The anything open back headphone thread

Wassup everybody?

This thread aims to be the one stop shop thread when it comes to open back headphones.

( Just as how the small Linux problem thread is the one stop shop for small Linux problems. And the comedy thread is the one stop shop for comedy. And the mechanical keyboard corner or the gun and archery corner.... you get the point right?)

This thread will contain the following at any one given point in time:

  • Talk about open back headphones ( Such as reviewing your favorite or not favorite pair. A badge is available for reviews, so if you do post a review make sure you get your badge. )

  • Recommendations/suggestions of open back headphones ( dependent on wants/needs, features, brand preference, price point - please include your currency and country if you are outside the United States )

  • Posts about new or upcoming releases of open back headphone(s)

  • Open back headphone maintenance

  • Crash course introduction of open back headphones to new users

  • Anything revolving around open back headphones

New to the audiophile world and don't know what an open back headphone does? Geoffrey Morrison, a contributer writer for for Forbes, could not have explained it better. So I will let him explain:

The small speaker drivers in headphones emit sound in both directions: towards your ears, and away from your ears (as in, out towards the world). Closed-back headphones largely block the sound aimed towards the world. Open-back headphones, of course, let this sound largely go free.

In general terms, closed-back headphones are designed to isolate you from the outside world. It’s just you and your music. The downside is the music is a lot more “in your head” sounding. It’s less like a “band in a concert hall” and more “a band in your head.” Perhaps not that extreme, but you get the idea. Again, this is generally speaking. There can be exceptions.

The downside to open-back is probably obvious: everyone can hear what you’re listening to, and any ambient sound gets right in and mixes with your music.

The benefit, though, is some of that sound that’s headed out towards the world also gets mixed in with your music. The result is the headphone sounds significantly larger than closed-back headphones. More “open” sounding. Less like music beamed into your head, and more like music in a room. In other words, potentially more realistic.

There are some closed-back headphones that sound very open, but there is noticeably different sound to open-back headphones. Open-back headphones aren’t ideal in many situations, and not everyone loves the sound. But for those that do, it can be a different headphone experience.

He does have more to say and gives some examples. You can find the article here.

Hey @georgie, what pair of open back headphones do you have?

Edit: No reply? :frowning:. Don't tell me Zoltan scared you away , when he locked the thread you were in.

Personally I do not have a pair of open back headphones yet. But I have fallen in love with the HD 600 from Sennheiser.

They do cost a pretty penny. But from reviews they do seem to be well worth the price.

Some cool things about the headphones:

  • Fully modular

  • Neutral sound stage

  • Tight and clean bass

  • Sound is well detailed

  • Oval shaped ear cups - Allows for the non squishing of peoples ears

  • Ventilated velour pads - Ears wont be all sweaty

AKG K712 > Beyer DT990

Just to rile somebody up.

Anyways @Goalkeeper, I'd suggest being on the lookout for Massdrop x Sennheiser HD6XX. It's literally a rebadged HD650 for less money. I owned a pair and they were quite nice.


Thanks for the heads-up. I will look out for them!

Best, way to subjective to even try. Like, my K7XX from massdrop do help with that itch I had for a decent open back with out breaking the bank. But I have already tweaked/hacked them to fit me/my situation.

Probably the best $200 headphones that were on the market.

FYI though, the first drop lasted like one whole hour before they were all claimed, and that was with the server throwing a fit. When the next drop happens I do not doubt that it only last for a very short period of time, assuming they fixed their server.

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My setup has gotten pretty close to perfect

Sennheiser HD650 for music and chill, nice roll-off on the highs, smooth, never harsh.
Philips Fidelio X2 for spectacular movies or games, lots of low end, detailed treble, fun!
And that is it.

I still have K702, DT990 pro, SHP9500, T50rp mkIII and a few others but whenever I pick a pair it is one of those two.

OT: For mobile use I have the B&o H6 and I still have to find perfect closed monitors.
So far HD280 pro are pretty good and ATH-M40 X are on the way. Might also try the Sonys.

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