The 7 Best Open Back Headphones (June) 2023

The Best Open Back Headphones You Can Buy in 2023

Looking for the Best Open Back Headphones in (Spring) 2023?

You’re in the right place.

Open-back headphones are designed to deliver a spacious and natural sound experience by allowing air and sound to pass through the ear cups. In this article, I will explore the world of open-back headphones, their advantages, and some of the best options available in the market.

I’ve consider the price, quality, features, and overall performance, when narrowing down the best open back options for you. Also check out my picks for the best headphoneson-ear wireless headphonestrue wireless earbudson-ear headphoneswired headphones & best earbuds and in-ear headphones.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of open-back headphones.

The Best Open Back Headphones You Can Buy in 2023

Discover the Best Open Back Headphones with our detailed buying guide, including pros and cons, as well as an FAQ section. For additional information and updated pricing on the mentioned products, be sure to check the Amazon Product links provided with each product.

(Disclaimer: When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.)

1. Sennheiser HD 800 S

The 7 Best Open Back Headphones (June) 2023: Sennheiser HD 800 S
Sennheiser HD 800 S


The Sennheiser HD 800 S is a reference-class open-back audiophile headphone that sets the standard for critical listening. With its excellent condition and blemish-free design, this headphone delivers an immersive audio experience. Priced at [reference 1], it combines the craftsmanship of a handcrafted instrument with the precision of modern manufacturing. The HD 800 S features a 56mm Ring Radiator transducer, which ensures air displacement and rigidity for exceptional sound quality. Its vibration damping chassis and inert headband insert provide stability and dependable performance.

Its 56mm Ring Radiator transducer, with both outer and inner edges secured to the drive unit, produces a striking and immersive sound. The voice coil, wound in-house to the highest standard, excites the diaphragm, resulting in exceptional rest and response times. The headphones’ vibration damping chassis and inert headband insert provide stability and consistency in managing sound waves. Each transducer is manufactured, tested, and measured to ensure tight tolerance and retrieve critical details from your music collection. With its open-back design, the HD 800 S offers a spacious soundstage and natural audio reproduction.

Who should buy Sennheiser HD 800 S?

The Sennheiser HD 800 S is recommended for audiophiles and music enthusiasts who prioritize an exceptional listening experience. Whether you’re a critical listener, a musician, or a professional in the audio industry, these headphones deliver unparalleled sound quality and accuracy. With its reference-class performance, the HD 800 S allows you to explore your music collection from the inside out and discover new nuances in your favorite tracks. If you value craftsmanship, precision, and attention to detail in your audio equipment, the HD 800 S is the perfect choice for you.

Reasons to Buy

  • Immersive sound quality
  • Exceptional craftsmanship
  • Spacious soundstage
  • Blemish-free design
  • High precision

Reasons to Avoid

  1. Pricey
  2. Limited portability

2. AKG K240 Studio

The 7 Best Open Back Headphones (June) 2023: AKG K240 Studio
AKG K240 Studio


The AKG K240 Studio headphones offer a nostalgic design reminiscent of the 1970s while delivering impressive sound quality that stands the test of time. Priced affordably, these headphones are a great option for budget-conscious audiophiles and audio engineers. The semi-open design of the headphones provides a realistic representation of sound and allows musicians to hear their performances accurately. With a self-adjusting headband and comfortable fit, the AKG K240 Studio ensures a pleasant listening experience. Despite the all-plastic build, these headphones offer good comfort and are suitable for studio use.

The AKG K240 Studio headphones feature uniform vents on both ear cups, giving them a semi-open status. This design not only adds to the throwback feel but also enhances ventilation and provides a more natural sound experience. However, it’s important to note that the open-back design also means sound leakage, making them less suitable for use in crowded environments or shared spaces. The headphones come with a mini-XLR input on the left ear cup and a detachable 3-meter cable. While the lack of additional cables or a protective case may be a drawback compared to higher-end models, it’s a compromise to keep the cost low.

Who should buy AKG K240 Studio?

The AKG K240 Studio headphones are recommended for podcasters, musicians, budget audiophiles, and audio engineers. Podcasters will appreciate the midrange response, while musicians will benefit from the semi-open design that allows them to hear their playing in real-time. Budget audiophiles and audio engineers consider these headphones as a value-for-money option with good sound quality. However, due to the open-back design, they are not suitable for those who need noise isolation or plan to use them in crowded environments.

