Best Open-Back Headphones

The best open-back headphones make for an immersive listening experience. By lowering the level of insulation between you and your environment, they can produce a wide, spacious soundstage that feels like you’re listening to the speakers in your room rather than something in your ears. On the other hand, they leak a lot of sounds, even when you’re listening to music at a reasonable level, and can distract people around you. They also have trouble reducing background noise.

If you’re looking for something for mixed-use, check out our recommendations for closed-back headphones, but if you’re looking for a great sound experience with your headphones, this is the place to be.

Best Open-Back Headphones

We’ve tested several headphones and below you’ll find our recommendations for the best open-back headphones you can buy. If you’re still looking for headphones, check out our recommendations for the best audiophile headphones and the best noise-canceling headphones.

1. Sennheiser HD 800 S

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Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System

Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am
$1,488.83 $1,699.95

The Sennheiser HD 800 S is the best open-back headphones we’ve tested so far. They have an eye-catching design and feel very durable, with metal and high-quality plastic construction. Their spacious ear cups, lined in a premium suede-like material, deliver a highly consistent listening experience, no matter what shape the wearer’s head is. Their sound profile is very neutral, with impressive treble accuracy and extremely smooth midrange; vocals, lead instruments, and all other higher-frequency sounds will be very clear.

That said, fans of bass-heavy genres such as EDM and hip-hop may prefer to thump and kick a little more. Fortunately, they provide a very large, spacious, and natural sound image. Unfortunately, their very high price makes them out of reach for most. Their bulky design also means that listeners with smaller heads may find them a little too cumbersome to wear for long periods of time.

2. HiFiMan Ananda

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HIFIMAN Ananda Over-Ear Full-Size Planar Magnetic Headphones with High Fidelity Design Easy...

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Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am

If you are looking for open-back headphones with a great, immersive sound at a less expensive price, take a look at the HiFiMan Ananda. These headphones have a slight lack of build quality and soundstage compared to the Sennheiser HD 800 S but have a similarly well-balanced sound profile at a significantly lower price. They are still very comfortable and have even slightly more bass than the Sennheiser. However, they may have inconsistent quality control, and a few users report problems with their units.

Still, if you can get a well-functioning pair, these headphones can give you a great listening experience on par with other more expensive over-ears. If you’re looking for premium headphones that can give you a unique and immersive listening experience, get the Sennheiser. However, if you’re looking for something a little more wallet-friendly and aren’t worried about quality control issues, check out the HiFiMan. Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones right now.

3. Astro A40 TR

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ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Wired Headset + MixAmp Pro TR with Dolby...

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Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am
$199.99 $249.99

Astro Gaming has established itself as one of the most consistent high-quality gaming headset manufacturers. The A50 wireless headset offers excellent build quality and performance, and the A10 remains one of our top choices for budget wired headsets. However, the latest version of Astro’s wired A40 TR Headset with MixAmp Pro TR faces some very tough competition in the high-end wired headset field.

The $249.99 package, which includes both the A40 TR headset and MixAmp Pro TR USB headphone amplifier (available for PC and Playstation 4, or PC and Xbox One) has a lightweight, comfortable fit and very strong audio performance. It’s worth your attention if you’re looking for a wired gaming headset at the tournament level, even if it doesn’t stand out as the absolute top in its field. Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones right now.

4. Philips SHP9500

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Philips Audio Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-Ear Headphones (Black)

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Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am
$79.99 $90.00

Great sound quality for neutral listening. The SHP9500 delivers a comfortable listening experience and reproduces tracks with above-average fidelity. Bass, midrange, and treble are well-balanced, and the large, open ear cups give these headphones a spacious soundstage. The SHP9500 are very comfortable headphones. They have large ear cups that easily fit around the ears of most listeners. They are not too tight or heavy on the head for their size.

