9 Best Closed-Back Headphones 2020 (Review & Complete Guide)

Everyone loves to travel with a headphone, but everyone hates to spend time on searching for a comfortable device. Best closed-back headphones are a traveler’s best friend. And while they may sound rare, you’ll be surprised to know that you’re probably using one right now.

These headphones are wholly compacted, with no space for airflow. What this means for you is better, more natural-sounding audio, with less intrusion from outside noises.

While that decision is more nuanced than just a single answer, we can help you pick out your favorite closed-back headphones.

Take a look at our review of the top 9 closed-back headphones, and don’t forget to check out the buying guide.

Reviews of Best Closed Back Headphones

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones With Detachable Cable
A great headset that cancels noise and has diverse applications, such as monitoring and mixing.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Best Overall

Driver Size: 45 mm | Sensitivity: 98 dB | Maximum Input Power: 1600 mW | Impedance: 38 ohms | Frequency Response: 15-28,000 Hz | Ear Cup Swivel: 90 degrees in both directions | Weight (without cable): 10.0 oz.

From casual streaming to professional mixing, the Audio Technical ATH-M50x is made for all purposes. It’s a critically acclaimed headphone set with active noise cancellation and a wide frequency response range. Furthermore, it gives you a truer-to-reality sound experience, free from discomfort or external noise.

Comfortable padding on the ear cups makes this set completely sound-proof. So you’re the only one that gets to enjoy your musical taste. The padding continues throughout the headphones. It provides a more comfortable and relaxing experience.

The ear cups can swivel 90 degrees in both directions, and the cable is coiled. So what you have in your hands is a 100% portable item that will last you for months.

Key Features:

  • Collapsible design for easier storage.
  • 2 to a 3-meter long cable.
  • The cable is detachable and coiled.
  • Made for mixing and tracking.
  • It can transform into a wireless headset.


  • Active noise cancellation.
  • Comfortable fit and padding.
  • True to real-life audio.
  • Critically acclaimed by top engineers.
  • Excellent balance of bass and treble.


  • Too tight – hurts the ears.
  • High-frequency sounds are too sharp.

Why Recommend It:

The one reason this headset is so widely acclaimed is the sound isolation and the applications. You can use these for tracking, mixing, monitoring, and casual listening, and even for professional DJs. The frequency range is excellent, and the corners don’t stab your ears.

2. Sony MDR7506

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Wired Headphone
These headphones provide the best audio experience while keeping comfort at an all-time high.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Best for Connectivity

Driver Size: 40 mm | Design: Closed-ear | Plug: Stereo Unimatch | Headphone Type: Dynamic, closed | Frequency Response: 10-20,000 Hz | Impedance: 63 ohms | Sensitivity: 106 dB/W/m

With a gold-plated unmatch plug, the Sony MDR7506 marks itself as high quality and reliable. It’s lightweight, easy on the ears, and has the unmatched performance. The main feature of these headphones is the large-diaphragm, which transfers up to 106 dB of sound. That is higher than its predecessors.

The Sony MDR7506 uses Gold connectors to generate a reliable connection to your phone. The cord is coiled and can stretch to up to 9.8 ft. This headset is best-known for its comfort and high noise isolation. There’s sufficient padding around the cups and the headband that eases pressure on the ears.

Key Features:

  • The coiled cord of 9.8 ft. in length.
  • Gold plug for a stable connection.
  • Foldable and portable.
  • Highly comfortable and pleasant to use.
  • Neodymium magnet.


  • Best for traveling and casual use.
  • It does not stab the ears.
  • High-quality connection.
  • Large-diaphragm for heavier sounds.
  • Made for long-term use.


  • Ear cups get warm very fast.
  • A long and bulky cord may annoy some users.

Why We Recommend It:

We highly recommended the Sony MDR7506 for the level of comfort and stability it provides. It’s one of the best closed back headphones under 100 that use a gold unmatch plug. And you get some amazing sound isolation with them.

3. Bose QC35 II Wireless

Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Noise-Cancelling
Experience luxury with performance with the Bose QC 35 II wireless headphones.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Best Luxury Wireless Headphone

Color: Rose Gold | Fit Type: Over-ear headphones | Wireless: Yes | Battery Life: 20 hours | Connectivity: Bluetooth Wireless, NFC, 3.5mm jack | Microphones: Yes, 2

Perhaps the most luxurious headset on our list, the Bose Quiet Control 35 II, is a wireless Bluetooth headphone set. Equipped with three layers of active noise cancellation, these headphones are completely wireless.

They can connect to your devices via Bluetooth or NFC. You can also make them wired by using a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Being wireless, they require frequent charging. But you won’t see yourself doing that much, as the battery can survive for up to 20 hours. What makes the headset, even more, the premium is the limited time rose gold color.