Reasons to Buy

  • Nostalgic design
  • Good sound quality
  • Comfortable fit
  • Semi-open design
  • Affordable price

Reasons to Avoid

  • Plastic build
  • Sound leakage
  • Limited accessories

3. Hifiman Susvara

The 7 Best Open Back Headphones (June) 2023: Hifiman Susvara
Hifiman Susvara


The Hifiman Susvara is a top-of-the-line open-back planar magnetic headphone that offers an exceptional listening experience. With a price tag of $6000, it is undoubtedly one of the most expensive headphones on the market. The Susvara represents Hifiman’s pinnacle of planar technology and serves as their flagship headphone. Its specifications include world-class resolution and speed, a huge soundstage, and a comfortable fitting. To fully appreciate its capabilities, the Susvara requires a powerful amplifier. Overall, this headphone justifies its summit-fi status in terms of sonic capability.

When it comes to design and performance, the Hifiman Susvara excels. Its build quality, though slightly brittle, is commendable, featuring aluminum headbands, yokes, and ear cups. The lightweight design, weighing just 450g, coupled with the suspension-style headband and cushy ear pads, ensures comfort even during extended listening sessions. The Susvara incorporates advanced technologies, such as acoustically invisible stealth magnets and nanometer-grade diaphragms with pure gold voice-coil traces, resulting in excellent sound reproduction.

Who should buy Hifiman Susvara?

The Hifiman Susvara is recommended for discerning audio enthusiasts who prioritize exceptional sound quality and have the means to invest in a high-end audio setup. Its world-class resolution and speed, along with the expansive soundstage, make it an excellent choice for critical listening and immersive experiences. The Susvara’s design and performance cater to audiophiles seeking unparalleled clarity, instrument separation, and depth in their music.

Reasons to Buy

  • World-class resolution & speed
  • Huge soundstage
  • Very comfortable fitting
  • Detailed sound imaging
  • Lightweight design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Needs a very powerful amplifier
  • Build quality slightly brittle
  • Expensive price tag

4. Philips Fidelio X2HR

The 7 Best Open Back Headphones (June) 2023: Philips Fidelio X2HR
Philips Fidelio X2HR


The Philips Fidelio X2HR is a premium open-back headphone that offers an immersive audio experience. With its wide soundstage and accurate audio reproduction, it’s a delight for music enthusiasts and audiophiles. Priced competitively, these headphones provide excellent value for the price. The X2HR features 50mm neodymium drivers, an impedance of 30 ohms, and a frequency response range of 5Hz to 40kHz, ensuring detailed and balanced sound reproduction across the entire audio spectrum.

The design of the Philips Fidelio X2HR is both stylish and comfortable. The headphones boast a combination of high-quality materials, including a metal headband and breathable velour earpads, providing a luxurious feel. The open-back design not only enhances the soundstage but also helps in creating a natural and spacious sound experience. The self-adjusting hammock-like headband ensures a secure yet comfortable fit, even during long listening sessions. The detachable cable adds convenience and allows for easy replacement if needed.

Who should buy Philips Fidelio X2HR?

The Philips Fidelio X2HR is recommended for music enthusiasts, gamers, and those who appreciate high-quality audio. The wide soundstage and accurate audio reproduction make these headphones ideal for immersive gaming experiences and critical listening sessions. With their comfortable fit and luxurious design, they can be enjoyed for extended periods without discomfort. The X2HR excels in delivering detailed and well-balanced sound, making it a great choice for music lovers who want to experience their favorite tracks with precision and clarity.

Reasons to Buy

  • Immersive soundstage
  • Accurate audio reproduction
  • Premium build quality
  • Comfortable fit
  • Wide frequency response

Reasons to Avoid

  • Open-back design may not provide sufficient noise isolation
  • Bulky design may not be portable
  • Cable is not detachable

5. HiFiMan Edition XS

The 7 Best Open Back Headphones (June) 2023: HiFiMan Edition XS
HiFiMan Edition XS


The HiFiMan Edition XS is a remarkable pair of headphones that offers exceptional value for its price. Priced at $499, these over-ear, open-back headphones boast a large soundstage, precise placement, and imaging. With an improved bass response compared to older models, the Edition XS delivers an almost true tonality, making it a solid choice for audiophiles and music enthusiasts. The incorporation of the Stealth Magnet design minimizes interference and improves the perceived soundstage, frequency spectrum, and tonality, ensuring a captivating audio experience.

