Best open back headphones

You’re in the right spot if you’re looking for a recommendation on the top headphones with an open back. In this article, we’ll provide our top recommendations for a range of budgets to assist you in making an intelligent purchase. But before we dive into these, let’s define the definition of open-backs and why you might be interested in purchasing them.

Over-ear headphones are available in two varieties:  both open and closed back.

Closed-back headphones

Closed-back headphones come with earcups that are entirely enclosed, which means that once you wear them, they surround your ear with a tough outer shell. While they are great at blocking out any external sound, they are susceptible to a pronounced bass response because of the pressure of the air inside the casing. They also create the illusion that the music you’re hearing comes from your head.

Open-back headphones:

Open-back headphones come with air-conditioned ear cups, which allow air to flow across the shell through a mesh. Many say that this breathability results in open, natural audio and more excellent stereo quality, making it feel like you’re in the same room with the music they’re listening to.

The main drawback of open-back headsets is that, along with the air, the sound could leak out and in. Because of this, they’re not an ideal option for recording microphones in the studio because the sounds of your tracks could bleed into and then be heard by microphones. Also, open-back cans aren’t the best for blocking background sound in noisy settings and keeping your selections private while playing music on public transportation.

Open-back Headphones — What Are They Good For?

If you’re not familiar with the idea, don’t fret. It may be challenging to understand the distinctions between open-back and closed-back headphones. Like everything else in the world of audio, hearing is the ability to comprehend. These are some scenarios in which we at Sweetwater can easily suggest (or do not recommend) open-back and semi-open designs.

Home listening: Yes. Open-back headphones can create an audio stage unlike anything else, from classical to rock and live to studio. When you listen to the most excellent mixes, you’ll be able to pinpoint where the source material is coming from the stereo field, like the musicians were performing directly in front of your ears.

Studio mixing/mastering: Yes. Open-back headphones are the best choice if you’re looking for the smoothest response and the most accurate rendition of your music’s sound in other playback systems.

Monitoring via your soundboard: It’s not possible. Loud music can make you fight with your headphone amp to bring the right level for your ears, which could harm your ears’ health. Make sure you have a good set of closed-back headphones.

The tracking process at the Studio Tracking in the studio:  It’s not possible. You will not only struggle to create the proper separation needed to monitor yourself accurately while tracking, but you are also at risk of introducing bleeding from microphones. In this scenario, they aren’t an ideal choice.

Real-world consumption of music: Perhaps. It depends on the type of situation. If you’re walking or hiking to work, open-back headphones are fabulous, not just because internal bleeding will be more minor, and you’ll be able to listen to traffic coming towards you and cyclists. If you’re listening closely to the ocean or commuting on a train, the noise level is probably too high for you to appreciate the music.

Closed-back headphones vs. Open-back Headphones – What’s the difference?

In the traditional closed-back headphones, the audio drivers have shut away from the outside world. The benefit of this design is twofold: increased bass response and isolation of listening. With closed-back headphones, reference audio remains within while ambient noise, like background noise or conversations, remains outside.

The downside of closed-back headphones is they may make you feel ill-advised “inside your head” and can be uncomfortable for listeners due to no airflow, and the air inside the earcups gets in a closed-back earcup.

Another option is open-back headphones. These headphones are excellent at delivering realistic realism and creating an authentic soundstage. In contrast to closed-back models, open-back ones do not have any sealing that separates drivers from the world outside. This can result in more natural bass and more acoustic sound that is more realistic and better reflects the program’s content. One disadvantage of headphones with open backs is the lack of isolation. In addition to the ambient noise infiltrating and out, the music you’re listening to is likely to spill out. We assure you that you’ll drive your colleagues and family members crazy listening to music on open-back headphones when you’re close in moderately loud settings.

The difference between headphones with closed-backs and open-backs is similar to those between open-back and closed-back cabinets for guitars. Closed-back headphones generally provide greater bass resonance and rear isolation, while open-back cabs sound more spacious and more reflective of the driver’s features in the mix.

Semi-open headphones make up the distinction between the two styles. They offer a degree of isolation while still providing the authentic response of open-back headphones.