Key Features:

  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant button.
  • Three layers of noise isolation.
  • It can be folded for traveling.
  • Micro-USB charging port.
  • Charging time: 2.3 hours.


  • Longer battery life.
  • We can pair it with home assistants.
  • It can be transformed into a wired headset.
  • Premium-quality design and color.
  • Has its music app.


  • Bass is too powerful.
  • Connectivity issues are frequent.

Why We Recommend It:

This bluetooth headsets stays true to the brand name. It provides excellent noise cancellation, ease-of-access, and has a longer battery life than others. That, plus the premium design and the rose gold color, make this one the best wireless closed-back headphones.

4. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

A highly dynamic range audio headset, the Beyerdynamic is useful for DJs and mixers.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Best For DJ and Professional Use

Impedance: 250 ohms | Sound Level: 96 dB | Connectivity: 6.33 mm jack adapter | Driver Size: 45 mm | Frequency Response: 5-35,000 Hz | Fit Style: Circumaural

Now for something a bit more professional. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is a professional DJ’s best friend. With a 250 ohm impedance and the widest frequency response range, the DT 770 Pro is the perfect choice for mixing.

What sets the Beyerdynamic aside is the powerful isolation and highly comfortable ear cup padding. All parts are replaceable, including the 3 m coiled cable. Although the treble is quite high, the bass is ultra-low, resulting in a more dynamic sound range.

Key Features:

  • Cable Length: 3 meters, coiled.
  • All parts 100% replaceable.
  • Noise attenuation is 18 dB.
  • Made for professional mixing.
  • Soft circumaural ear pads.


  • Isolates external sounds.
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods.
  • It highlights the various musical notes.
  • Best for professional use.
  • Portable and travel-size.


  • Treble is too high and stingy.

Why We Recommend It:

It is no doubt one of the best closed-back headphones for DJs and professional mixers. It can detect a wide range of frequencies, best for tuning even the faintest sounds. Use it in clubs and concerts, or for recording in your studio.

5. Sennheiser HD 569

Sennheiser HD 569 Closed Back, around-ear Headphone
A perfect headset for home use, the Sennheiser HD 569, is optimized for the best song experience.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Best For Casual Listening

Impedance: 23 ohms | Frequency Response: 10-28,000 Hz | Sound Pressure Level: 115 dB | Total Harmonic Distortion: less than 0.2% | Cables: 3 m detachable with 6.3 mm jack, 1.2 detachable with 3.5 mm jack.

The Sennheiser HD 569 is a highly innovative closed-back headset built for the average user. The one thing that sets this aside from all others is the EAR (Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement) technology. Through this, they’re able to direct audio straight to your ears, generating a more realistic sound environment. 

Two detachable cables and an omnidirectional pickup pattern make this one of the best for traveling. They have a gold-plated plug for optimum connectivity. And they use a proprietary 38 mm driver from Sennheiser.

Key Features:

  • Omni-directional pickup pattern.
  • Uses Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement technology.
  • 38 mm Sennheiser driver.
  • Velour earpads for maximum comfort.


  • Produces more realistic sound effects.
  • Stable and reliable connection.
  • Stays comfortable for longer.
  • Cables are detachable.
  • Best for casual listening and studio use.


  • Very muffled bass.
  • Cord may be too small for some users.

Why We Recommend It:

We recommend the Sennheiser HD 569 for casual listening and home use. However, it may not work as well with rock and EDM, as the bass is too low. Otherwise, it’s a great product with some amazing features for the value you get it at.

6. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Sennheiser HD280 PRO Audio Wired Closed back Headphone (new model)
A high qualitative headset which provides a balance of comfort and performance. Great for the average listener.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Best for Comfort

Impedance: 64 ohms | Frequency Response: 8-25,000 Hz | Sound Pressure Level: 113 dB | Sound Attenuation Level: 32 dB | Design: Circumaural (around the ear)

Designed for accurate sound reproduction, the Sennheiser HD280 Pro is a tough, durable headset for everyday use. It features high-quality velour padding with a nominal impedance for casual listening.

The design stands out the most here. Aside from the normal padding, two special pads are poking out of the headband. It adequately reduces pressure on the head and also provides a cozier fit to the size of your head. As for performance, there’s excellent noise cancellation and low ambient sound attenuation.

Key Features:

  • Headband pads for a snugger fit.
  • Easily replaceable parts.
  • Swiveling ear cups.
  • Non-detachable 9.8 feet coiled cord.
  • Dynamic frequency range.


  • Fits your head more comfortably.
  • Readily repairable.
  • Portable and foldable.
  • Great for casual listening.
  • More nuanced audio.


