Because we are headphones fan, the amount of reading and research we’ve done about the subject is something we do not want to admit. Because of our extensive knowledge, however, we wanted to continue our range of top 10’s for popular headphones in the market. In this article, we have mentioned the best Closed-Back headphones models to compare and contrast. In the primary consumer market, they are by far the most prominent designs. Let’s have a look at them.
The best Closed-Back headphones are precise as they sound – the back of the ear cups has a solid or “closed” construction, allowing for superior sound insulation. Where open-backed headphones have perforated plastic that surrounds the driver, closed headphones are a much better job for sealing your music and sealing ambient noise.
List of the best Closed-Back headphones
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
High-end cans with multiple impedance models to suit all tastes
The DT 770 PRO, one of Beyerdynamic’s most popular headphones, is available in three variants, each with a different impedance – 32 Ω, 80 Ω and 250 Ω. The 80 Ω headphones seem to offer the best compromise, being extremely well balanced across the audible spectrum, not requiring much power to drive them, and delivering clear, detailed highs and just enough weighty low-end punch for that feel-good factor when tracking.
Thanks to their velour padding, these are pretty comfortable cans, which should make those long studio sessions a pleasure. You don’t have to worry too much about the rigors of everyday use either, as all parts are replaceable. The length and type of cable depend on the impedance variant you choose – our preference is for 80 Ω speakers with a 3 m straight cable. Overall, this is one of the best closed-back headphones of 2021.
Still one of the best pairs of all-round headphones money can buy
What can we say about these headphones? A-T is here to stay with their equipment, and that too long. We are rocking a few Audio-Technica ATH-M50x because we like to use them for work. After all, they are so comfortable. The audio quality is also excellent, and we have no complaints when it comes to the distribution of frequencies and the overall brightness.
What’s also nice is that it has a replaceable cable (comes with three options in the box), you get a great opportunity, short and rolled up for whatever use you need. Adjustable headband, rotating earpieces, and they are also foldable. There is a new ATH-M70x that you may want to view for a step up, but the price is considerably higher. These are one of the best closed-back headphones out there, and that will belong. They are simply reliable.
Focal Listen Professional
These mid-priced, closed-back headphones are great all-rounders
Better known for its studio monitors, Focal has transferred its talent for high-quality audio from in front of your face to the sides of your head with remarkable aplomb. An ideal mid-range solution for both everyday listening and professional studio work, the Focal Listen Professionals are the definition of great all-rounders. With a snug but comfortable headband and hip red foam ear cups, these speakers look and feel as good as they sound.
We found their frequency response perfectly balanced: neutral, powerful bass with plenty of extension; full, bright mids; sparkling, smooth highs. Add to that a nice hard-shell case, and a choice between a 5m coil cable and a 1.4m straight cable with inline remote and volume control, and we don’t think you’ll find a better pair of all-round headphones for this price range. Overall, this is one of the best closed-back headphones.
ADAM Audio SP-5
Precision reference cans for the discerning audio professional
Germany’s ADAM Audio has quickly established a reputation for producing high-quality monitors with excellent accuracy across the frequency spectrum, and its first foray into the headphone market is no less impressive. Developed in collaboration with fellow German audio engineering company Ultrasone, the SP-5 features the same S-LOGIC Plus technology as Ultrasone’s high-end PRO headphones.
This technology is designed to reduce ear fatigue during long listening sessions by directing sound around the ear rather than directly into it. The resulting sound field is very open and natural with excellent bass response. You notice that the SP-5s are not designed to exaggerate or suppress frequencies, but to accurately reproduce what you hear in the speakers, especially for owners of other ADAM Audio products. Overall, this is one of the best closed-back headphones
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Rugged, reliable and still a firm favourite for professional monitoring
We’re going with a few Sennheiser’s to turn off our list as the best closed-back headphones that we have now. The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, in particular, is perhaps one of the most popular pairs of cans ever. Their entire HD line of headphones is worth watching, so we feel weird, we only mention one, but we did this because they score so high and are closed too.