Ways to choose the best Open-Back Headphones for You

The open-back headphones are sought-after for their natural stage and more out-of-the-head style. They are usually preferred over even-sized speakers for personal listening as one can set the volume up without disturbing the neighbors.

There are many options in every price range, so deciding on the best open-back headphones is difficult. In the end, you could end up with the wrong product for your requirements.

Additionally, there are always mistakes along the way. The headphones with the best-balanced tonality may not offer the greatest soundstage or clarity. However, headphones with a high resolution could require a more expensive amplifier to provide them with power.

Every time, there’s a second thought, not putting it lightly.

Do not worry — we have you covered! After going through the vast majority of highly praised headphones available in price ranges, this carefully curated list was compiled.

Before getting to the list of winners, we’ll look at the elements that influenced us the most in deciding the winner.


A properly-designed headphone can provide endless hours of listening with ease without the hassle of taking them off. The heavy magnets of headphones can pressure your head and contribute to discomfort over time. On the other hand, headphones that aren’t adequately cushioned around the headband are poorly made, and high tension can cause physical pain.

Even the most potent headphones may be rugged for you to enjoy if they’re not comfortable or ergonomically optimized. Therefore, comfort is one of the most critical factors when selecting a pair of open-back headphones.


As you’re probably aware, headphones are available in various dimensions and styles, so it’s crucial to consider them before deciding. While choosing large headphones to have higher quality sound is tempting, remember that this isn’t the scenario. Smaller or standard-sized headphones typically have the best sound quality and are lighter, making them less likely to be worn for an extended duration.

Driver type

Open-back headphones use different drivers, and each driver type brings something unique to the mix. Please look at our guide to the different kinds of drivers to find out more. The driver you choose to choose depends on the individual’s personal preferences.

Certain people prefer the tonal depth and the impact on the bass of dynamic drivers. Some may like the sound of a planar magnetic driver or the rapidity in electrostatic membranes.

The driver type might not be the essential factor in the decision-making process. However, they do provide qualities that people can anticipate from the headphones.

Tonal profile

A pair of headphones with an open back can only be so good as their sound, where personal preferences and pet peeves become a factor.

The idea behind a “neutral” sound often varies among manufacturers. Additionally, tuners can include their unique flavor to the frequency response, resulting in an individual “house sound.”

Too loud or bright headphones obscure the subtleties in the mid-range and become exhausting to listen to for long durations—something to be cautious of before purchasing.

Technical expertise

The last, but certainly not last, but certainly not most minor: technicalities. This is a generic phrase we employ here to describe the soundstage, imaging, and the available resolution of the headphones with open backs of the subject.

The more a pair of headphones can do in this area, the more information you’ll get from your music. A large, rich soundstage will give you the impression that you’re in a concert hall, and these elements are also considered.

Semi-open headphones make up the distinction between the two styles. They offer a degree of isolation while still providing the authentic response of open-back headphones.

List of best open-back headphones

 Sony WH-1000XM5

Perfect for business


  • Acoustic designClosed
  • Weight250g
  • Frequency response:5-40,000Hz
  • Drivers30mm carbon fibre composite dome
  • Battery life:30 hours

The wildly popular WH-1000 series from Sony has perhaps stalled a bit in the case of the Sony WH-1000XM5 series of headphones, but they’ve reached the high-end of the line. The newest Sony Over-Ear ANC headphones are among the top you can get for your money in the present, even though they’re more than available in previous versions.

If you prefer the new design that is lighter (which cannot be folded down, but the earcups can lie down), and if you don’t, they’re comfortable. The user-friendly features can’t be ignored and include: recognizing that the headphones are put on your back, playing music at a pause, noticing you’re talking and turning down the volume, or turning off the noise-canceling features while you’re in a busy area, the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones will anticipate precisely what you’d like them to do, without having to push the button. The innovative features are more responsive and more responsive than earlier models – and they have noise-canceling capabilities, and audio quality is superior to the competition at this level.

