Open Back Headphones provide a more spacious sound, with better separation and resonance. It also moves the music to your ears without containing it in a can-like enclosure. But there’s always a trade-off. Open-back headphones’ have a noise-cancelling feature which allows the sound to be less detailed with less bass response than closed-back headphones. Yet, some open-back headphones with large soundstages like Sennheiser HD 800 and AKG N60NC give the best sonic experience.
Due to its versatility, open-back headphones are often used for gaming. Since they can provide you with better audio for your game without requiring extra accessories to receive the sound.
1. What is the difference between open and closed-back headphones?
The critical difference is that open-back headphones use one or more openings in their outer grille. To allow air to pass through the perforations on either side of the driver that delivers sound into the ear. A cloth driver cover still covers the diaphragm inside the headphone that sits on the driver. So it’s completely enclosed in-between.
The design allows closed-back headphones to offer better noise isolation than open-back headphones. The downside is that they are heavier than open-back headphones. And might not isolate sound as well since there are no openings for air to travel into your ear canal. But Closed-back headphones use a enclosed ear cup with drivers located in front of the ear and pass audio through to your ears with no openings. It creates an artificial effect where it feels like you’re wearing custom earplugs while listening to music.
2. Why do some people prefer open-back headphones?
Because open-back headphones deliver a wider soundstage and experience more natural sound. They can be better for gaming, music listening, and movies. Besides, many high-quality open-back headphones also provide excellent sound isolation properties. For example, the Sennheiser HD 800 is one of the most popular gaming open-back headphones that can deliver good sonic performance.
Open-back headphones are preferred for gaming because they have better sound and can isolate your ears from background noises. There are different types of closed-back headphones. Closed-back headphones that need a headphone amp to receive a higher volume. And open-back headphones that can receive a higher volume without an amplifier.
While closed-back headphones isolate the ear from the surrounding noise. Its sound will often be clogged by the bassline and other low sounds resulting in muddy sounds that won’t be suitable for gaming. But, open-back headphones allow you to enjoy better audio without the need for extra accessories such as an amplifier, headphone amp or interruptions from the outside world. On top of that, it also can provide you with a better soundstage virtualizing virtual 7.
3. What makes a good gaming headphone?
A gamer’s primary considerations should be comfort, audio performance, and convenience. It means a gamer needs a comfortable headphone design with good audio performance and convenience. So they don’t have to play with their headphone for hours at a time.
One of the things that make good gaming headphones is to think about the audio performance. We usually need an amplifier and a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). We get from quality open-back headphones the same hardware used for audiophile quality headphones. Such as open-back headphones like HD800 Sennheiser or AKG N60NC. But the main difference is that they will provide you with a more immersive sound experience by delivering better bass response and better virtual 7-interaction between left and proper channels.
Open-back headphones are more used for gaming since it allows the audio to be heard better. There are different types of gaming headsets. But these are used the headset with a connection on each side of the ear. Where one side connects to your computer and the other USB port on your console.
There is no specific name that represents what type of headphone has an open back design. Yet, you can call them as Pro-Gaming Headphones, Professional Gaming Headphones, or eSports Headphones. These have excellent sound quality. But they also have some limitations, which you should know before making a purchase decision.
4. How to choose the right gaming headset?
There are different types of headphones that have very different designs and different price tags. If you want to get a gaming headset for your console. Avoid buying gaming headsets that have a connection on each side of the earcup because this requires extra hardware such as an amplifier or DAC.
Only get a gaming headset with USB input on one side, so you can connect it to your computer using a USB port without additional hardware. But if you want open-back headphones, you will need other hardware like an amp or DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter).
It depends on your personal preference if you want headphones with or without a mic. Some people prefer headphones with a mic, and others don’t like it and would rather play with a headset without a microphone. Yet, suppose you do want to use a wireless headset for gaming purposes. In that case, we highly recommend getting the wired version because wireless headsets sometimes fail at the beginning of their life cycle. And can take about 2-3 months for them to be replaced under warranty.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly gaming headset, the general rule is to buy headsets under $80. If you purchase a better gaming headset under $200. There are no other options besides open-back or closed-back headphones without an amp or DAC in this price point. Closed-back headphones with an amp or DAC usually have an excellent audio performance. But it will be hard to find quality closed-back headphones with an amp or DAC. It is because it’s hard to make high-quality closed-back headphones that can provide an excellent bass response without any distortion.