Open back headphones are a drastic departure from closed, noise-cancelling over-the-ear headphones or in-ear earphones. Audiophiles love the warmer, richer, more immersive sound that open headphones offer, with instrument rich music styles like symphony and jazz showing the most improvements with this technology. Since they are open, they aren’t going to be your choice for use at the gym or on the bus; they let air pass through, so you’ll still be aware of conversations going on around you, and people will be able to hear what you’re listening to pretty easily. But for home use, you’ll reach for these every time, and it’s incredibly easy to sink into your favorite record and spend hours enjoying what seems like a brand new listen.
What You Should Know
- Good for students
- High Quality on a reasonable budget
- Limited deep bass
A good all-around choice, these lightweight headphones are comfortable for long wear and, while not being the least expensive option on this list, are certainly more budget friendly than high-end domestically produced headphones. They’re a good choice for studying, working from home, or relaxing, and are particularly popular with reviewers for use playing music from a smartphone.
“After 7 months of use, I can say that the hype on this headphone is not overblown. This set of headphones is significantly better than anything else I have tried at this price-point. “
Best for Gamers
What You Should Know
- Fantastic 360 degree sound
- Entry level price
- 700X is the midpoint for this line, 500x and 1000x also available
Affordable but with excellent performance, Audio-Technica’s audiophile headphones make for a truly immersive experience. You’ll enjoy rich sound that seems to envelop in a truly 360 degree listening experience, making them a delight for listening to orchestra performances, but the earn the highest reviews from competitive gamers and virtual reality enthusiasts, who love the excellent directional cues, giving them an edge over the competition in stealth and survival based games in particular.
“I don’t know how these Audio Technica ATH-AD700X have done it, but they nailed the directional audio. I can feel when someone is in front of me to the right… or behind me to the left. The way the noise hits in the headphones is amazing! It’s greatly improved my game since now instead of hearing footsteps and trying to guess where it’s coming from I can actually know”