The 12 Best Open Back Headphones (2021 Reviews)

26 Min Read

This is a complete guide about the best open back headphones which you can use in 2021. We bring the list of 12 best ones with their reviews how they are the best and in which areas they lack. Which one you should buy? So, why are you waiting? Let’s dive into the article.

Because of their innovative nature, open back headphones have interactive sound quality. They can create a large and expansive sound system by reducing the level of isolation between you and your surroundings. Thus it sounds as you’re listening to music in your room instead of something in your ears.

Closed back headphones are known to produce an echo, while open back headphones are the best to generate genuine sound. That’s why recording and mixing specialists prefer such headsets to closed-back models. Open-back headsets are considered some of the best and most expensive audiophile headphones. However, there are several reasonably priced that can be used on a daily basis.

Regretfully, even though you’re wearing headphones at a decent volume, they pump a bunch of noise and can be distracting to those around you. They still have a hard time reducing noise levels. If you’re hunting for a pair of headphones that can be used for a variety of purposes, we suggest the closed back headphones. However, if you want to get the most out of your headphones, you are at the right place.

Open Back Vs Closed Back Headphones

Open Back:

Open-back headphones are unique because they permit air to flow freely between the ear cups and the speaker. Although open back headphones don’t filter out ambient noise as closed-back headphones can, you’ll be able to perceive a more realistic audio quality. Due to the lack of pressure, the sound is expected to be more realistic and high-quality.

Because of their structure, open back headphones release noise, allowing those in the vicinity to listen to whatever you’re listening to. If you’re a user of closed-back headsets, this may not sound exciting, but the best part is the interactive listening effects you’ll enjoy.

Closed Back:

Closed-back headphones are extremely popular, and you’ve probably utilized them at least once in your life. Closed-back headphones fully enclose the ears. It reduces the amount of sound that escapes the ear cups and prevents a lot of outside noise to enter your ears. The advantage is providing a secure music experience with limited sound distortion.

Breathability is also important; closed back headsets are far more inclined to make your ears hotter than open back headphones.

12 Best Open Back Headphones List

Now is the time to introduce our compiled list of the best open back headphones in 2021. You may not really know where to begin because of so many possibilities. So, these are our picks:

1. Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 600

Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 600 Open Back Headphone

The Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 600 requires no explanation if you’re an expert on these things. Some consider them to be the most well-known open back headphones under 500 dollars ever made.

The high price, on the other hand, can discourage people. But before you check its price, consider the fact that if you buy them, they’re worth the money. The Sennheiser HD 600 is very much a giant of a set of headphones, with aluminum voice coils, a comfortable fit, crisp and precise frequencies at all levels, a removable cord, and a metal mesh grille design.

The Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 600 mainly consists of plastic. However, that doesn’t indicate it wouldn’t have a strong feel to it. It has a much higher quality experience than rivals such as the Beyerdynamic DT880 and the AKG K701. The HD 600 really stands out when we consider longevity. Every portion, including the ear pads, is easy to replace and it can be purchased on the web.

Only the K501 and DT880 pose a significant challenge to the Sennheiser HD 600 in terms of capability or convenience. When using these headsets, there is no need to take a break; you can bear them for a long duration.

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2. AKG K 701 Ultra Reference Class Stereo Headset

AKG K 701 Ultra Reference Class Stereo Headphone

If you need to save a few dollars, this is a viable option. They’re advertised as “optimized for DJs,” but they’re actually the best open back headphones for mixing in particular. The AKG K 701 has a solid construction, making it a wise purchase, as well as extremely clear sound, a 3-D shaped ear pad design, and very well frequency response.

When thinking about the cost, we’re still in the high-end variants. So get these headphones if you can’t pay for the DT-990 but also want to be associated with the best budget open back headphones available in the market. As AKG is a well-known brand for its products, so AKG K 701 is also one of our favorites and in today’s headphones list.

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SENNHEISER HD 800 S Best Open Back Headphones

There’s really no other way to explain the Sennheiser HD 800 S as an excellent piece of open-back headphone innovation. For a neutral tone, these excellently manufactured headphones are a great choice. They’re also very pleasant, so you won’t get scared to wear them for long durations.

