11 Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming (2020 In-Depth Reviews)

Soundstage and imaging are two very critical aspects of audio in gaming. The soundstage is the capability of your audio output to perceive the in-depth sound, while audio imaging is the ability to pick differently located sounds. These two are not the only qualities you have to consider. In addition, comfort is equally important. This is where the best open-back headphones for gaming work really well because they have all these properties.

In this post, we’ll focus on our list of best open-back headphones for gaming in 2020.

So sit back and relax. After that, we have a lot of information coming your way!

Open Back Gaming Headphones: Top 3 Picks

#1. Best for Overall (Editor’s Choice) – HD660S by Sennheiser

Sennheiser HD 660S HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone

These headphones come with high-quality transducers with high quality and lightweight aluminum voice coils.

The diaphragms are made of stainless steel so these headphones produce exceptional sound with great details.

This pair has a balanced frequency response rate and is highly accurate.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

#2. Best Value for Money – ATHR70x by Audio Technica

Audio Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones

These headphones have magnetic circuits made of pure alloy to reduce any audio distortion and also extend the rate of high-frequency response.

The structural rigidity of these headphones remains intact due to the carbon composite that Audio Technica has been used in the construction of these headphones.

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

#3. Best for Versatility – DT990Pro by Beyerdynamic

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Studio Headphones

Available in 2 different colors, these headphones are the best for the audiophiles on a budget.

These headphones are good for gaming but they also work well for mixing, editing, and sound production. This means that these headphones are great when it comes to imaging and sound staging in most aspects.

4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


Comparison Chart

Headphones Best for 
HD660S by SennheiserOverallCheck price
ATHR70x by Audio TechnicaValueCheck price
DT990Pro by BeyerdynamicVersatilityCheck price
HD599 by SennheiserWearing ComfortCheck price
Game ONE by SennheiserCompatibility Check price
SR80e Prestige by GradoBudgetCheck price
HD650 by SennheiserFrequency Response
w/ Reduced Distortion
Check price
K712 by AKG ProSound ImagingCheck price
SHP9500 by PhilipsFull Sound SpectrumCheck price
SR850 by SamsonSemi-Open DesignCheck price
K240 STUDIO by AKGLoss-Free TransmissionCheck price

11 Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming Reviewed

1. HD660S by Sennheiser – Best for Overall (Editor’s Choice)

Sennheiser HD 660S HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone

If you are looking for high-resolution headphones for gaming with exceptional sound detailing then this is the right kind of pair for you.

  • Improved transducers for high-quality output
  • The nominal impedance of 15 ohms
  • Detachable cables
  • A frequency response rate is 10Hz to 41KHz

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

The HD660S from Sennheiser are the best open-back headphones for gaming overall. These dynamic headphones feature modern-day transducers which help in lowering any harmonic distortion.

Sennheiser has hand-picked the transducers for these headphones to match the tolerance on both earpieces for high-end accuracy. It also improves the presentation of the stereo spatial properties.

These headphones come with 150-ohm impedance which means that they can easily connect with the mobile and home devices with Hi-Res capabilities.

These headphones are able to maintain the integrity of the signals due to the highly conductive OFC Copper. And it also ensures that the handling noise remains low.

Key Features:

  • Low harmonic distortion
  • 1dB tolerance on both sides
  • High precision in output due to the transducers
  • 150-ohm impedance
  • 10 to 41 kHz frequency response

PROS:

  • Low distortion in harmonic due to the high-quality transducers
  • Matching left/right tolerance of 1dB with stereo spatial accuracy
  • The impedance of 15 ohms allowing it to connect with different Hi-Res devices
  • Cables feature highly conductive OFC copper for increases signal integrity and no handling noise

CONS:

  • These headphones are not designed for large heads
  • Sound quality tends to deteriorate with the passage of time

FAQs:

  • How long is the cable that comes with these headphones?

These headphones come with a cable that is three meters long.

  • Are these headphones okay to use in an office environment?

If you work in an open office, there will be a lot of people sitting around you. Open-back headphones are designed to leak nose so these headphones are not the right choice for such an environment. 

Why We Loved It?

These headphones are capable to connect with any Hi-Res audio device and can produce high-quality sound with great detailing and accuracy.

2. ATHR70x by Audio Technica – Best for Value

Audio Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones

If you want a good sounding pair of headphones that come at a pretty decent price as well, then the R70x works pretty well. The high impedance of these headphones makes sure that you can easily connect them with any source.