The HiFiMan Edition XS features an asymmetrical cup design that provides a unique aesthetic appeal. The headphones have a mostly metal build with silver grilles, and the ear cups and headband are padded with faux leather for added comfort. However, the plastic hinges feel slightly cheap and may be prone to damage over time. The headphones have a comfortable fit overall, although their larger size and weight may not be suitable for those with smaller heads. Additionally, the Edition XS lacks portability due to its bulkiness and the absence of a folding mechanism.

Who should buy HiFiMan Edition XS?

The HiFiMan Edition XS is recommended for enthusiasts and music lovers seeking high-quality sound performance without breaking the bank. With its stunning tuning, balanced sound profile, and excellent overall performance, these headphones compete with models that are more than twice their price. The XS provide a non-fatiguing listening experience and are especially comfortable for individuals with larger heads. However, the open-back design may not be ideal for those in louder environments or who prefer more isolation. It’s worth noting that the Edition XS requires more power than a mobile phone can provide to truly shine.

Reasons to Buy

  • Large soundstage
  • Improved bass response
  • Unique asymmetrical cup design
  • Comfortable for bigger heads
  • Excellent price-to-performance ratio

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lack of isolation (open-back design)
  • Requires additional power for optimal performance
  • Bulkiness and absence of folding mechanism

6. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro

The 7 Best Open Back Headphones (June) 2023: HiFiMan Edition XS
HiFiMan Edition XS


The Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro is a high-end, semi-open over-ear headphone that offers an excellent audio experience. With a matte chrome finish on the back and a matte black finish on the metal ear forks and band, these headphones have a sleek and stylish design. The leather padding on the band ensures comfort during long listening sessions. Priced at $219, the DT 880 Pro comes with a three-meter coiled cable, providing freedom of movement while listening. It is important to note that due to their semi-open design, these headphones leak sound, so they are best suited for use in quiet environments.

The Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro excels in its build quality and customization options. The metal band and forks make the headphones durable and long-lasting. Additionally, the ability to replace the band padding and ear pads with different materials allows for a personalized experience. The velour pads, combined with the wide area of contact, provide a comfortable fit, especially for extended periods of use. However, the semi-open design leads to sound leakage, so these headphones are not suitable for situations where privacy is a concern.

Who should buy Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro?

The DT 880 Pro offers exceptional sound quality and is recommended for audio professionals, sound engineers, and music enthusiasts who seek accurate and detailed audio reproduction. These headphones deliver a neutral sound signature, making them ideal for critical listening and studio work. The mid-range is particularly impressive, providing accurate and rich detail. The soundstage is spacious and immersive, giving a sense of listening to music in a room. However, the top-end can be slightly bright, which may cause fatigue when working with treble-heavy tracks.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable build
  • Customizable
  • Comfortable fit
  • Accurate sound reproduction
  • Spacious soundstage

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sound leakage
  • Slightly bright top-end
  • Limited privacy

7. Sennheiser HD650

The 7 Best Open Back Headphones (June) 2023: Sennheiser HD650
Sennheiser HD650


The Sennheiser HD650 is a classic and enduring pair of headphones that has stood the test of time. With its open-back design and dynamic drivers, it delivers exceptional audio quality. Priced at an affordable range, it offers excellent value for money. The headphones have an impedance of 300 Ohms and a sensitivity of 103 dB, providing a wide frequency response of 10Hz to 41,000Hz. The HD650 comes with a removable cable and a 6.35mm TRS plug, with an adapter for 3.5mm TRS. Weighing 260g, these headphones are lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended periods.

When it comes to features, design, and performance, the Sennheiser HD650 excels. The headphones are built with excellent craftsmanship, featuring user-replaceable parts and a well-optimized frame design. The open-back design allows for a spacious soundstage and natural audio reproduction. The generous padding on the ear cups and headband ensures long-lasting comfort, even during extended listening sessions. The HD650’s ear cups easily accommodate larger ears, and the adjustable headband provides a secure and personalized fit. With its exceptional build quality and thoughtful design, the HD650 is a reliable companion for audiophiles and music enthusiasts.

