What are closed-back headphones?

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What are closed-back headphones?

For many audiophiles today, headphones have become such an integral part of our daily entertainment. But with so many variations of headphones and audio terminology to get used to, it may be difficult for casual music listeners to understand what each of them means. In this article, we’ll answer one of the most asked question – what are closed-back headphones?

In a nutshell, closed-back headphones are headphones that are completely sealed around your ears. Wearing closed-back headphones helps eliminate any exterior noise conditions, making it perfect if you’re looking for a pair of headphones to wear during a flight, train commute, or when you’re in a public space. Closed-back headphones are also often used when you’re in a recording studio so you can hear yourself better with little interruption from your environment. Aesthetically, closed-back headphones often feature a solid shell externally. These headphones do not feature any perforations on either cover and are sturdy to hold.

The downside to closed-back headphones, however, is that your ears may feel warm after a long period of use due to the restriction of airflow from the headphones, making it uncomfortable to wear for prolonged hours. In terms of sound quality, closed-back headphones may not sound as natural as regular music listening, but you’ll get to enjoy great bass notes if you happen to own a good pair of these headphones.

What are closed-back headphones

Are closed-back headphones better than other headphones?

In most cases, many music listeners who now understand what closed-back headphones are will wonder if they are better than other headphones in the market – namely open-back headphones and semi-open back headphones. Unlike these variants, closed-back headphones are often worn by anyone who wishes to enjoy music with little interference.

But are they better than other headphones? Yes and no.

You see, picking the right set of headphones is highly dependent on your personal choice of enjoyment. If you’re looking for a set of headphones that will help isolate you from your surroundings, then a pair of closed-back headphones will make a great pick. Hence, it’s a better choice for anyone who commutes often or is continuously listening to music in a public space. Some closed-back headphones may also offer noise cancellation features, further pushing the music isolation function to provide you with a seamless music enjoyment experience.

Subsequently, your job may also affect your decision on whether a pair of closed-back headphones are a better choice. Very often, you’ll see sound engineers or musicians donning a pair of closed-back headphones as they need to capture the best audio possible and hear it on playback without the interference of their environment. Although rare, some offices may even disallow the use of closed-back headphones as it makes communication more difficult among coworkers.

Unfortunately, this also creates some downsides to closed-back headphones. The biggest concern with closed-back headphones is that it may be challenging to wear it for an extended period as your ears will feel uncomfortable, due to the construct of the headphones that disallows airflow around your ears. Some closed-back headphones that are made of extra sturdy materials may also feel heavy, hurting your ears and head in the process.

Closed-back headphones also cause your music experience to feel less natural, so if you’re picky about the sound quality, you may want to put this into consideration when deciding if it’s right for you. The trade-off for this, however, is that you’ll be able to enjoy a vast improvement in the bass notes in music.


How to pick the right closed-back headphones?

Now that we’ve explained what closed-back headphones are, perhaps you’ll be interested in investing in a pair of your own. Here are some easy ways to help you pick the right closed-back headphones for yourself:

  • Determine your budget: There are a variety of closed-back headphones in the market today that can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands as a hefty investment. Before looking through the many closed-back headphones available, you’ll want to decide how much you’re willing to invest in a pair to help narrow your choices down.
  • Run a comparison of all your choices: To help pick the right pair of closed-back headphones, you’ll want to run a comparison of all your closed-back headphone choices beforehand to help you determine the best headphones that suit your liking at a glance.
  • Wireless or wired: Depending on the purpose of use, you may also want to decide if a pair of wireless or wired closed-back headphones are better for you. The pros and cons include ease of commute, the battery life in wireless headphones, and the price tag that may come with these headphones.
  • Research the brands: We’re not saying name brands are the best, but you need to research some of the best headphone brands if you’re picky about sound quality. Some cheaper and lesser-known brands can produce excellent quality closed-back headphones that are on par with some flagship brands. Ultimately, the choice is yours when it comes to picking the right closed-back headphones for yourself.
  • Test them out: Wherever possible, you’ll want to test out your closed-back headphone choices to be sure that it’s the right pick for you. Visiting audio stores is an excellent way for you to test the headphones to compare sound quality, fit, and comfort. As closed-back headphones may come with a steep price tag, it’s always best to take your time in finding what’s best for you.


Final thoughts

In conclusion, closed-back headphones are the ideal headphones if you’re hoping to enjoy undisturbed music, especially during commutes. Some closed-back headphones may further provide noise cancellation features, giving you a seamless music experience whenever you put them on. Generally, closed-back headphones are good for short term and casual use as they may feel stuffy after a while. If you’re looking to venture into sound engineering or music production, a pair of closed-back headphones may also be a significant investment as you can better enjoy every note of the song with little interruption.

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