  • Highly accurate sounds
  • Very detailed transient response due to carbon resin construction
  • Comfortable fit
  • Detachable cables

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Audio Technica headphones need no introduction. Their R70x headphones are one of the best when it comes to good quality imaging. This is going to be very helpful for you in identifying which sound is coming from where.

Therefore if you are looking for a decent pair of headphones to enjoy your gaming activities then you shouldn’t look any further. 

With a decent price tag, these headphones come with highly efficient magnets made of pure alloy. This type of construction features in most Audio Technica headphones.

Therefore, it significantly reduces distortions and boosts response to high-frequency sounds.

These headphones are extremely durable as well made of carbon composite.

Key Features:

  • Pure-alloy magnets for lowering distortion
  • Constructed with resin imbued with carbon
  • Breathable fabric on earpads
  • The frequency response of 4Hz to 40 kHz
  • Driver size 45mm

PROS:

  • Durable construction involving resin with carbon composite
  • Natural open-back sound with honeycomb mesh made of aluminum
  • The earpads have highly breathable fabric for long hours wearing
  • Sound remains accurate which is beneficial in different 3D games

CONS:

  • You need to replace the earpad after some use because it is not very comfortable

FAQs:

  • Can these headphones work without an amp?

You don’t need an amplifier for these headphones and are capable of working with any source with 470 ohms impedance.

  • Are they good for wearing long hours?

Now, they are not great for wearing long hours. You definitely need to replace the earbuds especially if you have a large head.

Why We Loved It?

With a decent price, these headphones work splendidly well with any source and you can enjoy playing your game with an exceptional frequency response rate.

3. DT990Pro by Beyerdynamic – Best for Versatility

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Studio Headphones

These headphones are great for you to do so much with them. Play your favorite games, watch movies and create music. They are robust and come with a good frequency response range as well.

  • Both 80 and 250-ohm models are available
  • Range of frequency response is 5 Hz to 35 kHz
  • Pressure level detectable for nominal sound is 96dB

4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Though this is a pair of headphones designed for mixing and editing, they are equally good for gaming as well.

These headphones will not only allow you to master the art of music but will also allow you to respond well to various sounds when you are enjoying your game.

The reason is that these headphones come with coiled cables that can handle nominal sounds with a pressure level of 96dB.

The frequency handling of this pair ranges between 5 Hz to 35 kHz. Due to which you can easily pick up the minute sounds during your games and respond accordingly.

The single-sided cable design of these headphones makes them very practical when you are playing.

Key Features:

  • Frequency response range between 5 Hz and 35 kHz
  • Velour earpads for durable comfort
  • One-sided cable for ease of use and practicality
  • Able to handle sound pressure level of 98dB

PROS:

  • Best for mixing excellent for gaming
  • Robust steel construction for long-lasting performance
  • The circumaural construction enhances audio spatial capabilities of these headphones
  • Even the minor alterations in the positioning of the acoustic source are detectable

CONS:

  • The sound tends to bloat in the mid-range
  • Shrills highs make in-game music slightly uncomfortable to listen to

FAQs:

  • Can I use these headphones with my laptop?

No, not really! Though you can use them with your laptop, they are not going to sound very well. For that, you will need an amp.

  • Can I replace the earpads on these headphones?

If you use your headphones with enough care you won’t need to replace your earpads any time soon. But yes, you can replace them conveniently.

Why We Loved It?

We loved the fact that these headphones are excellent for almost anything. You can play your games, do your music stuff and also watch movies on your laptop with these headphones using an amp.

4. HD599 by Sennheiser – Best for Comfortable Wearing

Sennheiser HD 599 Open Back Wired Headphone

The HD599 are the headphones that Sennheiser has made for true gain fanatics. You can wear these headphones as long as you want because they have very premium quality and comfortable construction.

  • 50-ohm impedance
  • 38mm transducers
  • Versatile connectivity

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

These headphones from Sennheiser are the best in terms of wearing comfort.

The open-back construction of these headphones offers supreme comfort and if you are a hardcore gamer then these headphones are great in every sense of the word. The headphones are powered by the 50-ohm 38mm transducers.

This pair is excellent for low-frequency sounds and will work wonderfully well during your games. They are good at audio imaging but don’t expect a lot because sound staging will get overwhelmed if there are too many complications involved in the source.

These are good decent headphones with above-average performance due to low distortion and superb dynamic. 

