Headphones come in different types and sizes. For those of you who take a few headphones seriously and just listen to music and do not mind knowing what kind of stuff you use, a few simple headphones will do it. However, we assume that those of you who are here today for the Best Open-Back Headphones for real audiophiles, every little detail counts, and when it comes to listening to our favorite sounds, we need something of top class. Yes, there is more to it than just the price when comparing a pair of Apple Earbuds stock with a nice pair of Sennheisers next to the price. Let’s take a look at our list of the top 10 best open-back headphones in the world.
It took a while to really decide, but here we go with Beyer headphones to start our list at number 1 for the best open-back headphones on the market today. The biggest reason is that we are now letting these fluctuate, and we are totally crazy about it. The accuracy over the frequency range and the detail that they offer when we mix is beautiful and blows a lot out of the water. Do some research and you will see that we are not the only ones to make this decision, since the Beyerdynamic DT-990 holding now rules everyone. If you can afford them, they are one of the best open-back headphones supported by countless years of user reviews.
For starters, the DT-990 gives you a super soft headband cushion and earcups, a well-built design that will last for years if you take good care of it, and above all an extremely clear sound quality. Most importantly, however, is very well-rounded and flat frequency response, since you do not get blown-up bass or high tones. In terms of price we would say that it is a walk to the higher models, but if you can pay this bad boy, do not look around and grab him. It also looks smooth. Look at those ear cushions, they look so comfortable that I can use them as a pillow, not to mention a build that will take you for a while for a solid investment – one of the best open-back headphones on the market.
AKG K 701
The AKG K 701 is also one of our favorite open-back cans out there, especially since AKG is a brand name that you can trust. This pair may be slightly cheaper than our previous pair of open-back pairs, so if you want to save a few euros, you can choose this route, depending on where you look. It is said that they are ‘optimized for DJs’, but in reality, they are perfect for mixes in general. The build of the K 701 is solid, so it becomes a smart investment, super clear sound, a three-dimensional earmould (good for a custom fit, so you can adjust it accordingly), and well-balanced frequency response. We are still in high-value models when it comes to price, so grab this pair if you can not afford the DT-990, but still want something prestige in the best open-back headphones in the world.back to menu ↑
Sennheiser HD 600
We would be disappointed in ourselves if we did not have a pair of Sennheiser headphones in the top 3 of our best open-back headphones guide, especially an HD model. The Sennheiser HD 600 is a bit higher in price, but we guarantee that more than half of the audiophiles you ask about open-back headphones will tell you to grab a few Senny HDs, probably this pair in particular. They are one of the most popular open-minded couples in the audiophile community.
What drives some away, however, is the higher price, so keep in mind that before you check the prices, they are worth every penny if you have them. Aluminum voice coils, comfortable fit, clear and bright frequencies of every level, detachable cable, and a metal grille combination make the HD 600 an all-around beast with headphones. If you are intrigued by the Senny HD series, browse through the other models, because you can go lower or higher when it comes to price, quality, and type of headphones.back to menu ↑
We hope you heard about Audio-Technica and if you do not have one yet, let’s say we are slightly obsessed with their equipment. This specific Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 has been on the road for a number of years, so we have some time to back up when it comes to a long life and a model that is the best open-back headphone. It has a housing in honeycomb aluminum housing with that self-adjusting wing system that they also have on some of their gaming headsets. The ATH-AD700 has an excellent frequency distribution and many would be crazy, but the driver is big (we know that bigger is not necessarily better), but it does not hurt 53 mm. The ear pads are velvety, so this thing will be comfortable on your head (especially if you will continue for hours and hours like us). Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones right now.back to menu ↑
If you have read one of our microphone reviews, you would have noticed that there is a Shure gear model at least once. Their headphones are also pretty solid. The Shure SRH1840 is a monster of a completely different level. Before you let the price get in the way of your decision, we advise you to at least see if this is a possibility. Dual-exit cables on each side of the pair, replaceable veluer pads with custom-forming foam and especially super clear audio quality with high-quality acoustic drivers.