With the 280s, you get a clear, warm sound that is flat between all frequencies. They are also collapsible and have rotating ear cups for convenience. In terms of comfort, you are good to go for an extended period of listening, and the whole build is very robust and will not break easily. If you want a quick and easy answer to getting a pair of closed-back headphones, take it and do not look back.
These field-recording favourites are oldies but goodies
Here is another budget-friendly choice that rivals the Shure mentioned above. The Sony MDR7506 is quite famous (we still have our pair after ten years or so) and have stood the test of time. They are highly appreciated for the overall solid build, have excellent mid-range performance, and great sounding bass. Although the audiophiles like to criticize that the highs have a pronounced peak, it is still a solid headphone at a reasonable price if you want an evenly distributed sound.
The cable is not detachable, so if you want to be critical, you can, but in general, these are very solid. If you are debating this or the Shure, we will go with what is currently cheaper – we still have our MDRs here in the office and trust us, they have stood the test of time. Overall, this is one of the best closed-back headphones.
Wireless, studio-quality sound built for a mobile lifestyle
AKG’s K371 headphones are among the best closed-back headphones for studio recording, combining superior build quality with excellent sound performance. And now AKG fans who don’t want cables can rejoice at the arrival of a Bluetooth-enabled version, the K371-BTs.
Sleek, modern and comfortable, these closed-back headphones are packed with features: in addition to Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, you get a built-in microphone, gesture controls on the earcup and a 40-hour battery life. Plus, the 50 mm titanium-coated transducers are tuned to the AKG Reference Response Acoustics Curve for a professional, balanced response across the frequency range.
And with an industry-leading range of 5Hz to 40kHz, what a range that is. Delivering authoritative bass, articulate midrange and clear, detailed treble, the K371-BT effortlessly combines the precision required for studio blues with the cable-free convenience of a modern, mobile lifestyle. Overall, this is one of the best closed-back headphones.
KRK KNS 8400
Popular speaker company makes a move into headphones
KRK’s monitor speakers, instantly recognizable by their distinctive yellow cones, can be found in studios around the world – but you probably didn’t know that the company also produces a range of headphones, also aimed at studio dwellers and built on the same principle of affordable, high-quality sound. The top-of-the-line model, the KNS 8400, has soft memory-foam ear cups that provide the necessary comfort, and you can also get an inline volume control.
External noise isolation is good for 30dBA, and the package comes with a faux leather case and microfiber cleaning cloth. As for the sound, KRK has voiced these headphones in the same way as its studio monitors. So if you have KRK equipment in your setup, buying a pair of KNS 8400s is a logical step. Overall, this is one of the best closed-back headphones.
Status Audio CB-1
These new(ish) cans on the block deliver premium sound for peanuts
The Status Audio CB-1s made a big impression on the market when they came out a few years ago. Professionals and connoisseurs alike were impressed that such high-quality looking and sounding headphones were available at such a reasonable price, which led to these closed-back headphones gaining a kind of cult status among connoisseurs. Up close, the build quality is a bit of a mixed bag.
While the plastics are sturdy, the padding soft, and the gold rings around the ear cups are real metal (though not gold!), the headband material wrinkles quite a bit. For this price, it’s mostly about the sound, and the CB-1 offers a listening experience that’s better than you’d reasonably expect from headphones costing twice as much. Overall, this is one of the best closed-back headphones.
How can we get an article about headphones and mention Beyerdynamic at least once? They are pretty well known for their open-back headphones, but the Beyer DT-250 system, especially the closed model, is also reliable. It is usually seen within the middle price level and offers a lightweight, unobtrusive design with a detachable cable. The sound is very balanced, and the headband rests well with its soft filling.
What’s cool about Beyer is that most of their headphones are equipped with interchangeable parts – cables, earpieces, and more. Although it depends on the person, BT is another brand that many will say to grab, or it is not worth it. Check this pair of one of the best closed-back headphones if you want something in the middle price level that still enjoys a high reputation when it comes to built quality.