Key Features:

  • 50-ohm impedance
  • Frequency response range between 12 Hz and 38.5 kHz
  • Premium quality components for supreme comfort
  • Aluminum transducer voice coils for low distortion

PROS:

  • Its open acoustic design enhances your listening experience
  • Rigid design with lightweight construction, excellent for wearing long hours
  • These headphones offer versatile connectivity with 6.3mm jack for a home entertainment system as well as a 3.5mm jack for laptops, tablets, and phones

CONS:

  • They don’t tend to handle increased volume very well
  • Distortion tends to increase with increased volume

FAQs:

  • Do these headphones have a good base?

These headphones are not your typical bass headphones but they still do a pretty good job in this department.

  • Do the ear cups twist easily for traveling?

No, these ear cups cannot twist so they are not your ideal choice for traveling purposes.

Another thing is that you cannot wear them on your commute because they leak sound because of their open-back construction.

Why We Loved It?

These headphones are designed for comfort and because of that, you can wear them comfortably for a long time on a daily basis.

5. Game ONE by Sennheiser – Best for Compatibility

Sennheiser Game ONE Gaming Headset

There are headsets that are very hard to find that offer this much compatibility. You can use this pair with almost anything you want. With the 3.5mm jack you know you always have that chance!

  • Hear all the minor details in your game
  • Easy mic mute
  • Exchangeable cables for connectivity
  • Designed for the gamers

4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

If you are looking for a pair that comes with a number of connectivity options then Sennheiser’s Game One should be your choice.

Sennheiser has constructed these headphones aesthetically and they do look like they have come from a true gamer’s vault. 

With these high-quality headphones, you are all set for a sound quality that is extremely clear thanks to the original technology that Sennheiser has used for its transducers.

You will get exchangeable cables that will allow you maximum compatibility with multiple platforms. These include Mac, PC, tablets, phones, and consoles.

These headphones come with a 3.5mm jack input allowing you to enjoy an exceptional gaming experience no matter which platform you choose.

Key Features:

  • Multiple compatibilities with 3.5mm jack
  • Sensitive mic with 38dBV rating
  • Integrated volume control
  • Plush velvet earpads
  • 50-ohm impedance

PROS:

  • You can enjoy your games across different platforms
  • Easy connectivity through 3.5mm jack
  • Noise cancellation feature allows you to focus on tiny audio details
  • These headphones come with a sound pressure level of 116dB

CONS:

  • The headband is also very stiff and it takes a while to break-in
  • The earcups are slightly smaller and not the right choice for you if you wear glasses

FAQs:

  • Do these headphones work with PS4?

They do work with PlayStation consoles but you will require a separate adapter for that.

  • Does the Game ONE feature digital surround sound?

No, it doesn’t feature digital surround sound. Whatever, you are trying to plug them into will have a simulated surround audio. You can use an amplifier for that and the headphones will sound amazing.

Why We Loved It?

We loved the multiple platform compatibility of these headphones hands down. The audio quality is brilliant as well.

You will hear all those tiny sounds in your game without any issue.

6. SR80e Prestige by Grado – Best for Budget

GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones

If you are looking for a decent pair of headphones that are enough for your gaming on the go then these will get the job done for you. They have a simple design aiming towards producing high-quality sound without any technical complexities.

  • Diaphragms with vents
  • Air chamber for reducing resonance
  • Clear sound with minimal distortion

4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

If you are seriously on the budget but don’t want to compromise on quality audio and sound then this is the right option for you.

These headphones come with a connecting cable that features 4-conductor technology. It provides you with an increased amount of open stage and improves resonance for bass. The result is an incredibly enhanced and detailed sound that is very useful in gaming.

The diaphragm of these headphones is vented to handle the bass and there is an air chamber to reduce any amount of resonance. With the standard copper coil wire for voice, the sound transferability remains quick.

And due to the resonance control, there will be fewer distortions and you will be able to hear sounds with great depth and quality.

Key Features:

  • Vented diaphragms
  • Are the chamber for reducing resonance
  • Copper wire coils for swift sound exchange
  • 4-conductor cable technology

PROS:

  • You get an increased soundstage with Grado’s 4-conductor technology
  • The bass resonance improves with the venting system
  • Huge cushioned ear cups make these headphones very comfortable on your head

CONS:

  • Your ears do tend to get hot if you use the headphones for a long time
  • The earpieces spin 360-degree which might result in the wires to get twisted

FAQs:

  • What are drivers in these headphones made of?