While the Sennheiser HD 800 S looks similar to the previous one, the performance of the headsets, including materials and construction, has improved significantly. The core is composed of a high polymer that is both lightweight and sturdy. On the other hand, luxury Alcantara is used within the headphones. The ear cap style is very open, as you can see or almost touch the driver. While the backend is very well covered, you might want to keep them inside to avoid exposure to dirt, sand, water, or other particles.

They feature a very pleasant, neutral sound quality overall, making them perfect for listening to a wide range of audio. They have an excellent passive sound quality performance because of their open-back layout, so you’ll remain totally involved in your favorite songs. Due to its convenient wired-only style, you can enjoy long sessions of music without thinking about the battery.

Sad to say, they fail to replicate a thumpy low-bass, as do many open-back headphones, which might be frustrating if you enjoy bass-heavy songs. They even miss sound customizability and a mic for making calls or talk with others.

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4. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Audiophile Open-Air Headphones Black

The full open-air style Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X headphones provide no feeling of stress on the ears, resulting in a perfectly natural experience. These are wrapped in a durable honeycomb aluminum shell, giving you a more realistic audio quality.

The hallmark of these headphones is the excellent combination of superb peaks and lows for exceptional sound quality. Thanks to the innovative new 53mm drivers and bobbin-wound CCAW speech coils.

In addition, customers who bought this set discovered that the self-adjustable wing support dynamically adjusts to your head size for a fantastic soundtrack. These headphones combine versatility and a no-tangle build to provide everything you might want in a pair of headphones. It thus makes them the best pick on the list as the best open back headphones for gaming in 2021.

The one other feature that customers have praised is the clarity in sound and presence of the headphones. This thing makes these headsets the perfect option for listening to live shows, with an almost real-life sound.

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5. Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back

Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones Most of us are aware that the more costly anything is, the more probable it is to work better. But what if the best open back headphones under 100 dollars might compete with the Sennheiser HD 600 and AKG K240? The Samson SR850 semi-open back headphones will assist with that. Should never consider us wrong: they won’t be able to match the sound quality of a set of headphones costing over $100, but they may be able to approximate it to some degree.

The Samson SR850 Headphones feature a linear resonant frequency, makes them perfect for vital mixing and playing music. Due to the headphones’ innovative 50mm neodymium drivers, the high-frequency response is clean and pleasant, and the bass response is hot and solid. The semi-open, headphone design decreases ear strain and makes long mixing or listening periods easier to hear.

The lightweight velour ear cushions on the SR850 are convenient and firmly placed for almost any ear, and the self-adjusting band promises a perfect fit. If you’re recording, blending, or just chilling out and listening to music, these are the perfect ones for you.

In general, the sound quality is unrivaled at this price bracket. We discovered that even headphones costing twice as much struggle to equal the audio quality of the Samson SR850, which is very impressive.

When it comes to flaws, it’s difficult to find something to complain about, particularly because the SR850 is the most satisfying headphones in our review. However, if we’re to be selective, we believe the sound lacks ‘depth,’ and the headsets come across a little harsh on occasions.

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6. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR

Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR

Fidelio X2HR combines classic architecture with a sound spectrum that is crystal clear and precise. Plunge yourself in the atmosphere of your own personal concert perfectly at home with the Philips Fidelio X2HR.

We’ve examined the Philips Fidelio X2HR, these are the best open back headphones under 200 dollars. These ones have strong durability, as well as portable audio wires and metal accents to help emphasize their style. Their perfect ear cups and automatically changing headband often provide a perfect experience.

Each speaker is hand-selected, tuned, and checked before being matched for the most original sound. The 50mm drivers use high-powered neodymium magnets to accurately replicate all of your soundtrack’s complexities and offer a well-balanced sound with clear bass, smooth mid-range, and pure high frequencies.

They have a sound profile that is very reliable and neutral, making them ideal for a wide range of audio formats. Although they miss the low bass such as in many open-back headphones, they still provide adequate bass and impact to your combinations. They also contain a large sound system that feels natural and as if it’s flowing from speakers everywhere around you, not within your ears.

