Reading through audio reviews can be quite challenging if you’re not exactly familiar with the technical terms. Once we consider how complex personal audio can be, it isn’t that surprising that the jargon and buzzwords related to audio devices can be confusing to people who are not tech-savvy. However, these things are not to be ignored, especially if you’re planning to spend a lot of money on a gadget that you will use every day.
One of these terms is open back headphones. What are they? Should you use them? Let’s dive in this product overview and see why more and more people are using this type of headphones today!
What Are Open Back Headphones?
To make things more clear, let’s first take a closer look at the closed back headphones. These headphones are made in a way to isolate the outside noise and capture the sound that comes from the headphones themselves. The open back models do an opposite thing – they have special perforations whose purpose is to let the sound and air pass freely into the cups and out of them.
The main benefit of this design is the fact that it significantly changes the whole listening experience. Unlike the closed back models that provide the user with the “in your head” listening experience, the open back headphones render a sort of “in the world around me” musical experience.
Imagine yourself sitting on a porch in the middle of summer – you’re sitting on a chair and listening to music with your closed back headphones. The music is all that you can hear, with all other sounds coming from the outside world being dampened or wholly removed. You switch to open back headphones and these sounds start to bleed into the headphones – it sounds like the music is coming from the area around you, rather than from the headphones themselves. Along with the music, other sounds travel to ear, too – the rustle of the wind, the birds chirping, the cars in the distance, etc.
- Wider Soundstage
With the space underneath the cups not being totally confined, the sound waves are free to flow in and around the listener’s ears. The result of this is a soundstage that’s more open, larger, wider, and deeper. Listening to music with these headphones is more like listening to a couple of well-placed stereo speakers, instead of having the feeling that the music is coming “from inside your head.”
- Natural Listening Experience
Another benefit of open back headphones is that they’re pretty amazing when it comes to delivering music that sounds much more natural and realistic. By allowing the sound waves to escape, the reflections off the materials that are inside the cups are minimal. In other words, the low amount of reflections leads to the improvement of clarity and accuracy.
Furthermore, the open nature of these headphones also means that there is not so much air pressure to work against. The result of this is the drivers being able to quickly and efficiently respond to audio signals around them, which helps with maintaining better clarity and accuracy.
Those who hate that hot sweaty feeling that comes with closed back models will undoubtedly appreciate this type of headphones. Their open nature allows moisture and excess heat to escape, thus making the whole listening experience far more comfortable (especially over more extended periods of time). The combination of low weight and open nature makes these headphones ideal for the hotter climates.
- Less Privacy
The open nature of these headphones means less privacy – other can hear what you’re listening to and could even be disturbed by it. Using them on public transportation and in libraries is not advisable.
- Less Isolation
As we said, listening to music with these headphones means that you’ll be able to hear all sorts of noises mixing with your music. This can become distracting and make it quite hard to hear the not-so-loud elements within songs.
- Lower-level Frequencies Are Less Punchy
Those who really like low-end beats will find these headphones slightly disappointing. Due to their inability to confine air, they can’t quite deliver the low-end beats with the same intensity as their closed back cousins.
So, Should I Get Them?
Just like with all other gadgets, deciding which type of headphones to get depends on personal tastes and preferences. The decision is entirely up to you – if the advantages we’ve listed sound tempting, definitely consider getting a pair of quality open air headphones.