The drivers have a metal casing and Grado has safely mounted them into durable plastic earpieces.

  • Can you use these headphones outdoors?

Yes, you can use it outdoors but keep in mind that the cord is the very long ad you need to keep it under your clothing or coil it up in your pocket.

Why We Loved It?

A good budget option if you want to enjoy your games. These headphones are very light in weight and you can wear them all day long.

7. HD650 by Sennheiser – Best Frequency Response w/ reduced distortion

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone

With exceptional frequency response range these headphones from Sennheiser are brilliant for gaming. They are comfortable for long sessions as well and you can hear everything loud and clear in your game which increases your response rate and performance as well.

  • Acoustic silk dampens distortions
  • Frequency response range of 10 Hz to 41 kHz
  • Neodymium magnets for high audio efficiency

4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

The games of the modern era require a lot of attention to minor details. The good thing is that you also get the kind of equipment that matches all such demands. The HD650 headphones from Sennheiser are extremely powerful in fact; they are the best in class for frequency response.

The earpads of these headphones feature acoustic silk that precisely dampens the frequency and reduces THD by 0.05%. This means that there will be almost no distortion for you to worry about and the sound will be exceptionally clear.

This is great news for someone who palaces games like PUBG and Fortnite as well as similar other games. 

Key Features:

  • Acoustic silk dampening sound for reducing THD to 0.05%
  • Neodymium magnets deliver excellent performance
  • Frequency response range goes from 10 Hz to 41 kHz

PROS:

  • These headphones are designed for easy wearing
  • Lightweight construction involving aluminum coils for voice is best for transient response
  • With the frequency response ranging between 10 Hz and 41 kHz, these headphones are the best to detect different sounds of varying frequencies

CONS:

  • The cords tend to tangle a lot
  • Due to the metal construction, the headphones will not mold according to your head

FAQs:

  • Can I plug these headphones directly into my laptop?

Yes, you can do that but for the best performance, you will need an amplifier to connect them to your laptop or phone.

  • Can I use these headphones for long sessions of gaming?

Absolutely, you can use these headphones comfortably for long sessions. They won’t hurt your ears or head. But it is recommended to give your ears a little break in between your gaming sessions to prevent any damage to your hearing ability.

Why We Loved It?

These headphones are naturally built for gaming and you can use an amp to enjoy playing on your phone and laptop as well.

They can detect minor differences in changes sounds without a problem.

8. K712 by AKG Pro – Best for Sound Imaging

AKG Pro Audio K712 PRO Over-Ear Open Reference Studio Headphones

If you are interested in sound imaging then these headphones need to be in your arsenal. They can comfortably differentiate between lows and highs; therefore, they are capable of brilliant audio imaging for great detail.

  • Low-key sounds audible
  • Coils of flat wire for better treble and impulse
  • Very spacious and natural sound

4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

These over-ear open-back headphones are one of the best when we talk about wearing comfort.

But the feature that sets it apart from the bunch is its incredible ability of sound imaging. It has top class low en performance and can recognize sounds as low as 3dB. This means that you precisely know the source of the sound and where it came from.

The flat wire coil for voice in this pair boasts the treble response as well as impulse. It will enable you to detect the sounds comfortably without increasing the volume.

Due to the open-back construction, you will experience natural and spacious sound which will also significantly improve your gaming experience.

Key Features:

  • Airy and spacious sound with open technology
  • Better low-end performance (detecting sounds a low as 3dB)
  • Flat wire coil for better treble and impulse response

PROS:

  • Easy wearable design best for long gaming sessions
  • Delivers a spacious sound without compromise on quality
  • Low key sounds are mode audible with these headphones for increased audio imaging

CONS:

  • Build quality is slightly below par
  • They might take a lot of time to break-in

FAQs:

  • Do the ear cups swivel or tilt?

The ear cups are on semi-circular balls which will not rotate 90-degrees but they tilt enough for your comfortable wearing.

  • Do these headphones come with a mic?

No, these headphones don’t feature a microphone but they do sound awesome.

Why We Loved It?

Simplicity at its best! These headphones have a lightweight construction and they are capable to detect very low key sounds with maximum clarity.

9. SHP9500 by Philips – Best for Full Sound Spectrum

Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-Ear Headphones

The SHP9500 headphones are good quality headphones that won’t break your wallet in half. If you like to enjoy your games every now and then, these headphones will be your trusty sidekick in your gaming adventures.

