The 10 Best Open Back Headphones in 2020 – Picked by Experts

Open-back headphones are widely popular to give authentic and high sound experience to the users. But not all open-back headphones are capable of doing this; only the best open-back headphones can offer a lively and authentic experience.

Still on this post? That means you are a true music lover or an audiophile who knows about the quality of sound quality and purity. Before we move on to discuss some of the best open-back headphones in the market, let’s check out why users prefer these over the other headphones type.

What Are Open Back Headphones?

Unlike close headphones, in an open back headphone, air flows through the ear pads to the speaker. In this way, you get a detailed and clear sound because air is not build up in the ear cups. When you are using open-back headphones, there is no echo or distortion in the headphone; hence you can listen peacefully, and the quality of sound is much clearer than close back phones.

When using the open-back headphones, there is no isolation present between your ears and surroundings.

Open-back headphones offer ‘all-around’ experience, which resembles concert hall sounds or stadium sounds.

Open-back headphones are good for:

  • Critical listening
  • High-quality audio files
  • At-home listening

Top Best Open Back Headphones to Buy – Must Read Reviews

Model ColorsConnectivityPrice 
Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 PRO open Studio HeadphoneGrey, BlackwiredCheck Price
Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone SystemBlackwiredCheck Price
Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back HeadphonesBlackwiredCheck Price
Audio-Technica Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones (ATH-R70X)BlackwiredCheck Price
ASTRO Gaming A40 TR X-Edition HeadsetBlackwiredCheck Price
Philips SHP9500S Over-Ear Headphones Open BackBlackwiredCheck Price
AKG K 701 Ultra Reference Class Stereo HeadphoneGoldwiredCheck Price
HiFiMan - HE-400 HeadphonesBlackwiredCheck Price
SONY Stereo Full Open-Air Headphones MDR-MA900BlackwiredCheck Price
Samson SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference HeadphonesBlackwiredCheck Price

1. Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 PRO open Studio Headphone

Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 PRO Review

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If you are looking for a headphone for mixing and mastering, you cannot go wrong with this Beyerdynamic DT 990. It is the ideal headphone for home use as well.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 open back headphone features high-quality plastic built, and the headband is made up of metal. Overall, the construction and quality are reliable, and you will not need a replacement for many years. For optimum comfort, the headband features foam padding; hence you can comfortably use it for hours.

The ear cups are wide, and you will not have any fitment issues. The earpads are highly comfortable and covered in velour material, so they are soft and plush.

The sound quality is high and clear for all types of music. These Beyerdynamic open-back headphones offer detailed and clear vocals. The high, mid, and low sounds are excellent, and you will notice a balanced sound profile.

The dynamic range of this headphone is impressive as well, and you can record sounds at low and high volumes. Lastly, this DT 990 is loved by many users and professionals due to its excellent mixing and studio monitoring capabilities.

Pros

The high, low and mids are excellent.

It can be your best choice for mixing purposes.

Made in Germany.

The unit is stylish as well as highly durable.

Cons

The cable is not durable.

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2. Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System

Sennheiser HD 800 S Review

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Here comes the most luxurious pick of the lists, the Sennheiser HD 800 S open-back headphone. This unit comes with the largest driver; it measures around 56 mm. As it is introduced by a reputable brand, the Sennheiser, you will get high-quality music and sound along with the best comfort and convenience.

The Sennheiser HD 800 S open-back headphone includes advanced technology. It comes with some interesting features to give true sound. With this headphone, you can hear sounds of the instruments and vocals clearly.

The first thing that will surprise you in this Sennheiser HD 800 S headphone is its quality of sound. The natural sound of these headphones is matchless. The open ear cups are comfortable and intended at a particular angle. It includes two connecting cables, a quarter-inch cable, and a balanced four-pin XLR. In this way, you can connect this pair of open-back headphones by Sennheiser with a wide variety of audio systems. The ear cups are padded, and the unit’s headband is extremely comfortable due to the layers of high-quality polymers.

Read more: 10 Best Sennheiser Headphones

Lastly, these headphones are equipped with advanced technology and cutting edge design. These are classic headphones that are suitable for home uses and studio listening. Not only this, but you can also use these for mixing and playback.

Pros:

It comes with the largest driver in the market up to 56 mm.

The headphones are extremely comfortable to use even for long hours.

The sound quality and feel are authentic.

You will not notice any distortion while using these headphones.

Cons

You will not get an XLR cable with this set.