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7. Sennheiser HD 599 SE

Sennheiser HD 599 SE

The Sennheiser HD 599 SE is a stunning and perfect introduction to the iconic 500 lineups. It leads the lineup with its luxury build, elegant noise, and quality performance.

The HD 599 SE (Special Edition) is identical to the regular HD 599, with the exception of the color combination. The standard ivory and brown colors have now been replaced with an all-black design featuring silver highlights, making it more attractive to the public at large. Apart from its appearance, the Sennheiser HD 599 seems to have a lot of potentials, including outstanding functionality and high-quality sound.

This open-back, around-the-ear headphone produces a perfect overall sound with outstanding clarity and depth, as well as excellent spatial efficiency. Wide ear cups with soft velour ear cushions and a supportive headband offer excellent wearing ease. At the first glimpse, this headset emphasizes consistency with its traditional black build and matte metallic silver details.

Vocals, particularly in acoustic soundtracks, are straightforward and have a soft quality. Eventually, the treble is subdued but extremely precise. Sennheiser has seemed to get everything quite fine, with no cracking noise or needless harshness.

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The HIFIMAN HE-400i is a full-size planar magnetic headphone with excellent sound quality, built for actively listening. The HE-400i is 30 percent lighter than the HE-400, enabling the user to reliably listen to music for extended periods of time.

A redesigned headband and beveled hybrid ear pads add convenience and increase the audio quality. It can be powered with a small amplifier or portable audio player due to its improved 93dB efficiency.

Magnetic technology has the potential to ensure that the signal is distributed evenly, resulting in no interference. As a result, these headphones are excellent for listening to music events. It also has a large sound stage, so that you can clearly hear the musicians or instruments.

The latest headphone production saves even more weight and improves sensitivity. The HE400i has a stunning and fresh look thanks to ABS Polymer ear cups with a matte charcoal surface. Its enhanced pressure design is built to offer comfort that is unrivaled in the industry. The HE-400i also looks awesome on smartphones and tablets, but without a portable amplifier, it won’t reach maximum volume.

You’re overlooking its layout if you believe its sound or ease is its only benefit. It’s amongst the most trendy pairs of audiophile headsets we’ve seen. The glossy charcoal finishing on the cups demonstrates to others that you are passionate about your music.

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9. Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X

Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X

The Sennheiser PC37X boasts the same excellent sound and microphone quality as Sennheiser’s best gaming headphones, with unique modifications to make it perfect. The flexible headband is comfortable and safe, regardless of head size, and the big, luxurious velvet ear pads provide a roomy fit.

The 10-foot plaited cable is large enough to hit the back of computer towers, and the right earcup features a volume control wheel for easy adjustments in the heat of war. The PC37X is a stylish and modest device, one of the best open back headphones for gaming. Since every part is glossy black, it will blend in with your office or combat station.

The PC37X maximizes natural sound replication by using drivers that are located at an angle, which is usually found in even more costly headphones.

To put it another way, the PC37X improves your game by allowing you to sense opponents and feel your surroundings further easily. It provides great stereo imaging and location-based precision. Because of the angled drivers and open-back style, allowing you to locate enemy movements, gunshots, and incoming attacks instantly from where they are approaching.

The device also has an extra microphone for large volume and low-distance recording. The mic is made to carry annoying pops and hisses, this makes it an ideal unit for online gaming. You didn’t have to think about anything interfering with your gaming experience if you’re using a noise-canceling mic to increase the mute activity.

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10. ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Wired Headset

ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Wired Headset

For eSports athletes, content creators, and streamers, the ASTRO A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro TR for PS4, PC, and Mac is the ultimate sound option. It meets the demanding audio quality, convenience, and reliability requirements of eSports athletes. The Dolby Digital Sound System technology in the MixAmp Pro TR allows for lag-free and -disturbance-free transmission of game sound and voice communication.

The A40 TR is another among the best open back headphones for gaming in 2021 with a standard microphone that can be swapped out and Speaker Tags that can be customized. By attaching a Mod Kit with closed Speaker Tags, leather ear cushions, and a voice-isolating microphone, the headset turns into a closed-back.