The headband, like the ear cups, is well padded, but with a slightly rougher fabric that is not as comfortable on the skin as the leather or faux leather used on some models. The Phillips SHP9500 has a utilitarian design that looks good without being too flashy. They come in a matte black color scheme emphasized by the metal frame and the Philips branding on the ear cups and headband. Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones right now.

5. Superlux HD 681

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Superlux HD 681 Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones

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Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am
$34.95 $69.95

The Superlux HD 681 is a good, inexpensive option for neutral listening. They have slightly more expansive bass than the HD 668 and deliver satisfactory sound reproduction that goes well with instruments and vocals. They have a relatively flat midrange, but sound slightly sharper due to the bump in the high/mid/low tones, especially on tracks that are already a bit loud. Unfortunately, they don’t have as compelling Soundstage as some of the other is fully open-back headphones, but overall the sound quality of the HD 681 like the HD 668B is good for both casual and neutral listeners.

6. Sennheiser HD 600

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Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional Headphone

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Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am
$299.00 $399.95

Sennheiser HD 600 is considered one of the best neutral headphones. After more than 20 years, these headphones still deliver true audiophile sound quality. The HD 600 is perfect for critical listening at a very affordable price. In this Sennheiser HD 600 review, we discuss specifications, build quality, comfort and fit, sound quality, and a quick comparison with different headphones. You can also see how the HD 600 stacks up in our lists of the best open-back headphones or our best budget audiophile headphones.

7. Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X

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Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X Audiophile Open-Air Headphones, Black (AUD ATHAD500X)

Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am

Earlier we talked about the superior sound quality of the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro for just under $200. But what about the best open-back headphones under $100? Well, the Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X headphones might come close! These headphones offer excellent versatility and quality for the price and are a particularly good option for anyone starting out with audiophile headphones.

For those who play video games, you’ll certainly appreciate the Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X headphones for their precise positioning and great sound imaging while playing. With their comfortable construction, great sound quality, and ridiculously good value for money, these headphones may be the only thing you’re looking for as a beginner audiophile. Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones right now.

8. GRADO SR80e Prestige Series

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GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones

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Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am

Grado Labs may not be a world-famous headphone manufacturer, but this hasn’t stopped them from making high-quality products. The GRADO SR80e open-back stereo headphones are an upgrade of the SR80i, which was released a few years ago. Unlike most manufacturers, Grado Labs do not mass produce their headphones in Chinese factories. Instead, they are a relatively small family business in Brooklyn, New York. Handmade and just under $100, the GRADO SR80e are another pair of good starter open-back headphones ready to dazzle you with the price to performance quality. Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones right now.

9. AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO

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AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Over-Ear, Semi-Open, Professional Studio Headphones

Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am

Are you looking for a cheap critical-listening pair of semi-open over-ear headphones, but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars? AKG’s K240 Studios may be just what you’re looking for retail under $100. The K240 Studios have their origins in the original blueprint that was first created and designed in 1975. The 1975 version of these headphones had 6 passive radiators to amplify the bass response, which was eventually refined to the model we have today. It’s no surprise that the design has lasted for over 40 years with such impressive audio quality. Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones right now.

10. Samson SR850

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Samson Technologies SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones, Black

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Last update was on: 2020-11-24 8:33 am
$49.99 $71.41

In the course of this list, we have talked about varying headphone prices. As many of us know, the more expensive something is, the more likely it is to offer better performance. But what if a pair of headphones could be under $50 and perform at the Sennheiser HD600 and the AKG K240? Well, that’s where the Samson SR850 semi-open-back headphones come into play. Don’t get us wrong, they certainly won’t be on par with headphones over $100, but they could mimic the sound quality to some extent. Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones right now.

Final words

So, these are our best open-back headphones that you can buy right now. As you can see, there is a time and place for both headphone designs. All the designs are going to give you prestige audio quality compared to those typical over-marketed or stocked headphones you see all over the gym. So if you just want to enjoy your favorite playlist with a nice pair of headphones, one of both designs will do.

Originally posted 2020-10-02 11:56:06.

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