Best Open Back Headphones for 2020
Music Authority may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
Are you looking for open-back headphones but the plethora of options in the market has left you perplexed? We’re here to help you out.
Let’s talk a little about open-back headphones first. These headphones allow air to pass through their ear cups to the speaker. So if you’re working in an isolated environment where there’s not much of background noise, open-back headphones are an ideal companion. They ensure that the sound quality remains natural and clear.
Some of the most important factors to consider while buying open-back headphones are comfort, connectors, the drivers used in the headphones and your budget.
We’ve picked the 5 best open-back headphones that promise to stay true to all the mentioned factors. Read more to find out.
|1. Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Gen Ninja Edition Audiophile Stereo Headphones|
Buy on Amazon
|2. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones|
Buy on Amazon
|3. Sennheiser HD600 Open Back Professional Headphone|
Buy on Amazon
|4. Ether Flow 1.1 Open Back Headphone|
Buy on Amazon
|5. Sennheiser HD800 S Reference Headphone System|
Buy on Amazon
Our Best Open Back Headphones Reviews and Comparisons
1. Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Gen Ninja Edition Audiophile Stereo Headphones
- HARMONICALLY TUNED FREQUENCY: Compared with its predecessor, the T1 stands out with an even more harmonically tuned frequency range and impresses thanks to even further enhanced tuning with an added touch of warmth and musicality that will delight discerning listeners
- INTEGRATED TESLA TECHNOLOGY: The integrated Tesla technology lends the second generation of the T1 optimal efficiency and together with a 600-ohm VC ensures extraordinary impulse fidelity
- DETACHABLE CABLE: The headphones come with a 3m long double-sided, textile braided cable with copper conductors
- COMFORTABLE USE: Breathable, super-soft ear cushions and high-quality headband made of protein-coated synthetic leather ensure high wearing comfort
- BEYERDYNAMIC AUTHORIZED DEALER: Includes USA Manufacturer Warranty
The Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Gen is unparalleled for high-quality sound and detailed workmanship. These are semi-open stereo headphones accredited by Tesla Hi-Fi. T1 2nd Gen plays crystal-clear, excels with faultless fidelity to the impulse, and delights lovers of all music genres.
The T1 stands out with an even more harmonious frequency range and impresses with an additional touch of warmth and musicality, thanks to further enhanced tuning. A deliberately amplified bass provides the low-frequency base for contemporary music fans.
The headphones come with a 3 meter long double-sided, nylon braided cable with copper conductors.
What We Like About Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Gen Ninja Edition Audiophile Stereo Headphones
The integrated Tesla technology provides optimum efficiency for the second generation of the T1. It also ensures extraordinary impulse fidelity together with a 600-ohm voice coil.
The essential portable USB DAC Impacto and Impact Universal are optimally tuned for the high-end headphone models of Beyerdynamic, providing them with a digital edge. This allows you to no longer feel the need to rely on the jack plug of your portable end devices.
Breathable, super-soft ear cushions and high-quality headband made of protein-coated synthetic leather ensure high wearing comfort.
What We Don’t Like About Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Gen Ninja Edition Audiophile Stereo Headphones
The only drawback of these headphones is that they come with fewer accessories.
- Amplified bass
- Tesla technology provides optimum efficiency
- Super-soft ear cushions and high-quality headband
- Fewer accessories
2. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones
- High-efficiency magnets and pure alloy magnetic circuit design reduce distortion and ensure accurate and extended high-frequency response
- Carbon composite resin improves structural rigidity to provide detailed transient response
- Acoustically transparent, aluminum honeycomb-mesh housings provide a natural and spacious open-back sound
- Breathable fabric earpads and improved wing support provide long-wearing comfort
- Feather-light weight (approx. 210 g w/o cable) and robust construction make headphones perfectly suited for professional use
ATH-R70x has a very smooth, pleasant and balanced signature tone. Bass and mids are balanced with a good bass presence and low bass extension.
These headphones are an excellent choice for those who are looking for a safe and comfortable music listening experience. On vocals, ATH-R70x is particularly good.
Rather balanced, almost ruler flat tonality makes ATH-R70x quite useful for analyzing tonality and changing the equalizer. Ideal for long sessions, these headphones are lightweight and comfortable.
Headband pressure is low, but it fits very well, and even with lots of head movement, it does not move easily from the position. At 7.4 ounces, ATH-R70x is very comfortable and feather-light.
What We Like About Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones
ATH-R70x is probably not the only headphone that fits all music, but it really excels in what it does best – vocal, pop, and jazz. Generally, modern recordings on ATH-R70x with closed miking sound amazing. With the right DAC and amplifier, ATH-R70x sounds beautiful and highly engaging.
What We Don’t Like About Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones
When it comes to the imperfections of these headphones, they have unclear left and right markings. Also, only one long (3 meters) stock cable is included. The headband size might be a little short for someone with a large head.
