What Are Open Back Headphones And Are They Worth Buying?

What are open back headphones? How do they differ from the closed types? Are they better than other options in the market?

In this article, you’ll learn what open back headphones are, how you can get the most out of them, and where you can buy them.

But first, I need you to understand this:

People who really love music know when it doesn’t sound nice. And this is where the preference for headphones over other audio output channels comes in.

Headphones are a great choice for a personalized audio experience.

They enable you to clearly identify, distinguish and appreciate different sound arrangements in a piece, giving you a full listening experience from every song on your playlist.

The kind of headphones you use has a great impact on their music, which is why it’s important to do your research before spending on a pair.

What does Open Back Headphones Mean?

what you need to know about open back headphones

If you look at our list of open back headphones for gaming you will notice that they are quite different in terms of structure.

And if you've tested this type of headphone, you will notice that they also have a different listening experience. 

The term open back actually refers to the design of the headphone cup.

Brands leave the cup fully open, so these types of headsets can’t prevent sound from escaping or entering the cup. Some even have punctures of various designs or rows of rails.

As much as headphones feature open-back design, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are of the best quality per se.

In fact, there are inexpensive as well as high-end open back headsets that sound just as poor as expensive and cheap closed back headphones under 300. Similarly, you can buy open back headphones that produce high quality sounds just like other high-end closed-back headphones.

Because of their nature, designing open back headphones tends to be a rather complex process, and the best headphones in this category tend to be pricey.

If you get a cheap open back headphone then it’s probably a fake one. But that’s not to say that there are no high quality headphones at moderately pocket friendly prices.

It’s rare to find the best performing headset in this category for cheap. But the end of the year is usually the right time to buy them for cheap. That’s because many online stores tend to clean their stock during this period.

The History of Open Back Headsets

history of open back headphones

The first mass production of open back headphones started in the late 1960s, about 50 years after the development of first successful headphone.

Until 1968, people used to close back headsets, and even then, they were highly lacking in features that modern headsets possess.

The best open back headsets of today attest to the hard work that sound researchers have put in an effort to revolutionize auditory experiences.

What is the Difference between Closed Back and Open Back Headphones?

The main functional difference between the two is that closed back headphones “extract” the listener from their environment, immersing them in a world where only they and the music exist.

Open back headphones, on the other hand, incorporate the surrounding sounds into the listener’s experience.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say you were using headphones at a park adjacent to a large water body, like an ocean. The ocean waves hit gently on rocks. The birds in the surrounding are busy singing. And tree leaves murmur as light breeze sweeps against them.

If you were wearing a closed back headphone, you would miss these beautiful sounds around you. You would not be able to incorporate this experience into your audio.

Open back headphones are suitable for a situation like this, because they allow the external sounds to enter the open cap and spice up your audio.

Are Open Back Headphones Better?

Some people also buy open back headphones more due to safety concerns.

Using these gadgets when biking or walking in the streets, for instance, would be much safer than using closed back headphones.

At low to moderate volume, one can hear conversations, vehicles engines or beeps while still being able to enjoy their music.

Important Tips When Using Open Back Headphones

get the most from open back headphones

It is important to consider certain factors when using headphones. Prime among these is your own comfort and that of people around you.

As an example, it may appear rude if you bring an open back headset with you to the library or to a place where people want silence.

Closed headphones would be ideal for such places since they have the ability to cancel out noise from the surrounding and they don’t spill out noise to people in a quite environment.

You even wouldn't use open back headphones during nap time, because you would disturb people in the bedroom. This, if anything, explains why closed back, noise cancelling headphones for sleeping are  important in the first place. 

Wearing a closed end headphone while jogging or biking in a busy street would be irresponsible, if not dangerous.

It is also important to watch out for the kind of headphones that you wear. Low quality headphones are likely to cause damage to your ears.

The best headphones have effective mechanisms to reduce noise, and this means that you don’t have to turn the volume way up to get the feel of a particular instrument. Such headsets also have volume limits, which is why they fall in the list of the best headphones for kids.

Other factors like weight and size also matter in headphones. A heavy headphone is only going to wear you down when you use it for long. Ensure that you use an adjustable headphone that fits comfortably around your neck and head.

Where to Buy Open Back Headphones

where to buy closed back headphones

It’s important to note that open back headphones are available in shops around and near you. Also, you can buy them from ecommerce shops and they will ship your order to your doorstep.

But when faced with so many choices, how do you pick the headphone that is right for you?

Online friends can be very resourceful in here. Perhaps you can roll out a little survey to ask your friends which headphone models they used and liked.

Alternatively, go to a headphones reviews website and find out what people have to say about various gadgets. These can provide you with ideas about the headphones you should buy.

In addition, consider things like warranty and return policy of the ecommerce shop that you intend to buy your headphones from. If a seller trusts their product, they should be willing to take it back if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

A comfortable and properly adjusted headphone will go a long way to enhance your listening experience. Add durability and class to this and what you get are unique headsets that you can use for the long term.

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