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3. Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back Headphones

Shure SRH1840 review

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Probably you have heard about the Shure microphones, but these Shure SRH1840 open-back headphones are quite solid as well. Don’t judge these headphones by its price tag. In our opinion, look out at the features and working of these headphones before finalizing your choice. And we sure that you will love these.

The first prominent feature of this headphone is its solid construction and appealing design. The unit is light-weight as it features aircraft-grade aluminum alloy yoke and stainless steel grills. So, it can survive the rugged usage. For optimum comfort, it features adjustable headbands and soft foam padding.

Another notable thing in these Shure SRH1840 professional headphones is the double-exit cables on both sides of the headphone. It also includes velour pads that you can replace and customized foam; hence the headphones are highly comfortable as well.

As for the sound quality, it is superb as per expectation. It offers detailed and super clear audio-quality with the exclusive acoustic drivers.

The headphones are suitable for critical listening as well as for home uses. In the pack, you will also get a case, replaceable pads, cable, and an adapter.

If you are looking for a top-notch pair of open-back headphones, this is your safest bet.

Pros

It features a reliable driver of 40 mm.

The design is eye-catchy as well as durable.

Dual-exit cables are handy for a secure connection.

For optimum comfort, it features an adjustable headband and replaceable velour ear pads.

Cons

According to some consumers, these are light on bass and extremely high on the treble.

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4. Audio-Technica Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones (ATH-R70X)

Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Review

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According to the makers, the AudioTechnica ATH-R70x are professional headphones, and we agree with them. It means that these are suitable to use these in studio settings.

These headphones might not be the best-looking in the market, but they are sturdy and highly durable. The design of the headphone is simple and industrial. And as for the performance, these are excellent.

This open-back headphone is ideal for studio uses as well as for casual listening. The earpads of the headphones are softly padded; hence you can comfortably use them for long sessions. The headband is adjustable, and it features an open-top loop and extended pads. It also makes it light-weight and offers superb comfort, especially for long-term listening. The earpads are deep and thick as compared to the others.

You might like: Top 10 Audio Technica Headphones

As for the sound quality, these professional open-back headphones live up to mark. The quality of sound is even and balance, especially when you are listening at a low range. It offers a natural listening experience for all the soundtrack and music genres. In our opinion, this is the best headphone for gaming, critical listening, studio uses, and late-night movie watching.

Pros

Robust and durable construction with industrial-grade materials.

The headphones are ideal for professional, and studio uses.

It features honeycomb-mesh aluminum housing.

Earpads of the unit are highly breathable; thus, no sweat problem even when using for hours.

Cons

Earpads are a little smaller as compared to others.

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5. ASTRO Gaming A40 TR X-Edition Headset

ASTRO Gaming A40 TR X-Edition Headset Review

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Here is our pick for all the gamers out there. The Astro open-back headphones are an ideal choice for game lovers as well as for home users. This Astro Gaming A40 TR X headphone has a modern and appealing design. And in terms of performance and comfort, these gaming headphones are matchless. So, let’s check out some details of this Astro open back gaming headphone.

To keep you relax and comfortable, the ear cushions of this headphone are layered with soft material, and they are large in size. So, there will be nothing such as fitment issues or itchy feeling when using this pair of headphones.

As the name suggests, these headphones are made keeping in mind the needs and expectations of all the gamers. And the main reason to include these headphones in the list is that no one can understand the need of gamers better than the one who is creating games by itself. So, that’s another major plus of opting for this device.

The device’s microphone is also excellent, and it is highly sensitive for the finest voice and clear voice transmission from your side. And if you don’t want to use the mic, simply remove it, no hassles.

Another thing that you will surely like in this headphone is that you also use it as a closed-backed headphone, in this way, these are versatile as well.

Pros

The headphone is exclusively made for gamers in conjunction with game developers.

​The mic of the headphone is removable.

The Comfort level of these headphones is at its best even when you are practicing for hours.

​The sound quality is impressive and clear.

Cons

The mute button on the cable will not mute it entirely.

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6. Philips SHP9500S Over-Ear Headphones Open Back

Philips SHP9500S Review

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Here comes the headphone from the pioneers and most trusted brand in the industry, the Philips. Here we will review the Philips SHP9500 open-back headphones. Not only are these excellent performers, but these are the most affordable open-back headphones in the market.

These Philips 9500S headphones include everything that you can expect from a reliable brand. The first thing that you will admire in this device is it’s 50 mm, neodymium drivers, with gold plated connectors. The frequency is sufficient, and the max response of the device is up to 35 kHz. The impedance is low and sensitive is quite high; thus, it produces clear highs and fine lows; in short, it is suitable for all music genres.