  • 50mm drivers for a full range of the sound spectrum
  • 12 Hz to 35 kHz of the frequency response range
  • 32-ohm impedance for good sound quality

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

With 50mm drivers of neodymium, you can experience sound in the full spectrum.

These headphones are best for indoor use and with this pair you can freely move around without being bothered about the wires getting tangled up.

Despite being friendly in your pocket, these headphones will not compromise on your comfort. The headband features double cushioning so that you can wear your pairs for long gaming sessions.

These headphones feature a gold plated system of acoustics with a neodymium magnet.

They come with an impedance of 32-ohm and audio sensitivity of 101 dB. The range of frequency response of these headphones is 12 Hz to 35 kHz. These headphones are not too great when it comes to reducing distortion.

Key Features:

  • Neodymium 50mm drivers
  • Double cushioning on earpads
  • Frequency response range of 12 Hz to 35 kHz

PROS:

  • Very comfortable to wear for long hours
  • Enjoy full sound spectrum with 50mm driver
  • Comes with a frequency response range of 12 Hz to 35 kHz
  • With the 1.5m long capable you get a lot of freedom to move around

CONS:

  • You need to make adjustments to your EQ a lot with this headset

FAQs:

  • Does this headset cause ear fatigue?

No, this headset doesn’t cause ear fatigue at all. You can either use them for long hours if you want. However, as we have mentioned above it is good to take some break in-between your gaming or usage sessions.

  • Will this headset work for video editing and mixing as well?

This headset from Philips is great for gaming but not that great for video editing or mixing. If you are working on a video you can use this headset for the time being but they are not your ultimate solution.

Why We Loved It?

Price is one factor and quality sound is another. This pair is a good quality product and if you know how to use your EQ then this set is a must-have for you.

10. SR850 by Samson – Best for Semi-Open Design

Samson SR850 Semi-Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones

If you are too worried about someone who is nearby that you will disturb him/her with your game sound then this is the headset to buy. They won’t leak sound as the standard open back sets do and you can enjoy your game without disturbing anyone around.

  • Circumaural design
  • Self-adjusting headband
  • Rare earth magnets

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

We have found that these semi-open headphones are not only good for gaming but for studio mixing and tracking as well. The 50mm drivers are there to handle a wide range of sounds.

Due to the circumaural construction, these headphones also come with a good dynamic range as well. These headphones can automatically adjust according to the size of your head. Due to these features, these headphones can be a good option for long sessions of listening to music or gaming. 

Key Features:

  • Dynamic driver
  • 32-ohm impedance
  • A frequency range of 10 Hz to 30 kHz

PROS:

  • Can handle sensitivity pressure level up to 98dB
  • 50mm drivers to handle a wider sound range
  • The semi-open design prevents sound leakage significantly

CONS:

  • You will require an amp to pump up the performance a bit

FAQs:

  • Does this headset leak sound?

No, it doesn’t! You will have to up the volume at a painful level for yourself for the sound leakage to happen.

  • What is the material type for earpads?

Samson has used foam rubber in the construction of these headphones and they feel very velvety on your ears. Thus you can wear them for an extended session of gaming too.

Why We Loved It?

This is the best headset on the market with a semi-open design.

11. K240 STUDIO by AKG – Best for loss-free transmission

AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Over-Ear Professional Studio Headphones

These are a good choice if you want to have a bit of everything. The semi-open design doesn’t leak much sound. So you get noise cancellation (sort of). It can produce good quality sound for a decent experience!

  • Screw-on 6.3mm adapter
  • Easy adjusting headband
  • Nice quality transducers

3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

This is another pair of semi-open headphones but if you are more interested in in-game music and want to enjoy a loss-free transmission then these will suffice.

The 3m cable that comes with this headset is replaceable and you will get a 3.5mm jack with a 6.3mm adapter that you can screw on.

These headphones can conveniently distinguish between the background music and the sounds that you have to deal with during your playing sessions.

The headband doesn’t twist and the audio output puts up well with the low keys sounds.

Key Features:

  • Detachable cable
  • 3m cable (replaceable)
  • Semi-open construction

PROS:

  • Easily adjustable headband
  • Good for studio mixing and music editing as well
  • Semi-open construction will prevent sound leakage

CONS:

  • Not very dynamic sound range especially with highs and lows

FAQs:

  • Can I use this headset without an amp?