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

best open-back headphones for mixing


  • Acoustic design: Open
  • Weight: 370g
  • Response to frequency:5-40,000Hz
  • Drivers:45mm dynamic Tesla neodymium
  • Life of the battery: N/A

The brand’s DT770, DT880, and DT990 over-ear headphones were famous for their high-end build and sound quality.

Above all the others is the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, an open-back variant from the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro. It is one of the headphones that were the Editor’s Choice for its imaging design, style, and value. Both headphones cost the same price ($599 (AU$1,159 / PS589 / $599), and you’ll not get a bargain if you buy both. The difference, in this case, is due to the sound.

Since they’re open-back and open-back, the DT 1990 Pro is meant to be used at home or on the set for intense listening. We found that sound can move in and out. However, the best part is that the open-back design gives users a DT 1990 Pro an incredible feeling of space. The soundstage is broad, allowing even the most casual listener to identify precisely where the instruments are playing.

We believe the DT 1990 Pro are the most comfortable over-ear headphones; however, make sure you look into those Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro too for a closed-back model that is a bit more socially friendly.

Sony WH-1000XM4

The top all-rounder headphones for over-ears.


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: 253g
  • Response to frequency:4Hz to 40kHz
  • Drivers: 1.57-inch dome type
  • Battery Life:30 hours

Putting them into the same class as the more discerning listening over-ear headphones is unjust. The Sony WH-1000XM4 are among the most versatile headphones we’ve encountered since their predecessor, the WH-1000XM3 from Sony.

They sound fantastic and offer excellent noise cancellation; they can do it all wirelessly.

Other headphones for over-ears that we have listed offer better audio quality; indeed, however, the WH1000XM4 manages to provide the most balanced combination of performance and features.

Although they’re not much different from the headphones made by Sony which came before them, they do have a few new features, including the multipoint pair, DSEE Extreme upscaling, automatic play/pause, and conversational awareness with sensors built into the headphones, all make the WH-1000XM4 worthy of the title of the top headphones for 2022.

All this at any significant price increase over rivals means that the Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones are a fantastic all-around choice for music lovers on the go.

Sennheiser HD 800

best open-back headphones 2022


  • Acoustic design: Open
  • Weight: 330g
  • Response to frequency:14 – 44,100 Hz
  • Drivers: N/A
  • Life of the battery: N/A

The third item to our listing of top over-ear headphones could have been the top pick if they weren’t priced well more than $1,000, PS1,000, or $3,000. The Sennheiser HD 800 is undoubtedly one of the most potent and sonic pairs of headphones for over-ears on the planet. They are adored by the audiophile community’s inner circle worldwide.

When paired with the correct hardware, we found that they sound perfect and are balanced. With a rich, clear sound that can lead you to forget about your standard headphones, these are excellent headphones that feel good to wear.

They’re expensive and require more gear than the average consumer’s willingness to purchase. If you’re looking for – or we’ll admit it really in need – top-quality headphones over-ear, these headphones are for you.

Audeze LCD-1

The best audiophile headphones for the price.


  • Acoustic design: Open
  • Weight: 250g
  • Response to frequency:10 – 50,000 Hz
  • Drivers: 90mm planar
  • Life of the battery: N/A

With the LCD-1 headphones, Audeze has brought its quality and durability to the real-world(ish) cost. If you’re willing to listen in perfect isolation – and that design can cause some sound leakage, there’s no reason to ignore these headphones.

The LCD-1’s overall presentation, regardless of what you’re listening to or the volume you’re listening to, is composed, captivating, engaging, and entirely credible. Listen to music that you’ve not heard before, and you’ll no doubt that you’re getting the complete picture.

Listen to music you’ve heard thousands of times before, and there’s a possibility that the LCD-1s will discover something you’ve never heard before due to its enthrallingly clear playback. At least, that was our experience while trying out these low-cost headphones.

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones

The best headphones for over-ear use for low latency


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: 310g
  • Response to frequency:10 – 30,000 Hz
  • Drivers: 43.6mm full range
  • Battery Life:30 hours

If you’re in the market for top-of-the-line headphones with wireless technology and noise-canceling headphones and aren’t frightened by the $399/PS349 or AU$600 cost, The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is worthy of consideration.