  • Cannot handle impact damage well.
  • Bass could be enhanced.

Why We Recommend It:

The Sennheiser HD280 Pro is one of the best budget closed back headphones for casual listening. You can also use it for mixing, but they’re not meant for professional use. The frequency range is wide and dynamic, and there’s an excellent balance of audio tones.

7. Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Bluetooth Over-ear Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
Step up your daily routine with Sony’s smart wireless headphones. They boast an unmatched level of intelligence.

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Best Smart Wireless Headphones

Battery Life: 30 hours | Recharge Time: approximately 1 hour | Connectivity: Bluetooth, NFC | Design: Over-ear, swivel, foldable | Frequency Response: 4-40,000 Hz | Diaphragm: Aluminum-coated LCP.

If you want a smarter wireless headphone experience, then gear yourself up for the Sony WH-1000XM3. This headset is fully equipped with Amazon Alexa and hands-free calling. Through the customized sound app, you can play all your favorite songs and mix the sounds up.

Comfort is nominal here, with large deep ear cups and extra-soft padding. However, the headband is made of hard plastic so that it may put pressure on your head. But all things considered, this is by far the smartest headset on our list.

You even get the benefit of smart gestures, such as placing your hand over the right ear cup to turn the music down. The battery can last for an exceptional 30 hours, and quickly charges up in 10 minutes for 5 hours of use.

Key Features:

  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled.
  • Hands-free calling feature.
  • Gestures and touch controls.
  • Noise-canceling QN1 processor.
  • Included a smartphone app.


  • More connectivity options.
  • Can make calls with the touch of a button.
  • Great at noise isolation.
  • Lasts longer than others.
  • Wide frequency range.


  • No padding on the headband.
  • The call feature has bugs.

Why We Recommend It:

Employing the world’s leading technology, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is the smartest closed-back headphone. It’s equipped with all the daily tools you need. It’s not meant for professional use, as it doesn’t provide the adequate impedance for that.

8. V-MODA Crossfade M-100

V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Over Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone
The V-MODA M-100 stitches superior sound quality with a reinforced steel frame.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Best Over-Ear Headphones

Drivers: 50 mm, dual | Design: Circumaural (over-ear) | Frequency Response: 5-30,000 Hz | Sensitivity: 103 dB | Impedance: 32 ohms | Microphone Sensitivity: -42 dB

The V-Moda Crossfade M-100 is one of the most durable and environmentally sustainable headset. It has a frame made from stainless steel and a vegan leather cover. So you get superior quality as compared to regular plastic headbands. Every element is protected from heat, UV exposure, humidity, and saltwater.

You get all the benefits of an immersive 3-directional soundstage. Sound reproduction is on par, and every tone of the music is perfectly balanced. It is a wired set with no batteries required and with impressive sound isolation.

But do be wary of the fact that a steel frame is going to be harder and apply more pressure on your head.

Key Features:

  • Steel frame with vegan leather.
  • 3D Soundstage.
  • Exceptional sound reproduction.
  • CLIQFOLD for more portability.
  • Included carry case with V-strap.


  • More impact resistant.
  • Environmentally sustainable.
  • Easier to store and fold.
  • Great for casual listening on the go.
  • Protected from the elements.


  • The steel frame may feel uncomfortable.

Why We Recommend It:

It should be obvious by now that the V-MODA M-100 is the best closed back headphone for its durability. You get the advantage of both steel and vegan leather. And it’s highly portable as well, coming with its carry case.

9. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless

Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Now take your headphones with you anywhere with the Plantronics Back-Beat Pro 2 wireless headset.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Best for Traveling

Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Sensitivity: 93 dB | Battery Life: 24 hours | Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm jack | Pairing Distance: 330 feet |

Built with a balance in mind, the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 is a jack of all trades. It’s got excellent ANC, and an average amount of highs, lows, and mids. Although we did find that the bass may be too low and muddy. But overall, every frequency level is comfortable to listen to.

Being wireless, they connect to your phone via Bluetooth and can pair with devices up to 330 feet away. With a protective nylon sleeve and an ear cup swivel feature, the Plantronics are the best closed-back headphones for traveling.

The one thing we did find discouraging was the low battery life. It only survives for 24 hours, but if you can remember to recharge every night, then this is not an issue.

Key Features:

  • Includes travel sleeve.
  • High-quality active noise cancellation.
  • Balanced frequency levels.
  • Smart sensors.
  • Completely immerses you in your audio.


  • More comfortable to take on the go.
  • Fully immersive experience.
  • Enhances your daily routine.
  • Transforms into wired headphones.


  • Low battery life (24 hours).
  • Bass is too low.