Yes, you can use them without an amp but we would suggest you use an amp.

  • Does this headset have good bass?

The bass on this headset is fairly decent. It is not an audiophile-killer but it will get the job done.

Why We Loved It?

A good decent approach towards decent sound quality and long-lasting performance!

Benefits of Open Back Headphones for Gaming

There are various benefits of open-back headphones for gaming. We have listed them as follows,

– Play your favorite games for long hours

With the open-back design, you can conveniently enjoy playing your favorite games for long hours because your ears will remain cool.

– Think better with these headphones

The sounds that these headsets produce won’t disturb your flow of thoughts because your head is not filled with the sound of the game you are playing. So you can think better while wearing these headphones.

– No real-world cutting off

You also get a chance to hear what’s going on around you because you will be able to hear everything in the surrounding real world.

– Hear everything that is important to you

As a gamer, you can identify different sounds resonating from different sources whether in the game or in the real world. You can also listen to the set of instructions from other players around you in the real-world as well.

– Minimum distortion

These headsets come with minimal distortion level and it can influence whether you lose or win.

What to Consider When Buying Open-Back Headphones for Gaming?

There are various things that you need to consider when buying open-back headphones for gaming!

– Design

Open-back headphones have an exposed driver hence, they leak sound. This means that the people that are around you will hear the sounds that you are listening to. The mesh construction on the drivers also prevents any pressure from building up within the casing of the drivers. Ultimately it means that you will not get any resonance.

– Compatibility

Open-back headphones need to be fully compatible with a variety of platforms. Of course, if you are considering buying these headphones for playing games then you need a pair that is compatible with the platform that you will be using. Most of the open-back headphones come with fully compatible with multiple game consoles as well as your PC.

– Sound clarity

The headset needs to produce very clear and accurate sounds and this should be a standard feature of every headset in this category. The output should be balanced with treble and bass as well because you are not listening to the music for playing games where you have to deal with a variety of sounds.

– Comfort

The headphones must be very comfortable for you to wear even for long sessions of gameplay. Your ear must not feel fatigued due to the headset you are wearing otherwise you won’t be satisfied with your purchase.

– Durability

Another important feature to consider is durability. If the headset you are looking to purchase is not durable enough then you will end up buying another one. Basically, your investment on the first headset delivers zero value and this shouldn’t be the case at all.  As you will be wearing your set for many hours they need to well built and durable.

– Break-in period

The break-in period of the headset that you are considering should be short. This means that it should be aligned with the shape and size of your ears and head. The sooner the headset breaks in the better it is for you.

– Ease of control

Most of these headphones come with different set-off buttons right on them so that you can easily control them. Some of them don’t have any buttons on them and you need to control the sound on the platform with which you are using them. In most cases, if you are looking for the headphones then obviously you are going to play them with a little distance from the screen. Therefore, the controls need to be on the headphones so that you don’t have to reach out to the console to do control the sounds.

– Price

Open-back headphones are available in a range of different prices. The high-end pairs will have a high price tag on them while the budget-friendly options will not ask more from you in price. It is up to you whether you want to choose a feature friendly pair or a budget-friendly pair.

– Semi-open or full open back

You can either choose semi-open or full open back pair if you want. The semi-open back will also have some features of the closed back. These pairs will not leak much sound because of their half-closed drivers. Therefore, you won’t listen to outside sound that much but the sounds will be there. In the case of full open pairs, the sounds of the game and the outside sound will be loud and clear. With semi-open back headphones, your focus will be more tilted towards the game.

– Adjustability

It is always better for you to consider the headphones that come with a variety of adjustability options. The headband needs to be conveniently adjustable and so should be the drivers. As we have mentioned that the ergonomics needs to be at their best, therefore, it is better for you to try the headphones on and if they fit well only then buy them.

– Technology

Different headphones come with different technologies. One thing you need to keep in mind that if the technology is your preference then you shouldn’t be too worried about the price. These headphones need to come with large drivers and active noise cancellation is not required here. These headphones must have soundstage and audio imaging features.

How to Choose the Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming?

There are some important points that you need to keep in mind before buying the best open-back headphones for gaming,

– Soundstage

The soundstage is your room that surrounds you and when it is good you must be able to clearly identify where the sound is coming from. The sound in this aspect has a directional quality. It is more like a 3D sound setting that allows you to identify the location of the sound source.

– Ergonomics

The design of the headphone that you are considering needs to be ergonomic. This means that it needs to fit well so that you can wear it comfortably for any length of the session.