Actually, everything about this pair of open-back headphones is of high quality, directly to the connectors that are attached to the end of the cables. It also comes with a cover, replaceable pads, replacement cable and an adapter with a screw thread in the box. It is not for the average. If you have the money, you get today a top-of-the-pair of one of the best open-back headphones that focus on the sum of the parts.back to menu ↑
Sony MDR MA900
The Sony MDR MA900 open-back headphones are slightly cheaper, so if you want to save some money, we would say that this is our favorite budget-friendly pair that you can grab. It has a relatively simple design without fancy-fit systems or the like (the headband is pretty standard). Reportedly super comfortable with those nice, dense ear cushions as you can see and the middle range is very clear. A solid detailed sound with some warmth for them. It goes well with most types of music and rivals, the HD 600 is just a bit short (in our opinion – but the prices reflect that too). Although many professional open-back headphones are pricey, we consider this a middle price. Sony does not disappoint when it comes to the construction of their headphones, so in terms of longevity, you are good to go for years if you take care of them. Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones to buy.back to menu ↑
Here is another A-T pair of open-back cans and this has recently been announced, so it’s fresh in the market. We actually carry a few M50x while writing this and the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x is their first reference pair as part of their monitor line of headphones (very famous now under the headphones world). You have the advanced 3D wing support system for great comfort, double-sided detachable cable, honeycomb nets, and an overall natural sounding sound. We would grab this if you were an A-T-nerd like us, want a decent build, and prefer the fresh and new headphones. Overall, this is one of the best open-back headphones on the market.back to menu ↑
We were a little less familiar with HiFiMan equipment, to be honest, but because their reputation grew higher when it came to quality, we had to see what they were about. The HiFiMan HE-400I is great to use in the wide frequency range it offers, and gives you a pretty loud sound, well-built drivers and a comfortable fit (pretty good on your head, just look at the picture for how they wrap themselves) your ears and completely overwhelmed with the sound – the cups are a lot bigger than most). A very detailed sound here and although they are great for most applications, we would not recommend traveling with them because of how big they are. It is like a gigantic metal cushion that will rest on your head and ears, really around you with the sound you have before you. Such specs make it one of the best open-back headphones right now.back to menu ↑
Philips Fidelio X1
Just another option as the best open-back headphones to take this into account. The Philips Fidelio X1 has about the same price as the other in the middle range. It has a very solid metal construction that will last a long time if you pay attention to the pair and 50 mm neodymium drivers. The drivers are “pre-tilted” at 15 degrees, which is said to help with “precision” when reaching your ears and the 3D mesh fit is great for a tailored feeling when it is on your head. The Fidelio X1 headband is leather that is never a bad thing (especially if you plan to wear it for a long time, comfort will always be important, especially to avoid the annoying pain that occurs after a while). Check the price and if you can find it under two accounts in one way or another, we would take it as that would be a bargain.back to menu ↑
AKG K 240 MKII
Last but not least, we have an AKG model and it is one of the more popular pairs of reference headphones in the audiophile world. The only thing we can choose is the “semi-open” design, so technically they should not be here, but at number 10 we thought why not for another option? Some standard functions here with the AKG K 240 MKII, but still a stunning quality: self-adjusting headband, 3D-fit system, solid bass and clear high frequency, as well as our favorite: a detachable cable. It is actually a bit cheaper than many of the headphones in this article, so if you go as low as you can in terms of price and still find a reliable model, this could be for you. They are very affordable, offer excellent quality, and are one of the best open-back headphones right now.
Best Open-Back Headphones are designed to provide a compelling listening experience by reducing the level of insulation between you and your environment. They produce a spatial sound image and give you the impression of listening to a good loudspeaker that is set up in an ideal room. However, they leak a lot, so they are not the best choice if you want to use them outdoors, because they can distract people around you.