Why We Recommend It:

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 is a tremendous choice for traveling. It comes with its travel sleeve that keeps it safe from water and dust. These smart headphones have sensors that pause your music when you take your headphones off. And the best part is that they come in a great value deal.

Who should need a closed-back headphone?

Closed-back headphones are considered as the best for casual listening. They provide excellent noise isolation, which means you can even listen to them in the office or heavy traffic areas.

However, closed-back headphones don’t allow air to pass, resulting in the ear cups warming up. But they can be an excellent way to pass your time when commuting and traveling.

What are the benefits of closed-back headphones?

Closed-back headphones are the best for casual listening. They are low in bass echoes, blocking out noise, and for providing comfort.

They do tend to heat up more often than open-back headphones, but overall, the listening experience is superior.

Things to look for when buying closed back headphones:


The brand plays an instrumental part in how well the headphones perform. There are a few brands, such as Sony and Beyerdynamic, which are famous for their excellent customer service and products.

There’s also Sennheiser and Audio-Technical. Ultimately, focusing on the brand will help you avoid scams and support issues.


There isn’t much variance in the design of the headphones. However, pay close attention to the padding and the way the headband rests on your head. Sometimes, it can put a lot of pressure on your head, leading to headaches and discomfort.


Most headphones use velour padding with a plastic frame. However, some use of steel frames and other types of padding. Hard plastic headbands do not provide comfort to your head, especially if you’re bald.


Comfort is a major concern. Often, the headphones will dig into your ears, causing pain and uneasiness. Look for headphones with deep padded ear cups and a padded headband. Avoid headphones that allow any hard parts touching your head or ears.

Sound Quality:

Sound quality refers to many things. There’s the frequency response, which means how many frequencies the headphones can pick up. It lets you create a more realistic sound experience.

Then there’s the bass, mids, and treble, and how your headphones render each. We recommend giving your new headphones a try before finalizing the purchase.


A decent set of closed-back headphones can be bought in just under $300. Some are as cheap as $200. Generally, if you want high-quality sound with lots of features, the price will go higher. Smart wireless headphones will cost more too.


See all the accessories included in your headset. Some wireless ones include a cable for connecting to airplane entertainment. Others include a carry bag or a nylon sleeve. The use of the bag is very important, especially if you want to put it in a suitcase.

Specific Requirements:

If you want to pick out the headphones best optimized for your requirements, then take a look at their impedance rating. An impedance of 32 ohms is common for casual listening and commuting. An 80 ohms impedance is used for studio recordings. And a 250 ohms rating is meant for professional sound editing and mixing.

Burning In or Not:

Burning in refers to the practice of playing music (usually white noise) on them for hours at a time. The science here is that the driver will become “more flexible” after some use. We recommend not to waste any time burning your headphones and just playing your favorite music straight away.

Open Back Vs. Closed Back:

Open-back headphones allow for lesser sound isolation but are also more comfortable to wear. They are useful for critical listening and monitoring and aren’t recommended for casual use.

Closed-back headphones, on the other hand, allow for more sound isolation and noise canceling. They are best suitable for casual use, but the ear cups heat up pretty fast.

Wireless Vs. Wired:

Finally, should you buy wired headphones or wireless? Wireless ones are easier to travel with, but the signal strength is always a concern. And they cost more too. Some are both wired and wireless. You can go for those if you have the money.


What’s the difference between closed back and open back headphones?

Open-back headphones are the ones that allow air to pass through to the speaker. The open structure significantly reduces air pressure and blocks out internal echoes.

Closed-back headphones are the one that doesn’t allow air to pass through. It can result in more echoes, but they are the best at isolating sounds and canceling noise.

What are the benefits of closed-back headphones?

With these, you get the benefit of noise blocking. So you stay entirely unaware of your surroundings. They are best for sound recording, commuting, casual listening, and mixing. Be warned, though, as they can get hotter and feel more uncomfortable.

What are the best closed-back headphones on a budget?

The best cheap, closed-back headphone would be the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. These headphones provide a decent set of features at a nominal price.

What is the difference between noise cancellation and noise isolation?

Sound or noise isolation is when you use a passive method to block out noise. It is mainly accomplished by using a deep ear cup that creates a bubble around your ear.

Noise cancellation, on the other hand, uses a more active method. This technique involves the use of out-of-sync sound waves that cause destructive interference. So the noise that would otherwise hit your headphone’s ear cup is destroyed.

Final Thoughts:

These were the top 9 best closed-back headphones for you to buy. You’ll find that they’re all made for different purposes and different end-users.

Out of these, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x seems to top the charts. It is the best all-rounder headphone that is useful in optimization for multiple purposes.

So use the buying guide to find the perfect closed-back headphone for yourself. And enjoy your music like never before.

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