After a few hours of listening to these headphones for over-ear use, We think the advanced noise-canceling technology, improved sound quality, and refined design of the PX7 can provide any of the headphones in this list a fair run in the race. The highs are clear, the mids are rounded out, and the bass is deep but still supple, which keeps anyone, even die-hard bass enthusiasts, extremely content.

In addition, they’re equipped with aptX Adaptive to improve performance and stability between the headphones and your phone and the highest-quality (24-bit) streaming with aptX HD that’s brought to the table. Battery life of 30 to 40 hours will ensure they’ll last quite a while.

Sennheiser HD 560S

The best headphones to analyze music


  • Acoustic design: O

The Sennheiser HD 560S headphones are intended to be a tool in the broadest sense. If you’re looking to dig at the finer details of a song or even to compare A/B tracks, without any doubt, they’re the kind of headphones you’ll need. They’re not the best choice if you’re hoping to be enthused, entertained, and energized by your music.

The Sennheiser HD560S provides a shockingly clear listen in terms of sound quality. The soundstage that they refer to is extensive in all directions. The individual components of the recording show up on the stage within an ideal space.

Detail levels are incredibly high, whether it’s the timbre of instruments, vocal technique, or other aspects of recording. The HD560S also maintains a balanced, even balance from the lowest point of the frequency spectrum to the top of the range.

Philips PH805

best open-back headphones for gaming


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: N/A
  • Resonance to frequencies:7 – 40,000Hz
  • Drivers: 40mm dynamic
  • Battery Life:30 hours

The Philips headphones are an exceptional value at $199/PS160 (around $290 in AU). These wireless headphones use Bluetooth 5 for connectivity so that high-resolution audio playback will be possible.

Utilizing a single Lithium-Ion battery that can provide as long as 30 hours of playback with a single charge Philips PH805 has active noise cancellation built-in to the board, controlled via two mics within each earcup. It worked exceptionally well during our tests with simple controls that aid in.

The quality of the build feels solid and reliable, even if it gets the temperature can be a bit warm at certain moments. The audio quality is remarkable for its price. It has well-controlled low-frequency, thumping highs and detailed mids that give vocals a true feeling of personality.

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019)


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: N/A
  • Response to frequency:6Hz to 22kHz
  • Drivers: 42mm
  • The battery life is17 hours

For the audio quality, these headphones from Sennheiser sound fabulous with high levels of detail, warm bass, and natural highs.

A custom-designed noise cancellation feature is a nice feature. However, we discovered that it’s not quite up to the high standards set by Sony and Bose. Battery life isn’t as competitive as the Sony WH1000XM4, which is much more expensive.

So, why buy the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019)? It’s a good question if its built-in Tile tracking appeals to your tastes, as well as if you love the sleek design and high-end materials used in the Momentum Wireless, that could be a good reason – and If you choose to buy it instead of the Sony model You won’t be missing any quality of audio. In this respect, they’re equal.

Sennheiser PXC 550-II

The most elegant and subtle over-ear headphones


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: 227g
  • Response to frequency:17-23,000Hz
  • Drivers: 32mm dynamic
  • Battery Life:20 hours

The design, battery life, and sound quality of the PCX 550-II sound are impressive. It has upgraded the PCX 550 model with the most current Bluetooth standard, enhanced audio capabilities, and intelligent features. Simple and comfortable, these models are ideal for those with smaller ears because they cannot overwhelm them.

The PCX 550-II in-ear headphones are less expensive than those of Momentum Wireless, a bit more subtle in appearance and undoubtedly not as significant, and have a classy design and sound.

In our tests, we discovered the low frequencies possess fantastic texture and detail, the mids have a rich sound, and the trebles have a natural sparkle and attack and make the PCX 550-II an extremely pleasant listen, regardless of the music you prefer.

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless

The best headphones for over-ears for your home.