Who should buy Sennheiser HD650?

The Sennheiser HD650 is recommended for anyone seeking a classic and comfortable pair of headphones that deliver a neutral and detailed sound signature. These headphones are well-suited for critical listening, mixing, mastering, and studio production. With their flat frequency response and matched left and right drivers, the HD650 provides a consistent soundstage and accurate audio representation. While they may require good amplification to unleash their full potential, the HD650 offers a delightful listening experience across all genres of music. Whether you’re a professional audio engineer or a passionate music lover, the Sennheiser HD650 is an excellent choice.

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent reference headphones
  • Easy to listen to for hours
  • Well-built with user-replaceable parts
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Wide frequency response

Reasons to Avoid

  • Need good amplification
  • Soundstage isn’t the best
  • May be a little laid-back for some

How to Pick the Right Open-Back Headphones for You

Open-back headphones are coveted for their natural staging and a more out-of-the-head presentation. They are often preferred over even speakers for personal listening since one can push the volume high without waking up their neighbors.

All being said, there are numerous options at every price point, so choosing the right open-back headphones often becomes a complicated task. As a result, you might end up with something less-than-ideal for your specific needs.

In addition, there are often compromises along the way. The headphones with the most balanced tonality might not have the best soundstage or imaging. On the other hand, a pair of headphones with spectacular resolution might require a significantly more expensive amplifier to power them.

There is a second-guess at every turn, and that is putting things mildly.

Fret not — we got you covered! This highly curated list was made after thoroughly listening to most of the critically acclaimed headphones out there across a variety of price points.

Closed-back vs. Open-back Headphones — What’s the Difference?

In traditional closed-back headphones, the audio drivers are sealed off from the outside world. The advantage to this closed-back design is twofold: enhanced bass response and isolated listening. With closed-back headphones, reference audio stays in and ambient noise, such as travel noise and nearby conversation, stays out.

The disadvantage to closed-back headphones is that they can sound hyped, feel unnaturally “inside your head,” and be physically uncomfortable to some listeners since there is no flow of air and the air inside the earcups is trapped around your ears.

The alternative is open-back headphones. These headphones excel at delivering lifelike realism and creating a natural soundstage. Unlike closed-back styles, open-back headphones have no seal separating drivers from the outside world. This often translates to more natural bass and an airier sound that is truer and that better represents the program material.

The drawback to open-back headphones is less isolation. Not only can ambient noise get in, but music you’re listening to tends to bleed out. And trust us: you’ll drive your nearby workers and loved ones crazy by listening to music through open-back headphones in close quarters at moderate levels.

The differences between closed-back and open-back headphones are similar to the differences between closed- and open-back guitar cabinets. Closed-back cabs generally give you more bass resonance and rear isolation, whereas open-back cabs tend to sound more open and are more representative of what the driver brings to the table.

Semi-open headphones split the difference between these two designs, offering some level of isolation while still delivering the natural response of true open-back headphones.

Open-back Headphones — What Are They Good For?

If you’re new to the concept, don’t worry. It can take some time to wrap your head around the differences between closed-back and open-back headphones. As with most things in the audio world, hearing is understanding. Here are scenarios where we at Sweetwater are quick to recommend (or not) open-back headphones and semi-open styles.

  • Home listening — Yes. From rock to classical, live to studio, open-back headphones can open up a soundstage like never before. In the best mixes, you can almost point to where sources are coming from in the stereo field, as if the players were onstage in front of you.
  • Studio mixing/mastering — Yes. If you’re looking for the flattest response and the best representation of how your music will sound on other playback systems, open-back headphones are our go-tos.
  • Monitoring from the soundboard — No. Loud bands will leave you fighting your headphone amp to get enough level to your ears, which can be dangerous to your ears’ health. Stick with a nice set of closed-back or isolation headphones.
  • Tracking in the studio — No. Not only will you struggle to get the separation you need to accurately monitor yourself while tracking, but you also run the risk of introducing bleed from the ‘phones into the mics. In this situation, these are not the best option.
  • Real-world music consumption — Maybe. This depends on the case. If you’re hiking or walking to work, then open-back headphones are great — not only because internal bleed will be minimal, but also because you’ll still be able to hear oncoming traffic and approaching cyclists. If you’re listening near the ocean or while commuting on a train, however, the noise floor will probably be too great for you to enjoy the music.

