• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

open-back and closed-back headphones

Joined
May 8, 2023
Messages
7
Likes
1
What is the difference between open-back and closed-back headphones? Is there a big difference in sound between them?
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
8,391
Likes
13,569
Open-back headphones let in outside noise, closed-back headphones isolate you from outside noise.

Open-back headphones leak sound to the outside, closed-back don't.

Open-back headphones tend to have less bass than closed-back:
average_headphone_types.png

Open-back headphones are usually less sweaty than closed-back.

IMO, if your environment is quiet enough to where open-back headphones are viable, then I would choose open-back.
Closed-back only if you need the isolation.
But that's subjective.
 

Keith_W

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Messages
2,771
Likes
6,389
Location
Melbourne, Australia
@staticV3 covered it pretty well. But I would also add:

- open back usually have better soundstage than closed back. Subjective here, but to me open back also sounds more natural.
- seal and fit is important for both types of headphone, but it is even more important with closed back because you will lose bass if not properly sealed.

IMO, you should always choose open back UNLESS you specifically need closed back, i.e. isolation and to avoid disturbing others. This is why I only buy closed back headphones :(
 

daftcombo

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
3,689
Likes
4,075
If you're at home and want to be able to hear noises (door ringing, water boiling...) as if you had nothing on your ears, go for open-back.

If you want to listen to music in the train without disturbing the other travellers, go for closed-back.
 

MrNice13

Active Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2023
Messages
210
Likes
30
Location
Switzerland
If you're at home and want to be able to hear noises (door ringing, water boiling...) as if you had nothing on your ears, go for open-back
Haha even with open back I don't ear the boiling water if I listen some music.
I maybee blast the *** out of my phones but hey .. I enjoy it like that and it's the point of enjoying music.
 
Top Bottom