In terms of comfort, it will not let you and us down. In this Philips open-back headphone, you will get a double-padded headband that is highly comfortable. The ear cushions are also breathable, and you will not have any problem or annoyance when using these for hours. It features steel headband; therefore, it can easily survive the rugged use.

The cord length is long up to 1.5 meters. So, in this way, you can also move around while using these. Elegant design and sturdy construction also add value to this pair of headphones.

Pros:

High and crisp sound for all music tracks and sounds.

The ear cups are wide and extremely comfortable.

The steel headband is something that you will not find in many other units.

Con

In these headphones, the bass is on the lower side.

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7. AKG K 701 Ultra Reference Class Stereo Headphone

AKG K 701 Review

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If you are suffering from ear pain while using your headphones or annoyed with a sweating problem, then these AKG K701 open-back headphones are a worthy consideration.

In this pair of open-back headphones, your money lies in comfort and excellent sound quality. As for the construction, it features high-quality plastic material with a self-adjustable headband made of leather.

The ear-pads are layered with durable 3D foam for a snug and comfortable fit, and to enhance their working life, the pads are wrapped in high-quality velour material. So, it is comfortable to use for a long duration, and it will stay in place without sliding off.

In terms of sound quality, it is your safest bet. It has all the features that you will get in a trusted brand.

This open-back headphone has a full frequency range with nice treble and bass and excellent mids. Regardless of the soundtrack or music genre, these headphones will not disappoint you. The high tones are true and authentic and low are smooth as well. All in all, it is a decent, multi-purpose open-back headphone that will surely meet your needs and expectations.

Pros

The sound quality is excellent.

The headband is well-made, and ear pads are sturdy and comfortable.

The unit is suitable for all music genres.

Cons

These headphones are not suitable for studio uses, but for homes use, they are excellent.

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8. HiFiMan – HE-400 Headphones

HiFiMan - HE-400 Review

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When it comes to headphones, HIFIMAN is the top-rated brand, and this HiFiMan HE-400 is no different and lives up to the reputation of the brand. These open back, magnetic headphones feature premium planar drivers that provide you an authentic and even sound. The unit is versatile, and you can use these with a medium-sized amplifier or any audio player. Not only this, but the headphones are compatible to use with your smartphone as well.

The connection is simple and includes a dual 3.5mm connection with a 1.5m removable cord. In terms of comfort and overall usage, this open-back headphone pair includes large-sized ear pads made up of leather and high-quality velour materials. Overall, the unit is light-weight, and you can comfortably use it for long sessions.

Another plus of the unit is that it is suitable to use at studios for mixing purposes and for daily home uses. Frequency is high, and you will not feel any type of distortion. With that, these HiFiMan headphones are also excellent for critical listening. Treble and bass both are good and flat. Lastly, this headphone is perfect for all those folks who are looking for a mid-range headphone and works flawlessly.

Pros:

It features high-quality magnetic drivers.

Excellent treble and great bass.

The headphones are light-weight and comfortable.

Sound quality is nice, and it comes at an affordable price.

Cons

Customer service needs improvement.

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9. SONY Stereo Full Open-Air Headphones MDR-MA900

SONY MDR-MA900 Review

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If you think that we will not include the legendary brand like Sony in this list, you were wrong. Here comes our second last pick by Sony. These MDR MA900 open-back headphones feature a simple yet elegant design. You will not find anything fancy in this pair of headphones.

Overall, the unit is well-made and features aluminum and high-quality plastic material. The headband is adjustable and standard size so that it will fit most users easily. The earpads are super comfortable as they are plush. The device is exceptionally comfortable to use for long sessions, and the unique earpad design allows you to use them without fatigue, pain, or sweating.

As for the sound quality, you will notice a solid sound with all details without any distortion. The unit is compatible with almost all types of music genres, and bass and treble are excellent.

Sony is a brand that you can trust, and in terms of durability, these MDR MA900 open-back headphones will not disappoint you. The cord is sturdy and tangle-free, and it comes with a gold-plated 3.5mm stereo jack and stereo adapter. So, you can connect many amplifiers and consoles.

Lastly, a lovely satin bag is also included that protects it from dust. All in all, these Sony MDR MA900 open-back pair of headphones are quite affordable and perfect if you have a limited budget.

Pros

Most comfortable and affordable open-back headphones in the market.

Sound quality is excellent for music genres.

It comes with a 70 mm sound driver.

3-meter long cord.

Cons

According to some users, the plastic material is a bit flimsy.

