Open vs Closed Headphones

open closed headphones

Usually it comes down to preference when it comes to open and closed headphones. Closed headphones are designed to isolate your ears from any outside noise. Open headphones allow some outside noise to get in which will present the sound as more natural. It depends on the listeners and what they would prefer but generally producers choose closed headphones.

There are headphones with a semi-open back to them but we will not cover that in depth. Semi open headphones let some sound leakage through but are generally not used for blocking out noise. Usually these are used for causal listening like at home.

Open Back Headphones

Open back headphones let air seep into the ear cups. Open back headphones prevent echoes inside the headphones. This can cause a more natural sound and sometimes make the sound more clear. Open back headphones allow you to hear everything around you as well. It is most commonly used to listen to music at home. Some producers use open back headphones to test out their tracks and listen to critical places.

If you’re planning on taking these headphones to the plane, you might be in bad luck. Since the headphones allow surrounding noise to leak in, you will be able to hear everything including the turbulence. Of course, there are some music genres that actually prefer this natural sound and so these headphones would be ideal for some. But for hip hop, usually there is a lot more bass involved.

Closed Back Headphones

Closed back headphones are more commonly used by hip hop music producers. These headphones separates your hearing from your environment. This is perfect if you do not want any leakage to pass through the headphones. When it comes to bass, you’ll be able to hear all of the ranges. Nowadays, noise cancellation headphones have been becoming popular among listeners who commute. I personally love noise cancellation headphones when it comes to everyday hearing.

Although you won’t be experiencing the most natural sound, you will able to hear as much as the mix as possible. This is beneficial to music producers for obvious reasons. Many rappers use closed back headphones when recording vocals because it separates them from the studio sounds.


When it comes down to producing, most would be better off with a nice closed back headphone. If you are a listener who enjoys commuting, we recommend going with a open back headphone. There are many reasons why people have both headphones especially if you are a music producer. Go the extra mile and experiment with all the headphones nearby! What do you guys think about headphones? Which ones are the best?

One thought on “Open vs Closed Headphones

  1. I like headphones that actually closed cause I feel like they keep the sound in and keeps outside noise out

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