- Fits genres of vocals, pop and jazz
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Balanced tone
- Unclear left and right markings
- Headband size insufficient for large heads
3. Sennheiser HD600 Open Back Professional Headphone
- Lightweight aluminum voice coils ensure excellent transient response
- Neodymium ferrous magnets maintain optimum sensitivity and excellent dynamics
- Sophisticated design, elegantly finished in black and gray
- High quality open metal mesh earpiece covers
- Detachable, Kevlar reinforced oxygen free copper cable with very low handling noise
One of the strongest points of this model is its durability. Each part is replaceable and can be easily found online. The HD600 are made of simple elements and can last longer. The drivers are very reliable.
The Sennheiser HD600 is mostly made of plastic, but it is a higher quality plastic compared to that of its competitors. The construction is very solid, especially the metal articulation between the headband assembly and the ear cups.
What We Like About Sennheiser HD600 Open Back Professional Headphone
At 9.5 ounces, they are on the lighter side of open over-ear headphones. The weight is nicely distributed through all the construction, with a sturdy headband and its four pieces of very thick foam (1.5 cm). They have an ability to sound effortless, even while keeping a very balanced tone.
What We Don’t Like About Sennheiser HD600 Open Back Professional Headphone
The stock cables are, however, a bit too cheap for a $300 pair. The connectors are too thin and fragile, and can quickly become defective. The Sennheiser HD650 comes with a more robust cable.
- Solid construction
- Highly durable
- Fragile connectors
4. Ether Flow 1.1 Open Back Headphone
- V-Planar driver technology for lower distortion and improved frequncy response
- TrueFlow driver for improved resolution and dynamics
- Ultralight NiTinol metal headband
- All metal headband and gimbal for exceptional resolution
- Italian NAPPA lamb leather ear pads and head strap
The headband of the Mr. Speakers Ether Flow 1.1 open-back headphones has a two-tiered design. Two-wire bands bend across the top, with a strip of leather underneath them. As a result, the headband is flexible and will fit just about any head size.
The Ether Flow 1.1 earpads are made of thick, soft foam. They have a bit of a memory foam feel to them but maintain a sense of firmness in the middle. This headphone also comes with a VIVO cable with your choice of connector.
What We Like About Ether Flow 1.1 Open Back Headphone
The low frequencies of this product have a sense of quickness and dynamic activity. The middle frequencies have a wonderful sense of vastness and fastness to them.
And, the high frequencies, like the rest of the frequency spectrum, are dynamically moving. Additionally, it has a great soundstage that gives life and energy to a wide variety of genres.
What We Don’t Like About Ether Flow 1.1 Open Back Headphone
The only bad thing about these headphones is that you don’t get any extra accessories with them.
- Two-tiered, flexible headband
- Comfortable earpads
- Balanced frequencies
- No extra accessories
5. Sennheiser HD800 S Reference Headphone System
- Open back, around ear, reference class dynamic headphone
- 56mm ring radiator transducers are the largest drivers ever used in dynamic headphones
- Innovative absorber technology reduces unwanted frequency response peaks allowing all the music nuances to become audible
- Unique ear cup design directs sound waves to the ear at a slight angle to create an impressively natural and spatial listening experience
- Includes two connecting cables: single ended 1/4 inches And balanced 4. 4 mm Pentacon cable
The original HD800 from Sennheiser is widely considered one of the best, most transparent sets of headphones ever made. By transparency, I mean that it goes to great lengths to not discolor the music you’re listening to and ensures it is as close to its original form as possible.
The new design is claimed to deliver a slightly wider frequency response of 4Hz to 51kHz (at a rather generous -10dB), where the original was rated at 6Hz to 51kHz. Their headphones’ weight of 11.6 ounces is pretty light for this type of product. The wonderful design of these full-sized headbands and earpads ensures maximum comfort.
What We Like About Sennheiser HD800 S Reference Headphone System
The combination of metal, microfiber cloth for the ear pads and high-quality plastic has resulted in a smart, modern design that promises to last long even for heavy use. The open design also means that your ears don’t heat up anywhere near as much as they do with closed-back rivals.
What We Don’t Like About Sennheiser HD800 S Reference Headphone System
These headphones have been designed to be used in a well-isolated room. They’re sensitive to ambient noise, by design. Also, they’re bulky and heavy.
- Transparent and undiluted sound
- Highly comfortable
- Sensitive to ambient noise
Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Gen Ninja Edition Audiophile Stereo Headphones are the best open-back headphones according to us. With its amplified bass that delivers exceptional sound quality, Tesla technology for efficient audio and highly comfortable earpads make it the star product on our list.
But if you want to explore other options, we have 4 more products on our list that are great in their own league. So choose one and enjoy your music!