These over-ears are available in PC/PS4 and Xbox One versions, so you can choose one which fits your requirements. Their MixAmp controller is a fantastic addition for gamers because it lets you change audio level and chat mixing on the fly, loop through EQ presets, and support Dolby Surround Sound. Even in noisy conditions, their strong mic ensures the voice sounds clear, filled, and often without any background sound.

With the exception of their inconsistent treble response, their sound profile is very well balanced. Fortunately, you can tweak it with their Astro Command Center companion software’s graphic EQ and audio settings. These headsets are a great pick if you’re searching for gaming headphones that enable you to completely delve in your game while also offers a range of custom functions.

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11. Philips Audio Philips SHP9500

Philips Audio Philips SHP9500

The Philips SHP9500 HiFi headsets are the best headphones you can buy on a limited budget. All about this headphone is fine, from the 50 mm neodymium drivers to the connectors that are coated with gold.

With a maximum response of 35 kHz, the natural frequency range is very wide. The SHP9500 is committed to delivering clear peaks and intense lows, perfect for everybody, thanks to its low resistance and high accuracy. It may just be Philips’ one of the best open-back headphones under 100 dollars.  A double-padded headband and extremely comfortable to wear cushions make wearing these buds for long periods of time a pleasure.

The headband on the SHP9500 is made of cold-rolled steel, which offers really just the correct amount of pressure while still ensuring strength and stiffness. The headband’s size can also be adjusted with labeling for the best fit.

It is so comfortable that you can wear it for many hours without having even just a glimmer of irritation. The other fantastic feature of this unit is the length of the cable, which measures 3 meters. You can perform your regular tasks even by wearing them in your room. You’ll get high-fidelity sound, luxury, and reliability at such a value that won’t break the tank.

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12. GRADO SR80e Prestige Series

GRADO SR80e Prestige Series

The GRADO SR80e open-back digital headphones are an improvement over the SR80i. The GRADO SR80e are yet another set of decent open back headphones that are prepared to charm you with their cost to quality ratio.

The SR80 features a four-conductor linking cord and wider ear cushions for a more spacious sound system. This offers better bass stability, which delivers excellent accuracy. The earcups have foam earpads and are completely round. When compared to a leather alternative, foam ear pads are unquestionably less expensive. Grado has designed their ear cushions which are interchangeable, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

The GRADO SR80e doesn’t actually curl across your ears as other headsets do. Rather, they provide an on-ear fit. This isn’t to say they aren’t reliable; the metal rods protruding from the headband adapt to your head immediately for a secure fit.

There are no complications when we talk about the noise reduction and leakage of the sound with these headphones. The sound leakage from GRADO SR80e just feels like a broken tap. As a result, selecting the right environment is crucial when choosing your music.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does open back headphones mean?

When we look at the design, the open-back headphones are very identical to the closed-back ones but with a specific difference. Holes which are constructed in the outer shell let air and audio to easily move via the earcup. The ventilated design reduces stress buildup and promotes a much more organic noise, which is great for actively listening.

What is the best open back headphone?

The above, we have listed the 12 top quality and best open back headphones which you can buy. These are the following:

  1. Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 600
  2. AKG K 701 Ultra Reference Class Stereo Headset
  4. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X
  5. Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back
  6. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR
  7. Sennheiser HD 599 SE
  8. HIFIMAN HE-400I
  9. Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X
  10. ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Wired Headset
  11. Philips Audio Philips SHP9500
  12. GRADO SR80e Prestige Series

Are open back headphones better?

Open-back headphones have better sound transmission at the cost of isolation. Since open-back headphones do not filter out background noises, everyone around will be able to understand whatever you’re listening to. This lack of loneliness, on the other hand, results in a unique listening experience.

What’s the point of open back headphones?

With open back headphones, air can flow through the ear cups and into the speaker section. This prevents tension from building up in your headset and affecting your tone, as well as reflections. Numerous high-quality headphones have open backs that make them sound more real and plain.

Can others also hear open back headphones?

You are not the only person enjoying your favorite music when listening through open-back headsets. But the other people in your surrounding are also able to hear what you are listening to by wearing your headphones.

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