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10. Samson SR850 Semi Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones

Samson SR850 Review

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Here comes Amazon’s choice for open-back headphones. These Samson SR850 semi-open back headphones are one of the most stylish and classy pair of headphones.

These are mid-range headphones, but their features and sound quality is not less than any other premium headphones.

The design is beautiful, all black, and resembles the AKG K240. The comfort is excellent, and its foam is soft and dense. Above all, these headphones are highly breathable, so there is no annoyance when wearing them for a long time. In terms of longevity, these headphones are highly durable.

The design and material of the unit are of premium quality, and so is its sound quality. These are referred to as the “reference” monitors, which suggests that these offer neutral and balanced sound. And we completely agree with that. For all music genres and tracks, the sound quality was just awesome. Another thing, you can also use them for mixing purposes. For mixing purposes, these might not be the best open-back headphones, but they are nice, especially when we look at its cost.

These are semi-open headphones, so their isolation is better than full open-back headphones. And you can also use them outdoors due to this reason.

Pros

The light-weight construction allows you to wear these for hours.

Good high and excellent mids performance.

It features a 50mm neodymium driver.

Suitable to use outdoors.

Cons

The headband is not sturdy.

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Open Back vs Closed Back Headphones

Some headphones have “open-back” design, and some are “closed-back.” In closed-back headphones, the outer part of the cups features an enclosure. And in an Open-back headphone, as the name states, the back part of cups is open.

Both these have their benefits and drawbacks and differences. Let’s take a look:

If you have ever noticed that there is a small speaker driver in a headphone that releases sound in all ways in the direction of your ears, and towards the others, in closed-back headphones, the sound that goes towards others, not in the direction of your ears, is significantly blocked. Whereas, in Open-back headphones, this sound direction is not blocked and goes free.

In simple words, when you are using closed-back headphones, you are isolated from the others. The major drawback of using closed-back headphones is that the music bangs “in your head,” and this is not good due to many reasons. It’s just like “a whole band playing music in your head.”

On the other hand, the major con of using open-back headphones is that you are not alone, and everyone can listen to what’s coming out of your headphones. So, be cautious.

As for the advantages, open-back headphones have a better sound quality, and they sound larger than the closed-back headphones. You will not feel like music is banging in your head like closed-back headphones, and overall, they feel nice as you are listening to music in your room, or you can say “realistic sound.”

To summarize the things, if you want a realistic sound, and want to listen alone then, open-back headphones are an amazing choice. And if you are an audiophile that likes it hard, then closed-back headphones are ideal for you.

Best Open Back Headphones under 100

There are a variety of Open back headphones in the market. You will find various brands, names, and numerous products in this category. However, we will not advise you to go for the cheap open-back headphones, but that doesn’t mean that they should cost you a fortune. With that in mind, we have compiled the list of these best open-back headphones under 100; thus, you can enjoy an authentic sound while maintaining your budget.

Model ColorsConnectivityPrice 
Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone (new model)BlackwiredCheck Price
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor HeadphoneBlackwiredCheck Price
Philips Audio Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-Ear HeadphonesBlackwiredCheck Price
House of Marley Positive Vibration XLBlack,Blue ,CopperwiredCheck Price
1MORE Stylish True Wireless EarbudsBlack, Green, Pink, GoldwiredCheck Price

Best Open Back Headphones for Mixing

When looking for the best open-back headphones for mixing purposes or for studio uses, you can’t regularly experiment due to many reasons. For mixing or mastering, you need a unit that is durable as well as reliable. In this regard, allow us to present some of the best open-back headphones for mixing and mastering purposes.

Model ColorsConnectivityPrice 
Shure SRH1840 Professional Open Back HeadphonesBlackwiredCheck Price
Focal Listen Pro Closed-Back Reference Studio HeadphonesBlackwiredCheck Price
Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional HeadphoneBlackwiredCheck Price
Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 PRO open Studio HeadphoneGrey, BlackwiredCheck Price
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Open Studio HeadphonesBlackwiredCheck Price

Conclusion

So, here we are at the end of this lengthy guide about the best open-back headphones. We are confident that after reading this post, you can purchase the right one within your budget and as per your specific needs.

Regardless of you are looking for an open back headphone for gaming or for mixing or professional use, keep in mind your requirements before finalizing your decisions. Open-back headphones are multi-purpose. You can use them for gaming as well as for home uses. Ultimately the final choice is yours, and there is no way that you cannot find the one as per your preferences.

Read more: Best Wireless Headphones For TVs