Buying audio equipment is a tad intimidating. Especially if you’re unaware of the technical jargon. That’s why we’re here to help you navigate through the buzzwords. Over-the-ear, circumaural headphones come in two forms. Open-back and closed-back. It’s important to know the differences.
Audio professionals tend to gravitate towards closed-back headphones. These devices are best for isolating sounds and concentrating on your music. Open-back headphones help with mixing. Either way, scrutinizing reviews is a must while purchasing headphones.
Here’s a comprehensive breakdown between open-back and closed-back headphones. First up, closed-back headphones.
These headphones are designed to temporarily transport you to a different world. It isolates you from external sounds. These headphones also minimize sound leaks. So if you’re looking for a truly immersive experience, this is it. Most models have large, snug ear cups.
Closed-back headphones cover your ears entirely. You’ll find no perforations. This contributes to isolating music. However, they tend to vent around your ears. The large cups have their benefits though. They tend to reduce external sounds by 10db. If you want a headset that dampens background sounds, this is it.
The audio you hear won’t be as natural as open-back headphones but the isolation is superb. It will block out most external sounds. Also, no sound leaks! You can submerge yourself in music while you’re taking public transport. The best part? You can avoid the nosy busybodies by literally tuning them out.
The durability of closed-back headphones is superior to open-back ones. Audiophiles will appreciate the feeling. The structure is more sturdy and can withstand heavy-duty. They tend to be covered with artificial leather for a luxurious feel. So if you’re looking for a touch of opulence, this is for you!
Now, these headphones have contrasting characteristics. They don’t block out surrounding sounds. Open-back headphones are more spacious compared to closed-back ones. You’re meant to stay aware of your surroundings. So if you don’t want to remain isolated, this is your best bet.
Open-back headphones cover the outer shell of your ear. The design usually comes with horizontal cutouts. This enables airflow. There’s a benefit to this. Pressure won’t build up and interfere with the sound. You can’t often hear echoes in headphones. That’s not the case here. The audio sounds more natural and rich.
Again, open-back headphones don’t block out ambient sounds. You’ll be aware of everything happening around you. You should also know that sound leaks. If you’re in the office, your coworkers will assuredly judge your questionable playlist. Trust us, it’s best to leave these in the confines of your home.
Compared to closed-back headphones, open-back ones aren’t as durable. The design makes them fairly fragile. It’s more susceptible to breaking too. Also, there’s a high chance of moisture seeping into the cups. So make sure you treat these headphones with utmost care!
How to Make a Choice
Open-back and closed-back headphones have always been a highly debated topic. It all comes down to a matter of preference though. There are many instances where the need for one is more important than the other. So you just need to stay true to the purpose of your purchase.
Nothing works without a solid comparison. So let’s break down the good and the bad.
If escapism considered your surroundings, this is it. Open-back headphones sound more natural and feel more liberating. Listening to acoustic or live music with these makes you feel like you’re right next to the stage. It’s the ideal choice for critical listening too.
- The Good
Using open-back headphones won’t result in ear fatigue. Trust us, this is an important feature to consider. It’s comfortable and cozy. The lightweight design is perfect for long jamming sessions. It also ventilates better. Your ears don’t feel constricted.
These headphones are perfect if you spend a lot of time at home. Buy this if you don’t mind being interrupted now and then. If you like being aware of your surroundings, then this is for you. There are more dynamic and electrostatic drivers involved too. This elevates your experience.
It’s not portable. Yes, you can carry it around. It’s just best not to. They’re fragile because they’re built with lighter materials. So you might damage it accidentally. You can’t also use it in busy places. These headphones leak sounds that might bother people around you.
If you want to focus more on the audio, closed-back headphones are it. It’s more immersive but we can’t say the musical presentation is always the best. Some brands aren’t up on par. The experience you get from these is undoubtedly introspective because of the isolation feature. Let’s take a look.
Closed-back headphones are known for noise isolation. If you’re planning to pursue music professionally, you can use this to study notes more carefully. These headsets are perfect for focused listening sessions. Or when you don’t want to be disturbed by people.
The design is more ergonomic too. You can easily carry this everywhere you go. It’s a perfect companion for commuters. Offices too. Closed-back headphones block out all sorts of background and ambient sounds. Consider making this investment if you like bass-heavy music too.
The ventilation could use some work. Your ears tend to warm up quickly as sweat builds up. Ear fatigue is inevitable afterward. Especially if you use this for hours without interruption. The driver options are limited compared to open-back headphones too.
Now you know all the details about open-back and closed-back headphones. Both designs will allow you to momentarily escape reality. It all comes down to your preference and where you’ll be using these headphones.
It’s best to opt for closed-back headphones in mixed company. Open-back ones are perfect for a cozy set-up at home. Look through the good and the bad and pick the one that suits your needs the best!