There are many different types of headphones on the market, and it can be hard to decide which ones are right.

In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of Open Back vs Closed Back headphones for gaming and analyze how loud open-back headphones are. And How loud closed-back headphones are; with a study on the what’s the difference between open-back and closed-back headphones.

Difference between open-back and closed-back headphones?

Here is the difference between open back vs closed back headphones for gaming:

Open Back headphones:

Open back headphones have ear cups with perforations that allow sound to flow through, creating a natural and spacious sound but also allowing sound to leak out. They are popular among audiophiles who prioritize sound quality and a natural listening experience.

Open back headphones are ideal for home listening, studio recording and mixing, gaming, music production, and listening to classical and orchestral music. They are best suited for situations where privacy is not a concern and natural sound quality is prioritized.

Closed Back headphones:

Closed-back headphones are a type of headphone design that does not allow sound to escape from the headphone, which can provide a more immersive listening experience.

Closed back headphones are best suited for situations where noise isolation and privacy are important, such as commuting, recording vocals, DJing, gaming, and listening to electronic music.

Open Back vs Closed Back Headphones for Gaming:

Here are pros and cons of open back and closed back headphones for gaming:

Category Open Back Headphones Closed Back Headphones
Sound Leakage More Less
Noise Isolation Less Better
Soundstage Wider, more natural Narrower, more intimate
Bass Response Weaker Stronger
Comfort Lighter, cooler Heavier, may cause sweating
Durability Less durable due to open design More durable due to closed design
Price Less expensive due to simpler design More expensive due to added features
Compatibility More compatible with a wider range of devices Less compatible
Acoustic Isolation Less isolated, outside noise can interfere More isolated, outside noise is reduced
Sound Quality More natural, wider soundstage More intimate, more bass-heavy
Leakage Reduction N/A Can reduce sound leakage
Portability N/A More portable
Sound Accuracy More accurate and balanced N/A
Sound Pressure Level Not ideal for high sound pressure level environments Better suited for high sound pressure level environments
Breathability More breathable Less breathable
Bass Extension Weaker bass extension Stronger bass extension
Sound Imaging Better at providing accurate sound imaging N/A
Sound Signature More open and natural sound signature More closed-in sound signature
Soundstage Width Wider soundstage width Narrower soundstage width
Design Designed to provide a more natural and spacious sound Designed to provide a more intimate listening experience
Noise Reduction N/A Better suited for reducing noise from surrounding environment
Musicality More musical and natural sound Better suited for analytical listening

Note that some of these differences may vary depending on the specific headphones being compared, as different models may have different designs and features that affect their performance in these categories.

What is Sound Leak in Open back headphones?

“Sound leakage occurs when audio leaks out of the headphones and can be heard by people nearby”

In headphones, this can be heard as a noticeable increase in volume when listening with the ear cups open. 

Open-back headphones are notorious for their high levels of sound leakage. 

Why Do Open Back Headphones Leak Sound?

  • The main reason is that the ear cups are not sealed off completely. This allows sound to escape from the ear cups and travel into the surrounding environment.
  • Additionally, open-back headphones let air flow freely around the ear cups, which can lead to sound leaks.
  • While this may be desirable for some users, it can be problematic for others who want to keep their surroundings quiet. If you’re planning on using open-back headphones in a public setting, keep your volume low to avoid disturbing those around you.

How to Test Sound Leakage?

To test sound leakage on headphones:

  1. Play a song at a moderate volume.
  2. Place headphones on the dummy or person’s head.
  3. Stand at a reasonable distance and listen for leakage.
  4. Test in different environments.
  5. Check for sound quality.

If headphones leak sound, try adjusting the volume or fit, using closed back headphones, or noise-cancelling headphones.

Also Read: How to stop headphones from leaking sound?

How to find the Best Open Back Headphones?

To find the best open back headphones, consider your budget, look for reputable brands, check the frequency response and impedance, consider comfort, and read reviews from other customers.

  • Open back headphones are popular because they provide a natural and spacious sound that many audiophiles prefer.
  • The open back design allows for better airflow and reduces pressure buildup, making them more comfortable to wear for extended periods.
  • Additionally, open back headphones are less prone to producing a “canned” or “boxy” sound that can be caused by the enclosed design of closed back headphones. This design also results in a wider soundstage, making open back headphones ideal for listening to classical or orchestral music.


In conclusion, when it comes to gaming, choosing between open back and closed back headphones depends on personal preferences and the gaming environment. Open back headphones can provide a more natural and spacious sound, which can be ideal for games with dynamic soundscapes and spatial audio. However, they tend to leak sound and may not be suitable for noisy environments or situations where privacy is important.

On the other hand, closed back headphones provide good noise isolation and privacy, which can be important for competitive gaming and gaming in noisy environments. They may also be preferred for listening to electronic music.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider your needs and preferences when choosing between open back and closed back headphones for gaming.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Open Back Headphones Good For Gaming?

Open-back headphones are often considered a good gaming option due to their low noise levels and comfortable design. 

The consensus is that open-back headphones do offer a better overall experience when playing video games. This is because they allow you to hear ambient sounds, such as footsteps and gunfire, which can help you stay aware of your surroundings. The low noise levels make it easier to hear enemy movements and other noises around you.

However, open-back headphones do have their own set of disadvantages.

For example, they can amplify outside noise, making it difficult to focus on the game. Additionally, they can be uncomfortable if worn for long periods.

If you’re considering using open-back headphones for gaming, it’s important to ensure they’re the right option for your specific needs.

Best Open-back Headphones For Mixing

If you’re looking for the best open-back headphones for mixing, you’ll want to consider headphones like the Sennheiser HD 598C II. They offer great sound quality and a comfortable fit. They’re also lightweight and easy to transport so that you can take them anywhere.

Open-back headphones allow sound to flow freely, which is important for creating a true stereo mix. They’re also great for reducing noise levels in noisy environments. Some of the best open-back headphones for mixing include the Sennheiser HD 800 and the Beyerdynamic DT 880

 Can you hear yourself with open-back headphones?

With open-back headphones, you can hear yourself more clearly and other sounds in the environment. It’s best to try out a pair and see how you feel about them before buying them.

Do open-back headphones have good bass?

Yes, open-back headphones usually have good bass. Open-back headphones offer more space inside the ear cups, which means they can produce more bass. This extra bass may be why some people say they have good bass.

Are Open back headphones noise-cancellation?

Open-back headphones are not noise-cancellation. They let in external noise and transmit it to your ears.