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: N/A
  • Response to frequency:16-22,000Hz
  • Drivers: Dynamic
  • Battery Life:25+ hours

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless are the best wireless headphones that you can purchase, in any case. The sound is clean and spacious and will make you feel like you’re re-discovering your music collection. They might not impress you with a booming bass or sparkling high, but they provide consistently clear audio, like moving from 1080p to 4K with your ears.

A wide range of codec support, including AAC, SBC, aptX HD, aptX, and The LL, is also helpful for those looking for the finer points. Around 25 hours of battery usage in our tests indicate you’ll have it for quite a time.

They’re heavier at 380g than Bose QuietComfort 35’s 235g. their average level of noise isolation makes them unsuitable to take on a trip. But, if you’re searching for the highest quality sound quality from headphones that can be worn over the ear to music at home, you cannot be disappointed with these Beyerdynamic headphones.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

The top noise-canceling, over-ear headphones


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: 25g
  • Response to frequency: N/A
  • Drivers: N/A
  • Battery Life:20 hours

They’re not as great as the Sony WH-1000XM4’s battery lifespan and price, but Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700 are an excellent pair of over-ear headphones.

Through noise cancellation on both phone calls and music, they provide world-class technology, the most vibrant, energetic audio, and a large soundstage that is well-balanced and balanced.

When you decide between the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, we’d suggest you go with the former due to the lower price and longer battery life.

Check out the complete report: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Apple AirPods Max

The most suitable headphones for Apple fans.


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: 350g
  • Response to Frequency: N/A
  • Drivers: 40mm dynamic
  • Battery Life:20 hours

The Apple AirPods Max was the most anticipated and sought-after headphones for a long time. They’ve been the subject of speculation and rumors for over two years. They have active noise canceling features, outstanding sound quality, and a unique design that distinguishes them from other noise-canceling headphones.

Although their outstanding audio performance and world-class ANC impress, they’re let down by their pricey and expensive, confusing carrying case and the absence of support Hi-Res Audio codecs.

Despite their cost and high price, AirPods Max isn’t cheap. AirPods Max isn’t aimed toward audiophiles because they don’t have a 3.5mm audio connector; instead, they’re designed for Apple’s Apple ecosystem card-carrying users, featuring nifty features for iOS users with a distinctive Apple-inspired style.

For Android users, the AirPods Max is simply a top-quality pair of noise-canceling headsets with an exciting design regardless of how amazing they sound. We don’t imagine how their cost is justified for those who use them.

However, if you’ve joined Apple’s Apple ecosystem, you’ve got plenty of cash to spare. If you don’t need high-quality audio, there aren’t any headphones with better sound quality or more user-friendly as AirPods Max. AirPods Max.

V-Moda M-200 Studio Headphones

The perfect headphones for those who like to personalize


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: 290g
  • Frequency response: 5Hz – 40kHz
  • Drivers: 50mm
  • Life of the battery: N/A

This includes professionals such as DJs, music producers, and video editors. Some gamers and audio enthusiasts prefer a headphone with wires for their dependability.

The style for the M-200 is typical V-Moda. The earcups are a classic V-Moda geometric, angular shape, and the construction quality is superb, using a combination of aluminum and plastic with sweat-resistant and sweatproof PU leather.

Despite their unique shape, they fold nicely and are protected by their hard case.

Certified Hi-Res Audio You will get a good range of frequencies to enjoy high-bitrate audio tracks. The balanced cable lets you listen to the right and left channels to provide more clarity and resolution.

Compared to their predecessor, the M-100, and its high-end bass, The M-200s are a more neutral listening experience, with only a mild warmth in the middles.

Yes, M-200s are expensive. M-200 costs a lot, but worth the cost for the high-quality sound, clarity built quality, and its unique plates that can be customized.

JBL Tune 750BTNC

The most affordable and cheap headphones for over-ear use


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: 220g
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Drivers: 40mm
  • The battery life is15 – – 22 hours

JBL is a household name for headphones and Bluetooth headphones, and it’s rightly so. The brand is reliable and trustworthy, so customers know what they can expect from the company’s excellent sound quality for reasonable prices.

