Top 10 Best Open Back Headphones of 2020 – Reviews

With the Sennheiser HD 600 headphones, you get some of the best open-back headphones ever made. Their lightweight aluminum design and voice coils deliver a brilliant transient response, which is precisely what to look for in a high-end pair of headphones. The headphones also have Neodymium ferrous magnets which carry excellent dynamics. Furthermore, their overall design is beautiful and ergonomic, a design that allows them to sit on the head perfectly and rather comfortably over long periods of time. With black and gray combinations to choose from, this sophisticated headset stands out not only from a technological point of view but also in regards to its aesthetics. Case in point, the cable is detachable, made from oxygen-free copper, and is reinforced with Kevlar for good measure.

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Open Back Headphones Guide

The more stylish cousin of the over-ear headphone that often provides excellent noise cancellation and sound quality than other options, it is a purchase you will want to get right the first time. If you do, you get hours of unbeatable responsiveness and bass, not to mention style.

The main draw is, of course, the casual look but there are certain things you need to get right when buying open back headphones. Whether you are buying them as a gift, or are treating yourself, here are some of the things to consider when buying open back headphones.

What To Look For In Open Back Headphones

Sound Quality

This is where open back headphones tend to excel. The better brands will allow a level of noise cancellation whilst still giving a natural sound that doesn’t seem overly polished. You get the sound in your ears directly from the vents instead of it bouncing around the inner plate that you get with closed back options. Expect a cleaner sound, especially from the bigger brands.


Many people find open back headphones to be more comfortable than closed back because they allow the ears to come in contact with the air. The more they can breathe, the better. The cushioning on the ear should be padded to a high enough level to make them comfortable for long periods and the headband should be adjustable so it fits right.


The better quality the drivers in your headphones, the high the sound quality so you need these to be powerful as well as durable. Planar and magnetic drivers are two of the most reliable for ensuring the quality of the open back headphones and when it comes to bass, you need them to be a certain size.
Anyone who really likes their bass will need their drivers to be 40mm as a minimum, or 50mm and over to give you pumping bass in your ears.


You can get open back headphones in pretty much any size and whilst some cover the ear completely, others offer partial coverage. If you like the look of an open back headphone but are worried that partial coverage might impact the sound quality then don’t. The only thing that changes is how it feels and how comfortable you find them.


The earcups are crucial to the quality of any pair of headphones so make sure they have a good amount of padding so you can wear them for a while without any discomfort. More padding isn’t always better as it can make them heavier and bulky.


Open back headphones are a big market so expect the pricing to vary significantly. You can pay thousands for a pair or part with little more than a note or two. The problem with buying cheap headphones is you do not get the sound quality. A compromise is often found in spending a little to make a long term investment that means you don’t have to buy another pair a few months down the line when you get fed up with the cheap option, or it breaks.

Brand Name

This isn’t always a reliable way of buying anything but some brands get it right almost every time. It is a good idea to go for something that has a reputation instead of trying to save money though. You might have to part with more money for the bigger brands but you get the quality and durability that money actually can buy.

Open Back Headphones vs Closed Back Headphones

This is a debate that has intensified as both options have become better over time. It has to be said that closed back headphones are often considered better at canceling noise but this isn’t always such a good thing.

A popular trait for open back headphones is the fact that they often give you a clearer sound that although it might be a little airy, sounds more natural in some brands.

You do get more audio leakage with open back headphones but if someone is going to get annoyed by your tunes, the chances are they would with closed back headphones as well. In terms of bass, there isn’t a lot to differentiate and a lot of people prefer the bass in open back headphones.

Open Back Headphones: Advantages

Because they are made a little different, you expect something more, so what is it about open back headphones that make them so good?


Because they let in a bit of the ambient sound of the world around you, they allow you to take in some of your surroundings. This is important on your commute or when walking next to a busy road.

Natural Sound

We’ve touched on this already but audiophiles and those in the know often comment on the superior sound of open back headphones for this very reason. Without compromising on accuracy, the natural sound that comes via these headphones makes them popular in studios and when mixing, as well as for everyday use.

Great Look

Because closed back headphones feel and look bulkier, there is something to be said for the look and feel of open back headphones. More casual and stylish, they offer you brilliant sound quality when done right, and look as though you are a big music lover. The open, meshed style cups won’t go out of style anytime soon.

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