If you are on the never-ending quest for the best listening experience, then eventually you will arrive at open back headphones. They have a sound all to their own that is worth hearing.
Open back headphones are headphones where there is no material on the back side of the driver to block sound from escaping away from your ears. That translates to sound from the headphones being projected into the space around you. In the same way, you are not isolated from the outside world and any environmental sound around you will be heard as much as your music.
For these reasons open back headphones are not ideal for offices, commutes to work, or any loud environments. Not only will you hear all the noise around you but those around you may get annoyed listening to your music.
The positive side to them, though, is they produce a more natural sound that can feel airy and spacious. There is also less resonance frequency buildup that can cause colorization in some closed back headphones, leading to greater transparency in the audio. Thanks to the open-air flow, they often feel cooler to wear for longer periods of time.
One thing to consider while looking at headphones of this high caliber is their impedance (expressed in ohms). Many high-quality headphones have a high impedance and will need a headphone amp to sound proper and reach a decent listening volume.
This is because most devices like smartphones or laptops don’t have enough power to drive a high-impedance headphone to a good volume. So, keep in mind the higher the impedance, the more the headphone would benefit from a headphone amp.
Below are some of the best open back headphones available on the market that are worth considering.