6 Best Open-Back Headphones 2016

You’ve come to the right place whether you’re looking for your first pair of open headphones or just trying to settle on a new favorite. Finding a set of headphones that fits your style and budget doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about selecting a set into one place. The best open-back headphones are just around the corner.

With this quick buying guide, you’ll have no problem deciding which of these open headphones is right for you. We’ll give you important points to look for, share several appropriate options, and thoroughly review of our top three choices.

Consider the Following Before Buying

  • What are they? Headphones are categorized by whether the outside of their housing contains small slits or holes. Closed-back headphones are solid; no slots on the housing. Open-back have the small openings on the housing.

These perforations allow sound to travel away from your headphones. That also means that environmental sound mixes with whatever you’re listening to. Audio tends to sound like it’s in the room with you; sort of like a concert hall.

These holes are a good thing, or a bad thing depending on how you use your headphones.

  • When should you use them? As we mentioned, open headphones put you in the middle of the music. That spacious soundscape makes them the top choice of recording professionals. And the best open headphones are regularly used by professionals because they reproduce sound so accurately and beautifully.

You don’t have to be a producer to enjoy the benefits of open headphones. They’re appropriate to use anywhere you’re not likely to disturb others. People around you will be able to clearly hear what you’re playing so you wouldn’t use them on public transportation or in the library.

Top 6 Open-Back Headphones Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceRating (1-5)
PictureNamePriceRating (1-5)
1. Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional Headphone$$4.7
2. Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro Headphones $$4.6
3. Audio Technica AUD ATHAD500X$4.5
4. Sony MDRZ7 Hi-Res Stereo Headphones$$$$4.5
5. Grado Prestige Series SR80e Headphones$4.5
6. Bowers & Wilkins P7 Headphones$$$4.5

Top 3 Best Open-Back Headphones Reviews

1. Sennheiser 4465

Sennheiser products are just as well-known among professional as they are with recreational listeners. The products are a great value.

The HD600 is a budget-conscious option when you’re looking for the best open headphones. Sennheiser saved on its production costs by constructing the housing from plastic instead of titanium. The change, however, takes nothing away from HD600’s build quality. They’re sturdy, easily adjustable, and comfortable.

These reproduce extremely accurate sound; music is definitely how the artist intended and you hear every detail of podcasts. The reference-quality sound and open-back housing of the HD600 is especially evident during live performances. The experience is captivating; spatial and tone balance in complete harmony.

Being professional headphones, these are ideally used on a home stereo system with an amplifier. They can be used with a mobile device as long as you don’t use them at high volume; mobile devices just don’t have enough juice.

Sennheiser’s HD600 delivers professional sound at a price recreational listeners can enjoy.

2. Neyerdynamic DT-880-PRO-250

Beyerdynamic’s DT-800 is somewhat of a hybrid; combining aspects of both open and closed headphones into one assembly.

These are considered semi-open because only part of their housing contains slits that allow airflow. The soundstage of the DT-880 is smaller than others in this class, but they have the benefit of not leaking as much sound. This affects sound in a good way and makes them more versatile.

Listening through DT-880 is as intense as any closed-back set, but also manages to preserve the clarity found in open-back headphones. Overall, music is warm and movies feel realistic. Vocals are slightly accentuated and present nicely. Like the Sennheiser, these are power eaters and work best with home equipment and an amplifier.

The Beyerdynamic DT880 works well for anyone looking for the best of both worlds. It’s a certainly capable pair of headphones.

3. Audio Technica AUD ATHAD500X

Audio-Technica put comfort and clarity at the forefront of their ATHAD500X. You’re guaranteed to enjoy lots of use from them.

ATHAD500X is incredibly light and can be comfortably worn for hours thanks to an aluminum housing and soft earpads. No pressure comes from the headband, and the open housing allows for tons of airflow.

The soundstage and balance are where ATHAD500X really shine, especially in movies or computer games. You’re not going to get huge deep booms, but you get immersion into another world. The audio surrounds you and picks up the smallest details you’d normally overlook while wearing other headphones.

Audio Technica’s ATHAD500X is the perfect choice for endurance listeners such as gamers and producers.

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