– Materials

The construction quality of the headset needs to be top-notch. As you are going to use it a lot for a long time therefore, you need to consider that materials used in the construction of these headphones are of good quality.

– Quality drivers

The drivers of these headphones need to be of good quality and anything over 50mm is going to be worth it. Large drivers here will allow your ears to distinguish between the in-game and real-world sounds. Large drivers make sure that you are able to pick high and low with ease.

– Mic reliability

The mic needs to be very reliable and of good quality. It is essential if you can have in-game conversations with other players with ease. Furthermore, it will allow you to send a set of instructions to them loud and clear. It will ultimately improve your game performance as a group.

– Noise isolation

A pair of closed-back headphones need to be very good at noise isolation because you won’t have to deal with the real-world sounds. On the other hand, open-back headphones are not designed in this manner. They come with soundstage features so that you can conveniently distinguish between different sounds in the game and from the outside world.

– Extra features

Different models come with different compatibility options. Some of them are good for gaming while others also work for mixing and music production. They come with an option to connect wires with different connectors. You can use them for playing games and can also do music productions with them.

Precautions for Using the Open Back Headphones

There are some points that you need to keep in mind when using open-back headphones.

  • As open-back headphone is designed not to prevent sound leakage, mind the people who surround you and don’t use too high volume so that they might get disturbed by the leaking sound.
  • Due to the fact that you will be hearing outside (real world) noises as well, don’t get too carried away with increasing the volume or you will damage your hearing.
  • You must understand what soundstage and audio imaging are before you invest in the open-back models.
  • Don’t go for long-hour sessions of gaming without taking a break or two in-between. You must pause the game and take a break for a few minutes. This will not only be good for your ears but for eyes as well.

Open-Back Headphone Controversy

Most people think that these headphones won’t leak sound if you keep using them at low volume.

But that is not true!

Well, of course, everyone is going to hear what is going on in your ears but if you keep it low, the sound leakage won’t be noticeable as much for the people surrounding you.

But these headphones are actually designed for the gamers who will be enjoying their game in a private space.

These headphones are not your ideal choice for you in public spaces like libraries or on public transport.

In addition to that, a number of people think that open-back headphones are not good for listening to music but the reality is quite the opposite. These headphones are great for listening to music and even watching movies.

This is because you will be able to experience that natural sound which is outstanding if you are using a good quality open-back headset.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. What are open-back headphones?


These headsets allow the air to pass through the ear cups. This means that pressure is not going to build up inside the ear cups and influence the sound output.

But these headsets also don’t block any outside noises either.

Therefore, you will hear the noises that surround you.

#2. Which ones are better: open back or closed back headsets?


Open back headsets are better if you are looking for a more natural sound.

On the other hand, if you are looking to avoid any outside noise and want to immerse into sounds you are listening to then you need to go for closed-back headphones.

#3. Is virtual surround useful for gaming if I purchase a pair of open-back headphones?

Surround sound is going to work very well for you in gaming. But you will need a good quality DAC and an equally brilliant pair of open-back headset.

Only then you will be able to detect the difference between the stereo sound and the virtual surround sound. This will enable you to identify the source location of the sound.

Therefore, it will be very useful for you when playing a game.

#4. An Open back gaming headphone is great for traveling?


If you are traveling alone and there is no one around you, you can use your open-back headphones for traveling. They tend to leak sound and most of them don’t come with a foldable design.

So they are only good for you when you are traveling alone or with someone who is on the same page with you and doesn’t get disturbed with the sound coming out of your headset.

#5. Are open-back studio headphones good for gaming?


Yes, they are an excellent option for gaming because of their soundstage and audio imaging properties.

These properties allow you to identify the source of different sounds and make your move accordingly.

#6. What’s the point of buying open-backs?

These headsets deliver a much better and natural sound experience. You will feel the audio around you and you won’t feel like it is trapped inside your head. These headsets also provide you relief from ear fatigue.

Final Thoughts

Open-back headphones are great for gaming. In other words, they will provide you with more natural sound. You will be able to hear all the surrounding sounds from the real world as well and you won’t feel disconnected.

On the other hand, they are not good for public places and you need to use them in your private space.

The HD660S by Sennheiser are the best open-back headphones for gaming. They are durable and deliver exceptional performance. They come with excellent frequency response range and are very comfortable to wear.

Which one of these headphones have you used for gaming? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below!

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