Open Back vs. Closed Back Headphones

Open back vs closed back headphones

To some people, headphones are headphones.

Not us.

Here at Headphone Critics, we love audio, and we love helping our readers understand the intricacies of their audio experience.

One of the biggest questions we get from readers is "what headphones should I buy?" There is a lot that goes into determining the answer to this, and among the biggest factors is whether you want open back headphones, or closed back.

Most people don't know the difference, so let's dig into this topic a little further.

Understanding The Mechanics of Headphones

In essence, headphones are miniature loudspeakers designed to project noise directly into your ear, rather than into the air.

Depending on the type of headphones you get, the amount of sound leakage that is allowed out will vary. This is where open back and closed back headphone designs come in.

What Are Closed-Back Headphones?

Closed-back headphones are designed to isolate the sound coming out of your headphones and minimize ambient noises. Large, over-ear closed-back headphones are the most effective type of headphone to use if you want to block out external noises.

Closed-back headphones are often used for things like audio mixing and playing video games. In these situations, the user wants to isolate the sound they are hearing, and drown out any distractions.

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What Are Open-Back Headphones?

Unlike closed-back headphones, open back headphones do not block out all ambient noise. They allow the user to hear what's going on in their headphones, as well as what's going on around them.

Open-back headphones are useful if you want to remain aware of what is going on around you. They are often used for multi-player gaming, in office environments and as a personal preference to some audiophiles.

Open Back vs. Closed Back Headphones -- Know The Difference

Put simply, open-back headphones allow for an airy sound, and closed-back headphones isolate the listener from outside noises so they can concentrate on what they're listening to.

Both open-back and closed-back are great for listening to music, but for some applications, closed-back headphones are more useful because they allow the user to concentrate on what they're listening to.

Ultimately the style of headphones that is best for you comes down to personal preference.

Let us know what type of headphones you prefer in the comments section below!

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