We saw this when we tested the earlier JBL Live 650BTNC – and it’s time to upgrade. In their place is JBL Tune 750BTNC. JBL Tune 750BTNC is a better alternative to the 650BTNCs as a top-quality and reasonably priced pair of headphones that can be worn over the ear.

Like Beats and feeling solid and secure, The JBL Tune 750BTNC feels more expensive than its price suggests.

We discovered that JBL Tune 750BTNC sounds excellent, looks stunning, and fits perfectly in our testing and testing. It is reliable and straightforward, but you could miss the waterproofing and a few other options like longer battery life. But you’d waste time complaining about it too often for the price.

Focal Stellia

The top headphones for luxury


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: 435g
  • Frequency response: 5Hz – 40kHz
  • Drivers: 40mm
  • The life expectancy of batteries: NA

The Focal Stellias sound amazing. Their expansive soundstage and detailed, precise sound treatment mean they can make any genre of music sound amazing.

If you are listening to music you believe you know all about, the same separation of frequencies will mean that you’ll likely notice details you’ve not seen before.

The reason they’re not on the list? They’re costly, costing $3,000/PS2,799 (about $2400 in AUD). As good as they may be, therein is the issue they’re expensive: The Focal Stellias are way too expensive for most, with nearly ten times the cost of our current top headphones that are all-rounders, like the Sony WF1000XM4.

If you love the sound of these high-end headphones but cannot just afford the cost, take a look at our first review of the hands-on Focal Elegia. The sound may not be as stunning as the Focal Stellia – or at most, we got from a brief listening session. However, they are still imposing. Focal Elegia headphones remain pretty remarkable.

Shure AONIC 50

The most reliable wireless headphones for high-quality audio


  • Acoustic design: Closed
  • Weight: 334g
  • Response to Frequency: N/A
  • Drivers: 50mm dynamic
  • Battery Life:20 hours

Shure AONIC 50 Shure AONIC 50 sports a wireless, active, noise-canceling, over-ear design sold at a higher cost to rival the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Bose NC 700 Headphones.

Bluetooth 5 connectivity lets you have an excellent 20-hour battery life and the ability to support Hi-Res audio files and every proper codec like LDAC, aptX HD, and aptX Low Latency. Ten levels of environment mode amplification and two kinds of noise cancellation offer additional options.

While you won’t get all the features you could want, like no-touch controls or auto-off features, The Shure AONIC50 focuses on providing the highest sound quality of nearly any noise-canceling headphones. They are the top headphones for over-ears for audiophiles.


What should I budget for headphones?

It all depends on your budget. You shouldn’t be obligated to stretch yourself to costs you can’t truly afford when looking for the best audio.

There are a lot of top low-cost headphones priced under $100 or PS100/AU$150. Check out brands such as Jabra and JBL for those looking to save money.

Wireless headphones with high-end specifications and Noise-cancelling headsets typically cost less than this. If you go to audiophile headphones designed for listening to analytic music, they will begin to rise – however; the headphones can last for many years if you care for them.

Should you invest in headphones with over-ears?

The decision to go with over-ear headphones or earbuds is a personal decision. There’s no wrong choice, but they typically offer more excellent battery life and better audio quality.

Because they are larger and more powerful, they can pack in an improved battery and higher-end features like the latest drivers. In their way, they provide better noise cancellation, and they shield your ears more thoroughly than earbuds.

But, some aspects of your decision-making process must be reduced to what you’re more at ease with. Earbuds are easy to store away. However, some people don’t like feeling them inside their ears. In contrast, headphones may feel more secure on your head. However, they weigh more and require more consideration for storage.

What do we try to test for the best headphones for over-ear use?

If you’re searching for an ideal pair of headphones for over-ear, this guide is focused on the sound quality above everything else.

There are cans we’d suggest for audiophiles and those who work in professional positions, all the way to the most effective over-ear solutions for people who just want to be focused at work or listen to music at home.

To assist you in comparing the headphones, we’ve provided different models if we believe they’re better suited in terms of cost, sound quality, and performance.

We’ve tested each of the headphones featured in this review thoroughly, spending a significant amount of time studying the quality of sound, the design, fit, specifications, and quality for the price.

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