The best open back headphones have created quite a buzz in the headphone market, especially among people who want a wider sound stage, and one of a kind listening experience. Sure, the drawback of buying an open back headphone is that the isolation is not as good, and the sound leak happens too.
The Advantages of Buying Open Back Headphones
The open back headphones have been around since the start, and they do provide countless advantages over the closed back headphones. However, I am going to discuss some of the major advantages that you should know about, these would be enough to help you out.
Wider Sound Stage
Considering how the open back headphones are open from the backside, the headphones provide a wider sound stage. In simpler terms, the audio separation is good, and it almost feels like that you are at a concert. It truly is a different experience only be experienced and not explained properly.
They Offer Natural Sound
If you are like me who prefers a natural sound to frequencies that feel artificial and unnatural, then buying yourself a good pair of open back headphones is a great idea. This is one of the advantage that makes audio engineers, and most of the audiophiles to choose the open back headphones over the closed back headphones.
However, there is no proper benchmark to decide which one is better, because at the end of the day, it completely depends on the perspective, and personal choice of the person listening to the music.
1. Koss UR40 - Best Budget Open Back Headphones
The first pair of headphones on the list is the Koss UR40, a stylish looking open back pair that provides a neutral frequency response, and is a perfect gift for an audiophile. The UR40 are one of the most comfortable pair of headphones I have tested; they do not make the ears warm, or itchy, and that is definitely a good sign.
In addition to that, the overall build quality is average, and lightweight; the collapsible body makes it easier for the user to carry the headphones wherever you want. However, you will have to buy a headphone case separately.
Considering how we are dealing with an open back headphones here, the sound stage is definitely wider; bass is punchy, trebles are neutral, and the instrumental separation is brilliantly done.
However, there are some things that I do not like; for starters; the cable and the overall build quality feels cheap. It is almost as if Koss spent all the money in making sure that the headphones sound good, but forgot to make them solid.
Aside from somewhat flimsy build quality, the Koss UR40 are a great value for money, especially if you are looking for a decent pair of open back headphones.
- They sound great for what you are paying
- Lightweight, and comfortable to wear
- The collapsible design is an added value.
- The build quality feels a bit flimsy.
2. Audio Technica ATH-TAD300
Audio Technica is company that is revered by audiophiles all around the world for their brilliant headphones from the M series, but if you are looking for an open back option, do not worry. The Audio Technica ATH-TAD300 are there to cover you.
This open backed headphone from Audio Technica promises to deliver a great listening experience at an affordable price tag. Sure, to some, it might sound too good to be true, but my testing proves otherwise. Upon listening to the headphone for a whole week, I can only say that these are among the best sounding open back headphones I can recommend.
All the frequencies are evenly distributed and the headphones provide a full sound, the sound stage is wide, and the headphones are great for both gaming and listening to music as well. The signature Audio Technica comfort is also there, completing the whole package complete.
There are some downsides that I noticed; finding the headphone is not as easy as I thought it would be; despite being from a renowned company, the pair is not easy to find in the market. In addition to that, the sound clarity is good, but it could have been much better than it already is.
- Great sound stage and audio performance
- Comfortable to wear.
- The headphones are not easy to find.
- The sound clarity is not the best.
3. Philips X2/27 Fidelio - Best Open Back Headphones Under 300
Philips usually prefer staying on the sidelines whenever they release headphones or some of the other audio products. However, that is not a sign of having mediocre products; as a matter of fact, the Philips X2/27 Fidelio is here to prove that wrong.
This premium open back headphone caught my eye a couple of weeks ago, and I knew I had to test these out. Right out of the box, the Philips X2/27 Fidelio are one of the most well-built headphones I have tested so far.
They are also lightweight, so that is definitely an added bonus.
If you are wondering how they sound, you should know that the sound on these headphones is amazing. Everything is balanced, as it should be; there is not a single frequency that overpowers the other. The deal gets even better with the comfort level, as the headphones are super comfortable to wear.
Considering how the amount of brilliance you are getting, I would say that the headphones have an amazing value.
- Brilliant sonic performance.
- Supreme comfort level./li>
- Great, premium build quality.
- Headphones should come with more accessories.
4. Beyerdynamic DT 990 - Best Open Back headphones For 200 Bucks
If you are looking for a high-end pair of open back headphones in the market, then the Beyerdynamic DT 990 is a great choice. I am saying that because these headphones are rated at 250 ohms, and aside from that, they are a favourite of several professional artists and sound engineers for the amazing sound quality they provide.