With that groundwork laid, here are our picks for the best open-back headphones.

Open-back headphones are fantastic for:

Studio work: If you work in a music studio, you must know how important it’s to listen to your mix with neutral headphones. Since the closed-back solutions tend to have a slightly colorized sound due to bass boost, open-back headphones can more easily achieve perfect neutrality.

It’s worth mentioning that this type of headphone isn’t suitable for monitoring your singer’s voice, since the sound leak might be audible in the microphone.

Home listening: Since open-back headphones leak sound, while also getting a lot of background noise in, the best place to listen to them is at home, in a quiet environment. In a room where no one can bother you, you can enjoy your favorite music in peace. Enhanced levels of detail and a big soundstage will give your music a whole new dimension.

How to Pick the Best Open-Back Headphones for You?

As you can see, open-back headphones aren’t only limited to premium prices. You can get an excellent pair for as much as $40. However, we know it can be tricky to find yourself a perfect headphone without trying them upfront.

If you haven’t found your next headphone on our list, try to follow these pieces of advice when browsing the web.


First, you need to know why you need them. Is it for casually listening to music, watching movies, playing games, or professional work?

Lots of these things can stir you in a different direction when it comes to headphone search. For instance, if you need something for a studio, you should probably look for other options with a flat sound. If you need them for movies, you’re better off with a more bassy headphone, or even trying the ones with a closed-back design.


Give yourself a budget limit. Everyone wants the latest and greatest, but you can quickly find yourself browsing through more expensive headphones that you can’t afford. It’s easier to tell yourself that you want, for example, something under $100, and then start searching.

That way, it’s much simpler to browse, since many websites, including ours, sort headphones based on their prices. And we always try to present you with the best price-to-performance deals for a given price bracket.

Reviews and Forums

Try to seek reviewers that aren’t biased. Thankfully, there aren’t as many of them, but some might still favor a specific brand without knowing, giving a false product image. Seek for reviews that are honest and don’t only talk nice things. No headphone is perfect, and there are no perfect scores.

Forums can also be helpful when trying to decide if you want to buy that specific headphone or not. However, people tend to like different things, and while some might love a particular headphone, you might end up hating it entirely. So try to search through many forums before forming an opinion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Can I use open back headphones for outdoor activities?

    Open back headphones are not suitable for outdoor activities as they do not provide adequate noise isolation, and sound leakage may disturb people around you.

  2. Do open back headphones require an amplifier?

    While open back headphones can be driven by portable devices, using a dedicated headphone amplifier can enhance their performance and deliver optimal sound quality.

  3. Are open back headphones suitable for recording and mixing purposes?

    Yes, open back headphones are commonly used in recording studios and for critical listening during the mixing and mastering process due to their accurate sound reproduction.

  4. Are open back headphones comfortable for long listening sessions?

    Open back headphones are designed with comfort in mind, featuring breathable ear cups and lightweight construction. However, individual preferences may vary, so it’s recommended to try them out before making a purchase.

  5. Are open back headphones suitable for gaming?

    Open back headphones can provide an immersive gaming experience, but they may not offer the same level of isolation and bass impact as closed back headphones. Consider your gaming preferences before choosing the right type of headphones.


Open back headphones offer a unique listening experience with their wide soundstage, accurate audio reproduction, and enhanced comfort. By considering factors such as sound quality, comfort, durability, and price, you can choose the best open back headphones that align with your preferences and requirements. Whether you’re a music enthusiast or a professional in the audio industry, open back headphones can elevate your listening experience to new heights.

Michael Diasz Kirindage

Welcome to Oasthar, an enthusiastic Amazon Product Review Blogger dedicated to helping you make informed buying decisions. Through our blog, We provide unbiased and thorough reviews of a wide range of Amazon products, including gadgets, tech, home appliances, beauty essentials, and fashion trends. With our meticulous testing and evaluation process, we uncover hidden gems and steer you away from potential disappointments. Join us on this exciting journey as we explore the vast Amazon marketplace together, revolutionizing the way we shop, one review at a time.