Types of Headphones by Design
Headphones are our new companion after the wallet-phone-and-keys trio. But depending on your listening style, there are two types of headphones by design that you can choose from. What are they, and which one is your thing? Keep reading as we tell you everything about the latest types of headphones by design.
What are closed-back headphones?
Closed-back headphones, by design, are headphones with a fully sealed back. The only opening it has is to your ears so that sound can enter. Closed-back headphones can be of any type – from over-ear to on-ear and in-ear. The main feature would be that the headphone cups are well-sealed on the outside. So your ears are enclosed with the padding of the headphones, and outside noise is minimized at its best. For people who are fans of proper sub-bass extension, only closed-back headphones can be liked by them.
Where are closed-back headphones used?
Closed-back headphones are used in places where leakage of music from your headphones is highly unlikable. In subways, busy public streets, office environments, or libraries, you better opt for closed-back headphones by design to not attract unwanted attention from strangers. When traveling, closed-back headphones are more suitable as they do not bother your co-passenger who might not share the same taste in music as yours. Closed-back headphones are also used in recording studios for their complete isolation feature. Since closed-back headphones are designed to give enclosure to the sound, bass response is significantly amplified in such headphones. This is why many bass lovers like to use closed-back headphones by design.
Pros of closed-back headphones
We are into closed-back headphones for the complete isolation they provide for music lovers. Our playlists are personalized according to our music tastes. Since sealed padding, often meshed padding, is used in closed-back headphones – your playlist is only ringing in your ears. Closed-back headphones are suitable for people who prefer privacy while enjoying their favorite music in crowded places or offices. Music is more profound since sound waves are trapped in an enclosed space in closed-back headphones, and bass extension is quite good. This is why many recording studios use closed-back headphones.
Cons of closed-back headphones
The narrow soundstage of closed-back headphones can make the music seem unnatural. Since the enclosed feature is meant for opening sound only to the openings to your ears, using the headphones for a long time can significantly hamper your hearing over time. Air circulation is strictly limited in closed-back headphones that have leather padding. Such headphones prevent heat from venting out of your ear zones. So you can feel hot after using the headphones for some time. This is why even if you prefer privacy while listening to your favorite music, you cannot wear closed-back headphones while you are active or working out.
What are open-back headphones?
Open-back headphones are what the name suggests; the backs of the headphones are open. The sound comes directly from the rear to the driver of the speaker. The open-back headphones ensure airflow by design. Often the headphones are semi-closed but not entirely enclosed like a closed-back one. You can see the drivers in your open-back headphones from the outside. Sometimes only mesh wires are there to cover the headphones. Overall, the headphones are less padded and allow air circulation while wearing.
Where are open-back headphones used?
Sound engineers use open-back headphones for the flexible and natural sound feature. As open-back headphones can allow a wide sound stage, the sound comes naturally. The sound reaches your ear directly from the driver. At the same time, ambient sound is allowed to reach you. This helps sound engineers to mix different sounds in a studio. Audiophiles love the natural sound feature of open-back headphones as the sound is not trapped and is more usual compared to other types of headphones by design. Open-back headphones are suitable for home studios where sound leakage is not a concern.
Pros of open-back headphones
Open-back headphones are less damaging to your hearing since excess sound escapes the system. If you are a music lover who prefers to listen to natural sounds and music that does not feel trapped, then open-back headphones are your option. Producing high-quality audio files is easier with open-back headphones as ambient sound helps in listening to more than one sound. Airflow is more frequent with open-back headphones. This is an excellent feature because headphones tend to heat your ear over time. This is why open-back headphones are more comfortable. People with acute hearing will also find open-back headphones more useful as surrounding sounds will also enter the eardrums.
Cons of open-back headphones
For most of us, an open back headphone is rather useless while we are traveling, or we want to listen to our favorite OSTs while we are in our office. People around you might not prefer your favorite music. This is why using the open-back headphones is limited to private spaces or home studios. These headphones are also less durable. Since the exposure of the electronics is available, water and dust can enter the device more quickly than other enclosed ones.
Which one is for you?
What is your listening style? Are you the one who likes to drown entirely in the ocean of melody? Or are you the one who likes to combine the rhythm with the chirping of birds? Would you prefer isolation over comfort? Where are you planning to use the headphones? Are you planning to listen to music when you are traveling far? Or are you buying it for your home studio or gaming purpose?
Your listening style, where you use headphones, and your comfort level will tell you which is more suitable for you. For isolation and extended bass, closed-back headphones are more convenient. Open-back headphones are the to-go option for those who love natural music more.
When you try to choose a headphone, Does Size Matter?