Considering how they are made for studio use, the sound stage is wide, and neutral at best; some people might have an issue with that, but I find the headphones to be extremely satisfying in terms of sound quality. There is an amazing detail present in all the frequencies, making the listening experience amazing.
The headphones are also built with comfortable in mind, providing hours of listening without ever tiring your ears, or warming them up unnecessarily. As far as the negatives are concerned, there is not much to worry about; the bass might feel lacking to some, but that is the case with majority of the open back headphones, so I will let that slide.
The only thing I would mention as a precaution is that the headphones require 250 ohms, meaning you are going to need an amp/DAC that can drive these.
- Class leading performance.
- Solid build quality.
- Comfortable design.
- Brilliant sound stage.
- Requires 250 ohms to drive properly.
5. Sennheiser RS 175 RF - Best Wireless Open Back Headphones
If you are looking for a pair of open back headphones that provide the complete experience, without watering down anything, then the Sennheiser RS 175 RF is a great option. This here is a wireless offering that provides you a lot more than you might want in the first place.
For starters, the headphones work on radio frequency, meaning that your Bluetooth connectivity option is not there. However, these are meant for people who prefer listening to the music in their living room, or even watching the movie for that matter. The headphones sound amazing, and they possess a great range, meaning that you will not have to worry about running out of range.
Sennheiser is generous enough and there are enough cables included for connecting the headphones with pretty much any device that you want. There are some faux sound modes that work surprisingly great and enhance the experience with the headphones, however, not everyone might prefer that in the first place.
In conclusion, the Sennheiser RS 175 RF are a great option, but I really wish that the charging/base station were made with premium quality materials, the same you find on the actual headphones. Other than that, I cannot really find anything wrong with the headphones. They deliver excellent sonic performance that will satisfy your needs.
- Top of the line sonic performance.
- Solid build quality on the headphones.
- Industry leading range.
- Nice extra features that make the experience much better.
- The base/charging station is not as premium as the rest of the headphone, making the package feel inconsistent.
6. Philips SHP9500 - Best Open Back Headphones Under 100
I am almost done reviewing with the best open back headphones in the market, but there are still some amazing products left to look at. Say hello to the Philips SHP9500, a budget friendly open back headphone that aims to deliver a lot more than it does promise.
The Philips SHP9500 has one of the most comfortable design and build quality I have had the pleasure to test, and go through with. The headphones are easy to wear, and will not make you feel uncomfortable.
As far as the sound quality is concerned, you get what you pay for; the sound stage is wide, and all the frequencies are present without having the need to overpower one or the other. In simpler terms, the headphones sound great whether you are gaming, watching movies, or listening to music.
Just make sure that you are not surrounded, because the open back nature of the headphones will leak the sound.
Philips has also done right by giving a great build quality, and at the time of writing, the only negative I can think of is the overall size of the headphones that can make it difficult to carry.
- Brilliant audio reproduction.
- Great value for money.
- Comfortable to wear.
- Despite being comfortable, the design is bulky, and large at best.
7. AKG K 240 MK II - Best Open Back Headphones Under 150
The last pair of headphones on the list is AKG K 240 MK II, a company that does not really need an introduction because of the history of their brilliant products. The 240 MKII is an open back headphone that I have tested repeatedly. I have to say, it has become my favourite.
The design is modern enough to allow you to carry the headphone whenever you want without making things awkward. The sound stage is wide and brilliant enough to allow you to listen to your music in ways you have not listened before.
The audio delivery is among the best I have listened to, it has a solid design that works well with the build quality, and despite and they don’t leak a lot of sound either. There are not many things that are wrong with the headphones, as a matter of fact, using “wrong” would be unsuitable.
In some songs, it feels as if the headphones can use a bit more punch, but that could be subjective at best.
- Great sound quality with even delivery.
- The headphones do not leak a lot of sound.
- The comfort level is on par with the best.
- Solid build quality.
- In certain songs, it feels that the bass is not punchy enough.
Phew, testing all the open back headphones was not an easy task. Especially when I am a fan of closed back headphones.
However, it is a good thing because it provides a deeper perspective into headphones that might look similar, but are completely different in terms of sound quality when compared to their closed back counterparts.
All I can say is that the headphones I have tested are the best ones you can find in the market; the roundup covers both the cheaper versions, as well as the more expensive ones, giving the reader plenty of choice when it comes to buying a pair of decent headphones in the market.
If you feel there is a headphone missing from the list, feel free to comment.