Open vs Closed Headphones

Open vs Closed Headphones: Which Are Better?

When searching for headphones, you will have to choose between open back vs closed back headphones. There are many brands of these headphones available in the market. That is why it is important to know more about the different headphones types before buying them.

The visible differences between open and closed headphones are somewhat easy to see. Nevertheless, some considerations make these headphones differ in how they will be used and the quality of sound.

Continue reading to know more about open vs closed headphones and which headphones suit you best.

Open Back Vs Closed Back Headphones: How They Differ Physically

As mentioned, the physical differences between open-back and closed-back headphones are somewhat simple. The difference is primarily in the venting of their drivers.

For closed-back headphones, the driver is isolated in a closed ear cup. On the other hand, open-back headphones have grills or vents. This allows the air to pass freely around the electrostatic, planar, or dynamic drivers.

The physical structure of these headphones offers unique benefits.

Benefits of Open-Back Headphones

Here are the top benefits of open-back headphones:

Better Quality of Sound

If your priority is good sound quality, you can consider getting open-back headphones. There are exceptions to this. Nevertheless, most quality headphones have good ventilation. Some of the known headphones brands across the globe are open-back.

The drivers of open-back headphones can breathe without barriers due to pressure. Compared to closed-off headphones, the open-back type provides a more open and better listening experience. This makes the latter also closer to the quality of Hi-Fi speakers.

Open-back headphones have a special expansive and airy sound quality. Closed headphones have a traditional boxer sound quality with a deeper response to bass. Even though there are quality closed-back headphones, known headphone brands are often open-backed.

No More Sweating in Your Ears

It is indeed more relaxing if your ears are not enclosed in a small box. It is more comfortable if fresh air circulates around your ears.

Open-back headphones do a great job of preventing heat from building up in your ears. Therefore, listening will be a more enjoyable and relaxing experience.

The grills found at the back of these headphones provide ventilation to the drivers and your ears. That is because heat is dispersed more easily, so it feels cooler.

The issue with closed-back headphones is that they get warm. Therefore, some people opt to stop using it after several hours. If you have suffered the same kind of problem, getting open-back headphones might be the best option for you.

Better Weight

Because there are no external ear cup shells, open-back headphones are lighter. There are many extra materials used in making closed-back headphones.

Manufacturers of these headphones do this to prevent the chamber from creating unwanted resonance. You will find additional material used for closed-back headphones to dampen the sound.

This extra weight is an added burden to your ears. They feel heavier because that weight is distributed in your ears and the external cups. The better explanation for this is the concept of leverage.

When you listen using closed-back headphones for a long period, you will realize how the heat and added weight affect comfort.

More Options for Advanced Drivers

Even though there are advancements for the planar magnetic drivers located in closed-back headphones, this feature is not as advanced as open-back headphones’ similar driver technology.

Many known headphone companies have been using open-back technology for the longest time. Therefore, the technology used in open-back headphones is sophisticated and established.

Closed-back headphones are becoming more and more advanced, but they still depend heavily on the dynamic driver feature.

When you opt to go for open-back headphones, you allow yourself to experience various technologies and designs that have been established more than closed-back headphones.

Benefits of Closed-Back Headphones

Here are the benefits of close-back headphones:

Blocks Noise Better

Closed-back headphones are better at isolating noise. Therefore, users can enjoy listening more without hearing unwanted noise from the outside. Closed-back headphones perform way better in this compared to open-back headphones.

Because your ears are enclosed in an ear cup, the external noise is significantly reduced. That is why closed-back headphones are recommended for those who commute or use headphones in a noisy place.

If you can relate to this, these headphones can help you keep your sanity and be in your own space with what you are listening to.

Some of the closed-back headphones you will find are catered to DJs. Since they work with music in noisy places, they need most of the external noise blocked out. These headphones are also recommended if you do not want to buy noise-canceling headphones.

Better Portability

Because closed-back headphones are better at isolating noise, many headphone manufacturers create easy-to-carry headphones as closed-back. Therefore, you will see many closed headphones that are made to be carried around anywhere.

Some of these features of closed-back headphones are foldable headbands, rugged design and structure, and compactness. All of these play a huge role when people decide on what type of headphones to get.

Often Has Better Bass Quantity

Open-back headphones have decent bass quality and quantity, but closed-back headphones create more impact. This is possible since the air is trapped in an enclosed space. As a result, there is a better impact produced.

Even though not all people give this a lot of consideration, one of the selling points of headphones is the deep bass they create. It is safe to say that closed-back headphones perform better at this.


Finally, you have a better understanding of the difference between open vs closed headphones. You have seen that both have an edge over the other. Therefore, you need to determine first how you will use your headphones.

Open-back headphones might be the better option for you if you are all about the quality of sound. However, you have to keep in mind that closed-back headphones have good sound quality.

One crucial factor to consider is where and how you will listen. After you have decided on this, you can check the best headphones that match your budget.

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