphones, the quality and density of cup and ear cushion materials willdetermine the amount of exterior noise that will be kept away. Most of theexterior noise will be muffled or dampened, which allows you to pick up thesmallest of the sonic details within the music track. For users that want apleasant environment, closed back headphone might be the choicest option foryou.


You can considerit closed back headphone as your partner during a moment of solitude, that is,while on a long flight, traveling on a bus, on a train station. It is also thebest for sound engineers, DJs, and other professionals that want to catch everydetail in a song. To get the best experience, it is best to keep your musictrack at the lowest volume.

What are the differences between the open back andclosed headphones?


There are quitea lot of differences between an open back and closed back headphones.Basically, a closed back headphone venting driver is separated from theclosed-off ear cup. In contrast, an open back headphone has grills or ventsthat allow the ear to circulate freely within the diver. The driver can eitherbe planar, dynamic or electrostatic.


Here, we havelisted the benefits and demerits of both headphone types. Check them out below:


Benefits of Open Back Headphones

These are whatwe like about open back headphones

Natural, airierand more open soundstage

Better soundclarity

Improvedconsciousness of the environment

Air penetratesthe earplug, and thus your ears won’t get sweaty.

Similarperformance to stereo speaker since music envelops the ear

Other people canenjoy your music playlist if you turn it a little loud

No confinementto the space used to channel the sound wave from the driver


Drawbacks of Open Back Headphones

Here are what wedon’t like about the open back headphones

The leakingmusic can distract the others that struggle to cope with music interferencewhile working.

It requires ahigh volume to keep out surrounding noise which can lead to turning the volumeto an unsafe level

The side talksfrom your environment may disturb you as well

Not suitable forcertain public places including hospital, public libraries and corporateoffices



Benefits of Closed-Back Headphones

Closed backcomes with several benefits which we have highlighted some below.

Music can beenjoyed at a lower level ensuring the safety of the ear

It picksvirtually all the details of the music and instrumentals which makes it idealfor

Ideal forenvironments requiring a high level of quietness.

Closed backheadphones may be the best for mixing and gaming

No disturbanceto the other nearby

It makes it easyto enhance lower-level frequencies


Drawbacks of Closed-Back Headphones

Despite numerousbenefits of closed back headphones, it has some cons that don’t make it perfectfor all occasions. They include the following:

The less openand airy sound stage

Ears get sweatyover time

Diminished soundclarity or accuracy.

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